How to create a Buyer Persona for your business

How to create a Buyer Persona for your business

To create a buyer persona is having the clear and real idea of who your potential clients are, what they are interested in and what they look for.

If you’re thinking about creating and launching a product or if you have started working as an Affiliate, you need to know exactly who your buyers are. Knowing and understanding who buys or will buy your products is essential to optimize your results and create effective content.

A great way of doing content marketing is to study the best strategies for people to get to know your product. And one of them is to define really well who your target audience is to create useful content from there.

To understand what the wishes or objections of buyers are, many companies come up with a unique buyer profile: the so-called buyer persona (sometimes referred to as customer avatar).

Buyer personas or avatars represent the synthesis of the behavior of your ideal buyer. They are semi-fictitious characters that were created based on research on real people. They will assist you in your decision-making process in marketing and illustrate who your real buyer is.

These profiles usually include not only demographic information such as age, location, and income but also psychographic ones, such as interests, reasons why they make purchases and their worries.

In this post, we will learn how to create buyer personas for your digital business, with the goal of better directing your ads and creating more engaging content.

You’ll learn:

After you read this post, we’re sure you’ll be able to create a buyer persona for your business. Let’s get started?

What is a buyer persona or avatar?

A buyer persona is what we call the audience that the digital market is targeting.

It’s the characteristics of a buyer of your product or service.  It’s how you illustrate people you are targeting and creating your content marketing. With this, it is possible to reach the initial goals of your product or service.

When you create a buyer persona, you have the clear and real idea of who your potential customers are, what they are interested in and what they look for. In possession of this information, you can come up with the ideal tone to interact with people and can even think of tools and more attractive design for them, using the right colors and images.

Besides, when you have more specific information about your potential customer, you are able to find out what their pains and fears are. Thus, you can come up with solutions to help them solve some of their problems.

What’s the difference between buyer persona and target audience?

Marketing directly to a specific group of people helps create more useful content, which will be better used.

But you might be thinking: isn’t it the same as working with a target audience?

Knowing the audience of your business is really relevant. However, there are differences between the buyer persona and target audience that are essential to better understand the needs of people who look for your service or products.

Target audience

The target audience is an extensive representation of the customers you aim to have. Meaning, it is formed by a segment of the society that has similar characteristics.

To set the audience, we usually use socio-demographic criteria, such as:

  • Education
  • Social Status
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Nationality
  • Profession

We can also use geographic criteria, for example:

  • Location (rural/urban, coast/country).

So, an example of the target audience would be:

Man, from 25-35 years old, middle class, American, lives in the suburbs of Chicago, Law graduate, works at a law practice, but looks for professional repositioning.

Buyer Persona

On the other hand, buyer personas, besides presenting geographic and socio-demographic data that are present in the target audience, present other criteria that target psychographic information.

So, we use socio-demographic information:

  • Name
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Social Status
  • Nationality
  • Location
  • Education
  • Profession

But it’s also essential to have behavioral characteristics, such as:

  • Personal preferences
  • Sensitivity to prices of services and products
  • Desired quality in a product or service

Plus, there are the psychographic criteria:

  • Personality
  • Life Style
  • Moral values

Then, the persona could be exemplified by:

Clark, a 29-year-old man, middle class, American, lives in the suburbs of Chicago, in Buffalo Grove. He is a Law graduate, works at a law practice but looks for professional repositioning. He likes cooking and wants to dedicate more of his time to it. On the weekends, he always invites his friends and cooks everyone dinner. Because of his middle-class status, he doesn’t buy expensive products but prefers to invest more money if it’s a better-quality material. He is fun and is always surrounded by people.

Notice that to think about marketing strategies for someone you know more about makes your content be more direct and useful to people. Therefore, you can get more efficient results than if you thought only about the target audience.

Why should you work with buyer personas?

What was once only practiced by major corporations is now becoming more and more useful for digital entrepreneurs.

Knowing who your buyer persona is helps segment ads, which reduces the costs with sponsored links and increases the chances of conversion. This happens because, by having a well-defined buyer persona, you don’t spend time with an uninterested audience. So, it’s possible to create better content.  

Moreover, tools such as Facebook Ads and Google Adwords offer more and more options in segmentation. This makes it easier for anyone to create campaigns for their target audience based on an increasing list of demographic and psychographic data.

For example, paid ads on Facebook now allow for an incredible segmentation based on information such as location, age, language, education level, and interests. Besides, there’s also an option of Lookalike audience, that helps you find other people who are similar to the users who follow your pages and your current customers.

Therefore, you are able to create new audiences and ads based on the characteristics of your buyer persona. So, even on a small budget, you can have access to a very specific and segmented audience.

How do you create your buyer persona?

In order to create buyer personas for your business, you need to answer a series of questions about your user. If you still don’t have any buyers, research in your audience the most recurrent pattern in people who follow your page, your videos, and access your website/blog.

Talking to some of them is also essential to understand their pains. It’s important to think about how your business can have a positive impact and make a difference in people’s lives.

Besides, you can also do market research. Come up with a form and make it available for your audience to answer, for example. Online surveys help better segment your niche.

After this brief survey, grab a pen and a piece of paper. They are all you need to put yourself in your ideal customers’ shoes.

Questions you need to answer before creating your buyer persona (or customer avatar):

  • Who are your buyers and why do they use your product or service?
  • What behaviors, assumptions, and expectations do they have for your product or service?

Questions to be asked during the development:

When creating your buyer persona, you need information that describes the characteristics of your ideal customer.

