Adele Revella is the author of Buyer Personas: How to Gain Insight into your Customer’s Expectations and CEO of Buyer Persona Institute. She also blogs at BuyerPersona.com and recently shared her insight about the importance of the buyer persona in content marketing.
Creating a Buyer Persona for Content Marketing
A buyer persona is an example of the real buyer, a composite of who you want to influence through your marketing efforts; it is understanding of what buyers are thinking about. The persona helps us understand how sales and marketing interactions should be designed - how, when, and why buyers start to engage with the idea that they should purchase what a marketer is offering.
In contrast, a buyer profile describes the person, and may go into varying degrees of depth around any of the attributes of that person. A profile may include psychographics, goals, priorities, concerns, and education.
Creating a Buyer Persona
1.Talk to real buyers who have made the decision. Ask them to tell their story.
Contact people who represent your buyer persona in terms of the target market- the right size industry and job title, who have in the last year participated in the buying decision you are trying to influence. For the marketer without any clients, professional help, such as a recruiting partner, can be of value during this process.
2. Gather enough interviews to gain adequate insight.
For this type of qualitative research, work with relatively small sample sizes. A homogenous group needs about ten interviews for insight. For an in-house marketer, conduct at least six interviews; when working with an agency, conduct ten.
3. If the boss or company owner is hesitant to let you talk to clients, change the approach.
In-house marketer: Present it as a situation similar to when salespeople are trained to go out and listen to prospects before they pitch a solution. They’re collecting data that allows them to formulate a compelling story for that prospect and trying to persuade one buyer at a time, while marketers are trying to persuade a marketplace of buyers.
Agency: The client may tell you they already know their buyer. Ask them to put you in touch with the buyer expert in their company for further insight. Interview that person, roleplaying as if they were a buyer.
Marketers understand what their products do and do not do; what they do not know are perspectives. There is a mismatch 100% of the time, and uncovering these differences can give marketers an incredible competitive advantage.