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How To Build Strong Buyer Personas In 5 Steps

December 23, 2019
How To Build Strong Buyer Personas In 5 Steps

Buyer personas can increase your business growth exponentially. By knowing your target audience, you’ll be able to more easily market your products and services to the right people, saving you time, effort and money.

But what is a buyer persona?

A buyer persona is a fictional character that’s based on your ideal customer. The more information you have on them, the more persuasive your marketing will be, so you need to be thorough with your research.

We’ve created a step-by-step guide that demonstrates how to create a buyer persona which you’ll be able to use in your marketing strategy.

Why do you need audience personas?

Instead of taking a stab in the dark, why wouldn’t you create a personalised campaign directed at a certain group? Having a rough idea of who you’re aiming your product or service at is fine, but having a detailed individual in mind when planning your marketing will allow you to create more compelling, tailored advertisements.

Personalised marketing also gets more traction when compared to standard adverts that are used on everyone, regardless of gender, age and location – leading to deeper, long-term relationships with repeat purchases.

How to build customer personas in 5 easy steps

When developing buyer personas, you need to know how to effectively research your current buyers to find your ideal customers. Then, you need to expand and refine the initial template.

1. Understand your target customers

It all starts with a little research. By knowing your target audience and what makes them tick, you’ll be able to create an accurate persona.

When creating marketing personas, you first need to take a look at your current customers. Who are your main buyers? Are they loyal? Why are they loyal? By looking at your top purchasers, you should be able to figure out what makes them keep coming back to your business.

Then, find out what all your best customers have in common and use this information as a basis for your persona. By creating personas based on your current customers in this way, you’ll be able to target similar people and gain more custom.

You might even uncover a new target market, or find details about your current one that you wouldn’t have known before.

When researching your customers, it’s important to go back to basics. If you don’t have access to the following data, why not send out a sample questionnaire to your current customers to discover their common characteristics?

It could include questions such as:

  • What’s your occupation?
  • Religion?
  • Age?
  • Gender?
  • Marital status?

You could also include more detailed questions to create a more in-depth persona, like:

  • How did you find our product/service?
  • What do you think about our industry?
  • Why did you buy from us?
  • Were you recommended to us? If yes, from whom?

Compared to the first set of buyer persona questions, these will start to build a bigger picture of your customers and their opinions. However, the first set are necessary to create an accurate persona, so make sure you include both.

2. Refine potential target markets with demographic information

Once you have found the common denominator within your customer base, you can refine your findings and start to piece your persona template together.

By gaining enough buyer research, you’ll be able to understand the types of customers that usually buy your product or service and market to them accordingly. But it’s important to remember that you can’t market to everyone.

Only a select number of individuals and businesses will need your service, so by pinpointing them specifically, you’ll be able to use their needs, wants and fears to your advantage when it comes to marketing.

The demographic information you collect is very important when creating a customer persona. From age to location, finding the essential characteristics of various types of customers within your customer base will lay a good foundation. You can build on this when you receive more detailed information as they interact with your brand.

When you have enough data, start to separate your customers into simplified groups based on common characteristics. This will make it easier for you when it comes to the next step.

3. Build a variety of personas

Nothing is ever black and white, and no two people are the same. So, having a few personas is a good idea, ensuring you cover all the different groups within your customer base.

Creating a few persona templates will allow you to separate your ideal audience into clear sections. You’ll then be able to use different marketing techniques for each one.

Buyer persona examples always start with age, gender, location and job title. From here, you can start to build on your fictional character by adding details, such as specific job responsibilities, goals and frustrations.

The brands they like and the way they prefer to be marketed to (i.e. through emails, leaflets, social media, telephone calls, and so on) will be useful when it comes to crafting and distributing your content.

4. Make it personal

You need to understand your potential customers thoroughly in order to effectively market to them. That’s why you need to give your fictional character a name, face and family.

By making your audience persona more human-like, you’ll be able to see the potential emotional selling point that drives so many of us to buy.

Create a list of potential questions that your buyer persona might ask too. By preparing in advance, you’ll be able to look professional, competent and trustworthy when they send an enquiry or pick up the phone.

5. Create mock-up content

Who should be involved in creating your personas? Your marketing team. After all, they create the content – they need to have a person to base their work on.

By creating a variety of mock emails, brochures and blog posts, each aimed at the various personas, your team will know how to tailor their marketing to an individual’s interests and characteristics.

Take their wants, needs and fears into consideration when creating content. Play on their frustrations and figure out a way to show them how you can help. By finding their pain points, aggravating them and then offering a solution, they will be more inclined to engage with your business.

Does your business really need buyer personas?

If you want to create an effective marketing strategy for the right target audience, then yes. By researching your current customer base, you can pinpoint similar characteristics within other individuals and target them. You’ll save time, money and effort you would have otherwise exhausted by trying to sell to the wrong people.

By refining your research and creating a variety of personas, you’ll cover all your bases as not everyone fits into one category. And by making it personal, you’ll be able to find the emotional connections that are essential to B2C marketing.

After you’ve researched, refined and given your persona a name, you’ll need to create mock-up content so that your marketing department has an example to inform their work.

At Rainbow, we know how essential personas are for any marketing plan. That’s why we’ve included it in our toolkit for franchisors. We’re committed to giving each of our franchisees the best possible start in business – and that all begins with market research, a strong business plan, and effective goal-setting.

If you’re interested in joining a supportive, knowledgeable team, get in touch today.