Buyer Personas Help Businesses Know Their Audience

Buyer Personas
Photo credit Jirsak/Getty Images
By , Small Business Pulse

One of the biggest mistakes a small business owner can make is to fail to identify and understand his or her target audience. In other words, if you don’t know where to focus your advertising efforts, chances are you aren’t maximizing your profits or reaching your largest group of potential customers. If th`at’s the case, you may want to develop a few buyer personas to better understand your target consumer base.

What are buyer personas?
Buyer personas are fictional or semi-fictional profiles that identify your ideal customers. A practice widely used for business, marketing and advertising purposes, buyer personas will feature a photo of a target customer and typically list the individual’s personal background, such as age, gender and place of residence. It will also include psychographic information, like lifestyle choices, spending habits and brand preferences, as well as information on education, occupation and salary.

How many buyer personas should I create?
A good rule of thumb is to start with at least a couple of buyer personas and then build from there. Once a few buyer personas are defined, you can then tailor your marketing and advertising efforts toward consumers that best fit your description as your ideal buyer. In turn, you can increase more interest in your product and likely generating more leads.

What resources are available for helping create a buyer persona?
Since the use of buyer personas are widespread across the business spectrum, there are multiple resources and tools to help you get started. However, before you begin, you might want to start by simply engaging with your current customers to better understand who your potential customers might be.

The following online resources can be very useful depending on your needs:
Google Analytics - analyze your business website
Google Forms and Survey Monkey - poll target audience on buying preferences

Increase the effectiveness of your social media pages with Facebook’s Audience Insight, Twitter Analytics and Instagram Insights.

Additionally, many online sources offer free templates for creating a buyer persona, such as Alexa Blogs and HubSpot.

Do buyer personas really work?
Yes, absolutely. Buyer personas are widely used in the business world from junior marketing specialists and junior copywriters to corporate executives and small business owners. By first developing a basic group of buyer personas, you’ll have a much better understanding of who your ideal customers are and can help make your small business grow to its maximum potential.