We’ve talked about target audiences before on the blog, but have you ever heard of a buyer persona? There is a misconception that a target audience IS a buyer persona, but we will set the record straight in this blog post.
What is a buyer persona?
A buyer persona is a more detailed version of a target audience. For many businesses, it’s recommended to first determine your target audience and then create multiple buyer personas within that target audience. So, what exactly is a buyer persona then?
A buyer persona is a fictional customer that companies can create that represents a certain type of consumer they wish to market towards. These personas are created using data collected from market research that companies have conducted. It is recommended to create multiple personas because if you really think about it, is there always the same type of customer? Not usually, so most marketers recommend creating multiple personas to help align marketing and sales within a company toward a common goal and mutual understanding.
If this seems like a challenging task, you’re in luck because Elemental Plans can help you with it! You can check out our recent work on our website here, https://www.elementalplans.com/, and can even look up the different services we offer. If you’re interested and want more information, we recommend filling out our short form on the contact page and someone will reach out as soon as possible!
How do I create a buyer persona?
Using research that has been conducted in the past within your company can be a great start in creating a buyer persona. Some companies even conduct new market research to gain even more information that they can then use to create buyer personas. There are many ways to collect valuable information you may need in this process and here are just a few:
- Conduct one on one interviews with customers and prospective customers to determine what they like about your company or your product and why they would choose you over the competition.
- Use previous customer information to uncover trends within your already established target audience like how they consume your content or what led them to you in the first place.
- Surveys sent to potential leads and already-established customers.
Now that you have the base of your personas, we can move on to fully create them. Categorizing all that information can be hard but keep in the back of your mind that you are essentially creating the ideal customer from the ground up. What they are interested in, what content resonates with them, down to what jobs they might have, and what motivates them.
If you find that there is too much information and you don’t know how to start, there are templates that you can use, like this one from HubSpot that you can find here, https://bit.ly/3U2t89c.
To make this a little less overwhelming and give you a little more direction, we'll break it down into simple steps.
Step 1 - Basic demographics
The first step to developing a buyer persona is filling out all the basic demographic info of this “fake” consumer. This includes things like:
Social media platforms used
This helps you as well as the entire company understand those to whom they are marketing. This gives a sort of face to the ambiguous “consumer.” You are creating the background of this buyer persona.
Step 2 - Motivation
This next step gives even more depth to the buyer persona, as each step should do. In this section, you’ll want to focus on more personal data that you collected. What is motivating these consumers?
You want to understand their personal and career goals. What they are striving for in their lives? Their personality traits, are they extroverts or more introverted? What do they like from the brands they continuously shop from? You can even produce challenges that these possible consumers might face in their lives. This is where you carve out even more of their personalities.
Step 3 - Scripting
This is ultimately the last step in the process and is not adding to the persona itself but is more for the actual sale of products to these consumers. You want to create lists of questions or concerns these buyer personas might have for salespeople.
When you finish out this portion, it helps with the actual sale of products and services. How can you better market your products to answer these questions so that consumers don’t have to ask them in the first place? How can you reassure consumers? How would salespeople pitch to these consumers?
In summary, it’s important to create multiple buyer personas so that everyone is on the same page, company-wide, on who you’re marketing towards. You want your employees and coworkers to understand why they are doing what they are doing in the marketing process. It helps companies better align with their target audiences and provide better content for them.
Huble, “What is a Buyer Persona- and why is it important?”, Jess, October 9 2018, https://www.hubledigital.com/blog/what-is-a-buyer-persona, Accessed October 27 2022
HubSpot, “How to Create Detailed Buyer Personas for Your Business [Free Persona Template]”, Pamela Vaughan, September 29 2022, https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/buyer-persona-research#how-to-create-buyer-personas, Accessed October 27 2022