A buyer persona is basically a fictional person that represents your ideal customer. In any business, there is great value in understanding what an ideal consumer would be like. A buyer persona, also called a marketing persona, is a detailed profile of the model customer for whom your product or service is intended. Businesses need buyer personas because they provide a frame of reference during product design, content creation, and when devising a marketing strategy. A detailed buyer persona will help you understand your ideal customer in a deeper way. The best way to understand the concept of a buyer persona is to think of him or her as a customer avatar that you create based on the characteristics of your target customers.
How to Create a Buyer Persona?
Creating a buyer persona for your business requires a lot of research on your part. You need to survey members of your target audience, including current and prospective ones so that you can collect and analyze their personal information which you can then use to create your buyer persona. You first have to look at the customers who have already bought your products or consumed your content, and then try to extrapolate from their demographic information to identify prospective customers, who you can also involve in your survey.
Research and Information Gathering
You or your digital marketing team will have to scour through your databases and contact lists with the aim of identifying the trends and patterns followed by your customers. The personal information that customers volunteer when they sign up on your website could come in handy during this exercise. You can note down the general characteristics that define your customers. You then have to compile a list of interviewees who fall within the parameters that you and your marketing team have established.
Identifying potential interviewees
The accuracy of your buyer persona hinges on your ability to find interviewees who best represent your target audience. Your list of interviewees should include customers who love your product and those who dislike it. If you limit your interviewees to only those who give positive feedback, you will end up with a skewed buyer persona. Negative feedback can help you tweak your product to make it more appealing in the future. Your list of interviewees should also include prospects, referrals, or people you have recruited through third party sites such as Craigslist. You can start with a few interviewees from each category and then keep building on that until you are satisfied that you have all the information you need.
When you contact your interviews, it may be difficult to get some of them to go along with your survey. Ensure that you make them feel comfortable enough to share the information you need. Offer then incentives like gift cards if you can, and ensure that you are flexible enough to work around their schedules.
What to Ask Your Interviewees?
The more information you gather from your interviewees, the more accurate your buyer persona. The information you collect from each interviewee should include: basic demographic information (name, gender, age, address, ethnicity, occupation, education level, and income bracket), their backstory ( this includes information about their childhood, their college years, and their early employment history), their personal life ( relationship status, family, dependents, world view, values, habits, entertainment and lifestyle preferences, and use of technology), their career ( their field, job title, career satisfaction, relationship with bosses and coworkers, and career aspirations), their personal finances ( debt, net worth, spending habits), their internet usage ( online shopping, social media), their personality, and their hopes and dreams.
How to Structure the Interviews?
There are many questions that you can ask your interviewees, but you should prioritize those that are most relevant to your business. You can conduct the interviews over the phone or face to face, but most people are more comfortable with online surveys.
Analyzing Your Data
After the interviews, you will have a lot of raw data at your disposal. To turn that data into information that makes more sense, you should use a buyer persona template to organize it. There are many tools, templates, and generators that are available online.
Some useful buyer persona templates and generators include the following: HubSpot’s Buyer Persona Template, Demand Metric’s Buyer Persona Template, User Persona Creator, Digital Marketer’s Customer Avatar Worksheet, Buyer Persona Template, Marketing Persona Cheat Sheet, and “MakeMyPersona” Buyer Persona Generator. The templates may differ slightly in structure, but they all capture the important details that make up a buyer persona. Pick whichever one you prefer and use it to create your buyer persona.
Creating Your Buyer Persona using Online Tools and Templates
Try to identify underlying patterns and commonalities in the answers supplied by your interviewees. The information that you fill into your persona template should be based on judgments that you draw from the responses of the interviewees. Most templates have spaces for general demographic information, personality identifiers, motivations, and even quotes that reflect the persona’s views on different issues. You can come up with several personas, but there should be one final persona that you will adopt as the primary buyer persona for your business.
Using Buyer Persona for Digital Marketing
After creating a buyer persona, you can use it for digital marketing services, product design, and message formulation. When designing a service or a product, you have to ask yourself whether it would appeal to the buyer persona. When creating digital marketing content, you need to consider how well it would resonate with the buyer persona.
You need to familiarize your sales team with the buyer persona so that they can think of ways to target him or her through their marketing strategy. Because you have insight into the persona’s way of thinking, their personal preferences, and much more, you will be able to create messages that specifically target him or her.
Your persona should have a name and an occupation. You can even get a stock photo that best represents what he or she would look like. Instead of worrying about marketing to thousands of people online, think of all of them as a single buyer persona. By doing so, digital marketing will become as easy as communicating with an old friend.
Author – Nathan George is a digital marketing specialist at Pixeld, a web design agency in Geelong, Australia. Pixeld specializes in e-commerce, WordPress and custom web development.