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As you develop your marketing strategy, it’s important to keep your target audience in mind. Your target audience is the group of people who are most likely to buy your product or use your service. To help you better understand your target audience, you can create what are called “buyer personas.” They are fictional characters that represent your ideal customer.

buyer persona

When creating a buyer persona, you’ll want to include information such as:

  • Demographic information (age, gender, location, etc.)
  • Psychographic information (lifestyle, interests, values, etc.)
  • Behavioral information (buying habits, media consumption habits, etc.)

Creating buyer personas can help you better understand the people you’re trying to reach and can therefore help you create more effective marketing campaigns.

Marketers can get lost in the details of tracking engagement rates and marketing campaigns. Developing buyer personas reminds you to put your audience’s needs and desires up front and helps you focus your content to attract your ideal customer.

What is a buyer persona?

A buyer persona is a detailed description of fictitious person who represents your target audience. This persona is based on deep research of your existing and/or desired audience. Of course, you most likely will have several different types of persons in your target audience.

The process is to give your buyer persona a name, fill out demographic details, imagine their interests, and behavioral traits. You’ll want to understand their goals, pain points, and patterns. It is even helpful to give them a face and a name.

You’ll want to think about this ideal customer as if they were a real person. This then allows you to write marketing messages targeted specifically to them. By keeping your buyer persona(s), it helps you to keep the voice and direction of everything consistent, from product development to your brand voice, to the social channels you use.

Why use a buyer persona?

Buyer personas help to keep you focused on customer priorities instead of your own. The customer now has a name and a face and a personality and a long list of needs and wants that that is very helpful to keep front of mind as you deal with the intricacies of a marketing strategy.

Will your new campaign address the needs and goals of at least one of your buyer personas? If not, you can stop and adjust your plans.

Once you define your buyer personas, you can create organic posts and social ads that speak directly to the target customers you have defined.

By building your social strategy based on helping your buyer personas meet their needs, you’ll build a lasting bond with the real customers they represent.

How to create a buyer persona

Perform a thorough audience research. Who are your existing customers? Who is your social audience? Who are your competitors targeting? You can compile audience data from your social media analytics (Facebook Audience Insights), your own database and Google Analytics to glean details like:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Spending power
  • Spending patterns
  • Interests
  • Challenges
  • Stage of life

You can also scope out who competitors are targeting using tools like Buzzsumo and Hootsuite’s search streams.

Discover their goals and pain points

Your audience’s goals might be personal or professional, depending on the kinds of products and services you sell. What motivates them? How can you solve their problems?

A sales team and those on the front lines of customer support can help you find answers to these questions. Another great key option is to participate in “social listening” and social media sentiment analysis. Everyone talks freely on social media and if you are listening, you can really pick up on their areas of interest and concern.

Setting up search streams to monitor mentions of your brand, products, and competitors gives you a real-time look into what people are saying about you online. You can learn why they love your products, or which parts of the customer experience are just not working.

Discover how you can help

Your product or service was developed to make your customer’s life easier or better.

Consider your audience’s main purchasing barriers, and where your followers are in their buying journey? And then ask yourself: How can we help? And then try to answer the question in one clear sentence.

Gather all of your research and start looking for common characteristics and you’ll start to create your buyer personas. Assign your personas names, jobs, and other defining characteristics. You are creating a real fake person

Buyer Persona: Harmonica

An example of a buyer persona for your suburban gym.

Harmonica

45 years old.

She takes a spin class three times a week.

She lives within five minutes of your gym.

She makes $115,000 a year as a realtor.

She has one child.

She drives a newish Land Rover.

She is image conscious. She seems to have extra money to spend. What products or services might she be interested in that she might not yet know about or that you have yet to develop?

As you flesh out your buyer personas, be sure to describe both who each persona is now and who they want to be. This allows you to start thinking about how your products and services can help them get to that place of ambition.

It is a process and one we’ve completed many times before. If you have questions, perhaps we can help.

A global team of digerati with offices in Washington, D.C. and Southern California, we provide digital strategy, digital marketing, web design, and creative for brands you know and nonprofits you love.

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