The best writing and digital campaigns are like a conversation. When you’re talking with someone, it’s helpful to know some basic things about your conversation partner.
How old are they? What are their interests? How do they prefer to communicate?
All of these are great questions that can give us the information we need to tailor each message to the listener. Great marketers and writers practice this habit through a tool called user or buyer personas.
These personas are designed to give each business a semi-fictional representation of their audience or customers. By assigning each persona a name and collecting as many demographic details as possible, businesses and marketers can better understand their audiences’ wants, needs, and goals.
In this piece, we’ll guide you through the basics of creating user or buyer personas, and show you how your business can use them to improve your marketing and content campaigns.
What is a User or Buyer Persona?
A user or buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of one segment of your audience or customer base. Most businesses have a few that they use regularly unless their customer base is extremely niche or specific. Many agencies and writers use easy-to-remember nicknames like Purchasing Phil, Accountant Annie, or CEO Cheryl to help differentiate each persona.
Buyer Persona Example:
The process of creating these personas begins with finding as much data about your audience or customer base as possible. Then, marketers use that data to create assumptions about the demographics and personality of each unique fictional persona, such as their occupation, level of education, income, motivations, and preferred method of communication.
How Using Personas Enhances Your Content Marketing Strategy
Once they’ve been designed, the uses for these personas are endless. At their most basic level, they can be used to tailor every aspect of your marketing, from blogs and email campaigns to slogans. It’s much easier to get someone to interact with or react to a message if it’s specifically targeted at them.
Think about emails that you’ve read before. Generic, vague emails are most often ignored or deleted. You’re more likely to open an email if it has a subject line that references a problem you’re having, or the message is tailored to your circumstances or needs.
User or buyer personas allow marketers to create specific, targeted pieces that appeal to individual segments of their audience. Using the sales lifecycle, marketers can get even more specific about what pieces they write, and target them to individuals at different stages of the buyers’ journey.
A Simple Guide to Creating User Personas
Now that we understand the importance of user or buyer personas, how can we start the process of creating them? Here’s an easy, step-by-step guide.
1. Do the research
To make personas, you need to have a good understanding of your audience or customer base. Start by gathering as much data as possible. Comb through email lists, dig into your contact database, or speak to your sales department.
If you don’t have any of this information, consider introducing form fields on your website to capture relevant details from leads.
2. Distill the raw data and identify patterns
Once you have the raw data, sort through the list to identify visible patterns. You’ll likely use different details depending on your business.
For example, a business-facing manufacturer might identify different personas based on occupation or company size, while a business with an e-commerce focus might create personas based on age, location, or spending pattern.
3. Create a demographic background for each persona
Once you’ve found a few common characteristics or details that separate your audience, start creating your personas. Assign them a generic name, and fill in as many details as you can, using facts from your research as well as a few educated guesses.
Great personas are full of details that can be used by marketers, sales teams, and other departments throughout the company. Some key points can include:
- Company Size
- Communication Preferences
- Pain Points
4. Craft messaging based on these personas
Once you’ve created your personas, you’re ready to put them to work in your next marketing or sales campaign. These details are invaluable, and can be used by many departments to help create positive interactions with clients, design custom messaging and create engaging marketing campaigns that inspire and delight customers.
5. Revisit them often
Don’t forget to revisit your personas every few years. Your audience may have shifted in that time, or there could be additional details that you could use to enhance your existing personas.
Have you ever created a user or buyer persona for your business? If this is new to you, get in touch with us. We’d love to help create an engaging marketing campaign that speaks directly to your customers.