How to Create Your Buyer Personas

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Before publishing your website or your online store, it is important to know who is your targeted audience. In fact, to succeed and stand out, you need to know who your potential customers are to answer their needs. Did you ever hear of buyer personas? Even though it looks like the new trendy marketing word, it can help you understand and aim for the right people. Let’s take a closer look at what a buyer persona is. 

What Is a Buyer Persona?

To begin with, a buyer persona is a fictitious customer that you create following some research and that represents a group of customers who have a similar profile and needs. A business can have more than one buyer persona, as it can have different clientele with different needs. These fictitious customers can be very elaborated. It is not unusual that we give them names, occupations, and even stories. But why create imaginary customers when you are looking for real clients? Buyers personas are here to help you focus your marketing and communication efforts on the right audience since you took the time to learn about them and know what they are looking for. This makes the process more tangible.

How to Define Your Buyer Personas

In sum, you must make research on your potential customers to create your buyer personas. Then, these buyer personas will help you have real customers and sales. As mentioned above, you may have more than one customer profile.

1-  Research

Research is often the first step in the marketing process. You need to collect information about your customers or potential clients to create your buyer personas. You do not need to become a sociology expert to find data. You can find some information about them on your website on Google Analytics if it is already online. You can ask your customers or people potentially interested in your products or services to answer surveys regarding their age, occupation, budget, needs, family situation, etc. You can also try to discuss with your customers directly to learn more about them if you have the chance. 

2- Data Analysis

When you collected enough data, try to merge similar profiles. This can be according to their age, occupation or interests, for instance. You might find interrelationships or that some profiles stand out of the crowd. When you have many customers of the same generation, sex or from a specific area, it would be wise to get to know the interests of these groups. Try to understand these people and the needs they might have. If, however, you already know who you want to target, you can create a buyer persona to help you focus on the same people throughout the whole process.      

For example, let’s say you have a gardening business. During the data analysis process, you might note that there are two profile types interested in your services: those who do not have the time to garden and those who do not know how to take care of their gardens. It would be important to make different marketing campaigns to answer to needs of each group since they are different.

 3- Create Your Buyer Personas

It is now the time to create your buyer personas. During the analysis process, you merged your similar customers. Let’s create these imaginary customers. Who are they? What do they do for a living? How old are they? You can surely have fun and use your creativity! Do not hesitate to give them names and use photos that will represent what exactly you have in mind. (If you do not know where to find good pictures, here are 6 image banks we recommend!) Finally, create them a background and give them a reason why your products or services could answer their needs.

If we return to our gardening company example used above, a buyer persona from the group of people having not enough time to garden could be: Julie, 42 years old, mother of 2 children, residing in the suburbs of Montreal, marketing manager of a growing start-up, who likes to enjoy her gardens when she is at home but does not want to pass her entire weekends gardening. You could send her ads saying that you will take care of her gardens and she only has to enjoy her patio! 

4- Test Your Buyer Personas

Once your buyer personas are completed, you only have to test them with different marketing campaigns. Segment your audience when you send newsletters or posts on social media to answer the needs of your groups. Then, analyze your ROI (return on investment).  You should have interesting results when you aim for the right audience. Moreover, remember that your buyer personas might change with time. Therefore, do not hesitate to go back to the first step to validate if your targeted customers are still the most relevant ones for your business.

In conclusion, buyer personas can surely help you keep the focus on your targeted audience. Although it might be tempting to make marketing campaigns targeting as many people as possible, generally results are better when you already know who needs your products or services. It is also the case with campaigns with influencers. If you want to have some benefits, you need to select influencers whose audience might have an interest in what you offer.