What Is a Buyer Persona? My Digital Marketing Breakdown
I cannot stress enough how important it is for a business to create buyer personas for their services or products. Not only this, but I’m a big advocate for updating these at least every year. Depending on your industry, this may even need to happen quarterly.
Let’s be realistic, trends change. Humans change. The way we buy constantly changes. One year your buyer persona may be a 35 year old male who is interested in certain things, the next year it might move to a 20 year old female who is interested in different things.
As your brand evolves and grows, your buyer persona will need to adapt and grow with it. Look at Nike for example, they are constantly creating products for different avatars and audiences. But, this is moving a little far for the introduction.
So, I’ve created a comprehensive blog on buyer personas and what they are, why you need them and by not having them, how you could be at a disadvantage compared to your competition.
I’ve done this to help you understand the benefits of buyer personas and provided information on how to get started, step by step creating your own buyer persona.
Ok, let’s get the ball rolling. Here’s my in-depth breakdown of what a buyer persona is, and how you can use them in your business.
What Is a Buyer Persona?
My simple definition of a buyer persona: A detailed profile of your target customer based on research and/or data.
So, to explain this a little bit more, a buyer persona is a fictional profile of the ideal customer for your business. It usually includes information like age, interests, and problems the customer might have that your product or service can solve.
The more in-depth you can get your buyer persona profile, the better results you will see from your marketing campaigns.
A buyer persona should fit around your core product or service
Now, buyer personas should be closely aligned with your core product or service. It should identify the specific needs, interests, and challenges of your target customer that your product or service is designed to address.
There is absolutely no point in creating a buyer persona that doesn’t suit your core product or service. In fact, when you look at the style of marketing done by the pro like Apple, they actually create products around their buyer personas.
If you are just starting out as a business and you know what your products and services are, then how can you mould and sculpt these around buyer personas that are most likely to buy your product.
By doing this, you are ensuring that your marketing efforts are focused and effective and of course are targeting the people most likely to benefit from what you offer. This results in less risk, and high chance of selling your product.
Why Is It Important To Consider Creating a Buyer Persona?
Well there are several reasons why you should be creating a buyer person. Firstly, you know exactly who you are targeting. Knowing your ideal customer allows you to tailor your marketing messages and campaigns to attract the right audience. This increases the likelihood of conversions and sales.
Secondly, When you know who you are targeting, you can allocate your marketing resources more efficiently, focusing on platforms and strategies that reach your ideal customer.
When it comes to areas like SEO, knowing your audience helps you create content that resonates with them. This makes your content marketing more effective and relevant. Here’s my blog on content writing as well.
When you are producing relevant content, you will likely get better custom retention rates meaning customers stay with you for longer due to trust. Not only that but understanding the needs and challenges of your buyer persona helps you provide better post-purchase support
Lastly, you’re going to get a competitive advantage or at least stay up with the industry leaders in your market. If you have not set up your buyer persona, likely you will fall behind on trends and market share.
Here’s some summary factors that buyer personas can give:
Here's some statistics showing better results with buyer personas:
56% of companies produced better leads using buyer personas.Marketing Insider Group
14% increase of click-throughs on personalised email campaigns.Hubspot
900% increase in length of visit on website and landing pages.MarketingSherpa
The Digital xx
Buyer Personas Are The Foundations Of Your Marketing
To be honest, you’ll find most marketing agencies, experts, managers will always start off with creating a buyer person. It’s the foundation of your marketing. You can work out from your buyer persona and begin to create things like messaging, offers, customer journey and so on.
It’s actually quite amazing what you can create from your buyer persona. So yes, you need to consider this at the beginning and as I mentioned before, update them each year.
I recommend that you continue to add buyer personas to your foundations and create products/services around them.
Again, with a well-defined buyer persona you can move forward with your email marketing. It can become more segmented, allowing for personalised communication that is more likely to result in conversions.
Not only that, but also your targeting options for paid advertising. Buyer personas ensure that your budget is spent on reaching the people most likely to convert.
Here’s some areas that are optimised with a strong buyer persona foundation:
SEO and SEM
Analytics and KPIs
You Can Craft Unique Value Proposition Around Each Buyer Persona
This is super important. Each buyer persona is going to be different right? Therefore, each one will require a unique value proposition. This is a unique offer towards this buyer persona that is tailored towards their pain points, interests, psychographics, demographics etc.
Honestly, this is what will help you set yourself apart from your competition. By doing this, you are narrowing down your broad service to be hitting individuals on a more personal level. It makes your product or service much more relevant to each buyer persona and often builds trust and authority in the market.
