How To Create A Customer Persona
“A customer persona is a composite sketch of a key segment of your audience. For content marketing purposes, you need personas to help you deliver content that will be most relevant and useful to your target audience.”
Source – Ardath Albee
In a nutshell, customer personas help businesses understand and empathize with their customers so they can do a better job of acquiring and serving them.
B2B customer personas can be complex
There are typically more stages involved in the B2B purchasing process, than in B2C. Because of this, you cannot just rely on marketing to your one, super -targeted customer and then call it a day.
These B2B purchasing decisions tend to go a lot deeper and focus on what the business needs more so than the people involved.
Since they are focused on the bigger picture, you need to be also.
Rather than identifying the unique needs of one individual, you will need to identify the unique needs of multiple people along the purchase decision making line.
How to get started:
Basically, break it down into 4 different stages and start jotting down some notes:
Stage 1: What does your ideal customer look like?
(ie: size of company, longevity of trading, location etc…
Stage 2: What would lead them to buy what you’re selling?
(ie: Are they experiencing any problems, what areas are they struggling in and are they currently using a competitive product or service?)
Stage 3: What does their purchasing process look like?
(ie: Are they ready to purchase / have a problem solved, will they need convincing, how many decision makers could be involved etc…?)
Stage 4: How can you get yourself in front of them?
(ie: Where do they spend time – Linkedin / Facebook / Twitter? Are they desk based or on the go? Do they like to read, watch or listen?)
This information can be found in two ways—by listening and observing people who are already buy from you and also by simply asking existing customers! A little bit of research can go a long way.
Questions are key to creating a B2B customer persona. Depending on how you would answer these questions, you can frame the content you need to engage a customer across the buying process.
Questions are also the catalyst for a conversation.
They ask a question. You answer it. They take in the new information and respond with a new question. This Q&A feeds right into a storytelling approach and you will soon see the flow come together as a guide for driving engagement.
When creating the questions, you need to understand what the customer persona needs to know at each stage of their journey.
- What if I choose to do nothing? How bad could the problem be?
- What are my competitors doing about this issue?
- What industry trends are driving it?
- What will it take to convince the others in my team to get on board?
- How do I build the business case?
And so on.
Content and Channel Preferences
This is also a key factor to be considered when compiling your content marketing strategy. When you understand where you need to be for the best effect, you can spend your time and resources perfecting those areas, rather than spreading yourself thinly over too many platforms.
One note of caution however: attributing behaviour to your personas without first verifying it.
For example, just because videos get the most traffic on your website doesn’t mean videos are the persona’s content of choice. Always investigate before you make assumptions, or you could make critical errors in how you market to your persona.
I hope you have found this article helpful – certainly some food for thought when it comes to identifying your target audience and then communicating with them in the most efficient and effective way.
KG Marketing works with small businesses from a variety of industry sectors and manages their content and general marketing, over a variety of platforms.
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To find out more, contact us at [email protected] or phone 07753 425412 for more information.