You’ve probably encountered terms like ‘buyer persona’, ‘customer profile’ or ‘avatar’ on occasion but haven’t necessarily probed any further into what they are or what they mean for your business.
For any business owner, knowing your audience - your target market - and the different segments which comprise that audience is the first step towards making balanced, well-informed decisions which have a positive impact on revenue and reputation.
What are buyer personas and why are they important?
Let’s take the term ‘buyer persona’. This refers to a fictional person, or a fictional customer. Your ideal customer. The buyer persona is an archetype; someone your company has fashioned into existence based on what you know of your audience.
Before you can create buyer personas, you’ll need to identify your audience and segment it.
Then you will need to find common characteristics that are unique to each audience segment and create a buyer persona for that audience segment.
Your aim will be to have multiple buyer personas, though not so many that it becomes confusing.
In creating buyer personas, you are bringing clarity and direction to not only your marketing strategy, but your overall business strategy.
So, why are buyer personas important?
Well, they are important because they allow you to visualise and relate to your ‘ideal customers’. If you know who your customers are, what they like, what drives them and what plaques them, you’ll be better equipped to attract and retain them.
Additionally, knowing your buyer personas will allow you to create the right content, offer the right products and services, and convey the right message to each audience segment – each buyer persona.
You’re more likely to succeed at customer acquisition and retention if you know your buyer personas inside out.
Whether it’s product development, content creation or service offering, all your business activities should be driven by foundational knowledge of your buyer personas.
How to research your buyer personas
If you type the keywords ‘how to develop buyer personas’ or ‘how to create a buyer persona’ into Google, one word will be thrown at you: research. Buyer personas are research-based constructs of who your customers are. To identify each buyer persona, you’ll need to carry out market research and derive insight from examining your pool of existing customers.
Step 1 - Market research
Look at your competitors. How do they engage with their customers online? Also, talk to your sales team about who they speak to and see if you can identify any trends and similarities.
Step 2 - Gain insight from Analytics
You have innumerable quantities of data available to you – so use it.
Check Google Analytics, or another analytics platform, to gain insight on website activity and audience demographics.From the left-hand sidebar on Google Analytics you’ll be able to select ‘Audience’ then ‘Demographics’. Look at age, gender, geo, language, location and interests. What can you learn?
Check the analytics of whichever social channels you use. For example, you can use Twitter and Facebook Analytics to learn more about demographics, behaviour, and user likes and dislikes.
Step 3 - Ask questions
Start asking questions. Put questions to your existing customers (telephone interviews are a good way of getting nuggets of information) and potential customers (your sales team can help here when speaking with leads). Ask existing customers what they like and don’t like about your products and services, while establishing what motivates and drives a potential customer’s interest in your brand/business.
Be proactive on social media (you don’t need to be everywhere, just choose the channels most relevant for your business). Create user polls, surveys, quizzes and the like to gather feedback. What makes people tick? You need to uncover personality traits, preferences, and buying habits.
Once you’ve pulled together the data, research and insights, you’ll need to put this into a buyer persona template. HubSpot offers a free persona template which you can download and use if you don’t want to create a new template in-house.
Give each persona a name, then use the template to summarise each persona’s background, demographics, identifying characteristics, goals, values, challenges and pain points.
Buyer personas: How to define the clients you help the most and attract more of them
We’ve covered how to define buyer personas, but how can you define the clients or customers you help the most or who get the most use out of your service?
First off, look at the clients you already have and access your client data. Identify trends, themes, and commonalities.
For example, perhaps you find that most of your clients are middle-aged women who are university-educated with a professional background and an average income. You then need to establish where they hang out online, how they like to consume information, and how they like to be communicated with.
This will give you a better idea of how and where to approach new prospects who are like your clients, and what to approach them with in terms of content and messaging.
We’ve listed some of the major elements to define below for each of your personas:
As part of any effective marketing plan, you want to attract the right people to your website. You want to attract more of the same – more of your buyer personas or best clients – as these are the people who are most likely to convert from leads into customers.
You need to know exactly what your clients’ pain points are, then spin a strategy which pushes a solution at new prospects who have a similar ‘pain’ to your current clients.
At Art Division we help our clients define who their buyer personas are before we plunge into any sort of marketing campaign. If you want to know more about how we can help with your online marketing, get in touch today.
Book your call with Nelly to discuss your buyer personas strategy