Buyer personas are major factors in inbound marketing that make up the difference between writing blogs for everyone and writing targeted blogs for your (future) customers. Even though you never want to oversell your company, you still want to stand out to the right people and attract new leads and customers.
Through buyer personas you know exactly who your readers, leads and customers are, what information they need, and what their other needs are around the problem that you can solve for them. That is why buyer personas are very valuable for your entire company.
Without buyer personas, creating good, valuable content is a lot more difficult. And as any good marketer knows nowadays, content is queen, so reason enough to invest your time in creating good buyer personas.
There is no right way to draft buyer personas, but there are some mistakes you should definitely try to avoid. Below are the most common mistakes and the way to prevent them.
1. Creating Too Many Personas
It seems tempting to describe each potential customer in detail, before you know it you are faced with 20 different buyer personas. But by doing so, you do not make it easier for yourself. In fact, it becomes much harder to write in a targeted manner.
So simply start with 1 persona and continue from there. If you delve into the data of your current customers, you will automatically find out where one persona ends and the next begins. Make sure you have all the necessary information and check whether all your personas are properly and completely described. This way you have clear personas of which you know exactly how and with what you can attract them and convert them into leads or customers.
2. Forgetting All About Negative Personas
Of course, there are also people you don’t want to sell anything to: People who don’t have the budget, who are terrible doubters, or students who are just looking for information. Creating negative personas will help you recognize these people and figure out which ones you don’t want to spend your time on. It may sound silly at first to spend time creating personas for people who will never become your customer, but in the end, it will save you and your team a lot of time.
3. Believing That Personas Are Only Intended for Marketing
Creating personas isn’t just another task on your list that you can check off once you’re done. Buyer personas tell you a lot about who you are dealing with, not only for the marketing staff but also for the sales and service department. So once you have set up your personas, you can use them not only in your marketing department but throughout the entire company. If everyone knows who they are dealing with, the entire customer experience will improve.
TIP: Print out your buyer personas with photos and put them on the desks of your employees. This way they always know for whom they are developing a product or which people they are talking to.
4. Believing That Your Personas Are Individuals
Your buyer personas are fictional people with characteristics of your ideal customers. This means that you do not have to focus on the needs of 1 individual person, but you can group different characteristics of different customers in 1 persona. Consider, for example, their job title. In real life, few people hold multiple positions, but multiple positions can fall within the profile of 1 persona.
5. Creating Personas You Only Want to Sell To
This is a big pitfall. There’s nothing wrong with having aspirations for a certain target group, but that sometimes makes you forget to look at who is currently bringing in money. So make sure you really base your personas on your current customers, because you know exactly who they are and how to approach them.
6. Creating Personas Based Only on Demographic Info
Of course, it’s great to know the approximate age of your persona and what their position in the company entails. But that’s not all you want to know. You want to know what motivates them to read something, what search terms they use, what information they need, and how you can best persuade them to become your customer. Those are the things that will help you convert them. So don’t just base your persona on their demographic information, a good persona requires a lot more.
7. Not Knowing How to Research Your Personas
Not knowing how to create personas can be a problem for many marketers. Oftentimes, they roughly draw up how they think their buyer personas should be created. In addition, they use some input from the team and consider their job done. However, a persona created without much consideration will never deliver the benefits you’re after. Researching your personas means talking to your sales team, as well as your current customers, keeping track of current marketing trends, and diving into your analytics for characteristic features. You don’t have to have your personas perfect right away, you can adjust and add things later.
8. Believing That Creating Personas Is Hard
Some people think that creating personas is an awful lot of work and don’t see the point of putting in a lot of time. In reality, it is not so bad and, as mentioned, your persona really does not have to be completely perfect to be useful. Eventually, if you have put in the effort, you will notice that it will save you time in the long term when creating content, among other things.
Need help collecting all the data for your persona to create a more effective journey map? Konvertigo can help you get the marketing research you need. Click here to get started!