Marketing in today’s day and age is no easy feat. You need to strike that right balance between customer expectations and business goals — come what may.

Maybe that is why marketers are constantly on the lookout for new and innovative ways to leverage the data that they have. Customer data and touchpoints can be the perfect addition to your marketing strategy and help you achieve marketing success — but only if they are used to their maximum potential.

There are multiple ways to boost your marketing performance. You always have the option of availing SEO services from an expert agency, but the other alternative is to use the right tools at your disposal. Audience profiling is an approach that supports the latter.

Confused? We thought so.

Allow us to explain in detail.

For any brand to succeed in its endeavour to be visible to a wider target audience, the first and foremost step is to identify who your target audience actually is. This process of audience profiling enables you to find who your exact target audience is, and how to tailor marketing communications to meet and exceed the desired level of personalisation.

Audience profiling can help you identify your various segments and focus specifically on the ones that have the most buying power. Creating and using targeted marketing campaigns that are able to drive conversions in specific customer segments, will help you drive sustainable growth.

Even though many companies still talk about data and its applications relentlessly, modern-day marketing requires so much more. Regardless of how big or small your business is, your performance will depend on how well you understand your audience.

Conducting audience profiling ensures that your marketing campaigns can constantly generate a healthy return on investment (ROI). Audience profiling includes four primary principles that every company should consider. These are

Segmentation

If you are aware of how marketing works, you may already be aware of the role that segmentation plays in it. Companies have used segmentation for years to understand their audience. Segmentation includes dividing your customers into demographic segments such as by age, location or gender.

This allows you to narrow down attributes that are specific to each demographic segment and helps you target marketing communication accordingly. However, you need not stop there.

Advanced segmentation techniques allow you to consider consumer behaviours, which will then allow you to create custom audiences using tools. You can use tools such as Google Analytics, Kissmetrics, and Optimove to effectively segment your customers into groups that you can then target for generating positive results for your brand.

What’s more, segmenting your audience this way, will also help you save considerable time and resources.

Messaging

With the help of the segmentation, you will already have a lot of information about your customers’ interests, preferences and perceptions. Now, it is time for you to start creating content that is tailored to each of these defined customer segments.

This may sound easy enough, but remember that the right messaging can make all the difference in getting your marketing campaign right. Creating relevant content that speaks to your customers is a sure shot way to make your marketing messaging work for you.

Your marketing message should build on the insights that you have derived from your customer segments. It will also let you create messages that strike an affinity with your target audience so that they are effective in producing results.

Engagement

Once you have identified the specific audience segments you want to specifically focus on, and have come up with the right messaging for these segments, you are well on your way to creating a difference.

Now, the next crucial step that you need to take is to ensure that your messaging gets the engagement that it deserves. For this, understanding where and when the messaging should be delivered is of utmost importance. Some of the important factors that you should keep in mind for this include the devices used to disseminate the message, critical timings for sending these messages, content consumption and behavioural aspects.

Getting the platform and timings right can significantly impact your marketing budget. For instance, if your product/service is targeted at a younger demographic, going for a platform like social media or emails may be more effective. On the other hand, if you are targeting businesses, you should consider more formal platforms for boosting engagement.

Measurement

If you are a seasoned marketer, you may already know what is coming up next.

Quantifying your marketing efforts is important not just for performing well, but also for fine-tuning and upgrading your approach with time. For this, you need to clearly define the goals and expected ROI right from the get-go. This will help you identify the benchmarks that your marketing strategy needs to hit.

The measurement of your audience profiling process will help you set these benchmarks, and goals effectively. Analysing and monitoring the metrics and KPIs related to your marketing campaigns will help you gain insights into what is working and what is not. Plus, it will also help you identify the specific platforms that are proving effective for you.

Measuring the impact of your efforts to upgrade the messaging and engagement of your campaigns, and their effectiveness will help you achieve your marketing strategy.

The term, “marketing persona” or “buyer persona” is thrown around way too often, and is not always understood clearly. You may have heard marketing managers talk about a fictional character who dictates and informs their strategies and processes. A product of deep research — the buyer persona is a crucial element of a successful marketing campaign.

