You are a small business (or a solopreneur) looking to start a blog (or make changes to the present one!) for lead generation and growing your online presence quickly.
If you have a user persona, then great! After all, 83% of B2B marketers expect to use Personas in the near future.
But most likely, you either don’t have a user persona or you have no idea where and how to use the information for generating content on your blog.
You may well be confused with where to begin!
You decide on a few topics, write brilliant content but you aren’t getting the expected results. The ROI isn’t as high as you expected it to be.
Of course, you feel annoyed. Anyone will.
What am I doing wrong?
Most likely, you have created content on topics you like or know the most about. This may not be the same as your audience preferences.
They probably want to read something else. Something useful to them.
Do you know that,
Take a look at this ad. It is a brilliant ad which shows the disconnect between brands and consumers.
Did you know that 63% of consumers say they would think more positively about a brand if it gave them content that was more valuable, interesting, or relevant?
So, you NEED to understand your target audience, especially their pain points.
Diving into creating content for your blog without having an idea about buyer persona is similar to walking down the aisle without having a groom.Diving into creating content without a buyer persona is similar to walking down the aisle without… Click To Tweet
Who are you fucking kidding? It is impossible.
You are right. It is impossible.
But still… only 44% of B2B marketers use buyer personas.
That is just sad!
So, start researching on your ideal customer and create a relevant customer profile.
Ok, I want to provide useful content to my customers and buyer persona is important.
BUT, I DO NOT HAVE THE BUDGET TO HIRE A MARKETER, SUPPORT A MARKET RESEARCH OR LOTS OF TIME.
What do I do?
Let’s start with the basics.
WHAT IS A BUYER PERSONA, after all?
Buyer or user persona is a RELEVANT description the your customers.
A lot of startups end up guessing their buyer persona, which is not the right way doing it. You really don’t want to waste your time in trial and error when you can use the same time building leads and to grow your business.
The strongest buyer persona is based on market research or the insights you can gather from your present customer base.
It is fairly simple to do when you are a small business. You will have 2-3 personas at max. As you grow, you can keep adding to it and the process will become simpler.
As you may have noticed, I have put a free template to help you create a buyer persona so it is a cakewalk for you. Gather information along those lines, ask those questions and compile it in the template. Download the persona template here so you can quickly get started as we discuss.
I WILL TAKE YOU THROUGH STEP BY STEP PROCESS AND BY THE END OF THIS POST, YOU WILL HAVE AN IDEA OF YOUR BUYER PERSONA. YOU CAN THEN KEEP IMPROVING ON IT AS AND WHEN YOU GET MORE INFORMATION
STEP 1: Remember that your leads are people. IN REAL. They are people who are ready to know their problems, understand the solutions and invest.
STEP 2: Start asking yourself a FEW questions and start jotting down the answers.
ABOUT THE PRODUCT/SERVICE
Think about your product/service and write down all its important features.
Once you have done that, list down its benefits in details. For example, if you have an invoicing software which integrates with major e-wallets then it could help receive payments across sources and manage accounts without hassle.
ABOUT THE BUYER
- Who needs to use this product/software?
- What would be the job title of that person? It could be CEO or the business owner themselves. Also, try and understand if they are the decision makers when it comes to investing in product/software
- What kind of industry or company size do they work in?
- What do they do at their job or what is their daily routine? What activities are a part of their daily routine at office or home?
- What challenges do they face?
- What gaps would they like fulfilled? Or What could be done to make their job easier and faster? Or How can those challenges be overcome?
The bottom line is to understand what is the first thing your customers thinks about in the morning? Why? And, how can you alleviate it?
There could be multiple answers to this. If you can figure out the pain points and jot them down, you have just created a very useful piece of information.
I have put together a template for you to get started quickly. You can get them here.
Buyers are 48% more likely to consider solution providers that personalize their marketing to address their specific business issues.
If you cannot convert a particular piece of information into actionable insights, it is best to leave it out of the profile.
SO, MEET MS. WONDERWOMAN.
Job title: Managing Amazon at Themyscira, Inc.
Industry: Humanitarian. Save the world industry
Typical Workday: Ensuring that humans are safe and Ares isn’t creating Havoc. All the Amazons under Wonderwoman work out the head office at Themyscira. They do the groundwork and train their woman force until they get an intimation of any havoc from anyone.
