6 Best Persona Generators and How To Simply Create Yours (+ Examples)
When it comes to implementing digital marketing strategies, two words that get thrown around a lot are “customer personas”, and with good reasons.
Choosing who your business is going after is by far the most important step to take, even before setting up the practical strategy itself.
The necessity to create some kind of “prototype” of our best clients, coupled with the advanced technology that we can take advantage of today, gave birth to persona generator tools that can help us, as business owners and marketers, to determine not only who are our buyers, but also where to find them and how to reach them effectively.
In this article, we’re going to dive not only through the proper definition of “buyer persona”, but also how to create it, its benefits, and some of the best tools that allow you to start crafting a customer persona strategy within your own business.
So let’s get started.
What is a User Persona?
According to Career Foundry, a user persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer. It represents not only psychographics and demographics characteristics but also behaviors and beliefs that might spur him/her to act in a certain way within your business’ ecosystem.
“In the simplest terms, buyer personas are examples or archetypes of real buyers that allow marketers to craft strategies to promote products and services to the people who might buy them.”
Customer personas are useful for a variety of reasons, but from a business standpoint, they help drive decisions about which strategy to undertake in order to guarantee maximum customer satisfaction and repeat purchases.
Which Details To Include In Your User Persona?
When designing a user persona, you’ll want to consider different factors. Among the most noteworthy, we have:
- Demographics. These factors have to be taken into consideration from the buyer’s perspective: specifically, they refer to age, gender, professional role or title, marital status, ethnicity, income or level of education.
- Psychographics. While demographics factors focus on the external circumstances of the individual or group of individuals, the psychographic segmentation includes the internal reasons and emotions that compel your target to act in a certain way or to buy something.
In this category, we include factors such as habits, interests, attitudes, priorities, and values.
- Pain points. Unlike the other two categories, which include factors that can be evenly categorized, the pain points experienced by your target audience are entirely subjective to the product or service you sell. In such a situation, targeting must be the result of a really accurate job. As a matter of fact, knowing your audience’s struggles and hardships is probably the best measure by which you could determine if and how well you know your customers.
From such a point of view, surveying them and making a conscious effort to find out what really makes them tick is imperative.
Without proper research (and the aid of a great user persona tool) you won’t even get a chance to entertain them as customers for long.
What Are The Benefits Of User Personas?
Taking advantage of a customer persona creator yields many benefits.
As we’ve already mentioned earlier in this article, customer personas allow your business to have a more stable measure of the people that might be interested in what you have to offer.
Another peak, probably the one appreciated the most by business owners, stems from the opportunity to generate both more qualified leads and significantly higher conversion rates, which, again, are just byproducts of a great profiling phase.
Finally, buyer personas beget clarity on a content level. Once you know what makes your audience tick, tailoring your content strategy upon their needs and preferences becomes way easier.
The Top 6 B2B & B2C Persona Generators
Today, there are plenty of persona creator tools on the market.
As of now, however, the most valuable and widely recognized ones are:
1.HubSpot- Make My Persona (B2B) – Free
HubSpot’s “Make my Persona” free persona template gives you all the options you need in order to create and manage your users through light and easy-to-follow process.
Specifically designed for B2B businesses, it lets you add a wide variety of factors, limited not only to the client’s name and profession, but that also expands to the tools he/she might use the most and the hierarchical position he/she might be occupying within a specific organization.
- Free plan
- Easiness of use
- customizable questions
- Few graphic options regarding the personas
- Lack of multiple editable formats (you can’t edit the persona within PDF or Word formats).
Pricing: Make My Persona is 100% free and it guarantees high-quality profiling and results.
2. Xtensio (B2B) – Free & Paid
Representing another great B2B and B2C persona creator tool with an extremely user-centric interface, Xtensio gives to its client base the opportunity to create presentations with various free persona templates divided into respective categories.
It’s definitely a path worth pursuing for those who prioritize convenience and professionalism over everything else.
- User-friendly interface
- Convenient price
- You can’t save your documents within the free plan or export your files outside of the platform without losing some quality in the process.
Pricing: Xtensio is free for those who are just getting started. However, as personnel and necessities grow, the price can levitate up to 14$ a month per team member (10$ a month if you buy an annual plan).
3. UserForge (B2C)- Free
Userforge is a B2C persona creator tool that allows you to generate, share and iterate user persona in a very quick way, and it benefits from a full free plan.
Although it only has one language (a fair problem for foreign clients), Userforge possesses an intuitive user interface coupled with easily-customizable details and sections about our persona.
- Easiness of use
- Customizable interface
- Inability to upload external images
- Lack of multiple languages.
4. Smaply (B2C) – Paid
Smaply is a B2C persona creator app for professionals who’d like to improve the customer journey of their clients.
- You can map out not only your buyer personas but also the entire customer journey that they might go through
- Easy to share
- No free trial and a lack of supporting plugins.
Pricing: Smaply has a starting paid version of 25$ per month. For additional business features, its monthly fee can rise up to 100$.
