Defining your ideal customers and crafting messaging that speaks to their needs is key to high conversions. Use our free buyer persona template download to create profiles for your ideal customers and align marketing efforts.
A buyer persona is a profile you build to represent a segment of your target audience. Ideally, it is created using your company vision, careful research and insights from your team. The fictional character you develop helps you keep your ideal customer in mind as you craft marketing messages and make other business decisions.
Shiny new social channels and trendy campaigns can be distracting, so having buyer personas will keep you on course.
How to create a detailed buyer persona profile
- Company background
- Brainstorm with key team members
- Conduct thorough research about your customers
- Begin creating your buyer persona avatars
- Complete your buyer personas
Why are buyer personas important in marketing?
Crafting messaging that resonates deeply with your ideal customers can help them feel compelled to choose your brand over your competitors when they’re ready to purchase.
Targeting makes your marketing more effective and helps your customers feel heard and understood. According to Single Grain, marketing personas made websites two to five times more effective and easier to use by targeted users. They also found that personalized emails drive 18 times more revenue than broadcast emails.
Thoughtfully crafted personas help you make the most of your marketing budget as you learn to weigh ideas against your personas. If a new campaign doesn’t directly target one of your buyer personas, you shouldn’t be putting money into it, no matter how clever it is.
You may have more than one ideal customer. So, you’ll want to create personas for each of your ideal customers. You could use any segment of your target audience with unique demographics, motivations and spending patterns to create a persona.
If multiple decision makers are involved in your typical sales process, you’ll likely need a persona for each. For example, your B2B company may be selling to a production manager who requires approval from their finance director to purchase your product or service.
How do I create a buyer persona?
There are a few steps you’ll need to take to create buyer personas that your whole team can rely on when making decisions. The more effort you put into creating these personas from real data and carefully curated insights from your team, the more dependable your personas will be.
Tip: Your ideal customers are likely the ones who buy from you often, tend to stay with you longest or are easy for your team to sell to. It all depends on your business goals.
You’ll want to make sure you’re clear on what your company is about and what you offer customers. You should also consult with people on your team who can provide details about your customers from their perspective. Finally, do some research to ground these personas in hard data and not assumptions.
Then the fun begins, as you start creating your personas. Let’s walk through these steps in detail.
1. Company background
Write out a high-level view of your business. This summary can include your mission statement, vision and company values. These are all important when you think about who you created your business to serve.
This is an excellent time to list your unique value propositions, the factors that differentiate you from your competition.
2. Brainstorm with key team members
Choose a few people from different departments to help brainstorm ideas for your buyer personas. Consider pulling in sales, marketing, customer service and design pros on your team to get a wide range of perspectives.
Your goal is to come up with a complete list of your ideal customers’ characteristics, from their ages, locations and interests to their backgrounds and histories.
3. Conduct thorough research about your customers
Next, you’ll check these ideas and bits of information against actual data. Why is fact checking important before continuing? It’s possible some team members are making incorrect assumptions about your customers or that your target audience has changed over time. So, take the time to research trends in your industry, do online research or hire someone to survey your customers.
4. Begin creating your buyer persona avatars
You’re ready to sort the information you’ve gathered into a few high-level profiles. Don’t worry about details yet. For now, you’re just trying to decide how many different personas you’ll create and make sure you capture the various segments of the audience you’d like to have represented.
Draft a rough description of each profile. Then pause to consider if you have enough information and feel confident in moving forward. If you sense you’re missing a group of customers you think you need to target, you can do more research or brainstorming before proceeding.
5. Complete your buyer personas
It’s time to dive deep into each of your personas. Reflect on the information gathered from your research and brainstorming sessions, and ask yourself the following questions:
Who are they?
Think about what they’re looking for when shopping, why they might shop with you or choose you as a service provider, and how you communicate with your customers.
You’ll need to flesh out their background, their demographic information and key identifiers that make them unique. This development step often involves giving them not just a name and age but fictional details that help you dig into their motivations and concerns.
What do they care about?
Now you can create a story for each persona. What are their goals? What challenges do they have? What can your company do to help them reach their goals and overcome obstacles?
Once you have well-developed personas that sound like real people making decisions based on personal experiences and situations, you can start thinking about how your company can serve each persona.
Why do they make the decisions they do?
Consider the types of questions this customer would have, what they might say when describing their need and what objections they might put forward.
How will you reach this customer?
Plan how you’ll serve this customer. Review what you’ve outlined and build out marketing messages that address this specific persona’s goals and challenges. Craft elevator pitches that speak directly to their needs.
Finalize your personas by creating a version of each that can be used by any department of the company when making business decisions. Then, make sure the critical members of your leadership team and stakeholders agree with the personas you’ve developed and sign off on them.
It’s essential to have buy-in from the beginning. Once you get the green light, you’ll share these personas with everyone in your company. This ensures your entire team has a deep understanding of your ideal customers and how to reach them.
Putting buyer personas into use
Your buyer personas should become a vital element in making decisions in your business. They’re relevant to sales and marketing but can also guide you in other areas to ensure you always keep your target customer in mind.
Buyer personas can help you refine your content marketing, craft more compelling ad copy and choose the right platforms for your marketing campaigns.
Remember that buyer personas can change. Your product mix may evolve over time and new trends can affect your audience. Therefore, be sure to review and update your personas regularly. An annual refresh can help ensure your marketing efforts continue to be effective.
Buyer personas should be the foundation of all your marketing efforts. With carefully crafted personas to guide you, you’ll be able to make each business decision with more insight. Your marketing messages will be more targeted, your ad copy snappier and your overall brand messaging more on point. Effective marketing will help you attract more people to your business and convert them to paying customers.
Download our buyer persona template to craft a detailed profile of your ideal customer and ensure your marketing targets the right audience.