Buyer persona research requires marketers to study their customers and all about their behaviour and preferences. This research is done through deep primary market research, which will result in the collection of real data from your existing customers. Creating a marketing buyer persona will require you to get into detail about who your customers are, and explore their unique traits and characteristics. This will help you create content for customers in a relevant and more contextually apt manner.

What is a Buyer Persona

Source

Companies usually develop 3 to 5 buyer personas, to be able to tailor marketing campaigns perfectly for different kinds of targeted segments. You would, of course, need to consider different kinds of attributes such as their geographic location and demographic information of the customers.

Additionally, you would also need to collect more information about the following attributes:

Goals

Understanding the goals and objectives of your customers may be the first step to identifying their needs. Doing this is key to ensuring that you are able to provide the kind of marketing content and sales service that they would prefer.

For instance, is your buyer aiming for the next big promotion at work? Is your buyer feverishly saving up so that they can retire soon? Are they actively trying to lose weight?

Seeking these answers will help you convince your customers that your product/service will help them achieve their goals.

Challenges

The second attribute that you should pay attention to is the kind of challenges that your target customers may be facing. Brands can potentially increase sales and perform much better if they get to know each of your buyer persona’s pain points.

Ask yourself: what are the roadblocks that they are encountering to reaching their goals? What are the challenges faced by them that you can potentially solve?

Remember, the more you deliver in solving these challenges, the better your odds of being able to successfully sell your product/service to customers.

Fears

The next attribute that you should know about your customer while creating a buyer persona is their fears. Getting to know this specific aspect of each buyer persona will help you with any misgivings they may have about your product or service.

Get to know if your buyers have any specific fears that may demotivate them from trying out your product/service. For instance, they may have tried a competitors’ product and failed to find it useful. This may have led to the loss of all the money they spent on it making them more fearful of trying such products/services again.

Here are you are seeking answers to questions like:

  • What kind of fears do your potential buyers have?
  • What is stopping them from buying your product/service?
  • How can you help relieve these fears?

Equipped with this information, you can tailor your marketing communication to alleviate such fears and thus sell your product more effectively to your customers.

Likes-Dislikes

Needless to say, if you are digging into your buyers’ fears and pain points, you should also pay attention to their likes and dislikes. This will help you attract customers through content that is most likely to engage them.

Understanding likes and dislikes can enable you to create content with targeted messaging, and engaging copies that will immediately grab customer attention.

Say, you are a SaaS company promoting your EduTech product. Now, if you know that a segment of your customers likes a simple and uncomplicated UI, and dislike large videos that increase loading times, how would you cater to them? This information can help you specifically talk to these customers and let them know about your simple, user-friendly design, and fast loading times.

This simple buyer persona example including their likes and dislikes tells you that you can promote your product in a more targeted way if you get to know your customers better.

Hobbies

Understanding more about the hobbies and interests of your customers can give you insights into how your customers like to spend their time. When we say hobbies, you are looking at activities such as pottery, playing sports or making crafts.

Here, you would need to ask yourself questions such as:

  • What do the customers like to spend their time on?
  • What kind of tools or accessories do they require for it?
  • How can you help them take out more time for these hobbies?

Getting answers to these questions will help you tailor your messaging to convince customers that your product/service will help them get more time for their hobbies.

The role of buyer personas is quite clear — understanding the needs and wants of your customer. Doing so can help you tailor your communication so that it appeals to those preferences and desires.

What’s more, if you want to get your messaging and communication right, you will first need to understand their requirements and how you fit into the picture. It is the only way to help your customers navigate the buying decision process and be an active part of it.

With the ever-changing marketing dimensions, the way customers like to interact with your marketing messaging has also evolved.

According to Accenture, over 90% of consumers strongly feel that brands should work on personalising the offers and recommendations that they send to their customers.

With that in mind, having clear marketing personas has become more crucial than ever before. If these reasons are not obvious enough, here is a list of others that highlight why you should be assigning more importance to buyer personas:

  • They help you understand your prospective customer more effectively
  • They can aid in optimising your marketing budget and efforts
  • They can assist you in targeting the right customers at the right time on the right platforms
  • They can eliminate the customer segments that are unlikely to generate any business for you
  • They can help you connect and interact with the most valuable customers in an organic and appealing way

With a plethora of reasons like these that support the creation of buyer personas, every brand should be looking at integrating the process into their marketing strategy. Not to mention, doing so will not just bring new prospective customers to your business, but also go a long way in keeping the existing ones satisfied.

