You may have a broad idea about who you’re selling to. You may know their approximate age, their location, or the sort of keywords they are using to search for products. But is that information enough to turn visitors, fans, and followers into customers?
What Is a Buyer Persona?
Buyer personas are fictional representations of your target customers. A buyer persona has needs and wants, and faces challenges just like a real customer.
With buyer personas you can maximize conversions across all channels, establish stronger connections with your audience, and build trust.
Here’s what a very basic buyer persona would look like for a business that sells cars:
Johnathan is a twenty-something professional who works in the city. He drives to work every morning on a short route. On many weekends he drives to the nearby mountains where he hikes, snowboards, or goes skiing. He is conscious of the impact of cars on the environment. He prefers reliable and easy to drive cars that have enough storage space for his hiking, snowboarding, or skiing accessories. He can’t afford a fully-electric car that meets his performance needs, which is why he prefers a compact hybrid that doesn’t burn too much fuel.
The Easiest Way to Create Buyer Personas
Big companies have whole teams of marketers that created highly researched buyer personas using market data and the latest consumer trends. As a small business, you’re most likely not in the position to do this. The good news is that you can increase conversions for your small business even with simple buyer personas.
To create a quick buyer persona, ask yourself these essential questions:
- What do target customers want?
- What are their key needs?
- What challenges are they facing?
- How old are they?
- What job do they have?
- Where do they live?
- How much can they afford to spend on this type of product?
- Through what marketing channel can we best reach them?
In addition to these questions, you can draw on any marketing data you have, including Google analytics, social media insights, blog stats, etc.. For best results, create several different personas that cover your whole target audience. In fact, I would suggest starting with just three for now.
Using Personas to Improve Conversions
Buyer personas help you understand what motivates your audience and how they will act in certain situations. With that insight, you can optimize your website, blog content, social media pages, and marketing efforts to make your marketing message more compelling.
For the example above, here’s how this could be done at every stage of Jonathan’s three-stage journey of awareness, consideration, and decision:
- Use content marketing to highlight the environmental benefits of the cars you’re selling
- Publish blog posts that explain how much he can save every year with a cost-effective car
- Create a car maintenance quick guide for the weekend tripper and put this form before a mailing list signup form
- Create social media videos with actors Jonathan can identify with
- Feature testimonials with past customers that look like Jonathan and have the same preoccupations
- Create infographics and other social media content that compares the environmental benefits of your cars over other cars in the same category
- Send special offers in your newsletters
The Decisions Stage
- Feature on your website, in your newsletters, and on social media reviews that reflect the needs and wants of Jonathan
- Use calls to action that invite Jonathan to choose a car that’s great for weekend trips and sports lovers (instead of focusing on special features he doesn’t care about, like leather seats)
- Create special deals that include car accessories Jonathan may want
You can apply many of these ideas to your own small business, regardless of what type of products you are selling.
Best of all, you can use buyer personas to optimize your headlines, keywords, landing pages, calls to action, and content strategy in general. You can put your finger on the real challenges customers are facing and present the benefits of what you are offering in the most persuasive way.
Buyer personas are easy to create and fun. Now get moving on creating your buyer personas!