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February 4, 2019

4 Ways Buyer Personas Improve Customer Engagement

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The ultimate goal of a marketing campaign is to connect with your audience and drive customer engagement. And a successful marketing campaign starts with understanding your audience through the creation of buyer personas.

Buyer personas: A quick definition

Buyer personas are fictional representations of your target market. They are created by curating all of the attributes of your ideal customers and sorting through the details to create short biographies – or personas – that represent the segments of your target market.

Creating buyer personas pushes your team to define your target market in ways you haven’t before. It requires research and evaluation, ensuring the story you’re building for each persona is realistic. If you haven’t created personas before, read this post about the process.

Turning data into a persona

Let’s build a simple persona based for a company that sells pet products.

The facts: We’re targeting millennial pet owners that live in the midwest.

The persona: Samantha is 29 years old, single, and renting a condo in Grand Rapids, MI. She works at in the pediatric unit at Spectrum Health and owns a dog. She enjoys spending time with her nieces and meeting friends for coffee downtown.

Of course, that persona could be built out in even more detail depending on the company and specific product they are targeting to Samantha. This persona was created using general research about millennial pet owners. A stronger persona could be built using additional research by your company, including sales data, habits of current customers, etc.

The benefits of buyer personas

There are 4 primary customer engagement benefits to creating a marketing strategy with a specific persona in mind:

1. Improve workflow and efficiency

Creating content is a time consuming task, and it’s even harder when you don’t have a clear goal or audience in mind. Instead of asking, “Why do people like going to the dog park?” you can ask, “Why does Samantha take her dog, Cooper, to Hillcrest Dog Park?”

Build a story that is driven by research and data, yet is personable and relatable. Instead of writing to dog owners everywhere, write marketing content specifically to Samantha.

2. Improve personalization

The goal of content, including mobile ads, is for a viewer to read something and say, “Wow, this sounds like it was written just for me!” People enjoy the feeling of being known, and are more likely to engage with content that resonates with them.

Samantha might engage with a generic ad targeted to “dog owners everywhere” but she is more likely to engage with an ad that is specifically about playing with your dog at the dog park because that is meaningful and relevant to her.

When buyer personas are used to create content, you are creating more value for that audience, generating deeper interest, and leading to customer engagement.

3. Improve ad targeting

The better you understand your target market, the better you can micro-target social media ad campaigns. There are many variables when it comes to mobile ad targeting, and if you understand your buyer personas, you can use the data to build more accurate audiences for your ad campaigns. The better you understand your customers – what motivates them, how they think, what they enjoy doing – the better you can target your ads.

4. Improve customer experience

When you have a deep understanding of your customers, you know how they think. You know what questions they might have about your product or service before they ask them. You anticipate their needs and provide a solution.

A service for millennial dog owners will be positioned differently than a service for baby boomers. Even when you’re targeting multiple customer segments with the product or service, the story you tell will vary based on the customer. Use your buyer personas to differentiate the content so that it resonates with each segment you’re targeting, rather than using generic content for everyone.

Take the time to create buyer personas, and utilize them to inform your marketing activities. Evaluate your content strategy to boost the effectiveness of your personas, and seek out ways to measure increased customer engagement.

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