By now, we are sure you have a relatively good understanding of what buyer personas are, and why they are so important in your marketing strategy.

But did you know that buyer personas have a crucial role in multiple verticals of your business? If you are eager to know how; keep reading.

Product Development

If you have ever embarked on a journey of developing a product, you might already know how time-consuming and painstaking it can get. Right from setting a vision for your product to coming up with a working prototype, there is a lot that goes into it. That said, it is one of the most important verticals of any business, and worth all the effort.

The process of creating a product roadmap might be the way to go, but it would not be as effective as you want if the customer needs to remain unaddressed. With the help of buyer personas, you will have an overview of your customer’s needs, wants and preferences which you can then seamlessly integrate into your product.

By having a buyer persona or “user persona”, as it is called in the product management lingo, managers can narrow down features that are most likely to actual user problems, and focus on the needs of users who fall into the highly-targeted segments. You will also be able to figure out specific features and elements that may be currently missing in the product but are likely to make customers happy if integrated.

Marketing

We have already talked extensively about the various ways in which buyer personas can contribute to marketing strategies. Whether your marketing strategies take a traditional approach, or the now common, digital approach, marketing buyer personas are absolutely essential for marketing.

Buyer personas can be even more useful when you narrow down specific elements of your marketing strategy. For example, in terms of content marketing strategy, buyer personas can contribute to a sound keyword research strategy that can subsequently offer you many SEO benefits. You can also go ahead and map keywords for each type of buyer persona based on the stage of the sales funnel that they are in. In fact, by using buyer personas in content marketing, you can create content that works equally well for you as well as your customers.

Furthermore, buyer personas can help you filter promotional activities and prioritise ones that generate the most results for your brand.

Sales

Did you think the usefulness of buyer personas is limited to marketing and product development? Well, not quite.

Your sales team will be able to utilise the marketing personas that you create just as much as these other verticals. As we discussed earlier, buyer personas can offer significant insights into the preferences and psyche of your prospective customers.

Salespeople will be able to offer better service to leads and potential customers, with the help of buyer personas. They will have better insights into their potential customers’ likes and dislikes and can tailor their communication with them accordingly. Plus, if they have a better understanding of the prospects’ pain points and challenges, your sales team will have better chances of pitching your product/service as a solution.

Customer Support

One of the biggest challenges that customer support teams face is a lack of adequate information about customers that can help them improve the service quality.

According to Salesforce, more than 70% of consumers attest to the fact that a brand’s ability to understand their individual needs significantly impacts their loyalty. Customer support teams can use buyer personas to serve customers in the best possible way.

It will bode well for a brand to train all its customer-facing teams to leverage buyer personas. Customer support teams will be able to assist customers with more empathy if they know more about their pain points and frustrations.

By now, you have a detailed overview of the various business functions that can benefit from audience profiling and buyer personas. Let us now take a look at which businesses can benefit from leveraging them.

B2B

Ask any marketer and they will tell you — marketing and promoting to business customers is no small feat. They have restrictive budgets and you will likely need to convince several team members before you can think of selling your product or service to them.

At the same time, if these business customers do see value in your offering, you can expect to seek a lot of business. But how do you stay visible and cater to these customers?

Nearly 44% of B2B marketers state that digital marketing is one of their top marketing spends. So, there is undoubtedly some room for reducing costs by having the right marketing personas in place. Having a buyer persona in place will also help you establish more market specificity and tailor your messages better for your business customers. Today, B2B marketers work hard to create personalised experiences through their websites as well as email marketing campaigns.

After all, more than 75% of B2B sales and marketing professionals believe that personalisation can help build stronger customer relationships. And we are sure you are already aware of the crucial role those customer relationships can play in B2B marketing.

As mentioned before, B2B buying decisions can potentially involve multiple people from an organisation. So, creating multiple buyer personas in B2B campaigns is a great way to ensure that you are able to generate more sales and conversions.

