Buyer personas are semi fictional representations of your actual customers.
They’re created through real market search and data collection and include consumer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations and goals!
Creating this gives you an insight into what the consumer (here another business) wants and how you can set your goals to give them what they need!
Before we get into how to make a buyer persona for your business, we should first know how exactly a buyer persona is useful for your business.
Here is why:
- They help you understand your consumers. Not just the existing ones but also the perspectives! You can optimize your content, messaging, products, services etc to meet the needs and expectations of your consumers. Depending on their specific behaviors, you can push out ad campaigns that you know will appeal to which part of your target audience the most.
- You can use different persona templates to organize your audience and segment them so that your marketing game gets stronger!
- You will know what makes your best customers tick. You know their behavior, then you know what kind of content you put in front of them. If you do that, then your sales will be double of what they used to be. What’s your ideal buyer’s background?
- When you conduct surveys or interviews of your existing consumer base, then you can develop strong buyer personas not just for them but also for people who are like them but are not your consumers yet. The strongest buyer personas come from doing a lot of market research and gathering insights from online consumer behavior and demographic tools.
- You could have one or two personas or maybe even 10 or 20. It all depends on your business’s size, the audience size, audience behaviors etc.
- If you are creating one for the first time, then start small. You don’t want to bite more than you can chew. So you should start by just categorizing your consumers into the most basic of divisions based on their demographics and behavior.
Note : there is no universal way to make a buyer persona. There is no hard and fast rule book. Each business is unique, so their buyer persona will be unique to that specific business. The thing to keep in mind is that your buyer persona should reflect your business.
Now let us get started!
How to build a buyer persona:
Mostly buyer personas are made with a lot of research. This includes surveys, questionnaires, and interviews with existing consumers, prospects, and anyone who is in line with your target audience.
The first step is to gather a little information. Here is how:
- Look through your contacts database to discover how leads or consumers find your products and how they consume them.
- Use lead capture forms to get personal information. This can be useful to gather their demographics when you are starting a new campaign.
- Don’t do the work alone. Consider and maybe even implement your sales team’s feedback on the people they are interacting with most. What general information can they give you about the said individuals? What can they tell you about the different types of consumers who your brand or company caters to?
- Interview customers and prospects to discover what they like about your product or service.
When you gather all the data, you will be left with a lot of raw, unorganized information. So now the second step is to organize the information you got from the first step.
- Fill out basic demographic information. This includes name, age, sex, location, income, marital status, habits, records, work, etc. You can get the basics like name age, email, and phone when consumers are signing up. But the rest of the information is a bit more personal so what you can do is give out surveys rather than call or message because it feels safer and more authentic for the consumer.
- See how the personas can help your company or be a good or ideal consumer to you. Personal motivations always help understand how this particular consumer can add value to your product and brand.
- Prepare better conversations with them. Buyer personas are like personal files of each and every consumer and this is a boon in today’s impersonal digital world! You can craft custom messages because you now know what makes your consumer tick. Talk to your sales team about how they should converse with the personas. Tell them which persona likes what kind of thing… the nitty gritty grind that has to be told and the general persuasive pitch of the product or service to make them buy it.
The above pointers are all well and good only if you find the information. It is easier said than done to get information about people especially today when everyone is growing aware of their personal information being shared for marketing and advertising purposes.
So where do we get the personas?
- Your existing consumers! These are the easiest and the most accessible people to interview. Now, because they have already interacted with you, you’re not a complete stranger asking them questions. You’re a worried product/service provider who wants to better understand them so that their future experiences with you can be smoother and hassle free than before. It is seen again and again that when existing consumers are involved in interviews and personal discussions, they become loyal to your brand!
- Instead of interviewing existing consumers, you can always take a look at prospects! You can use the data collected by web analytical tools to see the demographics and behaviors of the prospects (enhanced ecommerce tracking helps) to see who fits your ideal target audience group.
Take advantage of your referrals. Who are referrals? They are people who refer you to people or audiences they know but you don’t. Like your friend introducing you to people they know! This way you get to reach out to people who don’t know about you. This means that you are stepping in to a completely new and untouched market with it’s own set of buyer personas!
Sometimes, even this may not be enough. You will have to give your audience certain motivations so that they give you their information.
How do you get people to talk to you?
- Use incentives. Gift cards, coupons and even discounts all help in persuading people to give their information. Nobody wants to do it for free, especially new consumers!
- Make sure to remind them that it’s not a sales call. Sales calls are extremely unpopular to consumers and if you start off by talking in a way that it’s a sales call then you’re definitely likely to lose the consumer. So make sure to tell them that this was for them and their benefit and not for you.
- Decide the number of people you will interview and what demographics they will come under.
- Decide the questions.
- JUST DO IT. You’re at the last stage, and that is to just pick up the phone and your strategies and get started!