5. Uxpressia (B2C) – Free & Paid
Both a B2C persona creator and journey-mapping software, Uxpressia offers a unique combination of value and great features. It’s easily shareable with team members, and on top of it, it’s extremely responsive.
- User-friendly design
- Highly responsive
- Lack of customizable user persona
- Limited edit options
Pricing: Uxpressia’s paid version is just one, and it costs 24$ for each user, per month (20$, if billed annually).
6. Personapp (B2C) – Free
Last but not least, Personapp represents a B2C persona creator app that lets you take advantage of a quick and lean interface mixed with easy sharing options that make business’ communication seamless.
Although not mentioned as much as the other ones in this list, Personapp represents a great framework for getting started with creating customer personas.
- Lean interface
- Easy sharing options
- Lack of further sections (i.e. “pain points” or “habits”)
- Lack of in-app directions and tips on how to use properly the platform.
Pricing: Personapp also benefits from a full free plan.
3 user persona examples
We now know what a buyer persona is.
We’ve also walked through various persona creator tools that can serve us well in creating our own “best buyers”.
Now, we’re going to sketch three different user persona examples within three different industries and take a look at how you could contextualize them within your own strategy.
Hopefully, this will give you clearer insights into the characteristics that must be taken into account when engaging in the creation phase.
This is the prototype of a B2B communication funnel. The end-user is a busy marketing manager looking for ways to achieve all of her goals without losing her mind in the process.
Such a free persona template might be ideal for a time-management software company whose target lies in extremely-ambitious professionals who have in time their most valuable asset.
This is a classic example of B2C user persona targeting. In this case, the creator is a travel agency whose objective is to target people like Max, who are interested and actually engage in traveling a lot.
The objective of this buyer persona spreadsheet is to map out and understand customers’ interests and patterns of behavior on a typical leisure trip, so as to provide the most effective solution for a stress-free traveling experience.
Coming back to another B2C template, we now take a look at a coffee shop trying to reframe its market perception as a quiet and ideal alternative for those who come off of a hectic workweek.
The target is Sarah. After a very busy studying schedule, she’s so exhausted that the only two things she might be looking for are either a quiet environment where she could decompress or an unusual adventure which could help her distract and recharge the batteries in sight of another tour de force.
Through various promotions, discounts, or contests, a coffee shop could really be what she needs.
Industries and niches might change, but what will never change is the necessity to accurately describe who your buyers are.
As you can see in these pictures, buyer personas can be mapped in a variety of ways, just like there are countless factors that might be of interest to you, depending on your business and objectives.
The important thing, however, is to clearly decide which factors are going to be decisively important, and then go out there and search for prospects that satisfy those criteria.
If you sell within a specific territory, there’s no point in targeting prospects from another area, just like there’d be no point in selling life-insurance policies to 19-year-old college students, to make a more practical example. Be smart.
Persona creator tools are essential nowadays.
Whether your business is digital, physical, or a combination of both, knowing your best clients goes a long way in determining how well and for how long you’re likely to satisfy their demand.
Free persona templates constitute a great starting point that makes you understand how the whole buyer persona creation process works, and all of the software we mentioned above are great at doing that, even though not everyone is on the same level in terms of efficacy.
At the end of the day, the goal is not to gain short-term sales but to generate long-term brand ambassadors, and the only way to reach that goal is to know our best buyers upside down, along with communicating with them in their own tone of voice about their true issues and challenges.
Our persona creator recommendations
We talked extensively about what we consider to be the most prolific and effective persona creator tools.
However, we want to approach the end of this article by adding our personal preferences when it comes to software like these, choosing the ones that we consider to be suitable the most based on your business objectives.
Specifically, we would like to take into consideration two different scenarios:
- If you are a small business owner, one of your main concerns regards cutting costs whenever possible, even if it means sacrificing high-quality tools.
In this case, the best software to choose among the above-mentioned is probably Makemypersona.
The second best option is UserForge, which is not just free; it’s also easy to use, and it permits you to collaborate with more team members, as well as writing a descriptive quote and a short biography about each persona.
Sure, it might be a bit limited features-wise, especially compared to its bigger competitors, but all of the characteristics described above, together with the fact that it is free of charge, makes it a very compelling alternative within the persona creator niche.
- If you own or are part of a bigger enterprise, you might not necessarily want to just look at the price tag, but rather, you’ll mostly want to find a persona creator software that is comfortable for both managing great chunks of data and allowing seamless communication within a team (or department) settings as well.
From such a standpoint, you might want to go with Xtensio.
Born out of a sheer desire to help people grow their businesses better, within Xtensio’s ecosystem you can:
– Encourage accountability and increase productivity among team members;
– Create and assess intuitive pipelines;
– Regularly review key data in order to gain context;
– On top of that, you can build extremely accurate buyer personas that serve as a unifying source of truths across different departments, so as to get everyone on the same page and avoid painful communication hiccups.
Bigger companies need more coordination and transparency, and when a tool guarantees that, it’s hard not to choose it.