A Beginner’s Guide to Buyer Personas
Knowing your target customer builds the foundation of your business. However, merely knowing isn’t enough. You need to deep-dive into what constitutes your ideal customer so that you can fine-tune your marketing strategy even further — and this is where buyer personas come in.
What are buyer personas?
Buyer personas are detailed descriptions of your target audience. Creating buyer personas involves thorough audience research and developing a composite sketch of a fictional buyer who embodies your ideal customer.
It’s also alternatively called customer personas, marketing personas, or audience personas. A key thing to note here is that the term is usually used in the plural. This means that there can be more than one buyer persona, depending on your marketing goals.
Different groups of people may buy your product(s) for different reasons. This is why it’s important to create separate buyer personas representing each segment of your customer base.
Segmenting your customers to create more detailed buyer personas can be based on a number of factors, including:
- Behavior: where they are in the sales funnel, consumption/spending habits, etc.
- Demographics: their age, gender, occupation, income, etc.
- Geographic: by city, state, country, etc.
- Psychographic: their interests, personality traits, personal values, etc.
What is the value of creating buyer personas?
- Builds the foundation of your brand: Your buyer persona guides everything — from product development to branding to your marketing strategy and more. It helps you stay focused on knowing for whom your brand is for.
- Personalizes your marketing campaigns: By creating different buyer personas for each of your audience segments, you can craft more tailored marketing messages. This, in turn, boosts engagement, conversions, and ultimately more sales.
- Streamlines content mapping: As a related point, buyer personas make it easier for you to plan and map out content when combined with lifecycle staging (i.e., knowing where a customer is in your sales cycle).
- Helps you respond to their needs more effectively: Buyer personas help you get to know your audience better — their wants, needs, challenges, etc. By responding to their needs more effectively, you also gain their trust and confidence.
How to create buyer personas for your brand?
1. Study your existing customers
Start with baseline data. It could be your existing customers, or if you haven’t launched your business yet, identify the basic information of your target audience. Consider details, such as:
- Educational level
- Spending pattern and power
- Location and language
For B2B brands, in addition to the details above, also consider:
- Business size
2. Conduct thorough audience research
Audience research takes the bulk of the creation of buyer personas. Depending on your resources, goals, and budget, here are some research methods you can use:
- Customer surveys – This is, by far, the most common and most convenient method for both the brand and the customer, as it can be done online or in-store. One of the cons, however, is that you have less control over who fills out your survey and the participants may not fit your target audience.
- 1:1 customer interviews – This gives you an in-depth understanding of your customer, as people are more likely to open up. However, the greatest challenge is choosing the right subjects who more or less represent your ideal audience.
- Peer group/focus group discussions – This involves a group discussion of fewer than 10 participants and is usually done in person. The con is that “groupthink” bias may cause some of your participants to change their opinions in order to fit in.
When conducting your research, take note of the following:
- Carefully consider your interview/survey questions: This is crucial. Establish what information you need to create your buyer personas. This will guide you on how to frame your questions, as well as helping you determine what data analysis method to use.
- Consider your data analysis: Qualitative analysis is great for classic customer interviews and open-ended survey questions. Quantitative analysis, on the other hand, gives you more granular data and can be used for audience research that has a bigger coverage — for example, determining the average revenue by employee size, number of customers per country, etc.
- Offer incentives to your participants: Make it a win-win situation by rewarding your participants with something that is worth their time. This could be in the form of monetary incentives, store credits, discount vouchers, or whatever works best for your brand.
3. Craft your buyer personas
As mentioned, creating your buyer personas involves developing a “model” customer that represents the characteristics of your ideal audience.
You give it a fictional name, even picking a fictional face for better visualization, and provide more details to paint a clearer picture of your target buyer — hence, the term “persona.”
Going beyond the demographic information, also include the following information in your buyer persona template:
- How would you describe their lifestyle?
- How would you describe their personality trait, their wants, and their preferences?
- What are their top challenges?
- How can your brand help them overcome their challenges?
- What are possible reasons they would like your product/services?
You can also add as much information as you need that’s relevant to your brand. Here’s an example of a buyer persona template by Hubspot:
4. Communicate with your team
Lastly, once you’ve completed all your buyer personas, distribute this to your marketing team and other teams involved. Including a buyer persona in your content, marketing, or design briefs can greatly help in crafting better web copy, blog copy, graphic designs, advertising messages, and more.
Adding your buyer personas to your brand style guide is also a good idea to better guide your teams.
Crafting an Effective Marketing Strategy for Your Brand
Buyer personas are among the many factors that aid in defining your marketing strategy and branding. If you need any help with any aspect of your marketing, Ilfusion is here for you.
We’re a full-service creative agency offering a range of services, from digital and traditional marketing, design, branding strategy, to marketing consultation. We can help you craft an effective strategy for your brand’s unique needs without breaking the bank.audience research, audience segmentation, buyer personas, marketing personas
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