I was recently assigned a project of developing buyer personas for a new client we recently onboarded. It initially involved a lengthy discussion answering (seemingly) unnecessary and pointless questions about made-up people.
Where did they go to college?
Where do they live?
What are some hobbies they enjoy in their free time? Blah. Blah.
Many times during the process I questioned if personas were really that necessary to a successful marketing campaign. Does my client really need them? What purpose does it serve to develop these “people”? And when can I stop and go to lunch?
Surprisingly, after seeing the finished product I began realizing how important buyer personas truly are to an organization. I wanted to share my discovery with you. Because if you are like me, you might be thinking those silly questions are a waste of valuable marketing time….but wait!
Developing a Deeper Understanding
Any information you gather regarding specific behaviors, concerns, needs or wants about your target audience will help you develop a deeper understanding of your consumer (that includes demographic information).
As marketers, we want to grab the attention of our ideal prospect as much as possible. In order to make that happen, we must find a common language to ensure our message is accurately interpreted.
Communication flows much easier when you speak the same language. Doing your market research will help that aspect. In order to speak their language, you have to understand what they are looking for and who they are.
Attracting the Right Buyers
Building accurate buyer personas gives you deeper insight into your target audience’s buying process. This is extremely important for your content marketing strategy. When you tailor your message to these personas you are more likely to attract the right buyer to your site.
Remember, there is a big difference between attracting buyers, and attracting the right buyers. Identifying their specific traits and creating compelling content tailored to your target audience boosts your conversion rate because you are attracting the right people. These are the people who will find the content most beneficial.
An Added Bonus
Here is an added bonus: The more significant and useful your content is, the more alluring it will be to the search engines crawling the web. By narrowing your focus on specific buyer personas, you will increase your page's ranking and in return increase the number of eyeballs to your website. When you continue to publish fresh, new, reliable content, you build credibility with search engines (and prospects).
When you start developing your personas, you begin to uncover certain goals, challenges and objectives they might have. Doing your research could reveal more than you thought about your ideal customer.
Once the development stage is complete, you will learn what the target audience’s needs and desires are from your company. This gives you the opportunity to identify other services or products you may need to incorporate into your marketing plan.
As you can see, as much as I hated (at first) building out these personas, they really are a huge beneficial component to developing and implementing a strong inbound marketing strategy. So, to answer the question: YES, you really do need buyer personas!