What is a Buyer persona: definition, buyer persona types, and examples
A buyer persona is a profile that depicts your ideal customer based on real data of your existing customers and market research. Buyer personas help humanize the ideal customer you are trying to attract, which helps you understand them better and pick the right marketing strategy to convert them.
Buyer personas are built using demographics, prior purchases, behavior patterns, motivations, and other quantifying attributes. The goal is to be as detailed as possible, as thorough buyer personas can shine a lot of insight into where you should focus your time, money, and development. With the correct focuses, you will attract the most valuable leads and clients.
How to create a buyer persona
A lot of data goes into creating the perfect buyer persona, but the more detailed your perfect buyer persona profile is, the better.
This requires deep market research, as well as insights into your existing customer base through surveying or interviewing. Knowing your existing customers will strengthen your ability to attract similar new leads that will turn into clients easier. So what details exactly should you include in your buyer persona profile? Here are some:
- Personal demographics – age, gender, location, education, income level, marital status, number of children, etc.
- Professional demographics – industry, job title, company size
- Specific professional profile – career path, special skills, typical day’s routine, management role
- Goals – personal and career goals, priorities, challenges, how do they seek solutions
- Values – values in personal and professional life, what do they see as important when looking for products and companies, what do they not want in a product or company, what is the driving force behind their decision-making process
- Personal preferences – what media do they consume, how do they prefer to communicate, do they go to conferences or events, do they belong to any associations, how and where do they spend their day, what are their hobbies, are they active on social media (really any tidbit you think could be important should be considered)
- The negatives – this is all the characteristics you don’t want your ideal customer to have, like being extremely demanding, not able to afford your product, being in the industry you don’t work within, etc.
As you begin to mash together all of these attributes, your buyer persona will begin to emerge and you can get started putting it down on paper.
What does a buyer persona look like?
Generally speaking, a buyer persona should be a one-sheet mockup of a fictional customer who would be your ideal client. There’s no set-in-stone correct format, but most buyer persona profiles include several key parts using the information gathered.
- The Buyer – In order to have a buyer persona, you have to come up with the buyer. Often this includes a name, job title, and even a picture to make them more human and relatable.
- Behaviors – Based upon demographics like age, location, and education, a profile’s targeting can become more specific.
- “Day In The Life” – Constructing what your persona’s day may be like can help you understand their habits, motives, needs, and how they spend their limited time, which will greatly help you figure out where your product plays into all of that.
- Pain points – Figure out your persona’s challenges and what they need to get their job done.
- Goals – If you know your persona’s goals, you can better cater to them. You want your content, services, and product to bring them success.
- Objections – Think of any objections a customer could have and pre-plan your answers to them. You don’t want to be caught off guard and potentially lose a customer because you never considered any negative feedback.
- Information search process – Knowing how and from where your customers come to you can help you build your persona’s buying habits. There are many ways of advertising, including word of mouth, so it is good to know what platforms you should consider for advertising.
- “Tie It Up In A Bow” story – Take all the aforementioned parts and write a short story about your persona. Make it realistic and humanize this persona. Use this story as a guide when creating content and while communicating with leads and customers.
Buyer personas are not definitive, nor do you have to create just one – you can add more personas and change existing ones as your company’s goals and services grow and you learn more about your customers. Here’s an example of a buyer persona from Optinmonster:
Buyer profiles are just guides to help you see the humans on the other side of the transaction and understand them better to improve your strategies. Understanding leads to success.
Negative buyer personas
Buyer personas have an evil twin and that is the negative buyer persona, or the profile of the people you do not want to spend time and effort on.
When creating a negative buyer persona, pay attention to things like:
- high churn rate
- low likelihood of repurchase
- engaging with your content but not buying the product
- “difficult” clients who require a lot of time/effort but don’t bring little revenue
You are here to do business, not waste your time, so making plans for what you do not want from a potential client is smart.
How to use buyer personas
First of all, buyer personas help you tailor your content to the customer. If you have more than one buyer persona, you can confidently create specialized campaigns that will cater to the specific needs of each group with content you know will work best for that specific customer type.
Secondly, buyer personas can help your company more easily develop customer interaction strategies, as the profile is literally a practice sheet for your team. It also can help guide the content creators to better understand their audience.
And, of course, having a buyer persona profile helps detect your customers’ pain points and desired. A complete, detailed profile is a goldmine for any marketer. It’s best to hang your buyer persona profile on the wall for your marketing team to always have a reference nearby when planning the next campaign.
Create your own buyer persona
Research is the most time-consuming part of creating your buyer persona. Remember, it does not have to be long, it just has to be specific and based on real data. You can use any buyer persona template available online, as long as you fill it with your own data. A buyer persona will help you understand and empathize with your customers better than before.