Buyer Personas are an integral part of the sales and marketing processes. They provide a clear picture of who you are trying to reach and what their pain points are.
According to inbound marketing software company HubSpot, “buyer personas are: semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer based on real data and some select educated speculation about customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations and goals.”
Buyer Personas are pieces of gold that can lead you to the treasure chest if you create the map and then follow it correctly. Here are 5 steps to help jump start your planning process:
- Determine questions to develop your persona.
Answer these questions: what is the persona’s role, organization, goals, challenges, watering holes, personal background and shopping preferences.
- Decide the type of research you will do to create your personas.
Have discussions that help you to gather the data you are looking for by interviewing current customers, co-workers and friends. Use surveys, search for keywords on social networks, and review LinkedIn and other social profiles. Talk to as many people as it takes to begin seeing trends in your data.
- Gather research and use it to answer your questions.
Look at the patterns and motives behind behaviors by paying attention to why people do what they do. Choose a primary persona to narrow your focus; but keep in mind you will eventually want to build 3 or more. Be sure to keep your buyer personas fictional but still realistic enough to mirror a real life lead or customer.
- Convert your notes into a holistic persona that includes a story around the buyer.
Once you have gathered your data, don’t just use a bulleted list to organize the facts. Be creative and have fun writing a story that paints a true picture of the buyer and is relatable. Put emphasis on their daily life, pain points and demographics.
- Look at examples of buyer personas that have already been created to use as a guide.
When starting to plan a persona it can be helpful to look at existing buyer personas in your industry and across the board. Buffersocial, a social monitoring and analytics software application made a comprehensive Beginner’s Guide to personas with some great examples.
Understand that creating a buyer persona is not an exact science and not every question needs an answer. Personas can change and evolve as time goes on so maintaining them is a continual process.
Once you have created your buyer personas implement them into your marketing strategy immediately. Use this e-book to learn how buyer personas fit into your lead generation campaign.