The Beginner’s Guide to Defining Buyer Personas

Content Marketing · Digital Marketing

“When you combine the Buyer Profile with Buying Insights, you will have clear guidance for the decisions you need to make to win their business.” - Adele Revella

One of the best ways to create content and plan promotional campaigns that truly engage your target audience is by creating a buyer persona.

What's a buyer persona, you ask? In a nutshell, a buyer persona is a profile that represents your ideal customer. By creating your own buyer personas, you'll gain the ability to tailor your marketing efforts and connect with your target audience to meet their needs and solve their problems.

After all, if you don't know who you're aiming your efforts at, how are you going to sell your products or services?

According to a study from Mark W. Schaefer, three to four buyer personas usually account for over 90% of a company’s sales. And in this beginner’s guide, we’re going to show you how to create your own buyer personas to increase your audience, boost brand awareness, and drive more sales.

Carry out market research

When creating a buyer persona, you're essentially creating a personality that embodies a key segment of your audience - and the first step to accomplishing this is to conduct thorough research.

To get a gauge on who your customers are, what they want, and what they're looking for you to solve you will need to hold surveys and polls via your social media channels; interview current customers on one-to-one basis, and look at your competitors to see how their customers interact with them online; this will help you gain a better understanding of who you're speaking to on your channels.

Personalised campaigns drive 18 times more revenue than broadcast emails, so it's important to gain as much information as you can from the word go.

Services like SurveyMonkey are very useful as they offer suggestions on how to phrase certain questions for your various demographics to ensure that you get the most valuable response to inform your buyer persona campaign.

The Beginner’s Guide to Defining Buyer Personas

To help you with your efforts, here's a video on creating a user poll on Facebook...

Another effective way to understand your consumers is through social listening. To find out how, read our practical social listening guide.

Check your site analytics

More data has been created in the last two years than in the whole previous history of the human race. That’s a lot of data. You can harness this data to strategically focus your marketing efforts and reach out to your customers in a valuable way.

Inside your site analytics, you'll be able to see where your site visitors came from, the keywords they used to find you, and how long they stayed on site for once they arrived. This type of data is essential to creating buyer personas as it shows the search terms that led your audience to your site, as well as the devices and platforms they used to get there.

This video will help you decide which metrics you need to use to help define your perfect buyer persona.

Make a buyer persona template

Now you've checked your analytics, gathered your data and gained key insights on your customer base; you'll be ready to create a buyer persona template.

A buyer persona is a little like a Top Trumps card - only more useful.

A buyer persona is a little like a Top Trumps card - only more useful.

Here is an overview of what to include in your buyer persona template:

Persona name: It's very important to give your persona a name to bring them to life and humanize your marketing efforts

Job title

  • Essential information about their company (size, sector, etc.)
  • Details about their job role

Demographics

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Salary or combined household income
  • Location: are they from an urban, suburban or rural region
  • Level of education
  • Family size

Goals and challenges

  • Main goal
  • Secondary goal
  • How you help your persona reach these goals
  • Primary challenge
  • Secondary challenge
  • How you can assist in resolving these problems

Values and fears

  • Main personal values
  • Common objections during sales process

Marketing message

Think about how you might describe or communicate your product or services to this particular type of person?

Elevator pitch

Elaborate on your marketing message and decide on a consistent message based on how you're going to sell yourself to this customer.

Here is an example of a basic buyer persona.

An example of a basic buyer persona | The Beginner’s Guide to Defining Buyer Personas
An example of a basic buyer persona.
An example of a basic buyer persona.

Add extra customer-specific information

In addition to the core details on your template, you should add extra snippets of information relating to your particular customer base; not only will this help you target your efforts more specifically, but it will also help to breathe extra life into your personas.

Each buyer persona template can be changed slightly to meet your needs, but as a guide, this information will assist you with your efforts.

  • Level of digital competency
  • Personal hobbies
  • Preferred news sources
  • Favourite blogs
  • Most used social media platform
  • Direct quotes from existing customer interviews

The power of a solid buyer persona

More often than not, it's easy to spot a business that understands the value of a solid buyer persona - and knows how to use it to their advantage. JetBlue is a shining example.

JetBlue's primary buyer persona is the low budget traveller that seeks a comfortable yet affordable solution to flying.

Understanding its audience is young and likes to make the majority of their decisions through social media, JetBlue has crafted its efforts accordingly, picking up plenty of traction on Twitter in particular.

In fact, according to a recent report from TalkWalker, JetBlue sees 74.1% of its overall social media performance from Twitter.

JetBlue's primary buyer persona is the low budget traveller that seeks a comfortable yet affordable solution to flying.

By taking on a fun, conversational tone, using slogans like 'Flying like a boss', and focusing on responding to their followers almost instantaneously, the company has earned 477 thousand followers to date, and is following just one account themselves. Even their handle - @JetBlueCheeps - appeals to their key buyer persona.

As a result of its refined marketing efforts, aided by the company's 'Travel like a boss' campaign, and driven by its attention marketing personas, the company saw a 7.9% increase in profit in 2016 from the previous year.

A clear indication of how buyer personas can help a company improve its brand message, appeal to its target audience and reap the rewards of ongoing commercial success.

By following the above steps and taking the time to create at least three key buyer personas for your company, you'll be able to create content and launch campaigns that not only sing to your audience but will help you brand grow and evolve with your customers.

The ability to write persuasive copy will help you to engage and convert your users, check out our free guide to writing copy that sells.

Our Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing will give you everything you need to confidently dive into digital and excel at your digital career. Download a brochure today!

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About The Author
Dan Hughes

Dan Hughes is a writer with a penchant for oddball fiction, the bass guitar, beer, Bukowski, travelling to strange places, and the wonderful world of digital marketing. A creative content writer and published author, he has written for The Huffington Post UK, Noctis Magazine, IdeasTap and Fashion Rider, among others.You can find out more about him by getting lost in his Catchy Space.