What is a Buyer Persona and Why Your Business Needs One (or Several)

 
 

Who is your ideal customer?

You’ve worked hard to build your business and develop an amazing product. You’re confident in your brand and you’ll stand it up to anyone’s, but have you taken the time to consider who your market is, how your customers can find you, and how can you best find them?

Before launching a haphazard campaign using every possible marketing platform, consider that a buyer persona can help you focus your marketing efforts and create powerful content while avoiding the trap of trying to appeal to everybody all at once.

What exactly is a buyer persona?

A buyer persona is a semi-fictional customer, complete with a name and personality traits, that you create to represent the type of client you would like to target in your marketing outreach.

Creating a buyer persona requires some imagination on the part of you and your team and can even inject some fun into your workday. Start by envisioning the type of client you want to reach. Give them a name, an age, a gender. Consider their social class, sexual orientation, even their religion and political affiliation. Get as detailed as you like with their job, where they live, their interests, their ambitions, their pastimes and their pain points. Don’t forget your existing customers! Take what you know about them and use that as a guide as well.

Find a photo to match the persona’s traits, even draw up a character if you have the design chops. Repeat the process for as many target audiences as you would like to reach, though keeping in mind that even if you have boundless energy and a sizable marketing budget you won’t be able to reach everybody. Keep things manageable. If you find you have designed more personas than you know what to do with, rank them in order of importance and prioritize the ones at the top of the list.

Now that you have your buyer personas, think about their online habits and how they make decisions about a product or service. For example, if you own a coffee shop, restaurant or bar in a college town and students make up your largest customer base, you’ll want to find the best way of speaking directly to them, most likely with photo and video content that appeals to that demographic, such as Snapchat and Instagram posts.

If on the other hand you sell services to CFOs of large companies, you will want to create blog posts and video content that can be shared on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Have the picture of your target buyer on hand while you’re creating content. Imagine what they want to see from you. Think about the ideal format (video, photo, written, audio), tone, design, and on which platform they want to consume that media. Once you have a clear vision of your buyer in mind, you’ll be able to market to them more efficiently and more effectively.

Want to design a buyer persona but don’t know where to start? Hubspot makes it easy (and free) when you download their Persona Templates.

Also, check out this article for more examples of ways people are building buyer personas.

OK, you’re ready. Time to gather your team together for some brainstorming and have fun creating your ideal customers!

Jeff Thelen