While the phrase “buyer persona” is a relatively recent addition to marketing jargon, the concept of a target consumer or target audience is as old as the field of marketing. Unfortunately, it’s also a widely misunderstood idea and its impact is often underestimated. It’s easier today than ever before to access the information needed to make an effective and accurate profile for a buyer persona, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to accomplish. Many businesses are starting at a disadvantage because they don’t understand the full power and potential of accurate buyer personas, nor how much opportunity they may be giving away by building internet marketing campaigns on undeveloped buyer personas.

Build On Research, Not Reverse Engineering

 The most important thing to know is that a buyer persona is a very specific, though fictitious, individual. This persona is built on hard data about your current customers and their behaviors and motivations, combined with data from other sources to create a detailed description based in fact.

Before website analytics were readily available at low or no cost, it was difficult for smaller businesses to gather and analyze data about their own customers, let alone those customers of competitors and the rest of their market. Lacking hard data, most of these companies settled for a far more generalized picture, derived from reverse engineering. The process went something like this: “We know what our product does and how that benefits people. People are buying the product, so we can assume that those benefits are what motivate those buyers, so we’ll extrapolate from there to come up with a picture of a person who would be motivated by those benefits, and pitch toward that general idea of a person.” At best, this process paints a fuzzy target, which will never be able to produce the same results as fact-based, fully developed buyer persona.

Paint A Clear Target For More Effective Conversion

 Start with your own website analytics for demographic data, and use the customers you already have as a starting point. You may want to poll them for specific information like what factors ultimately led them to purchase your products. Look at your social media accounts and followers, too, because you can gain valuable insights from their comments and other pages they follow. Don’t forget to take advantage of your competitors’ analytics and customer insights, too, because they likely include a number of likely buyers for your products. You may also want to consider purchasing or commissioning market research for the specific verticals of your products. The more hard data you can collect, the fewer assumptions you’ll have to make, and the more fact-based your buyer persona will be.

After you’ve created a solid buyer persona and you have a real understanding of what motivates that persona, it’s easy to aim precisely at their pain points, their mind, or their heart, depending on what you’ve learned will be most likely to motivate them to buy. Because you’re not aiming your Internet marketing campaigns in the general area of some likely pain points you’ve extrapolated, you’re going to find, as you fine-tune your laser sight, that your conversion rate improves significantly.

Accurate Buyer Personas Prevent Costly Marketing Mistakes

 Keep in mind that the right buyer persona for your Internet marketing campaign depends on the specific objectives of that campaign. If you’re a storefront in Naperville and you want to bring customers to your location, your buyer persona will likely be part of that local community, or perhaps from the greater Chicago area. If your goal is to promote traffic to your web store, you’ll want to take a much broader view when developing your buyer persona for that Internet marketing campaign. Building a search engine optimized website with content that caters to specific buyer personas is a research-intensive process that can significantly increase your brand reach and sales, if done carefully and methodically. Let’s set up a phone meeting to learn more about how we can help.