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Understanding Your Customer: How to Create a Buyer Persona That Works
Learn the step-by-step process of creating buyer personas that will fuel your data-driven marketing strategies and ensure you reach the right audience.
Did you know that using buyer personas to target audiences has the potential for a 210% increase in website traffic?
Creating an eCommerce buyer persona is a great way to learn more about your market, allowing you to create targeted marketing campaigns that resonate with your audience and generate more sales.
But how do you build buyer personas for your eCommerce website? We’ve got you covered.
What Is a Buyer Persona?
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.
Your buyer persona should include:
- Demographic information such as age, gender, income, location, and job title.
- Psychographic information like interests, values, triggers, and lifestyle choices.
- Behavioral information such as purchase history and factors that influence their purchase decisions.
Typically, this information is collected in a chart, diagram, or story that gives your team a snapshot of an ideal customer; therefore, you’ll need to create more than one persona if you want to segment your audience effectively and improve your bottom line.
These personas are created and used to simulate customer journeys, which help guide all your marketing decisions.
The goal is to find out as much about your customers as possible to provide the ultimate personalized experience, not just to generate more sales, but to help you retain the existing customers and keep them coming back for more.
How to Create a Buyer Persona in 5 Steps
Creating a buyer persona may seem daunting, but you’d be surprised how much information you already have about your customers.
We’ve put together a template to help get you started on creating your first persona as you follow along with our recommendations.
1. Define Your Buyer Persona
The first thing you’ll need to do is define your ideal customer. You’ll create multiple personas later on, but for now, think of the type of person that best represents who would use your product most often.
Make sure you have a general understanding of:
- Who are they?
- What do they do?
- What are their interests?
- How did they come in contact with your product or service?
2. Conduct Market Research and Gather Information
Once you’ve defined your ideal customer, it’s time to start gathering data about your customers. You want to gather data about your target market’s demographics, needs, wants, and pain points.
There are several ways to go about this.
If you have existing customers, check your contact databases and look for similarities among them. Chances are, those commonalities will be part of your buyer persona.
If you don’t have any existing customers to base your research on, don’t worry. There are plenty of other ways to gather information about your ideal customer, such as:
- Google Analytics: This tool offers insight into how your website visitors engage with your content. It has features like data collection, analysis, and monitoring to help you identify trends.
- Google AdWords Keyword Planner: This free tool allows you to research the organic search keywords people are using to find products like yours.
- Online Surveys: Simply create a survey with questions designed to uncover the challenges your target audience is facing. Then promote the survey via your website, social media, and email list.
- Social Media Listening Tools: Tools like Hootsuite Insights and Brandwatch allow you to track mentions of your brand, product, or service across all major social media platforms, letting you quickly learn about the challenges your buyers are facing.
- Customer Support Tickets: Since they contain questions and concerns that are relevant to your target audience, review your support tickets on a regular basis and look for patterns.
3. Fill in Basic Information for Your Buyer Persona
Once you’ve gathered the data, it’s time to create a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. This means creating a character that represents your ideal customer, starting with their name.
Naming your buyer persona helps you develop marketing strategies that are more likely to resonate with them because it makes them feel more real and relatable.
Once you’ve named your persona, you’ll need to start filling in the demographic, psychographic, and behavioral data from your research. The most commonly used information includes:
- Geographic location
- Job/Career path
- Family dynamic
- Interests/hobbies outside of work
Now you should have something like this:
For our example, we have a clear representation of PR Polly’s interests, social media habits, and behavior. From this, we can develop a strategy to get her attention using language and messaging that appeals to her persona and adapt our campaigns to the channels where those personas can be found.
Including this type of information in your buyer persona will help you create a more accurate and effective marketing strategy.
4. Identify Your Buyer Persona’s Challenges
Now that you have the basics, it is essential that you take the time to understand your buyer persona’s challenges. Only then can you develop strategies and tactics that will resonate with your target audience and help them solve their problems.
To do this, you’ll need to define:
- Pain points: These are the problems that your product or service solves.
- Motivations: This is what drives people to take action on their pain points and solve those problems.
- Triggers: These are the internal, external, and seasonal cues that prompt people to take action on their motivations.
Let’s go back to our example. What challenges is PR Polly facing when it comes to her goals? How does your product or service alleviate those challenges?
Here’s what PR Polly’s buyer persona should look like now:
5. Create Marketing Geared Toward Your Buyer Personas
Personalizing your marketing strategy on your buyer personas will make your marketing easier and more effective.
There are many types of content that eCommerce companies can produce to engage with their buyer personas. Here are a few examples:
- Product pages: The product pages on your site play the most important role in bringing in potential buyers. Make sure your product pages are well-written, informative, and visually appealing.
- Blog posts: Blogging is a great way to connect with your buyers and build relationships with them. Your articles should relate to topics that are of interest to your target market as well as include calls to action (CTAs) so that readers can learn more about the products you offer.
- Social media posts: Social media is a great way to reach out to potential buyers and build brand awareness. Share interesting content, offer discounts and promotions, and answer any questions that your followers have.
- Newsletters: These are a great way to stay in touch with your customers and keep them updated on what’s new with your company. Include links to your latest blog posts, product pages, or social media updates.
- Downloadable resources: Offer value-packed downloadable resources, such as e-books or buyer guides, to help your customers learn more about your products.
By producing high-quality content that is relevant to your buyer personas, you can build relationships with them and convince them to buy from you.
Keep Your Personas Coming Back for More with Patch
Now that you know your ideal customer and how to market to them effectively, let’s turn them into real customers.
Patch’s digital loyalty and retention marketing services will help you turn that persona into a brand loyalist and dramatically increase the lifetime value of your customers.
Contact our team to see how we can help today.