As a marketer, you regularly wonder whether you should take up something yourself or whether it would be better to outsource it. This also applies to many components of content marketing. The first step in content marketing is listening to customers and building a so-called buyer persona.
The infographic below lists the considerations that can help you decide whether to map out your customer yourself or do it through a buyer persona project. Would you like a more detailed explanation of buyer personas? Then download our toolkit including interview tips and common mistakes.
Buyer persona creation in B2B: To outsource or do it yourself?
🎯 1. How many respondents and how much time do I need for a buyer persona project?
You can make a buyer persona project as extensive as you want. However, our experience shows that 12 to 15 in-depth interviews are enough to develop a representative buyer persona. Of course, you would prefer to interview even more people, but after a number of interviews you discover that you will find several similarities and patterns between the respondents.
When taking into account the time it takes to find the right respondents, the respondents’ schedules, the in-depth interviews and to analyse the information gained, the average completion time of a buyer persona project will be around two months.
Putting together a single buyer persona profile will easily take you 120 to 140 hours, with an average lead time of six to eight weeks.
🎯 2. Creating a buyer persona: what does it require from me? I have a subjective view, does that matter?
A tricky challenge is usually letting go of the image you often already have in your head of a buyer. To create a good buyer persona profile, you have to let go of this. It is important to conduct interviews without bias and then analyse the data. You should never assume that you already know the answer to the question or fill in the answer for your buyer. It is therefore important to distance yourself from your company and remain objective.
Immerse yourself in the buyer’s world and the buying process. It all starts with listening carefully to the buyer. By listening, you learn what concerns the buyer, what you as a marketer can talk about to the customer and in what way.
A good buyer persona interview succeeds only if you can distance yourself from your company during the conversation.
Also read: ‘Interview: tips for buyer personas in B2B’
🎯 3. What interview skills do I need for a buyer persona survey?
Obviously, it is important to prepare well in advance for the interview, so you can ask the right questions. You want to find out what really moves your buyer, so it is very important to go into depth. You need to give the respondent the opportunity to speak freely and at the same time you need to lead and direct the conversation so that you receive the desired information.
Experience with in-depth interviews is a must. You need to be able to ask questions thoroughly.
Also read: ‘Buyer persona creation: tips and tricks when interviewing’
🎯 4. What is the best way to analyse the data for a buyer persona profile?
It is important to take your time and to concentrate well. Only then can you build a valid profile. With the information gained, you start looking for patterns and similarities in buyer behaviour and challenges. It is important not to make your own assumptions.
Cluster the information on the most important ‘rings of insight’, such as goals, success factors and information needs. Especially the buyer journey deserves special attention in your analysis.
You can then further describe these clusters in a captivating and vivid story, including a picture, name, personal attributes and goals.
Only with the right approach and by validating the results will you achieve a good analysis.
🎯 5. How do I map the buyer journey?
We have applied various methods in the past and experience has taught us that working with an interview grid in an open conversation works best. This can be seen as a kind of checklist with the topics you definitely want to discuss, but where you don’t necessarily have to stick to the order. However, it is important to keep asking questions so that you really get the answers you are looking for.
During the conversation, try to clarify the buying process step by step.
Work with an interview grid in which you keep the buying process in mind.
🎯 6. How will I ‘map’ the content once I have the buyer persona?
The buyer persona is the basis of your content map. What challenges does he have? What does he care about? What information does he find interesting? What helps him in his work and how does he move through a buying process?
Take the time to create a good content folder. Answer every question of the buyer, at every stage of the buying journey, in the form of content. Be creative and come up with unique ideas that are viable within the next 2 years.
You need time and creativity to create a good content map. With unique original and executable ideas.
🎯 7. How do I build a B2B content strategy with my buyer persona?
By setting up a buyer persona profile, mapping out a detailed buyer journey and creating a content map, you ensure you have an overall picture. You know what drives your buyer persona, what your persona is interested in, what information is needed, which information channels are used and in what format your persona likes to consume his or her content. This forms the foundation of your B2B content strategy.
To deploy effective content marketing, you need an overall picture; a buyer persona profile, a detailed buyer journey and a comprehensive content map.
📚 Want to master buyer persona creation in B2B? Download our practical toolkit for a step-by-step guide, expert interviewing tips, and avoiding common mistakes. Or, if you want our help, send us an e-mail. We are really good at buyer persona research!
Buyer Personas in the Age of AI: A B2B Guide
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Unlock the potential of your marketing efforts with a well-crafted buyer persona – the key to captivating your audience and boosting your B2B success!