How To Create Buyer Personas For Your Online Business
Knowing your target market is a critical component of your online store. When it comes to online selling the volume of shoppers is huge. Being able to catch their attention and speak to them is important in marketing your online business. How do you stand out among the other online sellers? What kind of relevant and useful messages, product and content to provide them can be difficult to determine if you don’t know who you’re talking to. That’s why learning how to create buyer personas and understanding them will help build out a plan of action to target better.
This isn’t just limited to content, but is actually a very valuable tool for helping with strategies around:
- brand development
- the tone to use to talk to them
- sales tactics and follow up
- product to sell
- where to find these customers
- marketing to prospects and customers
- social engagement
- the types and timings of promotions that will work best for them
Since this is an important part of your online strategy, this blog will help you create buyer personas.
What Are Buyer Personas:
Also known as Marketing personas, are a generalization of your ideal customer. It’s a fictional example of the person you want to capture. It’s that persona who represents others out there like them – prospects that you are trying to convert to a sale.
Basically, what you are doing is putting yourself in your prospect/customer’s shoes to get a better idea of who they are, their challenges and what drives them. You’re painting a picture of who the ideal customer is and how your products fit in with the buyer.
Create Buyer Personas:
A good persona is built off of what you can gather about your customers. A key thing to remember is that your business is determined by your customers. You can list what you want, but you need the customer to buy it.
Where to begin:
Take a look at your customer/contact database and see what trends and commonalities you can find.
If you have Google Analytics on your website, you can collect demographic information directly from there.
Depending on your resources, you can contact some key customers and interview them to get some further details.
Jot down the answers for these questions and you’ll start to see clusters of information and insights develop.
Here are the questions to think about to create buyer personas:
- Demographics: What is the age range? What is the most common gender? What is the average salary/household income range look like (this you may need to make inferences on until you can confirm it from discussions with sales/customers)? Where do they live (urban/rural)? Are the educated? Do they have a family?
- Psychographics: Are they early adopters of technology? How would they rather spend their weekend? Do they have time for hobbies/interests, if so what are they?
- A Typical Day: What is their role in the family? What is their role in their job? How long do they work? Are they overwhelmed, busy, have spare time, volunteer, etc?
- Pain Points: What causes them pain in their daily life with family, at work? Does your product help reduce or solve that pain point?
- Their values: Does your store/products have anything that would cause them to object? Are they budget shoppers or high end? Do they want to impress others or satisfy themselves? Are they environmentally conscious?
- Goals: What are their primary and secondary goals in life? What are their long terms goals? How can you help them achieve their goals/dreams?
- Information/Research: Do they read the news, if so where and what sources? Do they use social media? Are there people they follow/listen to? Do they use a PC or mobile to research? How much time do they spend online? How much time do they spend shopping?
This information begins to paint a picture of what drives your customer and potential triggers in what will cause them to make a purchase – yours. You will see pieces of content you can create and try with them, potential new products to sell them and even how and when to promote what you have to fill their need.
Once you start on the exercise you may see a few different personas develop. That’s ok. It will help you understand the different types of customers you do have. This helps you work towards getting more like them.
Create 2-5 personas to start off. It may sound challenging, but as you go through these steps you’ll uncover a few and maybe even more. Give them a name to help classify who they are. It begins to help make this fictional personal seem more real. Add an image of what that persona may look like.
Compile the information gathered to create profiles of the target persona(s). From here you’ll be able to build out a story related to them. Start by describing what they think about with regards to some of the following:
- Brief description on who they are
- Reasons to believe
- Hobbies and interests
- Quote – if they were to say something short about them, what would it be
- Marketing message – what would resonate well with them
Get feedback from customer facing teams like Sales and Customer Support to help confirm this description reflects who they deal with on a regular basis. If you have some great repeat customers or others you have a great relationship with, run it past them to see if they identify with the persona you’ve described. It helps validate any assumptions you may have made. At times you’ll see that your company may have been focused on a certain type of mass customer, but you also have a valuable niche customer that you could be marketing/selling to.
These steps to create buyer personas will help you to avoid throwing content, products or strategies out there that you hope will stick because you’re sending it out for the masses. A little time doing this activity will help you find those perfect customers in the sea of shoppers. These shoppers will have a higher value in terms of sales and lifetime value.
These are by no means static. The personas can change and should be reviewed at least yearly so that you’re evolving with the changing market. You need to be able to communicate with them and a persona helps you do that, while also helping convert to a sale. The better you understand the shopper, the better equipped you will be to meet their needs.