Welcome back to our Small Businesses Marketing Guide! In this section, we’ll talk about creating buyer personas, a crucial step in understanding your target audience and crafting effective marketing messages.
Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers, based on real data and insights from market research. They help you better understand your target audience’s needs, behaviors, and preferences, and tailor your marketing strategies to address them.
But how do you create buyer personas for your small business? Read on!
Conduct market research
As we discussed in the previous section, conducting market research is the first step in creating buyer personas. You can use surveys, interviews, or focus groups to gather data on your target audience’s demographics, psychographics, and behavior. Google Forms and SurveyMonkey are a couple of effective and reasonably priced systems that can help with surveys.
Identify common characteristics
Look for common patterns and characteristics in your market research data. For example, do your customers share similar interests, pain points, or goals? Are they at similar stages in their buyer’s journey? For instance, we reviewed our personas based on our past clients and noticed two of them that seemed to be completely different — businesses that offer services in exchange for money and non-profits that want money. In this case, their similarity is they’re both businesses that don’t have deep marketing budgets and need to make the most of what they have. That’s a useful nugget.
Give them a name and backstory
Once you’ve identified common characteristics, create a fictional persona that represents your ideal customer. Give them a name, job title, and backstory that aligns with your research data. For example, if your target audience is working single fathers, your persona might be named “Busy Bob” and have a job as a marketing manager. The more you can empathize with this fictional character, the better you’ll be able to create actionable strategies for it.
Define their goals and challenges
Identify your persona’s goals and challenges related to your product or service. For example, Busy Bob’s goal might be to find a healthy and convenient meal option for his family, but his challenge might be a lack of time for meal prep. Or maybe Busy Bob is very adept at cooking and would like help reducing the cognitive load of coming up with new recipes every day. Maybe both.
Craft messaging and marketing strategies
Use your buyer personas to craft messaging that resonates with your target audience and addresses their goals and challenges. For example, if your product is a meal kit delivery service, your messaging might focus on convenience and healthy options for busy working fathers like Busy Bob. Or maybe the messaging targets how much more mental energy Busy Bob will have to enjoy time with his family rather than stressing over what to cook.
Here are some tips for creating effective buyer personas for your small business:
- Focus on the most common and relevant characteristics: Don’t try to include every possible trait in your buyer personas. Instead, focus on the most common and relevant ones that align with your business goals.
- Use real data and insights: Don’t make assumptions about your target audience. Use real data and insights from market research to inform your buyer personas.
- Create multiple personas if necessary: If your target audience is diverse, consider creating multiple buyer personas to represent different segments.
- Update your personas regularly: Your target audience and the market may change over time, so make sure to update your buyer personas regularly to reflect these changes.
By creating buyer personas, you can better understand your target audience and tailor your marketing strategies to address their needs and preferences. Don’t skip this important step in your marketing strategy plan!