B2C

Personalisations do not just dominate B2B marketing preferences, but also impact the effectiveness of B2C marketing strategies. Needless to say, personalisation helps brands tailor communication and target their customers more effectively.

What’s more, customers will be able to establish multiple connection points with your brand and are likely to portray more loyalty towards it. This will inevitably lead to a significant increase in your sales revenue.

In B2C marketing, buyer personas can easily become your tool to differentiate and stand out from your competitors. B2C or D2C brands can also utilise buyer personas to attract and convert customers directly in traditional stores as well as online platforms.

So, if you perceive the usage of buyer persona for increasing sales, all kinds of companies can leverage buyer personas in different capacities to generate desired results. So, it is not a matter of who, but how companies can use their buyer personas in marketing strategies.

We are pretty sure you know the whats and whys of audience profiling and buyer personas by now. If you are eager to get started with creating personas and wondering how to go about it — don’t worry, we got you covered.

Here is a five-step process that you can follow for developing buyer personas in content marketing and other business processes:

Step 1: Conduct a Basic Buyer Persona Research

When we talk about research in the process of creating buyer personas, we will consider the internal as well as the external research. Like everything strategic that is ever documented, you need to conduct diligent research to create effective buyer personas.

The first step? Start with people who are already working with you, and take it forward by conducting research on prospective clients.

For your existing clients, prepare a list of questions such as:

  • Who is the point of contact from the client’s end?
  • What do their roles and responsibilities entail?
  • How did they come to know about you?
  • What kind of content do they like to consume?
  • What does their personal life look like?

With these details in mind, you will be able to narrow down the persona of the potential buyers that you will be targeting going forward. Equipped with these insights, your research can now be diversified to find multiple kinds of information.

It is always a good idea to now talk to your customer-facing employees. They can give you a better understanding of the pain points and challenges that existing clients, as well as prospects, often face. This part of research is known as affinity mapping.

Next, you want to look at the steps that your competition is taking for pushing conversions. This is useful especially if you have a list of prospects that do not seem to convert even with all your dedicated efforts. Looking at your competitors’ strategies will help you understand what your own strategy might be missing and need to add.

Lastly, you should take monitoring and deriving insights from your analytics quite seriously. Nothing will give you a more objective and accurate overview of your buyers than your analytics. Here, you can look at the metrics pertaining to your website, ad campaigns and social media performance, to understand how your prospective customers interact with you.

In this process, tools like Google Analytics and Ahrefs might be more helpful than you think and contribute to a better quality campaign.

Step 2: Segment Your Buyer Personas

If you have thoroughly conducted and applied your skills to carry out Step 1, you should now have a large repository of information with you. It must contain detailed insights about your existing buyers, challenges that your prospects face, and strategies that your competitors use to alleviate them.

Give yourself a pat on the back — the most time consuming and arduous part of the process is over.

Once you are back, you will see that this information is most likely stored and categorised randomly. This is the right time for carrying out our next step.

The next step in the process of creating buyer personas is to segment all of this information. Since you have a large variety of information at your disposal right now, the first thing you will need to do is look for similarities. Finding these similarities in such large data sets will allow you to group customers with similar goals and challenges together.

Once you have grouped these customer datasets, you can now figure out the number of buyer personas that you want to have. Yes, we are saying there will be multiple. It would be quite limiting to fit all your different customers into a single buyer persona, right?

You can create as many as you need and see fit. But remember, not all buyer personas have to start taking shape right away. Feel free to step back and collect more information on specific customer segments if need be. In the long run, it will only help you create more detailed personas.

Now for the final step of your segmentation process!

Segment the groups of customer data that you have in hand. Some of the criteria that you can consider are demographics, job titles, and industry. This will help you define clear buyer personas and specific strategies to target each of them.

Step 3: Focus on Goals and Pain Points

If you are eager to see your buyer personas take shape — don't worry, you are almost there!

Now that you have divided all the customer data into clear segments, you will see definite patterns and a more organised database. It is now time to add that extra layer of detailing that will differentiate your buyer personas.

