In the vast, segmented world of online searchers, the importance of knowing your audience as a brand has never been more important. Especially when factoring in the ever-increasing sophistication of targeting in digital advertising.
And while the “what” behind the content you’re surfacing is important, ensuring content gets in front of the right “who” can make or break your lead program’s performance. Enter the buyer persona.
What is a buyer persona?
Using real-world examples of present and prospective consumers, buyer personas—at their most basic level—are semi-fictional profiles. These profiles are developed on behalf of a product and/or service to provide insight into what customers are, as the Buyer Persona Institute says, “thinking and doing as they weigh their options to address a problem that your company resolves.”
Buyer personas are typically developed through a number of research methods. Conducting a thorough review of collected audience data and competitive analysis will help you define trends. Any other gaps can usually be filled in using surveys and personal interviews.
When collecting persona data, you’ll start with the basics. Mapping out profiles based on factors like gender, age, income and geographic location will provide a foundation for understanding your customers. These details will also come in handy when building out targeting for sponsored content.
On top of demographics, you’ll want to fill in the gaps with additional personal insights. These could include details surrounding their job, desired career path and family life.
Having real, authentic conversations with your customers will be vital to truly understanding what separates them from the masses. Take extensive notes on their demeanor during interviews, as well as preferred methods of contact. This will help you in defining not just the physical how behind reaching them, but a tone of voice that might resonate most in their day-to-day.
With motivational insights, you’ll use the above traits, as well as survey and interview commonalities to discern the “why” behind your prospective customers’ actions. Most importantly, these why moments will influence how your branded content can help solve a problem and influence audiences to take action.
Part of defining motivations comes from understanding customer goals. What are they hoping to achieve? Who drives them toward becoming who they want to be? These are broken down into primary and secondary categories.
Challenges represent the obstacles faced in pursuit of the aforementioned goals and are understood through primary and secondary breakdowns as well. Knowing the constant pain points your audiences are up against will better help you understand the problems your brand’s developed content—and eventually, your product and/or service—can help solve on their behalf.
One of the residual effects of audience research is the way in which it helps a brand become more aware of itself and its mission. What separates your brand and what it has to offer from every other competitor on the market based on the specific problem(s) it can solve? Knowing this will better equip your content marketing team with the tools they need to develop influential, lead-driving messaging.
Eager to get to know your audience and the types of content that’ll make them tick [and click]? Contact PowerPost today for a content consultation and free demo of our tool.