It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, there is one inimitable truth. You are never going to please everyone. Even Game of Thrones hasn’t managed to do that. There will be people, often entire demographics, that your product is not going to appeal to. Fair enough, for some products it is a little more obvious. That is why paintball posters don’t feature many octogenarians. Most products aren’t so clear cut. That is why we have to create a buyer persona willing to fall in love with us.
But then, even if it is obvious who you are selling to, going through the process of creating a buyer persona is still important. You may be confident that you know exactly who your future customers are. You may have an entire dating profile of the exact person you want to buy your products. However confident you might be, there is such a thing as over-complacence. If you are going to invest money into PPC or social media, then not defining your buyer persona is little more than an arrogant gamble.
It might seem like a daunting task. To create the image of the person you want to sell to, and then use marketing to seek them out in the world. It is almost difficult to know where to begin. Well, it begins where all good intelligent adventures begin. By doing a bit of research.
What? Research? No. You’re killing me
I can hear the groans. However, it is time to crack out the analytical software, and get dirty with the statistics. It is exactly like Annemaria Duran describes, if you want people to fall in love with your brand, your “buyer personas must be detailed to be effective. That’s why research is the first step.” There are lots of things you need to consider that will help you create a buyer persona. Defining the psychographics and demographics of customers isn’t something that can be done with pure guess work.
Luckily, a plethora of useful tools exist to help you drill down into the integral elements of your buyer persona. If your business is already established online, then there are tools you are undoubtedly already using that could be put to good use. Your Facebook Insights page for instance. The data here can be broken down to provide you with a good idea of age, gender, and geographical location amongst many other things. Similarly your Google Analytics Audience Reports will provide you with solid information about your website visitors.
If you are a new business, or haven’t really established yourself online, then the results of your internal research might produce too few results to be significant. Fear not intrepid marketer; this only means it is time to get all James Bond about it.
Spying on the enemy to create a buyer persona
You know who your competitors are. All you need is someone from your company to get those funky fake nose specs, a pair of binoculars, telephone bugs, and a building opposite to stake out in.
Or the slightly less ludicrous way of going about it would be to use some perfectly legitimate software to analyse their traffic. SimilarWeb, just as an example. has a free version that can provide 3 months of web data, and 1 month of mobile app data on your competitors. It also makes sense to stalk your quarry on social media. Who is following your competitors? What sort of person is commenting on their posts? On their blogs? Looking at your competitors will help you create a buyer persona for your own brand.
If your competitors are doing well, then they must be doing something right. That would begin with the demographics they have convinced to fall in love with their brand. But you are not just researching your competitors to jealously steal the customers they have snared in their web. They might be able to give you a clue to the most important information of all.
What it is that your coveted target market wants?
Research your industry
Every industry has its problems. That means, every outlet or brand within that industry has the same amount of head scratching to do. With trends and desires constantly in a state of flux, it is unlikely that you will have ever fallen upon the magic elixir. There has never been a super formula that will help you create something that can never be beaten, or go out of fashion. Software packages become irrelevant. Clothing tastes change from season to season. Even popular food fluctuates in and out of popularity like the tide.
By social listening and researching the conversations happening around your industry you should be able to discern what your target marketing has fallen in love with now. What part of your product is currently fashionable? What can you dish up to the potential salivating fans that are awaiting your marketing campaigns? This is integral for you to be able to create a buyer persona. If you know exactly what your ideal customer wants, then you have a strong chance of being able to catch their attention.
Create a buyer persona straight from the horses mouth
The best way to get information from people, is to ask them yourself. There is no more accurate information than that supplied from the very people you hope will take advantage of your services. If you want to create a buyer persona that is accurate and describes the demographic that will fall in love your brand, then just ask.
Put in such terms, this probably sounds horrifically impractical. In fact, it can be done in a way that is fun and rewards the people you talk to. Using services like Survey Monkey you can create a social media or email marketing campaign that is aimed at gleaning information from people interested in your services. Find out what they are looking for. Find out what parts of your service they see as a benefit, or a drawback. From here you can analyse the results by their demographics and psychographics. This information should prove invaluable as you create your buyer persona.
In a post-GDPR marketing world, data has increased in worth. It is a currency in itself, so you might want to tie this in with some downloadable content or a discount. Make it worth their while.
Humanise the heck out of your buyer persona
Once you have gathered all the data you need, the next thing is to actually create a buyer persona. Give your buyer persona a photo, a name and then make your marketing dating profile. Use the data to fill in the age range of your target buyer, their gender, interests, job titles, and anything else necessary. This information will not only prove useful when you set up social or PPC campaigns, but will help you envisage what they will respond to.
With a defined buyer persona, your targeting and communication stands a far better chance. This should help increase social engagement and of course sales.
And now I know everything I need forever and ever
Woah there. Don’t jump the gun. A buyer persona is not a statue, or a building. Just as your customers are fickle, changeable and constantly in transition, so is your buyer persona. There is no buyer persona that will last forever, not even in marketing does immortality exist. People have the right to change their minds and tastes. You need to keep updating your buyer persona, go through this process regularly. It is just as important to discover who your customers will be, as who they are.
As fashions and desires fluctuate you need to be able to preempt them, or react to any sudden changes.
And on that bombshell let’s wrap this up
If you are creating a buyer persona for the first time, the job you have is a considerably large one. Updating the buyer persona, if done frequently, won’t be as time-devouring. But it has to be done write, and attention to detail must be religiously paid.
It is just as important that your brand falls in love with your buyer persona. If you want to make them happy, you need to be fully invested in their well being. As much as you would your own children or pet walrus. Your brand depends upon them for survival.
As always, we love to hear your thoughts. How would you create a buyer persona that will fall in love with your brand? Please leave any comments you have below.