Quick question: Who would you be more inclined to respond to?
- Someone yelling, “Hey, you!” from a car window across the parking lot.
- Someone coming up to you, looking you in the eye, and then addressing you personally.
Most people would be more inclined to respond to a personal address than a random shout. And delivering that personal touch is what a buyer persona is all about.
A buyer persona is a profile of your ideal customer, stocked with information that can range from age and gender to hobbies and interests. Depending on your product or service, you may have a single persona or multiple personas that outline specific members of your target audience.
Just don’t go too crazy with too many personas. Focus on about three to five customer types that are most valuable to your business.
Buyer Persona Examples
If your company were a content creation platform and freelance marketplace, for example, your personas might include:
- Sophisticated Sally: Sally is in charge of building a team of writers that span multiple disciplines for a major company. She is looking for a long-term solution to her freelance content creation needs.
- Agency Andy: As a decision-maker at an agency, Andy is responsible for creating content for scores of unique companies. He previously worked with a hand-selected pool of freelance writers, but the growth of his client base has inspired him to look more closely at marketplace solutions that can scale alongside his business.
- Short-on-Time Shaun: Shaun values efficiency and quick results. As the head of a lean marketing team, he doesn’t have much time for in-depth research when it comes to finding effective writers and an efficient platform.
The above examples provide a very brief overview of three different personas. But even without the in-depth details, you get a good idea of how you can tailor your content to most effectively connect with your target.
Why a Buyer Persona Is Important
Your buyer personas are extremely helpful for creating targeted content, but that’s not the only function they serve. They can help all your teams across the board, from marketing and sales all the way to product development and customer support.
When it comes to content marketing, your personas can help you:
- Identify and offer solutions to customer pain points and challenges.
- Determine the best content distribution channels for reaching your target audience members.
- Balance your content types and topics to ensure you’re addressing your brand’s variety of customers.
What Should a Buyer Persona Include?
Your buyer persona can be as simple or complex as you wish. It all depends on the level of information your brand needs to create content that speaks directly to your audience.
The most important thing is to make sure your buyer persona includes information that clearly outlines:
- Who you’re speaking to
- Where to find them
- What problem of theirs you’re solving
Suggested specifics to include:
Name and image: Humanizing your persona helps you think of them as a real person. It’s easier to write content for Deep-Thinking Diane than it is to write content for “Persona #1.”
Demographics: This gives you an even more personalized picture. Knowing age, education level and other background information helps you best create a message that resonates.
Type of business: This provides insights on where they work, their level of responsibility and how much power they have in the decision-making process. This can also help paint a picture of what their workplace is like.
Goals and challenges: Make sure you’re addressing what they ultimately want as well as the challenges they need to overcome.
Sources of information, engagement style: This gives you insights into where they get their information and how they prefer to communicate. These two aspects are important for knowing where to find them and how to best connect.
Situation, complexity, solution: This allows you to best understand where they’re at, the complexities they face and how your solution can get them to where they want to be.
Some marketing teams may feel the above information is enough to give them a solid feel for their ideal customer. Others may want to go deeper with additional details. These may include:
- Interests, such as sports, health and beauty, travel
- Personality traits, such as openness, extroversion, agreeableness
- Top behaviors, such as fast-talking, slow-talking, efficient, straightforward
- Purchasing influences, such as downloads, demos, explainer videos
How to Create a Buyer Persona
When it comes to creating a buyer persona, you’re welcome to start from scratch. But you certainly don’t have to. The easiest way to make one is with a buyer persona template.Using a readymade template, like the one found on the WriterAccess platform, ensures you have all the info covered — even if you don’t use it all. You can pick and choose what information is most relevant to your brand and goals, and then simply check the boxes from there.
Buyer Persona Template Example
Using a buyer persona template lets you:
- Create consistent templates for all your personas.
- Zero in on the most important information you need.
- Save each template for future use.
- Easily attach relevant personas to content orders to make things easier for your content creators.
The WriterAccess Persona Builder is just one of several tools built right into the platform.
Buyer Persona Research
Now that you have your template and know the type of information you want to gather, your next step is gathering it. If you’ve been in business any amount of time, you’re likely to already have a good amount of the information you need.
You’ll find plenty of information on your existing customers and prospects from:
- Analytics programs, such as Google Analytics, social media analytics and analytics from your website and software systems.
- Your sales team, who can provide insights on customer motivations, objections and obstacles.
- Customer interviews, which you can conduct with specific questions via email, in person or over the phone.
- Surveys, questionnaires, testimonials, social media comments, statistical trends.
Summing It Up
To meet your customer’s needs, you need to know who they are. Buyer personas give you that knowledge. Creating buyer personas doesn’t have to be all that arduous, either. Simply grab a persona template, plug in the info, and get ready to connect with your audience using a targeted, personalized touch. Start using the Persona Builder on the WriterAccess platform now with a free trial.