This will result in better conversion rates in your marketing campaigns and also in your sales funnels. They are optimised towards each buyer persona and give you a competitive edge over someone who is targeting broad interests in your industry.
Crafting your unique value proposition is super easy as well. Understand your buyer persona, then tailor the marketing of your product or services towards them. Your product or service will stay the same, but your messaging, creatives and audience will all change.
Even Small Businesses Should Create Buyer Personas
Do you know what? I’ll make a big claim. I actually think it’s more important for small businesses to create buyer persons than larger businesses or brands. Do you know why?
That’s right. Buyer personas are much more cost efficient. Small businesses usually operate on much tighter budgets. Knowing that your money is being spent in the area that is most likely to sell your product is pretty much a MUST as a small business.
It also helps your local business game. If your small business serves a local or niche market, buyer personas can help you understand the specific needs and preferences of your community. This then allows you to serve them better and results in more conversions.
Not only that but as your business grows, your established buyer personas will make it even easier to plan for the future, and sets you up nicely as the foundations are strong as mentioned above.
Lastly, a worthy note is the word of mouth for small businesses who often benefit significantly from referrals. If you have satisfied customers who feel understood thanks to your well-targeted products or services then they are more likely to refer others.
Create New Buyer Personas Yearly Based On Data Analysis
Now I did mention this above, but I’ll stress it again. Humans change. People change. Buyer personas change. You should really be reviewing your buyer personas at least yearly.
Also, another factor is data. After being 12 months in business you have at least 12 months worth of data in your business. This can be in the form of customer lists, CRM reports, ads data and reports and so on.
It’s important to use and leverage this data making informed revisions to ensure that your buyer personas are as accurate as possible. You may find that you want to add a buyer persona as well. This is a smart move.
For those of you who are commerce or ecommerce selling products, your existing buyer personas may no longer align perfectly with what you offer. Refreshing them keeps your marketing and product development efforts on track.
Especially relevant with seasonal trends as products come in and out with different audience types a lot.
How To Create Your Own Buyer Persona
Ok! Probably the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Lucky there is a sidebar table of contents so you can skip to this if you want 😆.
Anyway, here’s my step by step guide on how I create buyer personas as a digital marketing specialist. I go through this with my clients and help them understand. It’s important to document this and save it as part of your branding strategy.
Step 1. Understand your product/service
Before you can identify who your ideal customer is, you must have a thorough understanding of what you’re selling.
What is your product or service?
Who is it helping?
What does it allow people to do?
Is it solving a problem?
How is it different from other products/services?
You need to know the specific features of your product/service, what it offers and how they differ from competitors. For most successful brands, they have over 10-15 unique selling points that sets them apart from the crowd.
Understand the value these features bring to the end user. How does your product move your end user from a negative state of mind to a positive state of mind?
Know where your product stands in the market in terms of price, quality, and unique selling points. Don’t just put yourself as the lowest price point, but make sure you are not overcharging.
Step 2. Research your audience
Next up is data gathering. This is essential to creating an accurate buyer persona. Now, you can try to get this as accurate as humanly possible. Most of the time, you will get it quite accurate.
However, for niche industries, you might need data to run off. There are lots of tools like Google ads keyword planner, auction insights, Facebook ads interests and more.
A good start I always do with my customers is ask them to collect 100 data points on their customer. 100 things about them. What Facebook groups are they in? How old are they? What magazine do they read? Where do they holiday? Do they fly business class? Where do they shop? Do they shop online? You get the jist.
Other ways include using customer surveys to gain insights. You could run a campaign to collect market data. If you are smart, you can use existing content on social media and forums like reddit. Analyse comments, reviews, and other shared content.
Lastly, and obviously check out your competition. Look at what type of customer is engaging or interacting with your competitors to get additional information on them.
Step 3. Identify your customers pain points
Now you can start to consider your customer pain points. This is something again that is important for the messaging. Knowing the challenges your potential customers face will help you tailor your product and messaging.
What is your customer’s biggest pain point that your product helps them with? Are they lacking in time? Do they need more money? Are they missing out on a specific thing?
An example would be solar. One of the biggest pain points here is that the customer is wasting money on energy bills. Solar can solve that pain point by allowing them to generate their own energy.
Some areas you can find pain points would be to mine customer queries for recurring issues. This could be time consuming though, and is only relevant if you have the existing data.
For a more broad solution you could read up on broader industry challenges and narrow down from there. If you have a product you can check reviews of similar products to see what issues users are facing. Same applies with services as well.
Step 4. Identify your customers dreams
Then you will need to know what your customers aspire to. This will eventually help you create an emotional connection with them and gain you trust, authority and ultimately sales.
