Crafting the perfect persona isn’t hard but there are tried and tested methods for how to create buyer personas which best suit your brand or company.
We talked about how important these are in our recent blog and then we provided a list of our top 10 sites to download free buyer persona templates.
This walkthrough will give you guidance on the tried and tested methods for creating your own buyer personas.
Buyer personas help you:
- Determine what kind of content you need
- Set the tone, style, and delivery strategies for your content
- Target the topics you should be writing about
- Understand where buyers get their information
- How they want to consume it
Asking The Important Questions
The most important questions to ask are those which will give you the best insight into what your customers – and potential customers – are looking for from your brand or company. Are you going to be selling to mainly men? Are you targeting specific age groups or income brackets?
Talk to your sales & marketing team, they’re the frontline representatives of your brand and company. They will have information on what the pain points are for your customers and what search terms potential customers are using. Brainstorm the different types of customer you have and then create a buyer persona for them.
Key components for a buyer persona
There are some elements which will remain no matter what type of buyer persona you’re creating. These are the most common distinguishing features for customers:
- Gender: As mentioned above, some companies have mainly male customers, others female, but for the majority, there will be equality in customer gender.
- Age: Marketing your brand or products to adults is different to targeting online content to teens or to retired people.
- Occupation: If you’re in B2B marketing, you need to know the occupation of your potential customers.
- Income Bracket: Are you looking for clients from a particular wealth status, marketing to the average stay at home mum is different to catering for a high income wage earner. Do they have disposable income?
- Interests and Hobbies: What do they do with their spare time? Are they TV watchers, do they play a sport, do they eat out a lot or are they fitness enthusiasts?
- Purchasing Habits: What else do they shop for? Which other brands and businesses do they shop at? Are they influenced by family, friends, online advertising and product placement?
- Reason: The most important one of all. Why are they looking for your product or buying your brand?
So how do you obtain this information?
One of the easiest ways of discovering information about your customers is to ask them. Most companies have marketing lists of clients contact information which they collected when people signed up for an account or agreed to receive emails and other marketing communications.
Set up an email template which can be automatically sent out to any new customer who signs up for an account and include a quick survey for them to fill in if they wish to. In our experience most people are happy to fill out short surveys which take up no more than five minutes or so of their time if you ask them politely and explain why you’re asking the questions.
Lead generation company Optinmonster also has a very handy list of questions broken down into key sections which you should be able to adapt for your own brand or business to create the perfect buyer persona template.
You can find that here:
Any part of the marketing and sales process that “touches” the customer (which is pretty much EVERYTHING) will improve when you get clear on your customer avatar.
After all, it’s a person who buys your products and services. It pays to get clear on the characteristics of that person, so you can find and present them with a message that moves them to action.
If you can, ring your clients and have a quick chat, lasting no more than 10 to 15 minutes, in which you can have a chat and get this vital information. It can be via Skype, Slack or other online communication tools as well as a traditional phone call.
If you don’t have many customers, then try your email subscribers. Send out an email asking if you can contact them for a quick research call which will help you better meet their needs. Most people will be happy if they know there is a benefit for them and if they know how long something will take.
Although speaking directly to people is the best way of gaining information, we know it’s not always possible. This brings us to the next best method of building up your buyer personas – via online research.
If you have someone who regularly interacts with your brand on social media, who always opens the newsletters etc, then you can use a bit of online research to find out more about them. It may sound a bit “stalker-ish” but look at their own social media platforms, see what they like and share. Check their Facebook feed or their LinkedIn profile to see where their areas of interest lie.
Keep a record of any pertinent information and you can then refer back to this document when you create idea customer personas.
Of course, these are just a couple of the methods for creating your templates. The more times you run through this exercise, the better you will become.