How well do you understand your target audience? Do you have only surface-level demographic information? Sure, that’s helpful, but it doesn’t go far enough.
If you work to understand what your current and potential customers are like on a deeper level, you’ll gain valuable insights into how best to deliver the products or services that will truly delight them and keep them loyal to your brand.
Building buyer personas is a way to compile that deeper information while creating an easy-to-remember guideline that informs your team about how best to interact with customers and market to potential customers.
What Is a Buyer Persona?
A buyer persona (sometimes referred to as a customer avatar) is a character you create to represent your business’s core and/or ideal customer. They’re used to help tailor the product or service offering to meet the needs and wants of this ideal customer, as well as to inform decisions related to marketing strategies, messaging, campaigns, customer service interactions, and more.
What Are Buyer Personas Used For?
You can also use buyer personas to focus development efforts, prioritize features customers may request, and create product roadmaps that are better aligned with customer needs. You can also use them to create content strategies that establish trust with potential buyers by addressing their questions and pain points throughout the buying journey.
Finally, they provide valuable insights into customer behavior patterns. You can then use these insights to optimize business processes such as sales cycles, support services, or product launches.
Creating buyer personas requires effort and dedication. You want to develop a persona that’s rooted in reality and provides actionable insights. To create an effective buyer persona, it’s important to look at factors such as demographics, goals, challenges, and needs. Market research such as online surveys, market segmentation analysis, or interviews with customers or prospects can aid in the buyer persona process.
With the help of buyer personas, businesses are able to create better campaigns and strategies that take into consideration their customers’ needs and preferences. This allows them to make more informed decisions about their product or service offering, which ultimately leads to increased sales.
Ultimately, developing a buyer persona gives you a valuable marketing tool for understanding your target audience and creating tailored buyers’ journey experiences that will resonate with them.
How to Create Buyer Personas for Your Target Audience
Step One: Demographic Information
First, the relatively easy part. Define your ideal customer’s demographic characteristics that are most relevant to your business. This includes things like age range, gender, geographic location, income bracket, and highest education level. Keep ranges wide enough to capture most of your customer base. Just don’t make it so wide that the persona is too generic to provide useful information.
Step Two: Psychographic Information
Effective buyer personas go beyond demographics and examine psychographics. These are insights that help you understand your customers and their needs on a deeper level. Psychographics take into account aspects of people’s personalities such as desires, fears, and beliefs.
Hmm … that sounds a little creepy, doesn’t it?
But don’t worry. There’s no stalking involved here. At least, there shouldn’t be. You can obtain psychographic insights through research as well as by listening and paying attention to your customer interactions including the feedback they leave online. These are things you should be doing anyway, so using them as data gathering will help you make the most of these interactions.
Psychographic Information to Include In Your Buyer Persona
Conducting surveys or interviews with active or prospective customers is a good way to gain richer psychographic insights. Ask about their motivations for buying certain products or services as well as why they chose your business over others. Find out what would prevent them from making a purchase decision or what would drive them to stop patronizing your business.Here are some other pieces of psychographic data that may be useful for you to collect:
- Leisure activities
- Political views
- Religious beliefs
- Frustrations that your business could possibly solve
- Life goals
- Needs not being met
- Aspirational lifestyle
- Purchase drivers (price, convenience, etc.)
- Communications preferences
Step Three: Create a Buyer Persona NarrativeOnce you have the details of what your ideal customer is like, put all that information into a narrative form. Yes, you have to write an actual story. Bullet points won’t cut it. Write a story about a typical day in this customer’s life. What pain points do they experience? What product, service, or feature do they wish existed to help reduce their frustration?
Then, write about another day, after they’ve engaged with your brand. This time, describe how their pain points have been relieved. Demonstrate how the customer has been positively transformed after interacting with your business. What is their day like now?
And don’t forget to give the customer persona a name. No, seriously. Naming the customer makes them feel more real, making the persona more memorable to your team.
Let’s say you name the fictional customer Jordan. Now, when interacting with customers, your staff can think, “Is this how Jordan would want to be treated?”
How to Use Your Customer Personas
First, examine your website copy and design. Now that you have a better understanding of your customers, evaluate whether the site appeals to them. Driving leads to your site doesn’t matter much if the site fails to convert, so make tweaks or even plan an overhaul to ensure it’s tailored to your customers’ needs.
Next, use your buyer persona as a foundation for creating personalized marketing campaigns that will resonate with customers on an emotional level. Incorporate into the messaging the information you collected about their goals, challenges, and needs. This will help your campaigns build relationships with your audience and lead to loyal customers.
Of course, make sure your sales team is up on the buyer personas. Anyone who interacts directly with your current or potential customers should understand the best ways to help them get what they need from your business.
Another way to use a buyer persona is for segmenting customers into different groups based on their individual characteristics. This allows businesses to tailor marketing efforts more precisely. Segmenting customer data can help optimize marketing efforts by providing insights into which segments are most likely to respond positively to certain types of messaging.
Should I Create Multiple Buyer Personas?
Sure! Why not?
Oh, you want more detail than that? Ok.
If you have a customer base that spans several age ranges or other types of demographic, it makes sense to craft separate personas for each of those groups. If your buyer persona encompasses too wide a range of customers, it will end up being generic and therefore useless.
Even customers in the same demographic group may have different reasons for seeking out your product or service. Or maybe they have different triggers that will take them to the purchase stage of the buyers’ journey.
Understanding their differences more thoroughly will help you create more targeted campaigns and customer interactions.
Ten Tips for Using Your Buyer Persona Effectively
- Use the buyer persona to tailor marketing messages, campaigns, and content strategies.
- Share buyer personas with everyone your staff, especially the sales team, marketing, and anyone who interacts directly with customers. This will make every customer interaction more effective.
- Identify areas where processes can be improved to increase customer satisfaction.
- Choose which social media platforms to concentrate on based on where your target customers spend most of their time.
- Know what steps customers take before making a decision and what helps them build trust.
- Consider which channels are best for communicating with each type of customer: Email? Text message? Something else?
- Determine potential incentives or promotions that could entice customers to make a purchase decision.
- Conduct split testing and analyze how effective different types of messaging are for converting leads into paying customers at every stage in the buying process.
- Track conversions across different segments of buyer personas regularly in order to identify changes in behavior over time.
- Create multiple buyer personas if you serve a wide-ranging audience (or if you want to branch out and serve an ideal customer in the future). This will help you segment and more effectively target specific groups within your customer base.
Creating buyer personas is an essential step for any business to take if they want to connect with their customers on a deeper level. By understanding buyer personas, businesses can craft unique marketing campaigns tailored to specific audiences and optimize processes that create positive customer experiences.
The end result is more loyal customers who are willing to come back time and again.