Please raise your hand if you’ve ever felt that your buyer persona is everyone in your target market?
When you target everyone, you are targeting no one because your focus is not narrowed to a market more likely to become your users and therefore you are targeting no one.
However, building a persona is not an easy task because it requires a lot of research and finding to be able to build on the right persona.
Well, there’s good news: Creating a buyer persona doesn’t have to be that daunting. With the right template and tools at your disposal, you could easily create a visual representation of your ideal customer — all without technical design program, huge budgets or hiring a contractor.
Download the free Buyer Persona template, and we’ll walk you through on how to use it right now in this very blog post. When we’re done you’ll know exactly how to create an ideal buyer persona that will be a fictional or generalized representation of your ideal customer. Ready? Let’s dive in.
How to Build a Buyer Persona that rocks!!!
Before delving into building a buyer persona, it is important to understand why you need a buyer persona
Buyer personas are fictional, generalized representation of your ideal customer. It’s an avatar that helps you understand who you are selling to and help you map out content tailored to their specific need according to their buyer journey.
Buyer persona helps you establish the demography of people you intends to reach. Consider the generation cohort of baby boomers, generation X and millennial. These different generation may want the same thing but for different reasons because of the difference in age and experience. Having a persona helps you use the language they can relate to communicate with them.
Take for instance, if your target audience are people over 50 years old age, then it makes sense to design a site with the larger text.
If you are considering organic search which is about persuading people with specific intent to believe you can fulfill their needs. Building persona allows you to speak directly to their needs as early as possible, even in your page title and meta description
Do you know that the CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos leaves a chair empty at meetings to signify that the customer persona is in the room listening to the decisions they are making.
Even at Experian, they have developed a character and placed her on banners throughout the office and in the company newsletter to keep their customer top of mind.
At AirBNB they have a section of the office with the personas in storyboards on the wall along with illustrations of those of personas going through the user journey.
If big known brands could take time to create, understand and build on their buyer personas, it means that it is a vital tool in marketing.
FEATURES OF A PERSONA
A persona has distinct features identified based on user experiment to give birth to a single entity that represent these users. And as such, a persona must have a descriptive name and is meant to represent someone that exists:
Descriptive Name & Photos
A descriptive name is used because a persona has to be associated with its attribute and an image to make it easy to remember and remind team of the attributes of such persona. You will persona like Marketing Mary, Busy Bob, HR Tina Manager, Founder Patrick etc.
Those adjectives and roles helps marketer have a vivid image of the persona to help them build on the products, service or content that will resonate with such persona.
You must identify the demography of the persona you are targeting. This is important because when you want to run ads, the demography is key to great ads targeting plus it will determine your content style and diction.
Let’s look at the different demographic cohort.
There is the baby boomers that are defined by the post-world war II era, and then the generation X are the dot come bubble while there is the millennial that happen to be the apple, smartphone kids.
These are different generation who may need the same thing for different reason and finding those reasons and addressing it in the language they understand is key to building a connection that will give a boost to your marketing effort.
The next thing is to identify their job or career path. These will help you understand who you are talking to directly.
Is the persona a CEO or a Marketer, sport lover or wild cat lover. Are they the decision maker or can they influence a buyer decision. It is another way of qualifying your leads
Personal Story/Day in their life
You can also research and write their experience, communication preferences and personal story. These can help you offer them product/ services/content that will help them stay on top of their game because you understand their challenges and motivation.
When building your sales copy, your description of their life before and after using your product or service can be used in your sales message in such a way that it will resonate with them
Identify the goals your persona is trying to achieve so that you can position your product/ services/ contents toward achieving those goals.
By understanding the challenges your persona is experiencing and creating content that address those challenges, your business will capture their attention the moment the feel you are speaking directly to them.
Information Search Process
Another thing to research is how your persona consume information and what platform they hangout a lot, that way you can focus more of your effort to those platform.
You can use it to learn which brand your buyer loves and their technical know-how. Knowing that can help you use content like social proof, testimonials, social media and referral program to drive conversion.
What are the objections your persona may be having? What will make them not want to buy from you?
Identify reasons why your persona may not be able to buy from you. It could be that for example in B2C industrial, your location is far and therefore persona might not be able or have time to commute to your location.
If you identify that, you find a means to get the product to them by offering delivery services either free or paid.
Another reason could be that a persona may not be able to convince his superior to buy the idea, that way this will help you develop a content (statistics, social proof, case study, tutorial, written, video etc) that they can use to convince their boss on why they should use your services.
Some marketers consider quotes for a persona as a way to drive home a personas mood or feeling about his problem, common objection and wishes.
What we can do
Based on the information you have gathered about your persona, write down how you are position to help them achieve their goal or overcome their challenges.
From that, you can identify your marketing message that you will use to describe your solution to your persona
The research made towards creating a persona can be used to sell your solution to your persona in your marketing and sales message.
People with the persona attribute will feel connected to your message, they will feel you are speaking directly to them because you understand their problem and you have position your business as a solution provider through your website, content, product, services etc.
I am sure by now you will be wondering where the heck you can find all these information about a buyer persona?
We will be looking at different ways you can gather this information.
Where to source for information
One way of getting information is through research, surveys and interviews of your target audiences. These include your pass customers, prospect, and stakeholders.
You can interview your customers either in person or over the phone to find out
- Why they bought from you
- What they like about your product
- What they think should be improved, added or removed from your products or services.
I listed my business in an online business listing site that connect buyers to sellers. I tested their business model from the perspective of a buyer and then a seller and I discovered that their business model favored established businesses more than a start-up with few customers which I happen to fall into that category as of then.
Meanwhile, the business model was mostly targeted at small business owners, start-ups, freelancer etc.
One of their sales reps contacted me to find out why I didn’t proceed with my registration in their site and I explain my experiment and findings to him.
This company can use such findings to fill the gap or update their persona because that is an objection a target persona will be having and interviewing me helped them identify the gap.
So you can do the same not only from people who buy from you and also those who did not buy from you. Find out why they preferred your competition over you so that you can use the information gathered to improve on your business.
Another place you can get more information is your contact database. Use it to uncover trends about how certain leads or customers find and consume your content
Next place to get more information is implementing social listening and monitoring strategy. Identify forums that your personas are likely to be in, keywords your persona are using to search for information relating your offer.
Social listening and monitoring technique will help you research users and their behavioral pattern in their natural habitat
Tools such as Sysomos, Radian6, Google trend, Followermonk, keywords planners etc., are some of the tools you can use to monitor and research your personas. Analytic can help you track content they engage more with.
Data on sales, calls, returns, reviews, users and transactions of all types can be leverage to give parameters and color during the persona development process.
Public data is another way of gathering information relating to your persona. Most social media platforms have segmented data like Facebook insight, Google consumer barometer, and others.
Research your industry and competition to find out information about their users.
You can use all the information gathered about your persona to identify trends among users which will be used in building your persona. After that, you can build up a story or storyboard about your persona.
Let’s look at some of the persona of big brands
Hubspot buyer persona.
There are different viration of a buyer persona depending on your industry.
Are you ready to build a buyer persona for your business now?