What does your customer want? Are they looking for something specific? How can your product or service give them something they desire? What do they want to achieve?
So, you will need to understand the broader goals your product helps them achieve if that makes sense. Write down the lifestyle or status that your product or service will contribute towards. When they choose your product, can they move towards a different lifestyle?
Lastly, understand how your product helps them improve themselves or their circumstances. Does it make them more confident, or does it make them stronger? Think of the emotional aspects.
Step 5. Demographics and interests
After this, it’s time to create your demographics and interests. This data provides a skeleton on which to build your persona and contributes towards the accuracy of your buyer persona.
Here are some foundational demographic data points:
When it comes to interests you can consider things like hobbies and activities that can indicate how they spend their time and money. Also use Facebook here and look through suggested interests on their social platform.
Step 6. Psychographics and influences
Lastly, you can gather together some psychographics and influences to dig deeper into the psychological aspects of your customer. You can understand what makes them buy. Do they buy your product due to logic, or emotion?
What principles are important to them? What do they value? How do they feel about the industry or product category?
Also spend time Identifying the micro influencers, macro influencers and other social media stars that could influence their buying patterns. Don’t forget celebrities, or thought leaders that can change their mindsets as well.
Use free design tools like Canva or Google Sheets
Once you’ve got all of this information now you need to get it onto paper. Preferably with a nice design. Why? Well then it’s easy to scale. Most of your staff will be able to access the document, read it and understand it easily.
Tools like Canva are super user friendly and allow team access. You can also download your buyer personas into PDF formats and email them around to your staff. The same applies with Google docs if you wanted to use this.
Also with Canva, you actually use free templates to help you get the structure of your buyer persona. This can save quite a lot of time for you and keep the design user friendly.
So yes, recommended to get this down as a user friendly design software so it can be shared with anyone working on your marketing campaigns.
Examples Of Buyer Personas
Apple: Tech-Savvy Simon
Occupation: Professional in tech, design, or marketing fields
Income: Upper-middle class, earning $60,000 – $100,000 annually
Location: Urban or suburban, likely residing near a tech hub
Psychographics: Values innovation, sleek design, and user experience
Prefers quality over price
Early adopter of new technology
Goals and Challenges:
Wants to stay updated with the latest technology
Seeks devices that seamlessly integrate into an existing ecosystem of products
Challenges include balancing premium costs with perceived value
Follows tech blogs like TechCrunch and Wired
Active on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram
Frequently reads customer reviews and watches unboxing videos on YouTube
Unilever (Dove): Empowered Emma
Occupation: Professional or homemaker
Income: Middle class, earning $30,000 – $60,000 annually
Location: Typically suburban, family-oriented communities
Values self-care, female empowerment, and social causes
Sensitive to issues like body positivity and ethical sourcing
Goals and Challenges:
Looking for quality skincare products that nourish and hydrate
Wants to align purchases with personal values and social responsibilities
Challenges include finding reliable products that are also cruelty-free
Reads lifestyle blogs and women’s magazines like ‘Cosmopolitan’ and ‘Elle’
Active on Facebook and Pinterest
Influenced by word-of-mouth recommendations and reviews
Nike: Athletic Andy
Occupation: Student or young professional
Income: Middle to upper-middle class, earning $35,000 – $75,000 annually
Location: Urban areas with access to sports facilities
Highly values performance, comfort, and style in athletic wear
Enthusiastic about various sports such as basketball, football, and running
Goals and Challenges:
Wants to optimise athletic performance and stay in shape
Concerned with how they look at the gym or on the field
Challenges include finding apparel that is both functional and stylish
Engages with sports channels like ESPN and Sky Sports
Active on Instagram and YouTube, following athletes and fitness influencers
Often shops online but also visits flagship stores for the tactile experience
Anyway, that’s a wrap. Buyer personas aka fictional profiles serve as the foundation for targeted, effective marketing strategies.
They will help you identify customer pain points and dreams, which in turn enables you to craft unique value propositions that resonate with your audience.
Don’t forget to use tools like Canva and Google sheets to make it easier and more cost-effective to bring these buyer personas to life.
The dynamic nature of markets and consumer behaviour makes it imperative to keep your buyer personas updated, ideally on an annual basis as I mentioned before.
This ensures that your marketing strategies stay aligned with current trends and customer needs. With regular data analysis, your buyer personas will evolve, making your business more agile and better equipped to meet the demands of an ever-changing marketplace.
Wooohooo! If you have any questions leave them in the comments below, and also if you have any tips or info to share about buyer personas then leave them for the group.