Your Complete Guide to Creating Buyer Personas
Time after time, companies forge ahead promoting their brand, products, and services to faceless, nameless individuals, based solely on broad data.
In turn, doing an injustice to both the organization and potential customer.
Example: Thirtysomething male who lives in the South Florida Area
Here’s the thing:
If you know your ideal customer is a 35-year-old businessman (let’s call him Dale), who lives in Boca Raton, mainly shops on Amazon, and drives a BMW, it puts you in a much better place to form a real value-based connection.
This is why we create buyer personas (aka customer avatars).
If you are aware of your ideal audience (Dale), you can easily come up with effective marketing strategies and tactics that can target them and motivate them to get their problems resolved through your company.
Understanding Buyer Personas
Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customer. Buyer personas go by many names; you may have heard them called customer avatar, ICA (ideal customer avatar), customer persona, buyer profile, target customer, etc.
They are based on real information about your customer demographics, online and offline behavior, education, personal history, motivations, and concerns.
They tell you what prospective customers are thinking and doing as they weigh their options to address a problem that your company resolves.
As you’ll see in the exercise below, building a buyer persona is more than just creating a description of your buyer.
We also try to dig as deep as we can into their minds to see how they think, what influences their decisions, and learn more about their goals, fears, and interests.
Why Buyer Personas are Important
Unfortunately, many companies are quick to dismiss the need for buyer personas. In doing so, many companies quickly go out of business as they are ignoring important questions:
- Who are we talking to?
- Why should they care?
- What are we going to say that is relevant to their needs?
From a marketing standpoint, developing personas allows you to create content and messaging that appeals to your target audience.
When should you do the buyer persona exercise?
- When developing a new company
- When launching a new product or service
- When expanding your company
- And, if you’ve never created one, now is a perfect time
So… let’s dive in…
Creating a Buyer Persona
Avoid the fluff and focus on what matters. Each company is different. We have outlined the basics that relate to most companies, but please add on as you see fit.
To conduct authentic research that has reliable results, you should include focus groups or one-on-one interviews, that way you can get an in-depth analysis of your buyers.
Sending online questionnaires to your buyers is another way of creating a buyer persona for your business; however, people don’t always jump for joy over the idea of filling out a questionnaire. To encourage the people to fill out your survey, you could give them an incentive.
How many buyer personas should you have?
You can have as few as two or as many as 20 buyer personas depending on how many demographics you are targeting. But don’t go too crazy.
Buyer Persona Identifications
To identify your target market, you need to research the following suggested factors related to your target market (again, add on as you see fit for your business):
Background & Demographics
- Relationship Status
- Where they live (suburb, rural, city)
Hobbies & Interests
Challenges & Pain Points
- Pain points
Sources of Information
- Social Media Platforms
- Books /Magazines
- Quote from client – Real or fictional representational
- Picture – This helps bring life to your persona
- Our Solution – What can we do to help them achieve their goal? What can you do to help them overcome their challenges?
Bonus Material — Connect better with your target audience — Click here to grab your copy of our Buyer Persona Workbook!
Feel like getting digital with it, Xtensio has a pretty little drag-and-drop persona creator. It’s free too. Drag and drop modules into place- simple as that.
The Science of Building Buyer Personas
Not to get too scienc-y on you, but there’s a method to the buyer persona madness. Take a look at the infographic below for loads of valuable info about creating your buyer persona, but the big takeaways are here:
- Knowing your buyers’ persona will help you design a website that gets results
- Knowing who to send emails to will save you time and money, while getting you new customers
- Targeting ads based on your buyer’s behavior will increase your sales
- Researching your buyers will provide a better experience for your target users which will benefit you, too
A bit of contained, real data about your buyers will only help your brand. Being more personal with your clients is an excellent way to get (and keep) brand loyalty, and in order to get personal with them, you need to truly know who they are.
There are dozens of tools that will give you the analytics you need in order to create a successful buyer persona, so don’t let those long-lasting customers slip away!