Getting to know each member of your target audience individually is infeasible. This is why you need to create a buyer persona. It helps create a picture of your ideal customer based on the common aspects shared among your potential customers.
Buyer personas play a major role in helping you create the right message and deliver it to the right people.
If you still haven’t created a buyer persona of your audience or are in the process of building one, let this easy guide help you out. You can make use of the buyer persona templates below to get a headstart.
What is a Buyer Persona
A buyer persona, also known as a customer persona, audience persona or marketing persona, is a document that describes who your ideal or target customer is. And it helps you create personalized messages to your customers using the right tone and voice.
It is based on extensive research on your target audience, educated guesses and even on interviews with the customers themselves.
The buyer persona consists of information like who they are, what they do, their goals and interests, their behavior and so on. Basically, you can include any aspect of the audience that you think would help you market better to your customer, in your buyer persona.
They may differ from company to company, and information relevant to one business may not make sense to the other.
And there could be several key segments in your audience. While they might not share the same characteristics, you can create several buyer personas to represent each of these segments.
Buyer Persona vs User Persona
While the buyer persona profiles the people who are in the process of making the decision to buy your product or service, user personas capture information about people who are already directly using your products or services.
How to Create a Buyer Persona
Now that you know what is a buyer persona, let’s see how you can create one on your own.
Step 1: Conducting research
Conducting research on your audience is an important part of creating a buyer persona. Research provides you with factual data. On the other hand, making guesses or assumptions about your target customers will only mislead you.
There are many ways you can gather information on your customers. And the areas you should focus on when collecting data are
- Career and working life
- Daily life
- Consumer habits
- Paint points, goals, challenges
- Personality and personal life
- Online behavior
- Product preferences
If you already have customers, it’s better to start from them. Ask your sales team or the marketing team to learn what they know as they already interact with your existing customers.
Or you can communicate with them directly over the phone, via email, etc. You can also send them questionnaires.
Got social media followers? There are many valuable insights you can gain from looking into their profiles as well.
If you are starting new and have no leads, you can start with the customers of your competitors. Track them down on review sites, and on social media.
You can rely on social media and website analytics to find unique information (i.e. the keywords they used) about people who are interacting with you online, even if they are not your customers yet.
Step 2: Narrowing down the details
Look for details that are common in the answers given by the users or the research data you have found. For example, most people in your target audience may face the same kind of issue at their office. This could be an important detail that should be included in the buyer persona.
Narrow down the basic information you need for the persona, such as demographics, interests and challenges, behaviors, etc.
Step 3: Segmenting customers
Not all customers can fit into the same group. Your audience may include customers aged 60 as well as aged 15. And their preferences may be wildly different. And the same sales approach may not work for both generations.
As you filter through the information you have gathered from your research, you will be able to come across different segments in your target audience based on their preferences, goals, habits, etc.
You can create different buyer personas for each of them.
Step 4: Creating your buyer persona
Now that you have gathered all the information you want on your ideal customer(s), it’s time to create your buyer persona.
Going this extra mile to neatly organize the data you have gathered will come in handy in many use cases. It will be easy for anyone to refer to and comprehend at a glance, and you can share it with multiple departments by keeping it in a central location or embedding it in an internal wiki, website, etc.
Here are a few best practices you can adhere to when creating a solid buyer persona
- Give each of your buyer personas a name (i.e. Mark or Mary)
- Add a profile picture to personalize it even more
- Categorize data for easy comprehension (i.e. demographics, interests, goals, etc.)
- Include excerpts from interviews with your customers or survey answers
Buyer Persona Templates
These templates are editable. Invite others in your team to help complete them in real-time as well. You can also download them as SVGs, PNGs, or JPEGs for publishing.
B2B Buyer Persona Template
A B2B buyer persona represents the buyers who make purchasing decisions on behalf of the companies they work for. They don’t make impulsive buying decisions and depend on educational and credible content to make decisions. It’s important to focus on building credibility and trust with them before purchase.
In a B2B buyer persona, you should be focusing more on their job details which you can easily find through their LinkedIn profiles. You should also look into the people who are directly reporting to them.
Plus knowledge about the organization itself, like the products and services they offer, number of employees, hierarchy, etc. will be useful when you are making a B2B buyer persona.
B2C Buyer Persona
A B2C buyer persona represents an individual who will be buying your product or service with their own money. While you should include details about their professional lives in a B2C buyer persona, you don’t have to go into much detail like you should in a B2B buyer persona.
Instead, you can focus more on their personal life, their online behavior and what influences their buying decisions.
Buyer Persona Canvas
The buyer persona canvas, similar to the business model canvas, is a strategic modeling tool designed by Tony Zambito. It is used to help the development of a buyer persona. The canvas highlights 10 areas that you need to focus on in order to deeply understand your buyer.
Customer Profile Template 1
Audience Profile Template
Customer Profile Template 2
Customer Profile Template 3
What are Your Thoughts on Using a Buyer Persona
Not only to shape marketing or sales strategies, but buyer personas can also be used to create new products that your customers would love. Buyer personas can evolve as you get to know more about your customer, so remember to update it along the way.
Got any tips on using a buyer persona? Do share with us in the comments section below.