What are Buyer Personas, Why You Need Them, and How to Build Them
Truly knowing your customers (and potential customers) is incredibly important to any marketing strategy, especially lead generation. Oftentimes your ideal customer base can be segmented into a few key types of buyers, also referred to as buyer personas. Fleshing out each segment of buyers, i.e. buyer personas, can allow you to determine key markets in which to sell, and therefore, who you should be marketing to.
If you have no idea where to begin, we’re here to help you understand what buyer personas are, why they’re important, and how you can create yours, so you can start selling to the perfect customers.
What are Buyer Personas?
Buyer personas are multi-dimensional, semi-fictional, generalized representations of your ideal customers. They help you understand your buyers better and make it easier for you to tailor content to the specific needs, behaviors, and concerns of different types of buyers.
Buyer personas are much more than just a target audience, as they are more detailed descriptions of who your buyers are, what they care about, and how they like to receive information. Buyer personas help identify how to reach your potential buyers with the right messages and provide you the necessary details to curate a strategy that will get them to convert to leads.
Importance of Creating Buyer Personas
Creating buyer personas is extremely important to understand your audience. Through this process, you’ll learn not just simple demographic information on your buyers, but also where they spend their time online, how they get their information, their purchasing patterns, and much more extremely critical information to understand the psyche of your buyers. You can, and likely will, have more than one persona based on the general types of buyers for your products or service offerings you have.
Create Your Buyer Personas in 4 Steps
Creating buyer personas begins with identifying the certain demographics, traits, and other identifiers that you are looking to target. You can study your current client/customer base to determine trends amongst them, and/or interview some of them to learn more about what made them choose to purchase your product.
For creating B2B buyer personas, it’s important to document their personal background, their current role at their company, how they get their information, and what influences their purchasing decisions. From this, you can start to create a profile of who your B2B buyers are. It’s a good idea to conduct at least five interviews to understand your buyers better from their perspective. You can also talk to your sales team about your buyers’ thought processes, as they have the most interaction with buyers. For creating B2C buyer personas, the process is very similar; however, it is important on the consumer side to uncover what problem(s) your product or service is solving for the consumer in their everyday life.
Another area that you can leverage in creating your buyer personas is your site analytics. Utilizing Google Analytics can tell you where your visitors are coming from, how they navigated through your site, and how long they spent on your site. Spend some time in your analytics to gather more insights and trends, which will help you better understand your buyers’ thought processes and the buyer’s journey.
If you are starting from scratch with very few existing customers, analyze your competitors, and gain insight into who they are targeting. If that happens to align with the type of customer you are looking for, then that is a great starting point. This can also be an opportunity to interview potential customers to get a sense of their needs, which can inform not only marketing but product and service development strategy as well.
Create the Buyer Personas
Now that you’ve gathered information from your current client base or potential customers you can analyze and organize that data to create your buyer personas. Below is a basic template for B2B buyer personas.
If you are a B2C business, you might have different information to gather such as buying habits, personal financial info, family, and other demographics. Below is a great template for B2C buyer personas.
Voila! You have successfully created your buyer personas. Create as many as you need for your business and potential customers – we usually recommend 5-10, but this will be different depending on the services and products you offer. Give your buyer personas names to identify them, like “Hard-Worker Holly” or “Billionaire Bob”. Names help you remember that your marketing tactics reach actual people.
This information can help inform cross-functional business units like sales teams, product teams, as well as upper management. Share your buyer personas with any and all employees so everyone is on the same page with your target audience!
Cater to the Persona
After creating your buyer personas, you will need to make sure that your marketing efforts target them with the right messaging in the right place at the right time, and ultimately get them to convert. If your persona is on certain social media platforms – are you on those social media platforms? From there are you creating quality content that is engaging and empowering that persona with the right type of messaging? Take a look at your current marketing strategies and tactics and adjust if needed to make sure you are accurately targeting and engaging with your potential customers.
Make Changes When Necessary
Buyer persona creation is a dynamic process. Your buyer personas can relatively stay the same over time; however, buyers’ preferences and needs often change. It is the best practice to review your buyer personas over time and make sure you constantly meet the needs of your audience, and that your target audience still aligns with your business goals.
Buyer persona building does take time, but the work you put in will allow your business to have a dedicated vision of who you are serving, therefore attracting a more strategic, targeted audience of potential customers. Knowing who your buyers are and how you market to them is extremely important for reaching your business goals.