It’s all very well coming up with a content strategy, writing tweets, and shelling out for paid ads, but unless you know exactly who your buyers are, you’re shooting into thin air.
This is why buyer personas are so important to businesses.
The concept of buyer personas has been around for years; it’s essentially a fictional character created to represent your target customer. By establishing the demographic and psychographic information behind your typical customer, you can start to understand behaviors and preferences. That in turn can help you to create optimized content, products and services that are better suited to your customers, and enjoy way higher conversion rates.
Buyer personas make for effective, personalized targeting, customer-centric values and increased profits. Want more proof? Check out these mind-blowing stats on buyer personas.
But it’s not as easy as listing assumed characteristics of your ideal customer and naming your persona “Simple Sally.” You’ve got to do much better than that.
Read on to discover four ways that you can create better buyer personas for your online store.
Throughout the process of creating buyer personas, you’re going to be collecting a lot of data about your customer experience and you’ll be attempting to sift through it to make your buyer personas.
You don’t want to just sit on this information and then turn it into a Word doc. You need to transform your research into something tangible, easy to understand and professional-looking.
There are various buyer persona tools available online that can provide you with persona templates and how-to guides:
Have a look at what is available and find one that suits your business best. Buyer personas should be at the heart of your marketing campaigns, so it’s worth spending that extra bit of time developing (and documenting) them.
After all, this is what you’re going to center your strategy around and with good reason: buyer personas will allow you to more accurately target consumers through segmentation and personalization, giving you a higher success rate.
To create your buyer personas, you will need to start gathering information on your target customers to better understand them and how they will interact with your product or service.
Of course, you will need to do your own bespoke research — interviews and questionnaires are a good place to start — but existing data will help to build solid foundations when establishing personas.
You’re not going to have all of the answers ready to hand, particularly if you’re starting up a completely new business.
If you don’t have any data yet, you can still make informed decisions by using data from your competitors and filling in the blanks with your own educated guesses.
Using tools like SimilarWeb will help you analyze the traffic and audience behavior of your competitors. Online marketplaces can also be analyzed for competitor sales data and profitability. This will allow you to identify trends and customer intent in your niche, which you can put to good use when building buyer personas.
For any gaps in your data, you can make educated guesses based on logic and empathy. Ask yourself a number of questions about your target audience, their lifestyles and behaviors — there are plenty of posts online that will help you to identify the most buyer persona questions.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and try to answer as them. This is obviously most useful when you are in your own demographic range — think about what you look for and what you value most.
But don’t forget to think outside the room, even when you — and your team — are of the demographic group that you’re aiming for. It’s easy to get caught up in a company-centric marketing strategy rather than customer-centric marketing, and you could end up making buyer assumptions that are completely wrong.
Buyer personas will change and evolve over time. If you want to create better personas, then you need to be flexible and ready to adapt.
You should review and update your buyer personas regularly as a key part of your marketing strategy.
The persona you originally build will be built on information you’ve got from your previous venture, competitor sites, social media and some educated guesswork. And of course, this is a great place to start. However, as you start making sales and forging customer relationship, you will start ironing out the details in your personas.
It goes without saying that tools like Google Analytics will give you valuable insight into the behaviors, demographics, and on-site actions of your ecommerce customers and visitors. You can use this information to define and evolve buyer personas in accordance to your customers’ behavior, wants and needs — ultimately helping you to target potential customers more accurately.
These are four ways that you can you create solid, useful buyer personas for your online store.
Remember to base your personas on data and facts, and to gather this all in one place using persona templates. Keep evolving and updating your buyer personas regularly too — this will help you to make strong changes your wider strategy (for example, to improve the customer journey).
By following these tips and creating better buyer personas, you keep the customer at the center of everything you do. And ultimately, this will lead to a better business with bigger sales.