Buyer personas or “marketing personas” use psychological profiles to create a representation of your ideal consumer based on data about your customers’ demographics, beliefs, and behaviors.
Crafting psychological profiles is one of those tasks that often get thrown to the wayside. We have to admit that it can be pretty tempting to dismiss it in favor of rolling up your sleeves and getting down to the actionable work.
However, if you’re looking to achieve long-term success and make a lasting impact on your target audience, crafting a well-developed buyer persona is essential.
Ardath Albee, a B2B Marketing Strategist and CEO of Marketing Interactions, Inc. pointed out the significance of this tactic during a speech at the Intelligent Content Conference:
‘Who the heck are we going to talk to? Why will they care? What are we going to say that’s relevant to them?’
The Content Marketing Institute put it more bluntly in a recent article discussing the importance of buyer personas on a company’s bottom line, stating that “companies go out of business if they ignore these questions.”
Crafting in-depth, multifaceted psychological profiles of your ideal consumers has a wealth of benefits, like:
- Providing valuable insight into the minds of your consumers
- Creating higher quality lead generation
- Improving your targeting, positioning, and conversions
Simply put – buyer personas drive sales. And the more personalized and in-depth you can make them, the better.
So, if you’re looking to gain greater insight into how to craft killer psychological profiles to boost conversions, look no further.
The building blocks of a psychological profile
In order to effectively create multi-dimensional buyer personas of your ideal consumer, two main forms of information are needed:
Demographics are the dry statistical data that we collect on consumers; information such as job titles, income, location, age, gender, and marital status.
While it’s not the most thrilling of information, it is absolutely essential to crafting killer marketing tactics that convert, because it gives you the bare bones you need to begin crafting more targeted content.
Psychographics are defined as “the study and classification of people according to their attitudes, aspirations, and other psychological criteria, especially in market research.”
Psychographic information is equally as important as demographic information. This is because it’s the key differentiator between decently targeted messages that have the potential to generate potentially valuable leads and highly targeted messages that are guaranteed to generate high-quality leads.
Psychographics give you that extra edge. They give you personalization. They make your content really hit home.
As Hubspot put it, “demographics explain ‘who’ your buyer is, while psychographics explain ‘why’ they buy.”
Creating a psychological profile
There are numerous ways in which you can gather demographic and psychographic information on your target audience in order to paint a picture of your ideal customer. A handful of popular methods include:
- Surveys and questionnaires are perhaps one of the quickest ways to obtain such information. However, they often need incentives to increase opt-in rates.
- Interviews are a valuable method for collecting demographic and psychographic information for companies with close connections to their customer base. However, they are time-consuming, and many companies simply aren’t able to use them.
- Focus groups present another set of problems; people may not feel as comfortable revealing their opinions, values, and belief systems as they would in an anonymous scenario.
- Third-party companies can be extremely effective, but they often come with high price tags – as a result, this may not be an option for many.
- Analytics provide valuable insights into the savvy individual and are available at your disposal. However, interpreting them, A/B testing, and coming up with creative and effective solutions can be a complex job.
- Finally, social media provides a wealth of resources and makes access to vast amounts of data easy. Unfortunately, it’s also harder to quantify than other methods. As a result, it may not be the best option for those looking for more tangible data.
1. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes
Crafting a “day in the life” scenario for your ideal consumer is a great way to get into the nitty-gritty details. Their thoughts, experiences and daily life are all sources of inspiration.
Ardath suggests focusing on first-person phrasing (i.e., “I’m struggling” vs. “Diane is a hard worker”). Ardath also recommends keeping these scenarios short and sweet, with about 300 words being the ideal length.
Ardath also suggests keeping in mind your persona’s relationship with other personas, and how these individuals may influence each other’s buying process. This helps give your targeted efforts the best range possible.
2. Define your persona’s goals
Defining your persona’s goals is an essential step in crafting a well-developed psychological profile. When we identify our audience’s goals, we are able to craft content, services, and products that exceed these goals.
Ardath recommends being as specific as possible here. Broad or vague goals like “grow revenue” won’t help you craft content that will really hit home.
However, something along the lines of the following description is much more beneficial to your efforts:
Adam, a 33-year-old senior marketing manager from America, is mainly interested in refining his SaaS marketing tactics and implementing more effective growth hacking strategies on social media. He seeks information that promises results or improvement to his existing strategies.
The difference is quite significant, isn’t it? A description like this is of greater benefit to your content marketing efforts than a basic summary.
3. Identify their challenges
Properly identifying the challenges of your ideal consumer is also a crucial step in crafting well-developed buyer personas. Your goal is to provide solutions to these challenges, and ideally, do so better than your competition. Again, specificity is key.
Common challenges include the business processes or “red tape” surrounding a potential customer’s acquisition of your product or services. For example, if your ideal customer influences purchasing habits as a manager or committee member, you’ll need to take this into consideration when creating a persona.
4. Nail down exactly how you can help
In order for your buyer personas to really meet their mark, you’re going to have to anticipate every step of your customer’s journey. Anticipate doubt, identify the most common objections, and craft a killer marketing message and consistent elevator pitch that takes all of the potential obstacles into consideration.
For example, if ‘Frank Founder’ just doesn’t understand the value a particular website will give his business, crafting a message that provides him with specific, quantifiable benefits is going to help him see the advantages.
5. Learn their content preferences
Identifying the content preferences of your target demographic is another vital step in hitting it home with your audience. It’s not enough to just identify a specific channel, content type, or format, though.
For example, let’s say your target demographic spends the majority of their time on social media, specifically LinkedIn, and they show a preference for long-form audio content. If you’re busy marketing on Facebook or providing them with short-form, concise, and to-the-point text content, your efforts won’t be enough to give you a competitive advantage because your message is off base.
That’s why it’s critical to get it right. Ask questions about the channels they prefer, how they use social media, and the formats that they enjoy.
You can have the best persona on the planet, but if it doesn’t include this information, you’ll hinder your success.
Crafting well-developed, multifaceted psychological profiles of your ideal consumer can have a profound impact on your marketing strategies and efforts.
In fact, a recent study by MarketingSherpa noted that buyer personas were found to increase marketing-generated revenue by a whopping 171%. That’s absolutely insane!
Personas optimize give your efforts laser-focus by helping you to gain insight into the minds of your audience. As a result, you’ll be able to craft highly-targeted content, which will generate higher quality leads.
One company by the name of Skytap, a “self-service provider of cloud animation solutions,” was able to increase sales leads by 134%, online leads by 97%, and their North American site traffic by 210% by simply implementing the very same tactics discussed in this article.
Why spend another second not doing everything you can to ensure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts? Take a lesson from the pros and utilize buyer personas today.