Buyer personas are generalized representations of your ideal customers. These representations will help you understand your audience better and identify your potential buyers. This is key to refining your marketing efforts with messaging that is meaningful to them.

Have you defined buyer personas in order to better tailor your marketing efforts? If you’re like many business owners, chances are you haven’t. I find that although many businesses know of the importance of having buyer personas, they don’t have them because they lack the knowledge on how to create them.

Luckily, here you will find guidelines on how to create accurate buyer personas that will help you reach successful results. Let’s get started!

1. Analyze Your Existent Data

If you have an established business, you can use information available in Analytics tools to discover the profile of the people that are already engaging with your brand. Start by visiting Facebook Insights. This powerful tool provided by Facebook will help you find data about your Facebook users such as demographics, location, purchase behavior, lifestyle and more.

Note that Audience Insights is different from Page Insights because the latter looks at interactions in your page rather than the profile of the users engaging with it.

Start by adding your Facebook page and going through the tabs at the top (demographics, page likes, location, activity) to discover data.

Another great tool to analyze user data is Google Analytics. If you already have traffic to your store, and have installed the Google Analytics tracking code, you can get a lot of data in just one place. The menu on the left of the platform will allow you to see different reports. Start by going to Audience> Demographics > Overview:

As you see above, you can change the date and segment the traffic. The “All Users” segment is a default segment that contains all the users in your traffic. There are many other default and custom segments that are useful. To review them, just click on “Add Segment” and select a default option or start from scratch.

Replacing the “All Users” segment with a more defined one will allow you to see user data only for the segment you’ve created. For instance, if I select the “Made a Purchase” segment, I would only see the demographics of users who have made a purchase on my site.

Another interesting report to analyze is located under “Interests” on the left-hand side of the platform. This report will allow you to see the interests of the users in your selected segment.

2. Do Additional Research

If you don’t have any data available, or if you want to go the extra mile looking for additional information, research and surveys are necessary. Start by creating simple surveys that can be answered with yes or no and offer a reward, such as a discount, for completing the survey.

When it comes to reaching out to prospective clients, make use of your network–ask your coworkers, search through social media and try to find people you would like to interview.

Make sure to ask the right questions. In order to create buyer personas, come up with questions that help you truly get to know your customers or prospective customers. Needless to say, be friendly. Start by thanking your interviewee for the time he or she is taking by accepting the interview. And now has come the time to ask away!

  • Ask about their personal background. You want to know whether they are married or have children and learn about their educational level, their career path and about any social networks they belong to. Also, learn about their go-to publications and blogs whenever they want to learn something relevant to their job or just entertain themselves.
  • Ask about their role and the company they are working for. Have them explain their daily life at the office, the skills required in their job position, their responsibilities, the size of the company they are working for, the revenue it makes and the types of industries it works in. Lastly, ask them about their goals and challenges. These facts will come in handy when creating your personas.
  • Ask for their shopping preferences. Start by learning about how they prefer to interact with vendors–whether it is by phone, email or in person. You are also interested in knowing if they do some type of research on vendors or products before making their purchase. Thirdly, learn about their most recent purchase, finding out why they purchased the product.

3. Make Sense of the Data

You have all of this fresh information so let’s do something with it! Quick advice: Start with just three or five personas. The rest will come in time. Starting with a small number will help you to truly focus on each of your personas and develop an effective and persuasive elevator pitch designed specifically for each of them.

There are websites that offer free templates for this purpose, facilitating the investigative and creative process that creating a persona signifies. First, go through all of the information and try to find patterns of conduct in order to develop one persona. Start by giving it a name–for example, Ferdinand First–and write down, using few and concise bullet points, their basic information: married status, children, job position, age, income, property type.

Consequently, add what you’ve learned about your new persona’s motivations: goals, challenges and how you can help them achieve and overcome them. Include real quotes from the interviewees. This will help you to truly grasp their wants and concerns, preparing you for the future questions that may arise from prospective clients when launching your marketing campaigns. This equips your team to address these doubts with well-prepared answers that indicate a knowledge of their needs and the existence of a plan to satisfy those needs.

After you have developed your personas, finding patterns and addressing doubts, create an elevator pitch that is focused on each of them. Remember something: People don’t care about you. They care about how you can help them. Truly focusing on the persona you created, rather than on your future sales, is the way to generate sales.

Now your chances of targeting, marketing and raising awareness of your brand just got higher. Be patient. The world of marketing is subjective, so, as I said, try to truly focus on the persona you are directing your campaigns toward, not on the results of the said campaign, and you will get better results! Good luck!