Of course you’ve heard of personas. They’re essentially cartoon versions of a business’s customers complete with generalized personality traits, demographic information, behavior patterns, goals, needs, etc.
You probably also get their purpose: to help a company better understand and relate to their audience so they can serve them more successfully and/or create more targeted content.
What you may not have considered is creating and using customer personas for your marketing strategy. Personas are key to creating conversion-worthy content for your B2B business.
Why B2B Marketers Skip Customer Personas
There are reasons other than feeling personas aren’t right for the B2B industry that you may not have created them — yet.
For one, it seems easier and faster to appeal to all of your B2B brand’s potential customers at once. You don’t have to create multiple versions of your paid ads or write extra social media posts per audience segment. You simply cast a wide net, hoping to catch as many prospects as possible with a uniform, all-encompassing message.
We also hear from B2B marketers who think using personas costs more money. If you want to run an advertisement in Tulsa, you throw $500 of your budget at that market and release the ad. But, if you want to run separate ads for each of your personas in Tulsa, you need more ads and more refined, potentially costly targeting.
The last reason you might be reticent to leverage personas? You think they’re silly and cartoonish, especially with names like, “Dan The Driller ” or “Mark the Mower.” And we sort of get that. It does seem a little foolish.
Stay tuned for the benefits of using customer personas. We promise they’ll put these concerns and more to rest.
3 Benefits of Adopting Personas for Your B2B Brand
We’ll level with you. Those names marketers give to their customer personas? We used to think they were silly, too.
In reality, descriptive names will help you and your team remember and distinguish between your personas. You’ll be able to craft content that speaks to “Dan The Driller” a lot faster because you’ll recall his traits thanks to his memorable moniker.
That’s a cool tip, for sure. But it’s not even one of the main benefits of customer personas for B2B brands. Take a look:
1. Compose Focused, Targeted Content on All Platforms
It might be faster and easier to create single-note content that speaks to all of your potential customers. The problem? It’s not nearly as effective. Your B2B prospects have different likes and dislikes. There’s just too much variety in the customers you’re attracting to treat them as a homogenous group.
Organizing your customers into broad personas allows you to write to those likes and dislikes in an empathetic, relatable way. And content that’s relatable has a better chance of converting a skeptic or lurker into a paying customer.
Personas not only help you write more effective content, they help you promote it better, too. After all, understanding your audience more deeply based on their personas will inform where you post.
More focused, targeted content like this is so important. You can’t expect your Chicago audience and your rural Missouri audience to behave the same way or have the same needs. Personas help you reach each group more precisely.
2. Diversify Your B2B Brand’s Messaging
Personas not only help you create focused content, they also help you diversify that content. Without personas, you’re talking to a monolithic audience. Good luck being original with your messaging when you only have a single, two-dimensional “character” to write to.
With personas, you can craft content for every customer group you discover. There’s a good chance you’ll have more volume content-wise in addition to more diversity in your language and look.
Use your personas for diverse paid ads, and social media posts. Your B2B brand will really come to life for your customers — both current and potential.
3. Get to Know Your Customers Deeply
If nothing else, the process of developing your B2B personas is worthwhile because it forces you to get to know your audience on a deeper level.
Composing personas requires tons of research from as many sources as you can get your hands on — interviews with staff about customer behavior, outside research from professional firms, and your own first-party data. All of that research will teach you a lot about who’s buying your product. And marketers who know their audience well create more compelling, resonant content. Period.
A Quickstart Guide to Penning Personas
Now that you understand the benefits of using personas, it’s time to compose them for your B2B brand. Here are some simple steps to get you started:
- Research, research, research. Good personas are grounded in research. As we said, interview staff who interact with your customers every day. Collect data from your first-party sources. Take a look at any data you have from media you’ve run in certain areas. You can even pay researchers to dive deep and hand over a huge report on your audience.
- Analyze your findings. Gather all of your hard-earned data and research in one place. Then, look for commonalities in the data. You want to pinpoint similarities.
- Group commonalities together. The commonalities in your research reveal the traits that begin to make up each of your personas. As your groups come together, know your personas will consist of information like income, occupation, shopping habits, and more.
- Name your groups. Once you’ve organized your commonalities into more formal groups, it’s time to think of one of those fun names we discussed before. Remember, a good, descriptive name (along with a representative photo) will help you and your team use your personas effectively.
One final note: Your personas aren’t finished after you create them. Always revisit and refresh them over time as your audience changes and shifts.
You’re One Step Closer to Converting New Customers
With personas in place, you’ll be amazed by how relevant and focused all of your content becomes. In fact, your B2B brand’s entire content strategy will benefit from the specificity and guidance of customer personas.