A Step by step guide to designing your Buyer Persona
“Instead of bludgeoning the public with ads or dominating the front page of a newspaper to drive awareness, they [Growth Hackers] use a scalpel, precise and targeted to a specific audience.”
As we have seen in the article: How Designing a Buyer Persona can save you thousands there are many events happenings in 60 seconds on the internet.
So for many businesses, it’s fundamental to have an accurate idea of who the target persona is to optimize the marketing efforts and increase ROI.
So, when it comes to building a persona to laser target my audience and grow my business where should I start?
You can begin with Hubspot which created a great tool for this purpose and it’s by far the best that I have tested online for user experience and the super cool output.
This tool will drive you through 7 steps each one of them with some questions which will lead you to define a Buyer persona. I’ve prepared one for you, so let’s rock!
note: this is a full tutorial, mainly based on B2B, so you might not need all the steps for your business, so feel free to adapt it as you like.
Step 1 – Create your avatar
The first step of this process would be humanizing the Buyer persona by giving it a name and selecting the avatar.
It’s really important as this first moment will help you start thinking about this persona like a real person. This is because we should never ever forget that even though with marketing we can generate huge numbers we really need to pay attention to the person we are trying to convert because behind KPI’s we are humans and as humans, we should treat our prospects or customers.
Step 2 – The demographic traits of that persona.
This is a valuable piece of information for you because it allows you to better position your marketing messaging to ensure it resonates at its best.
Let’s see how this works practically taking the following screenshot as an example.
I identified an age range so this can help me optimizing Advertising campaigns. How? There will be no need to test broader audiences below or above the selected age.
The degree level, on the other hand, will help you create tailored content and copywriting.
It’s important to understand that the way we express ourselves has to be coherent with the product we sell, thus, having this information is valuable when we choose topics or wording.
Step 3 – Their business: industry and size of the organization.
This step is a huge help when it comes to generating qualified leads.
Knowing the industry will allow you to optimize your website, showing the right message, the right social proof (we’ll discuss this in another article), and convert more users.
The persona would then find himself/herself on a website which he/she never visited before and will instantly decide whether to proceed or not. This will lead us to an extremely positive output because: if the person leaves the website then we know that it’s outside the target audience, thus we can avoid investing budget on that (remarketing actions). On the other hand, if the person leaves his/her contact we are sure that the lead we’ve generated is qualified.
The company size is important when it comes to platforms such as LinkedIn. Let’s go practical: as we can see from the screenshot my goal is to target organizations from 1 to 10 employees because we mainly work with pre-seed/seed start-ups. So, if tomorrow I’d have to begin with an email outreach campaign on LinkedIn then I’d target my buyer persona with the company size field which will allow me to avoid any waste on marketing budget, so we’ve got another win.
Step 4&5 – Their career & Characteristics of their job
Designing data regarding the career of the target persona works mainly for B2B products and businesses and it comes in handy for generating qualified leads.
Let’s go back to our previous example: I am on LinkedIn and I am starting off a campaign. I know have more data to add to my settings to be even more focused which is already helping me.
But how this data can help me make another step towards a successful lead generation campaign?
By using the questions: how is their job measured and what are their biggest challenges?
These questions are fundamental because they give us their pain points and the metrics that will help them succeed.
Understanding this will give you great copywriting power so you can get the most out of your campaign by delivering a message which is tailored to solving the exact issue they have at this right moment.
So, one of the issues for start-ups is lack of resources, so how can I be effective here? I can begin talking about growth hacking and show off some case studies and for example, send the link to this article which is handy if you are looking to optimize the resources you have by targeting the right persona. It kind of closes the circle here already, don’t you think?
Step 6&7 – How they work & their consumption habits
This step is extremely important when it comes to deliverability, let’s see how with.
If we understand the tools that persona is using you’d be able to:
- Share your knowledge related to that specific tool and give recommendations
- to show potential commonalities in your own product
- find related communities which can point out a segment of new potential prospects
Let’s make a practical example: I found an interesting start-up that I’d like to work with and I’ve identified that they use Mailchimp as their email marketing tool (would you like to know how you can discover this? send me an email!). I can then get in touch with their CEO and share a piece of information that improves email deliverability through the same software which will add value for the start-up and arouse interest towards me.
Also: are there any startupper communities that use Mailchimp on Reddit, Quora, or Facebook? If so I could definitely take advantage of this.
Another important point is identifying the preferable way of communicating. This is basic but really effective: some segments don’t like email exchange, some do, and understanding this gives you great power in terms of deliverability.
Don’t forget that here we want to give to the right person the right message on the device/platform they prefer because only this way we can be the most effective.
Last but not least their consumption habits, one of my favorites because they helped me so much helping start-ups.
This step is key when it comes to the go-to-market strategy and I will give you a practical example here as well.
My target audience does online courses, reads books, loves to participate in online events on Facebook and LinkedIn, communities, etc. So, how can I use this information to improve my deliverability?
The fact they do these specific activities online tells me that they are willing to read a certain kind of content that could be long and detailed and that I should probably do some online events to bring them value.
Also, the fact that they hang out online on mainly these platforms suggests me to create a different kind of content. One post for LinkedIn, which could be a pdf presentation, and a reviewed one for a community where, in an example, I don’t want to be spammy so I have to readapt my post in a single slide.
As you might have seen, designing a persona not only can save you budget, but can also give a huge amount of ideas for copywriting, go-to-market strategy, and many more.
Beginning with Hubspot’s tool would be a great start, so I strongly recommend it.
Although I want to add something extra for you, so you can complete your persona the right way. There are many other factors that can affect a buyer persona and they could be physical or psychological or they can derive from the market so what to do?
Try to add as many details as you can, try to understand your buyer persona as much as you can and you’d be able to achieve outstanding results. Not only because you’d increase your campaigns but because you can bring value to that person and that is exactly what the new frontier of Marketing is.