How to Put Your Buyer Personas to Work

How to Put Your Buyer Personas to Work

Big Ideas

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August 20 2021
Big Ideas

If you’re serious about effective and well-placed marketing efforts, then you’ve already created your buyer personas. These personas help to identify where you should be prioritizing your advertising efforts – digital ads, traditional media, social media platforms – how frequently you should be advertising, and the type of content that will best speak to your ideal customers in order to help them alleviate their pain points. Buyer personas help to create marketing strategies with your customer in mind. But once you have those personas built, how do you best make use of them? In this post we cover six key steps for making your buyer personas work for you.

Step 1: Reallocate your resources 

Before you start frantically writing new copy or designing landing pages, you need to evaluate where your efforts are currently being spent and the changes that are required to align your efforts with the best methods for reaching your target audience. If your buyer person research tells you that your ideal customer – or your highest-revenue customer – spends most of their time searching for the type of product you sell on Instagram, then be sure that you’re not prioritizing LinkedIn or other platforms to reach them. As content creator and marketing expert Eric Devaney notes, “The same principle can be applied to personnel: If you know the majority of your audience is on Twitter, you'll want to make sure you – or someone on your team – is regularly monitoring that network and engaging with people who belong to your target persona.”  

So, in this first step, take some time to think about how your team is structured and if that structure is aligned with the best means of reaching your audience. Giving yourself the space to make organization changes or tweaks will benefit you in the long run – effective strategy is only executed when you have the structure in place to do so.

Step 2: Weed out the negative personas 

Buyer personas should be specific – your goal is not to be everything to everyone. There will be some customers who just aren’t a match for what you have to offer. That’s a good thing! Knowing who you won’t attract (or don’t want to attract) will help you fine tune your marketing strategy even more. Erik Devaney explains that “a negative – or ‘exclusionary’ – persona is a fictional representation of who you don’t want as a customer. This could include, for example, professionals who are too advanced for your product or service, students who are only engaging with your content for research/knowledge, or potential customers who are just too expensive to acquire.”  

Step 3: Start creating content  

This is where building personas as individual people will truly benefit your content creation team. Give your personas names, add photos, and develop them with as much detail as possible so that your designers and writers can speak to them directly. Think specifically about each persona’s behaviours. In fact, ads targeted at your customers’ behaviours are twice as effective as non-targeted ads, so thinking about how your target customers make decisions or how much research they put in to purchases will go a long way to effective ad strategy. 

For example, create customized landing pages for each buyer persona that is designed to not only address their specific challenges or questions, but is linked to the platform they use most frequently to find answers to those questions. You can then track the effectiveness of those landing pages over time, making updates as you go. You might also consider marketing efforts in collaboration with other companies that your buyer persona enjoys. For example, if you sell fair-trade coffee, partner with local ceramics makers – everyone needs a mug for their morning coffee! 

Some specific content considerations at this stage include: 

Style and tone: What is your voice? Is it professional, lighthearted, energetic? What style of messaging will resonate with each buyer persona? 

Problem solving: What is the key challenge or pain point that each buyer persona must overcome and how can you provide that solution for them? 

Keywords: Do the research to determine which SEO keywords best target each buyer persona. 

Social media content: Does your persona use Facebook to look up new local businesses? Are they active on TikTok? What platform are they on most often? Find out and make sure you’re there too. 

Website content updates: Does your website content align with your buyer personas? Is the tone or design of your site in need of an update now that you have a much clearer sense of who your target audience is?

Step 4: Consider every stage of the customer journey 

Use your buyer personas to inform your marketing strategy not just for ads and copy, but specifically for each stage of the buyer journey, from attracting your target audience all the way through to conversion and upselling.  

For example, perhaps you sell locally made, handcrafted, high-end furniture. One of your buyer personas, which you’ve named Urban Latte Lars, consists of professional singles between the ages of 28 and 39 who live in urban centres and have disposable income. They value ethically sourced home goods and spend their free time at art galleries, music venues, and local high-end coffee shops. They use Instagram more often than any other social platform. 

Consider how you’d best speak to this persona at each stage of their journey.  

What is their biggest challenge? Perhaps it’s finding ethically sourced retailers that also provide design suggestions to help mitigate the overwhelming paralysis of choice.  
How can you help them overcome that challenge? Perhaps you can offer room-based suggestions for colour, material, or configuration options.  
Where do they go to find information? If Instagram is their platform of choice, be sure that you meet them there and provide high value content.  
What kind of content will best help them solve those challenges? Perhaps direct them to an AR-enabled landing page to help them visualize your products in their home. 

Ask these questions as you imagine Urban Latte Lars’s journey through these stages and use the ideas you come up with to craft the most tailored, relevant, and personalized content for each persona.

Step 5: Review and update your current content 

Once you’ve had a chance to tackle new content tailored to your buyer personas, take the time to address the content you’ve already created – from website and landing page copy to social media and ad content. Your marketing strategy should be an ever-evolving project. Rather than taking a “set it and forget it” approach, continue to go back to what you’ve created to tweak it with those personas in mind. And don’t forget that your personas are always evolving as well! As your business grows so too does your customer base.

Step 6: Track your results 

Finally, after you’ve restructured your team, created new content with your personas’ buyer journeys in mind and weeded out those negative personas, and reviewed your old content, you need to track what you’ve done! All of those changes to your marketing strategy are only worthwhile if you can see and understand their effectiveness. Regularly analyze your website analytics, CTRs, and ad network conversion to ensure that you truly do understand your customers’ wants and needs. Continue to tweak and fine tune your strategy over time to grow alongside your customer base and watch all of your hard work pay off. 


To recap:

Creating buyer personas is only one step in a successful marketing strategy – making those personas work for you takes a bit more effort, but you’ll quickly come to learn that it’s worth that effort! If you have any questions about making the best use of your buyer personas, get in touch with our digital marketing team today – we’re here to help. 

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