Challenge: They base their actions on the premise that someone will intimate them of Ares action or Ares would come to them and destroy them. Both of which are majorly flawed and they are “dependent”. Moreover, they have no idea if Ares is creating a havoc in the world already.
What gaps would they like filled: I will focus on two gaps because that is what my imaginary startup deals with. First, an app which sends you notification of any disastrous event in the world along with location and how to get there and second, a radar which intimates them of any movements in and around Themyscira so they can prepare for an attack.
Is she the primary decision maker: No. She has to discuss it with CEO Queen HippolytaMeet MS. WONDERWOMAN and learn to create a useful buyer persona Click To Tweet
Now, I know my target audience is someone like Wonder Woman.
My start-up has built an anti-nonsense radar and a tracking app. They are commonly used by several industries including the humanitarian but we have added a few extra features.
The kind of topics they would be interested in are
- How the anti-nonsense radars help you counter attack effectively?
- 6 ways you can use the tracking app for saving the humans
- How does an anti-nonsense radar’s work after all?
- 3 trends revolutionizing humanitarian industry
- 3 innovations which can help humanitarian industry save more humans
- Top 6 anti-nonsense radars (or trackings apps) in the market
- How to choose the right tracking app for your needs?
All these effectively direct towards Ms. Wonderwoman’s problems. Let’s take another example which does not involve superhumans.
Job: Homemaker and uses basic devices like mobiles, tablets etc
Age: 42 years old
Family: Married suburbanite with two middle school aged children.
Household income: $50,000
Concerns or quotes:
“I am worried that my kids are not interested in studying.”
“I cannot spend a lot of money on tutors”
“I am worried about my kids future”
An example of a buyer persona for an edtech start which uses gamification for imparting education. Kids enjoy learning through games leaving you time and money. It is an inexpensive choice which leaves you with the required money to save for your children’s future as well.
Topics which will interest them
- How games can be used to impart education
- 5 ways of keeping your kids interested in learning
- Are your kids uninterested in learning? Here are 5 tips which can help you gamify education
- Wondering how to manage the money to hire a tutor? Here is why you don’t have to.
- Invest your money in kids future instead: 7 ways you can teach your kid at home
You get my point, don’t you?
Which gets me to the next point –
HOW TO GATHER THIS INFORMATION
If you already have a customer base, it is easier to start.
Look through the data carefully and pick out the commonalities in the customers
CONVERSATION WITH SALES TEAM:
Sit down with your sales team and get the maximum amount of information. What generalizations can they make about your target audience? Try and get as much information from people who interact with customers on a daily basis.
INTERVIEW YOUR CUSTOMERS AND LEADS:
This could be the single most fruitful exercise. Reach out to both “happy” and “unhappy” customers and talk about their experience. While we all like to hear endless praises from happy customers, unhappy customers give you more valuable insights on what to improve and what else your audience would want to know about.
Keep an eye how your customers or leads consume your content. Start performing A/B testing with your content. Split testing allows you to understand the needs of your target audience and provide you actionable insights.
VANITY METRICS ANALYSIS:
Vanity metrics (using Google Analytics) can provide you insights on where the interest of your audience lie. Page views, bounce rates, scroll depth etc can give you actionable insights.
If you are creating forms or any downloadable material for your website, ask for information from the leads. Example, company size, industry, etc.
Social listening is a powerful tool for understanding the requirements of your customers. What problems are they facing, what would do to overcome it etc. You can get it all on social media conversations!
If you do not have a customer base yet, hop onto Quora, Reddit, yahoo answers, LinkedIn group, facebook groups etc to analyze the needs of your audience.
I wanted to see what people are talking about a payroll software. The questions which pop up allow me to come up with blog topics which would be of their interest.
Similarly, I could join Facebook groups or LinkedIn groups where my audience might like to hang out. If I was a marketer, I would join groups where entrepreneurs hang out. I could keep a check on the kind of questions they are seeking help for.
I was a part of this Online Business BFF group run by Melyssa Griffin and here is a screenshot of it
If I was a small business coach or an expert in creating a sales funnel, these questions (and the answers!) would help me understand my audience. You can use this information to create useful blog posts.
There you go.
It may not fetch you an exact buyer persona, but you can be sure of being useful to your target audience with your next blog post.
It provides a fantastic starting point to create content without wasting your time or money.
The more content you create on these lines, the more you will know what your audience likes to read.
Why don’t you let me know your tricks to decide what topics to write on?