What is a buyer persona template, and why does it matter?
One of the essential steps in developing a marketing strategy is to create a buyer persona. Doing so lets you better target your audience and appeal to them. With multiple buyer personas, you can use varying strategies depending on the customer you want to reach.
To give you an idea of how much of a difference buyer personas make, consider that 82% of companies using them improve their value proposition. This is likely due to many factors, including that ads targeted based on behaviors tend to be twice as effective. Another fact is that using these personas when designing a website will improve usability between two and five times. With such a difference, it is not a huge surprise that 93% of companies that exceed their revenue and lead generation goals use buyer personas.
While buyer personas are essential, they are also somewhat time-consuming to create. You need to make sure you include all of the important sections and maintain some element of structure. You also want to compare various buyer personas easily, so you need a uniform format. Using a buyer persona template can make this easier. You just have to brainstorm and fill in the details.
What is a buyer persona template? What is the purpose of a buyer persona template?
Think of your buyer persona as a fictional person that you create to represent a segment of your target customers or clients. It should be based on customer data and market research.
The best buyer personas will be highly detailed and include information on demographics, goals, behaviors, and more.
Once you have a buyer persona, you can keep that in mind throughout product development, marketing, and other important decisions.
You can create a buyer persona from scratch, but using a persona template tends to be much easier and a more efficient use of your time. Everything will be already structured regardless of the type of persona you create. This makes it easier to create multiple personas and compare them. It also saves you the hassle of trying to remember what elements to include in the persona.
How do you write a buyer persona? — Major trends influencing a buyer persona template
There are two main methods to writing a buyer persona, starting from scratch or using a template. A template will make it much easier as you don’t have to brainstorm what information to include. Instead, the blanks in the templates guide you. You also save time in the future by making all of your buyer personas uniformly organized.
Whether you make a buyer persona from scratch or use a template, there will still be some research and brainstorming involved.
Start by gathering data about your current customers. Look at your existing sales data, have customers fill out surveys, or use the information from contact forms. You should also gather similar information from your market segment, especially if you are still a newer company and don’t have enough client data yet.
Ideally, you will talk directly to customers or potential customers to see why they like your offerings, their goals, and what they are looking for in a product or service. This process can be done face-to-face, in surveys, or any other way you can think of.
You will also want to have a conversation with your sales team. See if they can give you any insights into the type of customers they are most likely to interact with or see the best results from.
After gathering all of this data and information, it is time to look at it, searching for patterns. Remember that you should segment your clients by creating multiple buyer personas.
What should a buyer persona include? — The individual pieces of a buyer persona template
Every buyer persona template is slightly different, but there are ten main areas that you should include or at least strongly consider including. You will notice all of these in our buyer persona template, but the following gives you some extra detail. The goal is to make it easier to fill out the persona template by better understanding the type of information to include in each section.
- Background: The background of the persona tells you the education, hobbies, and job role of the person. It should include key information about their company or daily life that makes your product or service relevant. You may even want to consider what a day in their life looks like.
- Demographics: These are the basic demographics, such as location, gender, age-range, and household income. Locational information can be specific, such as a city and state, and general, such as rural, suburban, or urban.
- Identifiers and Buzz Words: This is where you list the buzz words your persona typically uses. This section should also try to overcome any misconceptions about those buzz words. You will also use this section to determine what keywords to use in your marketing campaigns.
- Goals and Motivation: Use this section to outline the persona’s goals that are relevant to your service or product. For example, a fitness retailer may look at goals like losing weight, improving endurance, running a faster mile, or lifting heavier weights.
- Challenges: This section focuses on the obstacles that stand in the way of your persona reaching their goals. Pay extra attention to this section in the case of personas that aren’t decision-makers. In those situations, you would want to consider challenges such as not wanting to be replaced by a product or not wasting their boss’s time.
- How You Help: This is where you outline how your products and services overcome the challenges and help your buyer persona reach their goal.
- Real Quotes: To help bring your personas to life, pull some quotes from clients that fit within a given persona. This technique will help you craft messaging and products that better resonate with the target audience—use quotes from reviews, surveys, interviews, or other sources.
- Common Objections: Use this part of the buyer persona to outline the persona’s common concerns or objections to using your product or service. This helps you better plan how to present the problem. For example, if you know expense will be a concern, you can highlight the product’s long-term benefits and savings.
You should also include questions that the persona is likely to have in this section. Those frequently overlap with the common objections. Consider taking this a step further and thinking about the engagement scenarios with the persona. In other words, how would a conversation with them go as they express their concerns and you address them?
- Marketing Messaging: Take all of the information from the previous sections and create a uniform messaging technique that you will use to appeal to the persona.
- Elevator Pitch: The pitch is the next step up from market messaging. It is more highly tuned and more concise.
As mentioned, every buyer persona template is slightly different. Some may combine several of these elements into one or divide some of the more detailed sections into two parts. For example, here is another section you may see in a template:
- Content Preferences: This area of a buyer persona will look at the type of content they prefer to consume. Do they like long-form or short-form written content? Or do they prefer videos or images? What social media websites do they use? Would they rather do quizzes or webinars that involve an interaction or just reading something? What is their preferred tone?
What Are Buyer Persona Examples? — Using Examples vs. Creating a Buyer Persona Without Examples
We’ve compiled a series of buyer persona examples to help you visualize what they can look like. These examples will show you some of the variations in templates and how they are adaptable. They also will give you a better idea of how specific you need to be when crafting the persona.
As you look at the examples, pay attention to:
- Variations in formatting.
- How you can adapt the categories to include based on your products or services.
- The level of detail.
- The use of phrases instead of sentences or single words.
- The way key information is highlighted.
- The names given to each persona.
Conclusion: Why You Should Care About Buyer Persona Templates
Creating buyer personas helps you better target your company’s marketing efforts. It lets you segment your audience and appeal to each segment more accurately. It also provides insights into future product or service developments based on the goals of the personas. Using buyer persona templates saves you time and effort while ensuring that you don’t leave out any relevant information.
Our Podium Partner Program lets you partner with a company that will help you excel in your sales and promotions. From free templates like this one for a buyer persona to tools and solutions to improve processes, Podium can help you and your clients grow.