To do that, you can use the following questions to help you create an image of your buyer:

Questions to create your persona

Using the information gathered to create your persona

After you have finished your table, you have a whole panorama of information to fill in the form about your buyer persona. And it’s this form that allows you to add information about the typical buyer and understand the market you’ll act in.

The form must have the following information:

  • Name (fictitious)
  • An image that illustrates who your buyer persona is
  • Ade
  • Work
  • Average income
  • Family information
  • Education level
  • Desires
  • Fears

An Example

Here’s an example of a Buyer Persona, created after some research. The made-up product is: How to play the drums.

Supposing this product still hasn’t been sold yet, but has a considerable number of fans on Facebook and website visits, we’ve researched on “like” information and Google Analytics who the possible buyer might be. And we got the following result:

Example of a buyer persona

After coming up with this reference table, we fill in the form where we use this information to create our persona.

Check it out:

Buyer Persona information

So, based on this avatar, we can be more assertive with the kind of content we offer to our buyers.

Then, we can focus on:

  • Bonus lessons with rock music, because it’s his favorite style;
  • Offer payment in installments, once he has a lower income because he is an intern;
  • Offer advanced tips, because he already knows how to play other instruments;
  • Prioritize shorter lessons, because he hasn’t got a lot of free time.

How can you create a buyer persona when you still don’t have any clients?

If you’ve got this far, you’ve noticed that you can create your buyer persona based on your clients. But what should you do when you still haven’t got a product or service in the market and don’t know who are the people you’re selling to?

Don’t panic! That’s exactly what this topic is for. We’ll help you create your buyer persona, even if you still don’t have any clients.This way, you’ll be able to start a business focused on your consumers and what they need.

1. Choose your area of expertise

If you’re just starting out, how about thinking of a product or service you already know very well?

When you’re familiar with a topic, it is more likely to be easier to talk about it. You’re sure to have some advantages when creating your content in a familiar area because it will be a niche you are an expert in.

After you decide what you’re talking about, your area of expertise, and start posting your content, you’ll notice who the people who access your content are. Even if they haven’t bought anything on your page yet, you’ll already have information about who the people interested in your content are.

2. Interact with people

To better understand what your potential clients need and their unsolved pains, you need to talk to them. But before you present your proposals, how about you interact as a consumer as well?

In the last topic, you saw how important it is to choose the niche you’ll be working in. When this is done, you can look for forums related to your area of expertise.

Facebook is an excellent social media to do this. There, you can find groups in many different specific niches. Take advantage of the forums in these groups and analyze the profile of the people who are there. By doing so, you’ll be able to establish who your persona would be.

3. Use Audience Insights

Still in the Facebook topic, this social media has a tool that can help you a lot if you still haven’t established your buyer persona. Audience Insight is a tool that can show you who the people looking for products or services similar to yours are. And how do they do that?

Let’s assume you’re trying to sell digital books, also knows as ebooks. If that is your niche, you already know Amazon is one of the greatests brands in this niche. So, to better understand the audience you can reach, go to Amazon’s Facebook page and check on Audience Insights who are the people looking for ebooks.

With this tool, you’ll be able to get information such as age, gender, and areas of interest from people on that page.

To use Audience Insights, you need to:

  1. Login to Facebook Audience Insights;
  2. Choose the type of audience to be analyzed (“Everyone on Facebook”);
  3. Use the filters on the left side of the screen to better direct your search. Using these filters you can set the location, age, gender, interests, and pages people are connected to;
  4. Click save. There you go! You’ll have information from several people who access content that is similar to the one you want to promote.

4. Create survey forms

Another way to create a persona is to come up with survey forms for other people to answer. On these forms, you’ll need to add sociodemographic questions but you can’t forget to add behavioral and psychographic information as well.

Make your forms available in forums on your niche, in your Facebook page, and your blog (if you already have one). After some time and a reasonable number of answers, analyze them to understand the profile of your ideal buyer.

In this kind of strategy, you need to be especially careful with 2 things:

  1. Don’t ask too many questions. If your form is too big, people might not want to answer it. Besides, the more questions you ask, the more data you’ll have to analyze.
  2. Think carefully about the size of your sample. You need to balance really well the number of forms you’ll analyze. Don’t get a sample that is too small (for example, 20 people), nor one that is too large (like 2,000 people). You can start with a sample of 100 people, for example, and, if you need, you can increase this number later on.

5. Launch your product

Launching your product is something that can help you a lot when it comes to creating your persona. This happens because, after people know what you have to offer, they comment on the product/service.

Have you ever heard of Minimum Value Product (MVP)? The MVP is essential for you to understand the perception people have of the solution you are proposing. It is not your finished product, it is more like a sample of what you will still do.

The importance of starting out with the bare minimum is that you are able to interact with people who have tried out your sample and you can analyze the profile of these people. Therefore, you can create a buyer persona for your business based on who got in contact with the proposal of your product or service.

Conclusion

Thinking about a strategy with buyer personas will help you better identify with your audience, thus noticing their pains and addressing your customers’ problems more effectively.

So, the results of this kind of strategy include a better user experience and a more engaged buyer for your business. That’s why you should always remember to create your buyer persona so that your marketing is complete and you’re able to reach all the initial goals you had for your product or service.

With or without clients, you’ve noticed that it is possible to create your buyer persona. So, be sure to use this strategy in your business.

What about you? Do you have any experience in creating buyer personas? Are there elements in your model of buyer persona that have been particularly useful? Tell us what elements you have used and what has worked out for you!

*This text was originally posted in January 2014 and it has been updated to offer more precise and complete information.

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