When you write emails or think of blog topics, who are you addressing? Being intimately familiar with your audience allows you to use the language and information that is most relevant to the people you want to reach.
What is a Buyer Persona?
According to HubSpot, “a buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer” built based on market insights and information from your current customers. Essentially, it is a character that you develop that represents the people to whom you want to sell your product or services.
Every company will have a different buyer persona based on their services. Even companies in the same industry will have variations of similar personas because of their unique selling proposition. Not only do personas explore who buys from you, they also explore why.
Your business can have as few as two or three buyer personas, and as many as ten or more depending on the lines of business or services that you offer. As you begin to brainstorm, don’t limit yourself based on trying to squeeze multiple audience segments into one persona. Break up the personas to create unique, separate characters.
For example, at Bit-Wizards, our multiple lines of business mean that we have multiple buyer personas. The clients of our Managed IT Services represent an entirely different lineup of personas than our Digital Marketing personas.
Why are Personas Important?
A buyer persona allows you to specifically target the exact segment of the population that you want to speak to with your marketing messages. As a business owner or marketer, if you target a broad audience with no in-depth knowledge about their interests or shopping habits, you might be spending your marketing budget on the wrong activities.
Creating a persona allows you to build targeted messaging that explain the services you offer in words that each persona will understand.
For example, a cloth diaper company would create different blog posts for expecting parents than for parents with multiple kids. In this case, each set of parents has different concerns, and the experienced parents will require less explanation of some of the intricacies of parenting.
Develop Your Buyer Personas
To begin creating your buyer personas, you will need to layout the data you have on your current and previous clients and the market in which you are selling. Look at the followers you have on social media, and the people in your email list who are potential leads (but not customers).
Hootsuite recommends considering details such as:
Once you have created the list of demographic details that can be objectively determined based on your existing data, it’s time to dig a little deeper. Some of these questions you may be able to answer on your own, but others may require client interviews or paid-for market research.
Dig into where your clients are getting their information, where they spend their time online and offline, and why they chose to buy from your company.
These questions include:
What social platforms do you use most frequently?
What brands do you follow and like?
How did you learn about [enter service or business here]?
- Why did you choose [your service or business here] over [competitor]?
Finally, ask yourself and your team the following questions:
What problem do you solve for customers?
What are your competitors doing that is different from what you are doing?
What is your unique selling point?
- How long is the buyer journey for clients?
To demonstrate the complete process, we have created an example of a persona. In this scenario, the company is a local surf brand with a store on the main strip of town.
The surf brand will have multiple personas to reflect each of their different kinds of products. Additionally, they will have specialty personas for experts in surfing and those looking for more specific accessories.
For the surf shop’s daily rental line of business, this would be their persona.
Download the example buyer persona card
There are some great, free tools and templates that can help you build out your buyer personas. These include HubSpot’s Make My Persona Tool and this Xtensio template from Neil Patel. Additionally, we have created an interactive marketing strategy workbook that you can download and fill out to get started today!