The Ultimate Guide to Creating Buyer Personas
Creating buyer personas is an essential step in any successful marketing strategy. It helps you to understand your target audience better and create more effective marketing plans.
In this blog, we will be talking about all the ins and outs of buyer personas and how they help businesses understand their target audience better.
What is a buyer persona and why are they important?
A buyer persona is a detailed profile of the ideal customers that represents a segment of your target audience. By creating buyer personas, businesses can better understand their customers’ needs, behaviours, motivations, and pain points, which can help them tailor their marketing messages and product offerings to better meet their customers’ needs.
Even for small businesses, creating buyer personas can be critical to their success. If we think about it, small businesses often have limited resources, and therefore, knowing their customers can help them make the most of those resources. By understanding their needs and preferences, small businesses can develop products, services and online content that are more likely to resonate with their target audience. This, of course, can ultimately lead to more sales and greater customer loyalty.
Why is it important to conduct research about your audience?
To create effective buyer personas, you will need to conduct research on your target audience. Here are some steps you can take to learn more about your customers:
- Conduct surveys: Surveys are a great way to gather information about your target audience’s demographics, preferences, and behaviours. You can create a survey using a tool like Google Forms or SurveyMonkey and distribute it through your website, email, or social media channels.
- Interview customers: Conducting interviews with your existing customers can provide valuable insights into their motivations, pain points, and decision-making processes. You can conduct these interviews over the phone or in-person, and use the information you gather to create more accurate buyer personas.
- Analyse website analytics: Analysing your website analytics can help you understand how visitors are interacting with your site. You can use this information to identify patterns in behaviour, preferences, and demographics, which can inform your buyer personas.
- Analyse social media analytics: Similarly, social media analytics can provide insights into your audience’s behaviour, interests, and content preferences. By analysing your social media analytics, you can identify trends and patterns that will help you create more accurate buyer personas.
- Use customer feedback: Customer feedback, such as reviews and comments, can provide valuable insights into your audience’s preferences and pain points. Analysing this feedback can help you identify common themes and patterns that can inform your buyer personas.
How many buyer personas should a business have and how often should they rethink them?
The number of buyer personas a business should have depends on its target audience and the range of products or services it offers. Typically, businesses create between three to five buyer personas. However, some businesses may have more or fewer, depending on the complexity of their customer base.
It’s important to note that each buyer persona should represent a distinct segment of your target audience with unique needs, preferences, and behaviours. By creating different buyer personas, businesses can tailor their marketing messages and product offerings to better meet the needs of each segment.
For example, a vegan business should not simply target “vegans”, because of course, that is a super broad audience and one which wouldn’t be very effective. Think about it – there are around 79 million vegans worldwide, a further 375 million vegetarians and as much as 42 percent of the population consume vegan and vegetarian food as part of a flexitarian diet.
Now, do you believe that all of those people are buying vegan products for all the same reasons? Absolutely not!
So, let’s narrow it down and provide you with some of the audience’s which may may be interested in a vegan product or service:
- Those who are vegan for the animals
- Those who are vegan for environmental reasons
- Those who are vegan for health reasons
- Those who are simply curious about trying new products
- Those who are vegetarian but of course, still opt for vegan alternatives
- Those who don’t follow a vegan lifestyle yet still love vegan products
- Those who are trying to be vegan but haven’t quite got there yet
- Parents of young children who value cooking wholesome meals at home and spending time with their families
- Those who have intolerances to animal products
- People who have vegan family/friends and want to buy them a gift
And just like that, we have listed ten diverse audiences who may be interested in supporting a vegan business.
As for how often a business should rethink their buyer personas, it depends on changes in the market or customer base. It’s a good idea to review and update your buyer personas every six months to a year, or whenever there are significant changes in your business, such as a new product launch or a change in target audience. Keeping your buyer personas up-to-date ensures that your marketing messages and product offerings remain relevant and effective.
What is the difference between an ideal customer profile and a buyer persona?
An ideal customer profile (ICP) is an audience group who would benefit from your products or services, whereas a buyer persona defines a specific buyer or decision-maker within your ICP.
Here are examples of an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and a Buyer Persona for a B2C company that sells high quality vegan ready meals:
Ideal Customer Profile (ICP):
- Health-conscious individuals who follow a vegan or plant-based diet
- Prefer natural and organic ingredients
- Willing to pay a premium price for high-quality vegan food
Name: Sam, 28-year-old health enthusiast
- Single, lives in a city apartment
- Works in a demanding corporate job, with a busy schedule
- Household income of £50,000 per year
- Follows a vegan diet for ethical and health reasons
- Active on social media, follows vegan food bloggers and fitness influencers
- Values convenience and time-saving solutions
- Prioritises his health and nutrition
- Prefers natural and organic ingredients
- Eats out at vegan restaurants frequently
- Shops online for vegan food to save time
- Wants to maintain a healthy lifestyle
- Seeks variety and convenience in their meals
- Values time management due to a busy schedule
Struggles to prepare fresh vegan meals due to a busy schedule
Using this information, a business selling vegan ready meals can create marketing messages and product offerings that specifically target customers like Sam. For example, they could create social media ads that highlight the convenience and health benefits of their products, offer a variety of plant-based meals with organic and natural ingredients, and provide time-saving solutions such as pre-packaged meal delivery services.
How to create buyer personas:
To create a buyer persona, we recommend collecting data from your existing customers through surveys, feedback, and online analytics. Look for patterns and commonalities in their demographics, psychographics, behaviours, goals, and pain points. Use this information to create a detailed profile of an individual person who represents a segment of your target audience.
Give them a name, job title, and a backstory that reflects their goals and pain points. Use this persona to guide your marketing and sales strategies by creating targeted messaging and product offerings that resonate with your ideal customer. Don’t forget that it’s important to regularly redefine your buyer persona as your business evolves and your target audience changes.
To help you execute this in the best possible way, we have created our very own buyer persona templates! For only €9, these will provide you with the ability to:
- Find out the needs, goals and personality traits of your audience.
- Discover the right platforms and create the ideal tone of voice.
- Build meaningful relationships, so you won’t waste your time, energy and ads budget any more on those that are not interested in your product and services.
So, what are you waiting for? Download yours now and enjoy all the benefits of well-planned, conscious marketing!