Developing Buyer Personas is a foundational task for strategic content marketing. We’ve talked a lot about this recently, and it was a very hot topic this year at Content Marketing World 2017. With more content bombarding B2B buyers, very little of it actually gets their attention. We’ve numbed our audience with content that disappoints because it fails to resonate. Developing a buyer persona and applying context for each audience is the only way to break through the noise and get your content noticed.
Because of the importance of buyer personas to marketers, Mintent has a buyer persona feature that allows you to build a buyer persona directly within the platform, including demographic and psychographic information. You can then take the persona through each of your buyer cycle stages, so that you can easily plan the content that you will serve them at each stage in their journey. It’s worth mentioning that everything within the tool is customizable to how you think about Buyer Personas, such as what sections, fields, and values that are presented, including changing the names and numbers of buyer cycle stages, or even changing the word buyer cycle to something more meaningful to your business, for instance.
In this post, we’ll provide you with a sample buyer persona and walk you through the various aspects of it.
The personal demographic information gives you a feel for who the person is, for example, the generation they belong to, their educational background or their gender. This helps you to get a feel for cultural references they will relate to and the level of knowledge you can assume they possess.
The business demographic focuses on the size of the company and the industry they operate in. This gives you a better idea of the kinds of budgets you will be dealing with, layers of management within the company, general marketing team size and a feeling for the approvals process that will exist within the company.
Decision Authority refers to the role this persona plays in the decision-making process. They could be the ultimate decision maker, or they could influence the decision. They could also be an initiator or gatekeeper who has been tasked with compiling a list of possible solutions that will, in turn, be passed on to more senior team members for evaluation.
Competitive product user determines whether they are currently using an offering provided by one of your competitors. If they are a user of a competitive product you will need to have comparisons available as part of your awareness and consideration content.
New, Current, or Previous user determines their familiarity with your offering. If they were a previous user you should have comparisons with new and older versions of your offering. This would include a breakdown of new features or services that are now available.
Type of user and familiarity level speak to how in-depth their current knowledge is, and the expectations they will have for the breadth of content you will provide. Occasional users who are not very familiar will just need a brief overview and perhaps a one-pager for quick-reference. Power users that are very familiar, as in this case, will be much more demanding and will expect multiple case studies, competitor comparisons and technical details on your solution.
It is also important to know where this persona goes to obtain information as part of their research. Knowing this will also help you decide which content types and channels to address in order to be where your customer is.
Psychographics and Buyer Cycle Stages
This delves even further into the kind of person that you are dealing with. Lifestyle, personal goals, and challenges give you an idea of their values and their personal motivations. It can be useful when creating metaphors or referencing non-work related topics.
Professional goals and business challenges speak more to the individual and how they interact with their company. This is where you can address the potential for added responsibility upon implementation of your solution that could lead to career progression within their company.
Preferred voice and tone is a very important element in your content creation. Different personas may require vastly different tones. Striking the right chord can mean the difference between the content resonating versus falling flat.
The Buyer Persona then gets into the individual’s personal traits, and then takes them through the seven stages of the buyer cycle (Awareness->Interest->Consideration->Purchase->Support->Loyalty->Advocacy). This 7-stage model is how we at Mintent think about the Buyer Journey. Though many of our customers will see it differently, with their own unique names for stages, varying number of stages, and even a different name for the idea of a cycle or customer journey, (for example, calling it an Engagement Cycle). All of this can and should be configured in Mintent to be tailored to how you and your team think about this element of content strategy.
Buyer Cycle Stages
Touchpoints indicate where your persona comes into contact with your content at each stage of the buyer cycle. In our example, we’ve chosen the early touchpoints that will be on our website, blog, social media or advertising. In later stages, such as support or loyalty it is more likely the touchpoints are in a support forum or email campaign.
Mindset outlines what is going through the persona’s head at each stage. This could be what they are trying to achieve, the questions or concerns they have and any prejudices they might hold.
Actions can refer to the actions you will take to engage the persona at this stage, or the actions that you want them to take.
General is a catch-all, for any additional information you find appropriate that doesn’t fit into the other categories, but you want your users to take note of when creating content at this stage of the buyer cycle.
Hopefully, this sample buyer persona has provided you with a detailed guide as to how to make the most of your Persona Journey tool. If you want to learn more about how to create connected buyer journey for each stage, check out our webinar featuring Ardath Albee.