How to Create a Buyer Persona – And Why You Should

When strategizing content or delivering campaigns, are you keeping personas in mind?

No, we’re not talking high-minded Jungian psychology here, although psychology does play a part in developing personas for marketing strategy. To put it simply, a persona is a key segment of your audience; it’s one of several ideal consumers you see interacting with your business, and each has different backgrounds and needs. Any business typically has three to five personas they’re targeting. A good marketing persona template include basic demographic info like age, gender, location or education level. But there’s more than just that: your buyer persona worksheet should also include a persona’s goals, personal values and fears.

With your buyer persona worksheet, you can better tailor your message or content to various audience segments. But how does one go about developing personas for marketing strategy, and then how do they implement those personas? Here’s how to create a buyer persona and how you can use it in your messaging.

What to Include in a Buyer Persona Worksheet

When designing personas, begin by making a simple marketing persona template. This is a bit like creating a fictional character for a story. In this case, the character is one of your customers and the “story” is your marketing campaign. Begin by giving your persona a name, since this will make the customer feel more real and less abstract.

Your marketing persona template should include fields for basic stats like:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Family (marital status and number/age of children)
  • Location
  • Work info (occupation, income, level of education)
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That’s all the basic information but developing personas for marketing strategy requires digging a little deeper. Consider questions like: Where does the customer typically search for information? What are some of the biggest challenges they face related to your industry? Fill out your character by homing in on their values and goals.

Given this information, you should finally include a short elevator pitch or key marketing message. Alternatively, you might list out anticipated objections the persona might have to your product or service alongside points on how your business meets the needs outlined above.

Strategies for Retention-Growing Personas

You know what to include in your marketing persona template, but who is your audience in the first place? Understanding the many sectors of your audience is a key step in how to create a buyer persona. First, take a look at all available data on your audience—web analytics is a good place to begin. Ask yourself questions like:

  • Where is my audience located—what are the major places or types of communities?
  • What’s the context—what devices does my audience use, and when?
  • How did my audience find us—keywords, referrals?

These should all give you a good idea of who makes up your audience. If information is scarce, don’t be afraid to push a survey out to your customers and fans. Together, these stats will help you pick out key demographics for your buyer persona worksheet.

Next, you’ll want to poll every member of your team who is customer-facing. Different departments or members of your organization interact with customers in different ways. For example, a member of your customer support team will have a different understanding of your audience than a member of the marketing team. Getting feedback from everyone will help you design a holistic vision of your audience segments. Use this information to identify the challenges, values and goals we mentioned in the marketing persona template above.

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Implementing your Buyer Personas

After developing personas for marketing strategy, it’s time to implement them. Revise the tone of your messaging to appeal to the personas you’ve built. For example, Spotify was met with great success when it adopted a tone that feels like a friend sharing a meme with you. With web personalization, you can tailor your website’s landing page and more to each persona’s individual need.

If your business has a blog, your personas will be integral to strategizing content. Pay special attention to your personas’ goals and needs, then strategize on how your brand meets those needs. From there, you can develop content that has real value for your audience. You might also consider the personas’ fears you’ve identified earlier to assuage them in your content.

Now you’re ready to draft up some persona templates and get to know your audience like never before! With these idealized portraits of returning or prospective customers, you can implement strong, irresistible campaigns and high-value content.