The Social Observer

The Social Media Marketing Blog by SNHU Students

How to Create Buyer Personas (and Why You Need to)

Buyer Personas

Do you know who your customers are?

If you don’t you need to.  Whether you are a marketing student or a professional it is imperative to know who are your customers.  Knowing your customers will help you create better content for your marketing and social media campaigns. Creating content that your customers want to consume will, in turn, help your business make more sales.  Still not convinced?  Using buyer personas to create more targeted emails doubles the open rate and improves the click-through rate by 5x and increases revenue by 18x.  Marketing personas make websites 2-5x more efficient and effective increasing length of visit 900% (Wilson-Rew, 2015).

What are Buyer Personas?

So how do you do it?  How do you create better content?  By knowing your customers. A buyer persona is a representation of your ideal customer.  Buyer personas are more than just identifying a target audience.  Target markets can shift and change, but buyer personas are more stable because they are based on behaviors and goals.  They reveal the attitudes, beliefs, feelings, and goals that motivate your customers during their buying journey.  You are creating a fictional character that embodies and represents that target.

How to Create Buyer Personas

This is an in-depth process, so don’t rush it.  This is a process that can take several weeks as it involves research of data, facts, and surveys or interviews with actual customers.  You can use social media accounts to gather some of your data.   Read this article about how to use Google Trends and Tweet Reach to learn more about your customers.

You will want to know their needs, expectations, behavior, goals, and motivations.  You want to know how your customers think and feel.  When they are looking to buy a product, which brands do they consider first? Why those brands? What is important to them about the product and brand and what concerns them?  Try to get your participants to remember what they were thinking as they moved through the buying process.  You also want to dig deeper and ask them how they felt during each stage.

Who: Who is buying? Who is involved in the purchasing process/journey/decision? Focus on the right people at each stage.

What: What are they interested in buying? What products will best solve the problems they have? Clear answers to buyer questions.

When: When are they buying? Time of day, month, year? When is your product most useful? Events that trigger buyer’s journey – when to make contact.

Where: Where do they go to get information about products? What sources do they trust? Events, blogs, forums, etc.

Why: Why are they buying? Why are they NOT buying? Knowing “why” can give you ammo against internal opposition to marketing decisions.

How: How are they buying? What decisions do they make throughout the process? What affects those decisions? (protocol 80, n.d., p. 11).

Throughout the process of data gathering, you will begin to uncover similarities and trends.   And it is entirely possible to create 3-4 buyer personas for your organization.  No matter many buyer personas you discover and create they all should feel like a real person.  For example, HR Manager Brian is married (14 years) with two young children (boy 8, girl 6), he loves the NY Yankees.  He drives a minivan but wants to buy a hybrid because he cares about his footprint.

Download this Buyer Persona Template to use in creating your own buyer personas.

Once you have your buyer personas you can begin applying them to all aspects of your business including your website, content creation, marketing strategies, everything!  Leave a comment and let me know what your biggest challenges are in dealing with buyer personas.

References

protocol 80. (n.d.). Ultimate buyer persona guide for beginners. HubSpot. Retrieved from  https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/1547213/ContentOfferFiles/Ultimate_Buyer_Persona_
Guide_For_Beginners_by_protocol_80.pdf?t=1459517429021

Wilson-Rew, A. (2015, August 14). 11 Buyer persona statistics that prove personas are awesome. protocol 80, Inc. Retrieved from https://www.protocol80.com/blog/2015/08/14/11-buyer-persona-statistics-that-prove-personas-are-awesome/

Image Credit: Image: http://kimklaverblogs.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Network-Marketing-Know-Your-Customers.jpg

Category: Advanced Tactics, Integrating with Traditional Marketing, Social Media Marketing 101