Buyer personas are fictitious characters, representing a user type that might use a website, brand, or product in a similar way.
Developing and researching buyer personas allows you to look into the minds of customers and use this to improve your marketing. Buyer personas help with targeting, ad copy and keyword research. Using in-depth personas means you can create highly targeted PPC campaigns that customers can relate to.
Developing buyer personas will help improve your marketing strategy by outlining who your target buyers truly are, what their problems are and most importantly, what goals they are trying to accomplish.
A buyer persona refers to the ideal customer(s) for your business. They are defined by a mix of the following attributes or activities:
So, a buyer persona is a representation of your ideal/target customer, their backgrounds, goals, and challenges, derived from data and market research about your existing customers.
Let’s say you worked for a company that offers corporate event planning. Traditionally, you’d target a range of people (seniors, managers, etc.) using generic ads. Buyer personas allow you to personalise ad messaging to particular individuals making them more effective. Moreover, they allow you to create multiple touchpoints within a target company.
CEO - Ultimately they want to improve productivity which in turn, improves revenue.
HR Manager - They want to improve wellbeing and boost collaboration.
Employee - May want to get on better with their team and be happier in their job.
In this instance, ads targeted at the employee are unlikely to yield immediate results. However, ads personalised to reflect their concerns can encourage employees to pass information on to your primary targets.
Of course, buyer personas don’t always have to reflect target customers. You can market to people who aren’t target customers, but those who influence them.
For example, a tutor may promote their services to teachers or schools who, in turn, would pass that information on to their students.
Although influencers might not have the power to make decisions for your target customers, they can encourage them.
Research is a key step in defining your target personas. If you are already established and have existing customers/clients, reach out to them, work out who uses your product/service, who discovered you within their company, why they chose you and how you help them.
This will help to work out your unique selling point to each of your personas which can then inform your targeting, ad design and ad copy.
When mapping out your buyer personas and when writing your ad copy, it is important that you consider their intent at each stage of the journey.
Search intent (also known as ‘user intent’) is the user's primary goal when using a search engine.
Search intent is important because you can reach target customers at different stages of their journey. For example, someone searching ‘What is an English Tutor’ is seeking information whereas someone searching, ‘English Tutors near me’ is nearer the buying phase and therefore may be more easily converted.
As we’ve discussed above, not all personas care about the same thing and therefore you need to provide each of them a different reason to use/buy your product/service.
Empathy maps go hand in hand with buyer personas. They are a tool used to gain a deeper insight into your target customers.
Empathy maps involve asking the following questions:
Empathy Maps allow you to better position your ad copy relative to your target audience. Having an understanding of how your target customer thinks also helps when researching keywords for Search Campaigns. Not only are they useful for advertising but empathy maps can be a great collaborative tool if developed as a team. You can print out the template below or draw it out on a whiteboard and let your team add to it. This can improve the overall image by drawing on different perspectives as well as bringing a team together.
A user journey map (also referred to as a ‘customer journey map’) is a diagram that helps to show how users move through your site, beginning with initial awareness, continuing through the process of engagement, and then into longer-term loyalty and advocacy.
User Journey Maps help identify key touchpoints within your company and help outline the customer’s goals, motivations, and feelings at each step.
Compile a series of actions that your user could take on the path to converting and put on a timeline. This is called an 'experience map'. Typically this will consist of awareness, research, purpose and use but within each of those there could be a number of different touchpoints with your brand.
Flesh out your map with thoughts and emotions your typical buyer may feel at each stage of their journey. If you aren’t sure then perhaps reach out to existing customers and see how they felt.
Turn your timeline into a graphic masterpiece (or just draw on a whiteboard and use sticky notes). This gives you an easy and effective way to get peer opinions and outsider insights into the stages of your journey or could just make you rethink ideas after writing them out again.
Understanding your customer’s journey, feelings, motivations and experiences can help you build journeys that better guide people from awareness to conversion.
Developing a user journey map will not only help you identify areas of improvement in your user experience but will also help you better relate to your customers.
Combining all the points above will give you an in-depth insight into who your target customers are, their needs, wants and fears. This enables you to write killer ad copy and target them with pinpoint accuracy which will overall improve click through rates and conversion rates from your ads.
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