Richmond HUG Event Recaps

Richmond HUG 9/30/15: Buyer Personas 101

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 2, 2015 10:35:57 AM

It's important to remember that your customers are more than just numbers -- they’re people with real life problems they're hoping to solve. In order to position your content and your solution correctly, the first step is to fully understand your customers, what their problems are and how you can solve them. 

“By creating content specifically designed to appeal to your dream customers, inbound attracts qualified prospects to your business and keeps them coming back for more.” -HubSpot

The best way to begin understanding your customers is to take the time to create accurate and thorough buyer personas. At the RVA HUG on September 30th, we worked through the most important aspects of personas: 

How many personas should we have?
The number of buyer personas you or your client may need will depend on the business, but as long as you cover your primary customer groups, you're on the right track. 

How detailed should they be? 
Your buyer personas should include enough detail that they're useful for your sales and customer support teams, but not be overwhelming. A good rule of thumb is to try to keep each buyer persona to a one page overview. 

Where do I get the customer info to build personas?
From your customers! The ideal way to gather insight is to talk directly to your customers, either through surveys or conversations. Another great option is to survey the employees that are frequently interacting with customers, like your sales and customer service teams. These are the people who are talking to your customers firsthand and know them best.

How do we gather all of the info we need? 
First, you need to get everyone onboard. Promote the personas internally and show everyone in the company why they're so important. Create a survey to collect qualitative information from your customers or employees. Find out their background, identifiers, goals, challenges and common objections. Request specific numbers in your questions (i.e. "What are 3 things your customers always ask you?"), and be as detailed as possible in your instructions.

What do we use the buyer personas for?
Your personas should serve as the cornerstone for all of your marketing efforts. Design your website with your personas in mind, making the navigation easy for them to identify the next steps. Develop content that's relevant to your personas' needs and challenges and ask yourself -- does the content on each page resonate with our personas in some way? Are your blog topics offering information your personas would be willing to exchange an email for? Is it in-depth, useful content? Also, make sure to speak their language and use their lingo. 

What are some ways to implement the personas once we've got them developed? 
Create a one-page snapshot of the information you've collected. Include a real photo of a "customer", name them (i.e. Accountant Annie) to add personality and make sure to include their background, identifiers, goals, challenges, common objections, how you can help them, your marketing message and elevator pitch. Print out your persona snapshot and pass it around to employees and hang a copy up on the wall in your lunch room. 

However you choose to implement your buyer personas, keep in mind that they are the heart of your inbound marketing campaign. If you can correctly identify who your customers are, what they're looking for and how you can help them, you can create content they'll read, share, bookmark and contact you to learn more about. 

If you missed the presentation, you can check it out below or download the slide deck here

Here are some helpful links to learn even more about buyer personas:

Join us for the next Richmond HubSpot User Group meetup on December 2nd, 2015 at Whittington Consulting's office in Shockoe Bottom! You can register for free now. The topic will be announced soon. If you have any suggestions for a topic, please reach out and let us know what you want to learn!

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Topics: Marketing, Inbound Marketing, RVAHUG Meet-Ups

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