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The Iris Content Masterclass Series: How to Leverage the True Power of Buyer Personas

The good, old buyer persona – one of the marketing terms shrouded in so much mystery! What exactly is it? Can it have an effect on your online content creation and marketing? Does your business need a buyer persona at all? Today, we’ll attempt to answer all of these questions and a couple of additional inquiries related to the topic.

Photograph by buso23 via Bigstock

What is a Buyer Persona?

A buyer persona is simply a semi-fictional representation of an ideal customer.

It’s semi-fictional because certain attributes like age and profession are assigned by the marketing team. The rest of the characterization is quite true because it’s based on extensive research and data collection following interactions with prospects and buyers.

The creation of a buyer persona is a lengthy process that requires research and the analysis of tons of data. Usually, marketing professionals have to go through available information to identify trends and characteristics customers share. Buyer personas can be created by doing detailed interviews or surveys with clients and prospects. Obviously, asking the right questions will be of paramount importance to get access to features of relevance. A buyer persona isn’t just a marketing buzzword. Its creation can have a profoundly positive effect on content marketing.

Why Buyer Personas Are Important

To sell with content, you have to focus on one thing – personalization. If you have an authentic buyer persona, you will speak directly to the relevant crowd and increase the chance of engagement.

There are several reasons why buyer personas play such an important role in content creation. The top ones include the following:

  • They allow for the creation of content (topics, tone) that will interest the potential group of people
  • The selection of the right communication channels becomes an easier task (the buyer persona provides knowledge concerning where these people spend a lot of time)
  • Effortless consistency across all communication campaigns
  • The creation of relevant calls to action
  • Easier development of re-marketable content
  • More effective market segmentation
  • Improved product development to target the needs of the particular group
  • Through buyer personas, you can make sure that all company teams/departments are on the same page

Buyer Personas and Content Creation

If you need actual numbers about the benefits of using buyer personas, here are some intriguing statistics for you – the click-through rate (CTR) of personalized emails is 14 percent higher than the CTR of generic ones. Through the use of marketing personas, companies have managed to make their corporate websites anywhere between two and five times more user-friendly for the respective group of people.

Through the use of targeted buyer personas, companies have managed to increase their organic website traffic by 55 percent (due to more tailored content and SEO campaigns) and they’ve also registered a 97 percent increase in online leads.

Content is an important element in all of these successes.

Online content creation is all about speaking to the respective group of people. It allows for a lot of tailoring and segmentation – the exact reasons why inbound advertising approaches like content marketing tend to deliver the best results.

Using buyer personas to generate high-quality content isn’t too difficult, if you’re strategic. Here are a few of the best practices in the area.

Content for Each Stage of the Sales Funnel

Each persona will be at a certain part of the buyer’s journey. Your content should be created to address the specific needs of the prospect/buyer at that point in time. There are three key stages that buyers go through – awareness, consideration and decision.

The best types of content for people in the awareness stage of the sales funnel include free guides and eBooks, detailed how-to articles, free videos and checklists, whitepapers and image galleries.

People who are in the consideration stage could be a bit more open to branded content. Some of the options that are suitable for such an audience include case studies, webinars, product specifications and behind the scenes stories (footage, branded articles, etc.).

Finally, the decision stage calls for content like comparison fact sheets, FAQs, personalized usage guides and promotional newsletters featuring exclusive content.

Choose the Right Distribution Channel

Content on your corporate website isn’t the only option you can rely on. To sell with online content, you need a well-developed social media strategy, reliance on CPC campaigns, newsletters, partnerships with other websites and local channels.

Don’t underestimate the importance of a multi-channel approach that’s based on your audience’s preferences. If you know the behavior and the habits of your buyer, you will find it easy to choose the media that will help you connect most effectively.

Addressing Real People Who Have Real Problems

The term “audience” is pretty abstract. The audience doesn’t have a face, a profession and a relationship status. Because it is faceless, writers will often find it difficult to create content that answer questions the audience may have.

The buyer persona makes it easier to identify topics of interest for the respective group of people. Let’s say your buyer persona is Bob White – a mechanic aged 45 from Chicago who is divorced, has two kids and a dog. This is pretty specific and you can easily imagine the problems that Bob has and the ways in which your products/branded content can address these problems.

Good content has practical value. It gives your audience something useful and valuable. It also uses a language/tone that the respective group of people will find easy to understand. Your primary goal is to provide understandable, well-crafted and tailored content that people will go back to time and time again.

Working with buyer personas can be a bit abstract at first but you’ll soon understand the benefits that this approach brings to the table. If you’ve never utilized personas in the past and you’re worried about content creation this way, working with copywriting experts will make the most sense. Professional copywriters are pretty familiar with standard buyer personas and they’ll help you make the most of marketing copy if you provide them with enough data right from the start.

Annie Ianko

Chief Content Officer

Annie has over 20 years of experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.

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