Remember, how you collected the buyer persona pain points and goals from your existing as well as prospective customers? You will be focusing extensively on that for this step.

After the previous step, you must have clear segments of customer data containing their demographic and professional details. Add the goals and pain points that you have identified for these specific segments to each of them. This will help you have a clear picture of everything you need to know about your customers.

Step 4: Compile and Create Personas, and Strategies

Now for the part that you have been itching to get to from Step 1 — the actual creation of your buyer personas.

You have collected all the data. You have categorised and organised it neatly. You have segmented it into clear groups. All you need to do now is compile all of this information and create your final buyer personas.

Create an innovative name and a unique story for each of your buyer personas. Who are they? What is their life like? What does their typical day look like? Add as much detailing as you want to each of these buyer personas.

Set a timer of 20 minutes for each buyer persona and write down as many details as you know about them. In the end, you will have a visual and textual overview of a typical buyer who you want to target through your business processes.

Now, we are sure that you had a list of strategies in mind to target customers effectively. With the help of the buyer personas that you have just created, you can associate strategies to specific customer segments to target them more effectively. There is a good chance that the new buyer personas will generate the need for tweaking the existing strategies or creating new ones.

For instance, if you have just found that there is a whole segment of customers that would prefer to get useful information through social media, check for the current social media strategies that you have in place. Are they adequate or do they need an update? If the answer is the latter, feel free to have a new, stronger strategy in place.

Step 5: Strategise Messaging and Communication Accordingly

If you are on this step, you have probably navigated the rest of the steps effectively. Well done!

So now, you have your buyer personas. You have a list of effective strategies that will work for each of them. What’s next, you ask?

Well, it is time to put all that hard work to use.

Take a long hard look at your current communication and messaging strategy. Does it adequately address the messaging for all your buyer personas? There is very little chance that one type of messaging will work for all of them.

So this would be a good time to tailor a specific messaging and communication strategy for each buyer persona. You will, of course, need to make your marketing and sales team familiar with each of the buyer personas and guide them with the process that should be adopted for each of them.

This is also a great time to take a second look at your existing content and website. Ask yourself if they address the needs and questions of one or more buyer personas that you have just created. If not, do not hesitate to make changes that will help you gain more traction from these marketing buyer personas.

You have worked so hard on creating and curating buyer personas — all of this should not go in vain right?

Even though we have talked a lot about the various business processes that your buyer personas can contribute to, marketing is undoubtedly one of the most important ones. After all, nearly 82% of companies admitted to improving their value proposition with the help of buyer personas.

How to Use Buyer Persona for Marketing

On that note, let us look at the steps that you should take to effectively use buyer persona in marketing.

1. Create the Right Content

At the risk of repeating ourselves, content marketing is one of the verticals where your buyer personas may be used extensively.

When you know the objectives, needs and pain points of your target customers, and have a detailed buyer persona in hand — the possibilities are endless. Ask any content marketer, and you will find that they are most concerned with integrating the four Ps of marketing within their content. Buyer personas address this concern and much more.

It is a good practice to stop and take stock of your existing content from time to time, especially after you create new marketing buyer personas. Inform your content strategy with the personas and create content that will appeal to each of them.

The buyer personas will also help you create highly targeted content that will help customers relating to each of the buyer personas make purchase decisions.

So, if you find that a buyer persona of yours is likely to resonate the most with email newsletters, then you know that you will need to add it on your content priority list. If you find that people require you to educate them and having topic clusters can help, then go for it.

2. Select the Right Channels

Apart from finding the right content that is likely to be relevant and enthrall each of your buyer personas, you will also need to narrow down the most performing channels.

We already know how buyer personas can help you improve your business processes and strategies by making them more centered on user needs. Whether you call it an audience persona or marketing persona, there is little doubt about the importance of choosing the right channels for disseminating the content.

Your ability to monitor analytics effectively can be highly useful in this case. If data from your analytics tools suggests that users are preferring your website over any other platform for consuming content, it is time to bolster your website strategy. But since you may have already integrated these insights into the buyer personas that you created, no need to run the analytics again.

Your buyer persona will and should likely detail out the specific platforms and channels that they prefer for content consumption. You can use these inputs to create a content strategy that will be able to produce results.

