RAAK_Blog-Header_Step by step how to determine buyer personas for your business

Step by step: how to determine buyer personas for your business?

We are sure you will agree: the best content marketing strategy is to address issues that your contacts care about. However, sometimes one subject can be looked at from very different angles.

Let’s take a machine breakdown for example: 

  • The operations manager will look at the impact of the breakdown on the production cycle.
  • Atechnical engineer will look at getting the machine up and running again.

Both have a different approach to the same problem. To manage these different expectations, it is useful to create buyer personas. Our advice: get started right away following our easy 6-step guide.

Before we dive head-first into the creation of buyer personas, let’s take a step back and find out what buyer personas are and why you should use them in your content marketing strategy.

Step 1  |  Research the background of your buyer personas
The first step is to gather insights in your main target group. What motivates them? What are their most important challenges? And which problems do they bump into?

Get an insight in the needs and expectations of your customer groups by researching their specific (demographic) data. Conduct surveys, interviews, etc. to find out:

  • where they live and work
  • what their average age is
  • how much they earn
  • which means of communication they prefer

Capture the answers, analyse them and get a more detailed view of who each contact really is.

Step 2  |   Determine the roles of your buyer personas
Detailed information about a client’s or prospect’s function is crucial in the set-up of valuable buyer personas. Getting an insight in their job description, knowledge level, experience, responsibilities and specific business goals will enable you to create content that addresses their needs and facilitates their daily tasks. When you’re starting a sales cycle of months, or even years, that personal knowledge will be the main driver to win their trust and respect. 

To determine which information your target groups need, it’s important to discover which profiles in an organisation influence the decision making process.

  • Who are those influencers and decision makers? The engineer who needs to resolve a technical issue? Or the financial director who balances cost and benefits?
  • Which information could be useful to each of them?

These dynamics and relational aspects will determine the content you’re about to create.

Step 3  |  Define goals and anticipate on pitfalls
After you’ve gathered all necessary facts and figures about your buyer personas, it’s time to dig into their wishes, needs and main drivers. Find out what their most important goals and issues are and see how your products or services can help them.

  • What is their main motivation?
  • Which obstacles are they tackling?
  • What is their available budget?

This information will enable you to communicate focusing on added value for your prospects and customers.

Step 4  |  Map your buyer personas’ main challenges
Don’t just focus on selling as many units of your product or closing as many service deals as possible. Be sure to work on your problem-solving and need-fulfilling potential as well.

What’s your target group’s strongest challenge?

  • Is it innovation?
  • Process optimization?
  • Or do they simply need to cut costs?
Map those challenges and target your content at showing that you recognize the situation and offer the best possible solutions.
 
Step 5  |  Find out how your buyer personas communicate
If you want your buyer personas to process your information and respond to it, it’s essential to know which media your target groups prefer.
 
  • Do they look for information on Google?
  • Do they read online reviews?
  • Are they social media savvy? And if so, do they spend more time on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn?

Find out and create relevant content aimed at those specific channels.

Step 6  |  Pinpoint any objections your buyer personas may have
Be realistic. Not everyone in your target groups will be immediately convinced about your products or services. Do your best to locate the most important bottlenecks and create content that eliminates those obstacles. By constantly evaluating your organisation’s offer, you will eventually find a way to offer the best possible solution for your prospects’ and customers’ problems. 

Conclusion

Defining accurate buyer personas takes quite some time and effort. But it is crucial to developing a solid long-term digital marketing strategy. Buyer personas are an absolute must-have if you want to generate better qualified leads. Once you’ve successfully handled this first stage of your strategic plan, you’re ready for the next stages:  determining your buyer journey and creating specific content to guide your buyer personas through it. Read all about it in our next tipmail.

In the mean time, you can already download our free and easy-to-use template to create customised buyers personas for your business.

Download your Buyer Persona Template

Posted on
Sep 21, 2017