Buyer personas were first introduced in 2001 although organisations are still trying to understand the concept in-depth.
A 2016 survey sought the insight of 124 respondents, the bulk of whom were from B2B organisations and marketing. 72% of the respondents admitted to either being familiar or very familiar with the concept. 72% of them further said that they were using the idea for content messaging and marketing while 45% were using the idea for evaluating market problems.
Almost 70% of the respondents confirmed being confused about the exact meaning of buyer personas and the differences present between buyer personas and buyer profiling, the vital components of buyer persona development, and the importance of qualitative research models.
That’s why Seth Godin thinks that you can’t change everything or everyone, but you can change the people who matter for your business.
In the following lines, I’ll show you how to create buyer personas for the social media channels where you’re active and what questions to use to choose your audience.
How to Create a Buyer Persona Template
A well-curated buyer persona empowers your business to personalize its marketing strategies by humanizing primary target segments of the customer base.
Thorough audience research is a good starting point, where you will seek all the information that relates to your current customer base. The key data points include age, buying behaviour, income, language, life stage, and interests. Supplement your customer records with online and email surveys, interviews, and focus groups.
Social media analytics features will also become useful in your research endeavours such as the Facebook Audience Insights. This information will help to understand the people who seek out your brand online. You will also need to examine the efforts of your competitors and track their Google rankings. What are the differentiation efforts that can set your business apart?
For the research to be effective and efficient, aim to uncover the pain points of the customer.
What hassles do they face? What are the hurdles separating them from their goals?
You can set up search streams to detect mentions of your products and monitor feedback. Customer service will typically let you know what concerns customers share the most.
Once you familiarise yourself with the goals of your customer, it is time to understand how your brand can help them better their lives. You can analyse the impact that your products have on customers to understand the view they have of your brand. Marketers find it challenging to look past the features of a product to the point-of-view of the customers.
Importance of Buyer Persona Templates
Buyer persona templates precede objective decisions. As a business owner, it is easy to implement strategies that appeal to you and other stakeholders. You subsequently risk confusing the desires of your customers with the company’s preferences.
A buyer persona template acts as the blueprint for success as you can be sure that the tactics you derive from it will appeal to the customer base.
Customer feedback is a critical ingredient in product development. An idea can sound revolutionary in your head but can fail in the market. Even if you channel a lot of resources to product development, the venture will be doomed to fail if you do not seek the opinions of your target market.
A buyer persona template lets you know what attributes customers would want to be added or removed from your product such that it is tailor-made to solve specific problems.
A buyer persona will further influence your pricing structures accordingly. Customers typically judge a product by the perceived value which is an analysis of the benefits they will potentially get alongside the price placed on it.
Achieving organisational-wide consistency is a dream for many companies. All departments should consider similar characteristics when a buyer persona template is discussed to streamline communication. It serves as a ground for references for a company’s departmental efforts.
Every company wants to outperform the competition. Using a buyer persona template ensure that your strategies are not as generic as those of every other business.
Generic Buyer Persona Templates
Generic buyer persona templates are easily available on the internet and are convenient to use. They typically give marketers a general view of the characteristics and behaviours of customers.
The personas can come in handy when you need to summarize information quickly and include:
a) Demographic data like:
- Years in job
- Report to
- Type of persona: buyer or user
- A description of a normal day in the life of your buyer persona.
- Frequent interaction with your product/service
- A perfect day from the customer’s viewpoint
c) Three issues at the top of their minds
This section details the obstacles your ideal customer faces. What are their pain points? What issues are they afraid of? What keeps them up at night?
d) This part recognises what a customer reads and how they are rewarded including commission, compensation, and bonus.
Platform-Specific buyer persona
When it comes to social media platforms, personalisation is everything. You need to understand the mechanics of a certain platform, the users of the channel, and the kind of things they respond to including:
Instagram is a marketer’s dream as it attracts millions of users from different regions in one platform.
(Photo credits: @wholefoods)
If your business revolves around the platform, you can complete your buyer persona with:
- The tone of voice. Your brand’s tone and voice humanise your business and encourage users to interact with your brand. Brands commonly make the mistake of just promoting their products on the channel. A good Instagram voice tells stories and shows interest in the lives of other people. Tones can include informational, educational, witty, artsy, funny, geeky, and inspirational.
- What photos you should use. Instagram is image-heavy, which is why you need to think about the photos you will use to represent your brand. The trick is to illustrate what you do creatively. The images should speak to an overall theme to create a harmonious page, and they should also help customers know you better.
- What colours you should use – In keeping up with your page’s harmony, you can creatively use colours and help cement the position of your brand.
- Where you should first invest your marketing budget – Instagram can prove to be overwhelming with features being unveiled now and then. You can lose much more than you stand to gain by overstretching your resources across the various tools. You need to decide if you will focus on influencers, ads, or Instagram Stories.
- What other Instagram profiles your ideal customer is following and how they communicate. Instagram is pretty competitive, and you need to scout your competition to determine their strategies and tactics.
- Tone of voice – Like Instagram, you can use a tone of voice to carve out a unique presence on Facebook. Whichever tone you choose, you should ensure you use it consistently.
- Type of content they interact with – Videos and photos are the primary tools of the platform, and you can research on which one your buyer persona is more likely to engage with.
- Brands and influencers they connect with on Facebook – Your buyer persona is drawn to other brands for various reasons, the precise reasons you need to uncover.
- How they react to your competitors’ messages.
(Photo credits: Whole Foods Facebook page)
- The tone of voice for LinkedIn – LinkedIn is more formal than most of the other avenues, and you will need to be more business-like to target various segments
- How active your buyer persona is on LinkedIn – If you find that your buyer persona is active on the platform and frequently published articles or posts videos, it may be that they are experts in the industry.
(Photo credits: Whole Foods – LinkedIn)
- The tone of voice – Twitter is ideal for formal, educational and witty voices. It is also heavily text-reliant, and you need to spend some time to narrow down the voice that you will use.
- How many tweets and replies your buyer persona garner on Twitter – The activity of your buyer persona on Twitter will tell you if they an influencer or expert in the industry.
(Photo credits: Whole Foods Twitter)
- The tone of voice to use in communication – Engagement is incredibly important on Pinterest. You need to be appealing with the words you use to attract followers.
- What photos you should use in your digital campaigns – Pinterest centers on beautiful and attractive images which is where you should flex your creative juices. There are millions of interesting photos vying for the attention of your buyer persona, and it is important to decide on the kind of photos you will bank on.
- What colours you should use in your social media messages – Like your choice of images, the colors you use will also need to be captivating for audiences.
- Determine what topics your audience seeks on Pinterest – The topics on the platform vary from nutrition, books, beauty, fashion, and crafts.
(Photo credits: Whole Foods Pinterest)
Buyer personas help give your ideal consumer a human identity and characteristics. You will be better-qualified to understand and visualise your customers and empathise with their challenges and concerns. It is much easier to target specific people than abstract ideas.
You can, therefore, streamline the activities of the whole organization to serve the needs of the buyer persona, gaining you a competitive advantage in the process. The benefits of targeted marketing are endless. It not only saves on your resources due to its efficiency but you will also use the precise language that appeals to them. It is sort of a cheat sheet where you tell your audience exactly what they want to hear.