3. Improve your Sales Funnel

Buyer personas can be quite useful and contribute significantly to your sales processes. According to a study, 93% of businesses that exceeded leads and revenue goals, have been segmenting their customers using buyer personas.

If that is not motivation enough to invest in buyer personas, we don’t know what is!

Plus, if you are able to successfully quantify your buyer personas, you will be able to generate even more results and target higher conversions. Since buyer personas are so closely associated with conversions, we can automatically attribute it as a vital tool for your sales team.

Equipped with well-designed buyer personas, you can focus on decreasing the customer acquisition costs (CAC) and increase the customer lifetime value (CLV). These are two of the primary measures that indicate the performance of your sales funnel and should be the basis for your sales strategy.

4. Improve your Email Marketing

It is difficult to wrap up a discussion about sales and conversions without mentioning email marketing. That is the importance it holds in marketing and sales strategies. Right from lead generation to after-sales service, everything business or marketing-related today, happens on emails.

According to a study by MLT Creative, leveraging buyer personas improve the email open rate by 2x and offer a 5x increase in click-through rates. Considering this, buyer personas can lead the way in terms of adding more value to email marketing campaigns and the quality of content within these emails.

Buyer personas can potentially convert your subscribers into customers. This can be done by:

  • Creating personalised subject lines and content that attracts subscribers
  • Sending personalised offers to potential customers prompting a purchase
  • Delivering curated and tailored content to customers with lucrative CTAs
  • Presenting a strong CTA which leads to powerful landing pages

You can do all of this and more if you have the data and information that buyer personas can reward you with.

5. Personalise your Marketing Efforts

Personalisation. Personalisation.

We know you have heard it enough times, and we have already talked about it in this very piece quite a few times. But indeed, it can easily become one of the best approaches for creating content that generates an impact.

80% of consumers are likely to go ahead and purchase with a brand that tailors and offers personalised offers and experiences. Considering that kind of popularity, it is no surprise that marketers are willing to go the extra mile for creating experiences that are unique to each customer. It is, after all, totally worth it.

Right from attracting a customer through highly targeted ads, to creating a stellar after-sales experience with the help of personalised solutions, all useful insights can be derived from buyer personas.

No wonder, creating marketing personas is important to creating impactful campaigns for the foreseeable future.

Now we have talked enough about buyer personas and audience profiling to pique your interest and get you started. But if you are still on the edge about how you can go about creating impactful buyer personas, let us discuss and understand it with a couple of examples.

To get a more holistic perspective, we will look at an example related to B2B as well as one that relates to B2C.

Let us look at an example of a B2C buyer persona posted by Juny Lee on LinkedIn.

B2C buyer persona

As you can see, the marketer who created this particular persona has delved into significant details about Choi’s personal and professional preferences. The fact that the persona has been detailed in first-person makes it more unique — just one of the ways you can approach buyer persona creation.

The fictional first person story that has been added to the buyer persona improves its effectiveness. It will encourage customer-facing teams and marketers to get to know their customers better and target them with a more empathetic approach.

Let us now look at a buyer persona in the B2B field to get a more comprehensive understanding of how it works.

buyer persona in the B2B field

This example shared by Alexa, details out a buyer persona in a visually and textually sound manner. The personality scale that has been added to the persona is a great touch and can potentially tell you a lot about the kind of customers you are targeting. What’s more, you also have enough information about their motivations, goals and pain points to understand what makes them click.

The bio then ties up the persona perfectly and highlights the knowledge and experience that she possesses, and customers aligning with this buyer persona will also have.

Audience Profiling is not that difficult a process once you get to know how to navigate it. Having said that, it is one of the most important processes that you will undertake in your marketing strategy. Creating buyer personas have been a vital part of the way companies conduct marketing and sales for a very long time. Today, it has even more of a role to play in digital marketing and content-related processes. Not to forget, if you get it right, you could be looking at a plethora of benefits in terms of your business processes, sales, marketing, and even SEO.

Still confused about how to get your content to start performing for you? Get in touch with us, so that we can help you out.

Enter Your Website & get
an instant SEO Report for FREE