Defining your audience: How to build buyer personas

Defining your audience: How to build buyer personas

5 minutes
Group of people working with laptops
What are buyer personas?

Buyer personas are fictional characters that you create, which represent your target audience and the people you’re trying to engage with. They can be created using a combination of your own research and current customer information as well as industry data. Ultimately, it’s a profile of a person or a group of people who would be interested in your brand and what you have to say.

Why are they important?

Buyer personas aren’t new. Marketers have been using buyer personas for years and maybe it’s a technique you already use within your company’s marketing and communications strategy. But while some use them within the planning phase, many brands skip the step, preferring to head straight to ‘making stuff’ before actually taking the time to consider who they’re making the stuff for in the first place. Whether you’re talking about a product or service, buyer personas are a really important part of your communication strategy, and here’s why:

Understand your audience

Buyer personas can really help you to build up a picture of the person/people you’re talking to, which means you can create content and messaging that’s relevant to them.

Increase engagement

Understanding exactly who you’re talking to can help you create more meaningful content that resonates, which will lead to an increase in engagement and sentiment.

Inform your content strategy

Knowing your audience and how they go about their day can be incredibly helpful when deciding which platforms to invest in. While you may be adopting an omni-channel approach to a campaign, having knowledge of where your key target audience is will help you to create content that gets results.

Reach the right people at the right time

Having multiple buyer personas can help you to build groups of customers that you can segment communications to. And in an overcrowded world where we see an average of 5,000 messages a day, ‘relevance’ is so important if you want to cut through the noise and make an impact.

Build trust

If you know who you’re talking to and have clearly outlined their wants, needs and fears, then you’re on track to creating messages that genuinely impact their everyday lives. You’ll be seen as a thought leader and reliable source, which can lead to repeat business.

How do you build personas?

Go back to basics

While a buyer persona is about more than just age and location, this can be a great starting point. Start by understanding the basic information and give each persona a name (it will help you to visualise them as a real customer).

Dig deeper

Once you have the basics you can begin to dig a little deeper. If you’ve identified that the person works for a company in London, which company do they work for? And where exactly are they based? How big is the business? What’s the person’s daily routine like - do they commute to work? How long does it take? Building this level of detail and almost mapping out a ‘day in the life’ can help you really understand your buyer and the potential problems they might face in a day and the solutions you can offer to overcome them. Whether you have your own research to call upon or it’s general market knowledge, you should also be able to identify where your target audience is going to be and the channels they use to communicate.

Revisit

As your business develops, it’s important to revisit your buyer personas to see if they’re still relevant or if some things have changed. Regularly reviewing them will help you to produce fresh content and will make sure you stay relevant.

Want to talk about this topic in more detail or need help creating buyer personas? Get in touch with our team for a chat. And follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay up to date with our latest insights.  

Like this article? Share it
Hayley Clark
Hayley Clark
Hayley has over a decade of experience, starting out as a journalist before moving into digital content and strategy. She has worked with clients across a variety of sectors (from property and finance to FMCG), specialising in content marketing and helping brands find their tone of voice.
Get in touch with me