Written by Joe Akers
Buyer Personas are a great way of understanding who you’re trying to sell to. They help you understand what they want, how they behave, and why they buy from you or not. This is important because it helps you create content that resonates with them and makes them more likely to convert into customers. In this post, we’ll go over some basics about buyer personas, their benefits, and how to create them for use in your marketing efforts. I even include a free template to help you get started.
What Are Buyer Personas?
Buyer personas are a way to understand your target customers and their buying behavior. They help you identify the needs of each customer, which is critical for creating an effective marketing strategy that will resonate with them. A buyer persona helps you create content that speaks directly to those specific needs. It also provides insight into how best to reach out to these people through different channels.
So, more technically, a buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your target customer that pulls together various data from experiences with real customers into an actionable marketing tool. It’s not a real person, but it does represent the real customers you want to reach.
Some Buyer Persona Examples might include:
- A college student who wants to buy a new laptop for school
- An executive in charge of buying office supplies at work
- Someone looking to start their own business
Why Are Buyer Personas Important?
A buyer persona is a key to developing the right context and structure for marketing to your potential customers. When you create content with your buyer personas in mind, you’re providing relevant, valuable information that creates a positive impression of your brand. Doing so allows you to experience a higher level of success than companies that don’t put their buyers’ wants and needs front and center with their messaging. Without a buyer persona, it’s difficult to create consistent, high-quality content for the leads you want. And if you have a separate sales team, buyer personas allow both the marketing and sales teams to operate on the same page with their efforts and drive greater conversions.
How Many Buyer Personas Should You Have?
You may have different customers who use your service or buy your product for different reasons, and that’s ok. So, it’s perfectly fine to have more than one buyer persona. But if you’re not sure which ones are the most important, then I’d suggest starting with a few of them and testing out some marketing efforts on each. You can always add new personas later as needed but to make things simple, start with no more than 3 or 4.
How are Buyer Personas Used In Marketing?
Buyer personas arm you with the tools to attract more qualified leads to your business.
You’ll clearly understand how they think, feel, act, react, etc. which will uncover multiple ways to create marketing initiatives that speak directly to them at each stage of the sales funnel.
Just think of how much easier it will be to create blog posts, marketing campaigns, ads and social media content when you have a solid grasp of your customer base. And, developing a content marketing strategy becomes supercharged when you’re able to pinpoint your persona’s common objections and the kinds of challenges they face, dictating the type of content you create to address and alleviate those concerns.
How Do You Create a Buyer Persona for Marketing?
The first step toward creating an effective buyer persona is understanding what type of customer you are trying to attract. The next step is identifying which attributes will be most important when making buying decisions. Finally, you need to understand how these characteristics influence purchasing behavior.
With a buyer persona, you’ll have a better starting point to begin answering these questions:
- “What is your lead’s question?”
- “How can your product or service answer that question?”
- “How does the lead take the next step toward your solution?”
In large companies, buyer personas would be created using in-depth research, interviews, surveys, focus groups and more. As a smaller business, you may not have the resources to launch a full-scale research project. You can certainly, review your current client list to identify a pattern of traits, interview a list of your best customers to get insight as to why they chose you. You can get started by identifying a very basic set of traits that will put you well ahead of a lot of other businesses that never bother at all.
To make it even easier to develop your buyer persona, I’ve put together a quick and easy-to-use “Buyer Persona Worksheet” that will guide you through the process. The pdf can be printed and filled out in old-school or with your favorite PDF reader.
When finished, you’ll have a great buyer persona (or several) you can start working with for targeted content creation to attract more qualified clients online. And remember, the more detail you include, the more insight you’ll have about how your product or service can help.
What Are The Most Important Elements of a Buyer Persona?
Creating a buyer persona is actually pretty easy, all you need is to answer some key questions to begin.
Is your ideal client male, female, non-binary? Be specific and remember if you have more than one, create separate personas. Different people have different needs.
Give your persona a memorable, catchy name. Work in the real estate space? Maybe the persona is a lady trying to sell her house on her own. You could call her, “FSBO Fiona”. This helps you easily remember your persona. Try to keep it relevant to your industry.
Is your persona 18-24 or 40-55? An age range is just fine as certain groups will have different life stage needs.
Stay-at-home mom or dad? Doctor? Retail employee? This information plays into someone’s needs as well, so don’t leave it out.
5. Marital Status
A widower, married, partnered, and a single person may all have unique needs that should be considered when creating a persona.
And that’s really all you need to get started. From here, you can add additional information to your buyer persona to further flesh out their story: What social media channels do they use? What do they do for fun? And so on. These details help you get inside the head of your ideal client and understand what problems they experience from their perspective. The marketing content you create should speak to how your product or service helps this persona to solve those problems.
In the end, these buyer persona examples demonstrate a great way to get inside the head of your ideal clients and think about the challenges they may be facing as they relate to your product or service. Crafting content that demonstrates your understanding of their challenges and ways in which they can address them helps your targeted leads get to know you, like you, and trust your expertise when they decide to move forward.
All credits to: Joe Akers
After a decade and a half as a professional chef, Joe Akers made a career change to graphic design. In the last 15 years, graphic design grew into marketing strategy and branding. Today, he helps teams and individuals do awesome things online.