Creating a buyer persona

Creating a buyer persona profile

In this blog I will take you through the process of creating a buyer persona for your product.

With over-exposure to continuous soliciting advertising, consumers attempt to cut out most of the noise (adverts), making it more difficult to break through to them and capture their attention – this is where personalised advertising is more successful.

Consumers want to feel special, and by giving them personalised attention, you can make them feel special. Consumers are more likely to talk about your business when you personalise your marketing for them. Personalised marketing is more memorable for consumers and can naturally expose your business to more consumers. People tend to trust word of mouth more than adverts seen on billboards, t.v., etc. which is why this is the ideal advertising. This is where your buyer persona profiles come in.

What is the difference between a target market and a buyer persona? A Buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer, based on real data and some selected speculation. It is a more specific personal profile about consumers than that of a general target market.

From creating content to sending personal emails, based on your buyer persona and targeting them at the right place when advertising will give you a better success rate than just generally advertising your product/service. Your buyer persona can help you identify where your potential customers spend their time (even on the Internet), thereby identifying the best place for you to advertise.

Personal advertising can be done by creating a buyer persona and simply adding a personal touch like a consumer’s name and personalised written content in an email (content based on the profile you created). This will catch more people’s attention and could still be done with technology and not necessarily manually.

Another good example is when you advertise on social media. By choosing to advertise to people with certain interests within a certain demographical area, rather than advertising to everyone in a wider area, will prove to be more effective.

Buyer personas need to be updated regularly, especially at the beginning of a business. Keep in mind that we are setting up a persona to start with. As you do more market research and speak to clients, you need to update your buyer persona.

I would suggest doing A/B testing for your buyer persona profiles. What is A/B testing? A/B testing is when you create more than one variant (normally calling the one A and the other B), this is done to test each of them with your audience. The end result will show you which one is more effective (attracts the most visitors/converts people to buy). When you first start testing the market, I would suggest that you test a variety of questions for each persona. Using a different approach and different questions with each will help you understand how to market to consumers that fit that specific profile.

I created a guideline document you can follow to create buyer persona profiles. In this document I have set up some possible questions you must answer about your persona. You can download our buyer persona template document HERE to guide you when filling in a buyer persona profile.

Note: keep in mind that a buyer persona profile is not a real person, and is not necessarily your complete target market, but it helps you and your staff to see a customer as a person, addressing them as if you know them and helps you to identify how to speak to them.

What information do we gather for a buyer persona profile? A consumer’s common behavioural patterns, possible pain points (professional, personal), goals in life, dreams, general demographic, hobbies, general information and other necessary information to understand consumers and their behavioural patterns (Refer to our example in the template when downloaded).

To set up your buyer persona, start by identifying questions you need to ask about your potential consumers in order to set up a knowledgeable profile that you can work from when advertising.

Note: I have provided example questions in our downloadable template.

After setting up a list of questions, do research to answer your questions on the Persona Profile. Where to start researching? Take all the information and graphs that you have gathered thus far and go through your questions. After answering the questions using your previous research, you can identify where you still need more answers.

I am going to use Facebook as an example of where you can find more information for your persona profiles. You can also use LinkedIn, twitter and other social media platforms similar to Facebook to help you research your prospects and their interests.

Navigate to Facebook. Now take the list of your competitors or search for a company providing similar products in a similar demographical area to yours. Using your competitor’s name, we will search for interests of people who like their page. The search query that we would use would be “interests liked by people who like YourCompetitorsName”. For example:

Interests liked by people who like Kupla Solution.

Interests search on Facebook

As you can see, you have the option to do a search for interests of people within the demographics of the business you are using for your search criteria. Making use of this option gives you a broader perspective of where to market.

After getting a list of results (by default the Top results), you will see a tab where you can choose which results you would like to see as in the example below:

Facebook tab

Have a look through each of these tabs and take notes of your findings. This will eventually be documented on your persona profile.

Join some of the popular groups that are relevant to your business to see what the people are interested in and what they talk about, negative as well as positive things. Investigate your potential buyers. Groups can be search with the following keywords: groups joined by people who like “YourCompetitor’sName”, in the Facebook search bar. Join the groups to keep track of new interests and for future ad campaigns.

Another search phrase you could use to help you research more is: people who like “YourCompetitor’sName” and like “AnotherCompetitor’sName” and live in Centurion.”

You can further refine a search by using interests to search for potential buyers. For example: “people who like Parkrun and running in Centurion”. Use as many combinations as needed to research different audiences (personas). The same goes for finding people who mention a certain topic in their status updates on social media.

Now that we have a few buyer persona profiles we can work with, we are ready to validate our product. If you have reached this step, you have gone further than most people ever will when starting their own business. Validating your product is the final step, and essential before starting your business.

Our next blog will show you how to get first hand information on your product and whether it will sell or not.