How to Build a Buyer Persona (Includes Free Template)

How to Build a Buyer Persona (Includes Free Template)

A well-crafted buyer persona (or customer persona, audience persona, or marketing persona) allows you to personalize your marketing on a large scale by humanizing core target groups of your customer base. Since different groups of people may buy your products for different reasons, you will probably need to create more than one buyer persona. How your business should use buyer or audience personas Marketing personas allow you to craft effective, targeted messages that speak directly to each customer group. Social media analytics tools can provide an incredible amount of information about the people who are interacting with your brand online, even if they’re not yet customers. Social listening can be a good way to gather this information, too. Your salespeople talk to real people who are thinking about using your product, and they have deep understanding of what your customers are trying to achieve by using your products and services. Understand how your brand can help Now that you understand your customers’ pain points and goals, it’s time to create a really clear picture of how your products and service can help. Ask yourself one question for each of the pain points and goals you’ve collected: How can we help? The answers to this question will provide the basis for the key marketing messages you’ll craft in the next step. How to use personas to guide your marketing Thinking of your buyer personas as real people allows you to craft marketing messages that speak to real people.

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buyer persona
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A well-crafted buyer persona (or customer persona, audience persona, or marketing persona) allows you to personalize your marketing on a large scale by humanizing core target groups of your customer base.

From crafting the right message for the right consumers to targeting your social ads effectively, personalization is simply a must in the social media world.

Even more important, personalized marketing is something your customers expect. An April 2018 survey found that more than half of consumers expect companies’ offers to always be personalized. More than two-thirds of millennials feel that way. However, two-thirds of marketers find personalization difficult to execute.

But there’s no need to throw in the towel on this effective strategy. Continue reading to find out how to craft and use buyer personas in your social media marketing.

What is a buyer persona?

A buyer persona is a model that describes your typical or target customer, based on detailed audience research.

The idea is to create a profile of your ideal customer as if he or she were a real person, so you can craft targeted marketing messages to them. These messages should use the right tone of voice and address the specific needs and desires of your customer.

Since different groups of people may buy your products for different reasons, you will probably need to create more than one buyer persona. Each persona should include basic demographic details, behaviors, goals, pain points, and buying patterns.

You can’t get to know every customer or prospect individually. But you can create a customer persona to represent each general segment of your customer base.

This makes it much easier to think of your customers as real people and to consider their wants and needs as you craft your marketing strategy.

How your business should use buyer or audience personas

Marketing personas allow you to craft effective, targeted messages that speak directly to each customer group.

In your personal life, you share important messages differently depending on who you want to reach.

Say you have interesting news to share with your parents, friends, and coworkers. You would probably use different words and tools to reach each of these groups. You might call your mom on the phone, post on Workplace to alert your colleagues, or use a WhatsApp group chat to share with your friends.

Understanding your buyer personas allows you to understand the best ways to reach each of your different customer groups, just as you intuitively know how to best reach and speak to different groups of people in your personal life.

Your marketing personas can also become company-wide shorthand for evaluating business decisions. Does a new product feature better meet the needs of your buyer personas? If not, you have good reason to reconsider your plan, no matter how exciting it is to your marketing team, or your IT department, or even your CEO.

How to create buyer personas in 5 simple steps

In order to be useful, your buyer personas need to be based on real-world information, not gut instinct.

Define the people who actually want to buy from you, not the people you wish would buy from you.

That means you need to start with some in-depth research. Gather the information as you work through these steps. Use it to fill in the buyer persona template when you get to step five.

1. Do thorough audience research

Here’s a basic primer on learning details about your audience. For a more in-depth look at these concepts, check out our complete guide to audience research.

  • Learn who is already buying from you. Gather all of the information you can about your current customer base. Some of the key data points you’ll want to collect are age, location, language, income, buying behavior, interests and activities, and life stage (such as new parenthood or retirement). Gather what you can from your customer records, and consider confirming and supplementing that information through email surveys, online surveys, focus groups, or even customer interviews.
  • Dig into your website and social analytics. Social media analytics tools can provide an incredible amount of information about the people who are interacting with your brand online, even if they’re not yet customers. Facebook Audience Insights provides especially valuable and detailed information.
  • See what the competition is up to. Once you’ve gathered information about your own customers and fans, check out who’s interacting with your competition. Are they reaching the same target groups as you are? Are they reaching groups you haven’t targeted yet but should? What can you learn from their efforts that can help you differentiate your…

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