So what is a buyer persona? Those two words are tossed around quite a bit these days in marketing. While it might sound like a horoscope or another theory, it’s really a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. Why is it semi-fictional? Because these customers do exist, though fictionally named, because they are mostly based on market research and real data about existing customers. You’ll sometimes see buyer persona called marketing persona, but both phrases mean the same thing.
The Right Persona for Any Size Business
Regardless of how big your business is or isn’t, taking the time to develop your own buyer personas will result in stronger and more cost effective marketing. Untargeted marketing is essentially the spray and pray way of doing things – sending your message to the masses and hoping someone takes an interest in it. Time is money and following this marketing method will only result in spent money and very little result at best. With a strong message behind your marketing efforts, your buyer personas or ideal customers will be pulled in. Understanding common objections your customers may have can be custom addressed in your marketing content.
As businesses of all size begin to shift to personal relationships with their customers, knowing your buyer personas can create those relationships more quickly. You could have one or two personas or more than 10 depending on your business size and specialty. Once you’ve created your personas, they aren’t set in stone, much like your customers and audience. Personas will need periodic adjustments and perhaps removal or addition of new personas.
How to Determine Your Personas
When it comes to figuring out what or who your personas are, demographics are key but wide-ranging. This information won’t tell you everything you’ll need or want to know, but it is a great starting point. Gender, age, location, education, and job are a handful of the broad demographics generally used. However, you can get as specific as you would like or stay broad if starting out and trying to build a customer base.
Our favorite way to determine our personas at Elevare is to ask ourselves these questions: What are the problems facing your ideal customers and what do they hope to achieve through a solution?
There are many ways to solve those problems. Interviewing current customers is one of the best ways to determine this information. Questionnaires and surveys, such as creating one through SurveyMonkey, can also help gather this information especially if you already have an email list. Remember, undertaking this will require time and organization to sort through all of the information, but it will literally pay off for you.
How to Use Those Personas to Build Your Business
So now you have this wealth of information about your buyer personas, but what do you do with it? We’re going to use Facebook as our example for how to use the deep stack of analytics your website and social media may be giving you. Analytics are a treasure trove of information about known and unknown buyer personas. Depending on the size of your business, have people from other departments involved in going through analytics to determine personas, such as sales and customer service.
As one of the biggest data aggregators, Facebook also gives you a leg up on building your buyer persona through its Insights and the People tabs. In these areas, your fans are broken down by gender, age range, country and city of IP (internet provider) location, and language the user is using Facebook in. Posts will show you when your page fans are online during a one week period, allowing you to schedule content for publishing during peak activity times.
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