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How to create Buyer Personas for Ecommerce Marketers

Whether you’ve got a product or are an affiliate looking for a product to sell, the best way to start is to identify your ideal customer.

What are Buyer Personas?

Buyer Personas or Avatars are fictional representatives of your ideal customer.

Why Should I Create a Buy Persona?

It’s difficult to market to a blank space, or a huge crowd. You can’t please everyone as they say, and trying just alienates more than you please. When manufacturing was limited and therefore so were the number of products marketers had it easy to sell one of only a handful of choices. These days there are hundreds of choices, and more every day. Simply competing on price isn’t working anymore.

Customers are out there looking for something to solve their problems, but there are so many people yelling their solutions it’s easy to get lost in the mix. Your job is to figure out which problem you want to solve and sell the solution in way that will have the customer thanking you and asking for more.

Where do I start?

Start with the basic demographics of your audience, age, gender, income, etc… And move on to psychographics- the ways that people feel, their personality, morality, values, interests etc… Then do some field research try and find where your audience might congregate and go and collect data there.

Really knowing your customers means really interacting with them. You don’t have to go meet them in person. If you can great do that. But if you can’t or it’s just not practical you can go online find forums and social media groups where your proposed audience is gathering. Read what they have to say join in the conversation. Start building a picture of the story they have in their heads, and how you and your company can give that story a happy ending.

Build the Character

You can’t truly know someone just by reading their forum posts. But combined with all your other research you can create a reasonable facsimile. Creating the avatar for these stories gives you a person that’s more than just basic demographics and it allows you to effectively connect with the prospect when creating your copy.

Once you’ve got your data, and feel like you’re inside the head of your ideal customer tell the story of who they are, give them a name, and a background and what it is they’re really looking for, not the product itself, but the effect that they’re searching for.

You could start with something like this:

Mary, aged 27, is a college graduate a few years out of school she’s still searching for the one job she’d like to have as a career. She’s got a steady boyfriend, James, and they’re thinking of marriage in the near future. Mary really wants to have an independent income, so she’ll be free to stay home in the event that she and James have children. She’s also considering going back to school and worries about going into too much debt.

This is just the start, but once you get going you can create an entire back-story for this person and once you know them and what they want you can sell to them on a one-to-one basis that is far more effective than simply spreading a huge ‘Buy Now’ message across the internet.

Think about it.

What products do you have that you could sell to Mary? If you don’t have one in mind can you think of areas that you could look for a product or start building one? Once you know who you’re selling to, the selling becomes easy, because you’re just giving them what they want.