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How to Use a Buyer Persona
POSTED BY Danielle Holmes | Jan 14, 2022
You hired an amazingly talented marketing company to do marketing research for your company. Such a win! And you were thrilled to see the package included buyer personas. You’ve read about buyer personas. What you remember:
They are essential.
They keep all your content (and strategy!!) on track.
Writing to a specific person (key) requires buyer personas.
Buyer personas pave the way for lead conversions, sales, and the ever-elusive early retirement.
You open the PDF of the personas. They’re pristine. They have names, income, quotes, pain points, and more.
For a moment it feels like leveling up your next campaign is within your grasp.
And then you ask yourself a critical question.
How do I actually use a buyer persona? Or three?
So, we’re going to cover three areas where we always use personas for our clients and how to use an actual buyer persona!
But, first—what is a buyer persona?
What is a Buyer Persona?
We define a buyer persona as:
“....a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. It is the process of researching your ideal target personas and using that representation to segment your audiences and tailor your messaging.”
What does that actually mean?
You (or a fantastic marketing team) does audience research to find out who is currently buying your product or service and who you WANT to buy your product or service. Then you create a character that represents your potential customers. And just like a character in your favorite book or movie, that person needs to have depth.
A helpful buyer persona covers:
- Motivations to purchase
- Hesitations to commit to your product
- Habits, hobbies, and quirky details
- Crucial information—like income, age, and gender
That depth will help you fully imagine the person and create copy that speaks to them. Take a look at Millennial Mark. I don’t think he’d be my go-to persona for yoga pants, a Galentine’s event, or a 65+ housing community.
Real Estate Buyer Persona Examples
Three Content Areas To Use Buyer Personas
Whether you’re writing emails, creating social media posts, working on a website, or thinking through customer service responses—knowing your audience is the difference between leads and a dead end. At Primitive, buyer personas are the basis for all our content—written and visual. But, these three places are where buyer personas make your product stand out!
Emails That Leave Them Wanting More
How many emails are sitting in your inbox? The better question: how many have you opened?
From the subject line to design and copy, an email that gets opened (and clicked through) needs to appeal to a single person. Whether you’re going for a witty subject line or a straightforward description—if you’re not the intended audience, you probably won’t bother to open it.
This email popped up in my inbox this week. And I’m clearly similar to one of their buyer personas. The funny subject line, with a straightforward description was an easy open for me.
And when you open the email with the creative, hilarious, or exactly-what-you-needed-to-read subject line, the contents have to match.
When you use a buyer persona to write an email, you ask questions like:
- Would this persona want a designed email?
- Do they want no frills copy?
- Will they laugh at your joke?
- How many words will they read?
- What kind of language resonates?
When you get an email just right, the reader will open it, read it, and want more. Wanting more could be visiting your website, filling out a contact form, buying a product, or signing up for a service.
Websites They Can’t Stop Talking About
No matter your industry, you’ve got competitors. And when it comes to standing out, understanding your audience’s buyer journey will inform your entire website strategy. But, to know your buyer’s journey, you have to know your buyer.
That’s your persona!
One way we’re working to level up client websites is creating buyer personas that explain brand voice in a fun, memorable way.
Can you imagine the buyer persona questions that led to this persona?
Cotton Gin Jim → Industrious Agriculturalist
Social Posts You Share Over Happy Hour
I can think of few things worse than a social feed that’s all sales copy and stock photos. And if you spend any time on social media, you probably agree. If you look at brands you actually follow, they probably have two things in common: you’re interested in the product or service AND the posts make you WANT to read more.
If you do your buyer persona research, you’ll know who you’re writing to. You can make sure the jokes hit, and your audience might even tag a friend or share the post.
How To Use a Buyer Persona
Now that you’ve seen a mix of content and personas, you’re probably thinking, “This is great. Would sparkling wine have gone better with my Christmas decor? How do I use a buyer persona to create that content?”
Good news! It’s easy as 1, 2, 3.
Step 1: Read the WHOLE Persona Document
A basic marketing package has three to five personas. And they will each be different. Take notes on what they like, their interests, their motivations, and common objections. Take time to really imagine meeting each character. Think about where they might hang out, what tv shows they watch, and what makes them laugh.
Step 2: Zero in On Persona Pain Points
The pain point is what your content should cover. If a buyer is reluctant to make a big purchase because of their income, think through payment plans, reasons to inspire them to make a big purchase, and why they can’t live without your product. This is the theme for the email, website layout and copy, or social post.
Step 3: Speak in Their Language
Their age, interests, gender, and location should inform how you write. If you’re creating an ad that’s running in the northeast part of the United States, you probably won’t say, “Y’all.” But, targeting an audience in Texas, Florida, or the Southeast—y’all all the way! If you’re writing to an older professional, you might steer clear of younger slang.
Bottomline: personas should inform every step of the content.
Now, our challenge to you: check out this persona. Imagine your next social post or email, and use our steps to write to Emily.
Once you’ve had some practice, use those personas from your fab marketing team.
If you’re still looking for a marketing team, reach out and ask about our research packages.
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About the writer, Danielle Holmes
Danielle has been telling stories her whole life. And for the last five years she’s been telling the stories of entrepreneurs, small businesses, and companies bringing quality products and services to customers. Danielle got her start in academia. With degrees in English and anthropology, she spent more than half a decade learning how to ask questions, tell stories, and do thorough research. Her approach uses ethnographic interview and coding techniques to better understand brands and clients. She listens for key words, recurring topics, and core ideas to know the client and their ideal audience. She uses that data and understanding to tell stories—true to brands—that create loyal customers.