If you do a little research into online advertising, you’ll quickly run into the term “buyer personas.”
Buyer personas are a great way to profile different types of buyers within your target market. They give you insights into the who, what and why behind the people responding to your advertising messaging that you can use to really dial in your marketing.
According to a recent survey conducted by Disruptive Advertising, about 74% of marketers have put together buyer personas. That’s great, but there’s a difference between having a buyer persona and using that buyer persona to improve your marketing.
As it turns out, only 30% of marketers actually take full advantage of their buyer personas.
That’s a real shame, because—as you’re about to see—using your buyer personas can have a huge impact on the effectiveness of your online marketing.
A Hairy Situation
A couple of months ago, I started working with a new client specializing in hair transplants. I’ll admit, hair loss has never been a problem of mine, so I was fascinated to learn more about this industry.
At first, hair loss seemed like a fairly straightforward market. Either you have hair or you don’t, right?
However, this sort of generic thinking hadn’t been working very well for my new client. Despite running paid search campaigns for years and spending tens of thousands of dollars, they were averaging about one new lead for every 200 clicks on their ads.
Here’s what their results looked like during the year before they came to Disruptive:
Talk about a hairy situation!
Building the Buyer Personas
At Disruptive, one of the first things we do with a new client is discuss their buyer personas. Most of the time, a client will have a decent idea of who their target audience is, but we go through their buyer personas in detail.
After going through this process with my new hair loss client, it became clear that we were dealing with three very distinct customer profiles, each with different needs and behaviors.
All of our buyer personas were searching the same thing, but each was doing it for a completely different reason:
The “young guns” were around 25-30 years old. They had suffered early hair loss and it was hitting them hard. In general, the “young guns” wanted hair restoration because they wanted to maintain their confidence and find a partner.
Then we had the middle-aged men. These men were typically between 35 and 50 years old. This buyer persona was ready take their life (and hair) back and start enjoying their hard-earned money.
Going Strong Gentlemen
Our last buyer persona included men in the 50-65 year old range. Although they had clocked a few extra turns around the sun, they were still healthy and strong and wanted their outward appearance to match their active lifestyle.
Obviously, our actual buyer personas went into a lot more detail, but even these brief synopses give you a sense for the different motivations and behaviors we needed to account for in our ads.
Using the Buyer Personas
Who knew hair loss had so many buyer personas? As I mentioned previously, I don’t suffer from hair loss, which why I was amazed to learn about such different behaviors at each age group…but hey, that’s why you create buyer personas, right?
Once we had identified our target buyer personas, we were able to create highly targeted keyword lists and ad groups that were specific to the needs and motivations of our different personas.
As a result, our conversion rate increased 10x!
Now, instead of converting 1 out of every 200 clicks, we were converting 1 out of every 20 clicks:
As you might imagine, results like these have been incredibly exciting for the client. The leads are rolling in and business is good!
Getting More Out of Your Buyer Personas
Clearly, creating and using quality buyer personas can make a big difference to your business. And, the good news is, it isn’t even that difficult to do.
Obviously, the more detailed your personas are, the better, but if you at least have the following, you can start to improve your marketing:
- How you help!
Once you’ve got some basic buyer personas in place, here are a few ways to use that information to improve your paid search campaigns.
- Pick keywords and create ads that appeal to each persona to help bring in good quality traffic
- Create very specific remarketing lists in AdWords or Analytics based on age group and gender
- Remarket to each individual audience with specific image ads reflecting the age group and values for that specific customer profile
- Direct them to a landing page that caters to that specific customer profile
Once you’re targeting the right audience with the right message, you’ll see incredible conversion rates with great lead quality.
A Winning Persona
To sum all this up, using your buyer personas is a great way to improve the performance of your online advertising.
Once you start to differentiate your audience based on who they are, what they are looking for and why they buy, you can create ads that are a perfect match for your target audience’s needs.
Be targeted, be successful.
As an added bonus, creating this level of targeting can help you uncover additional buyer personas.
For example, when reviewing the results from this client’s campaigns, I discovered that women actually made up a significant amount of their incoming search traffic.
So…what am I currently working on? You guessed it, a campaign, remarketing ads and landing pages specific to the needs of women.
By the way, if you’d like me to take a look at your business and help you build your own buyer personas and persona-specific advertising strategies, let me know here or in the comments. I’d love to help!
How have you used buyer personas to improve the performance of your paid search marketing? Or online advertising in general?
Latest posts by Craig Wakefield (see all)
- Want 5 Leads for Every 100 Clicks? Try Using Buyer Personas! - November 8, 2016
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