Short answer: A Buyer Persona is the most pivotal part of your marketing strategy. They will play a role in absolutely everything you do in marketing as well as drive your future success as a business. At this point you’re probably asking, what is a Buyer Persona and how can it help me?
The Definition of a Buyer Persona:
A semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on real data and educated speculation about customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals.
Let me break that down for you. A Buyer Persona is NOT a real person. What you want to do is start with your favorite client and then create a fictional representation that generalizes them. This is done through research, interviewing current customers and coworkers, and doing some internet stalking. This is all to discover trends and common habits of your customers.
Once you have an idea of who your persona might be, you want to build a biography for them. It’s a good idea to narrow you research down to build one or two personas at a time.
Start by selecting a representational photo of your persona and give them a name, again do not use actual customers for this. Use your research to tell a story, who are they? What do they do for a living? What is your family life like? What are their goals?
Take a look at this example to get an idea of what your Buyer Persona should look like. Mind you, our example is fairly bare bones. You will want to be a bit more detailed in the creation of you own buyer persona.
This may sound like a silly process at a glance. But once you start to build your Buyer Persona you will start to understand the mindset of your clientele, be able to define your ideal clients, and be able to craft your marketing messages in a way that will appeal to who they are intended for. Buyer personas can even help you make decisions about the products and services you offer.
Once you create your Buyer Persona, you will find yourself thinking things like:
Would my persona respond positively to this campaign?
Would my persona click on this Facebook article?
How would my persona feel about this product?
I promise you, once you get the hang of them you will wonder how your business ever survived without them.