How To
14 min read

How to Create Buyer Personas for Better Marketing Campaigns

Soniya Khubchandani

August 22, 2022

Most businesses blindly throw thousands of dollars at marketing strategies that don't work. As a result, they end up with inefficient campaigns and don't even know why their customers aren't buying from them.

The solution is simple. You have to understand your customers.

  • What do they want? 
  • How do they buy? 
  • What are their pain points? 

Once you figure that out, you can deliver value and hopefully become a preferred brand that they seek out when they need your products or service in the future.

Here is an easy-to-digest guide that explains what a buyer persona is and how to create personas that work for your business and digital marketing strategy. Let's deep dive into it.

What is a buyer persona?

Buyer personas are fictional yet detailed representations of your target audience. They're based on data about your audience's demographics, behaviors, and goals. Buyer personas help you understand what motivates your customers to make decisions. They also help you anticipate their needs and develop strategies to meet them.

For example, create a persona for a 30-year-old father of three who works in the insurance industry. You can predict that he's likely to be concerned with saving money and will have certain expectations about what it means to insure his family. This helps you to understand how you might best reach him with your product or service.

Buyer personas are generally based on demographics, behaviors, and objectives.

  • Demographics include age, gender, and location.
  • Behaviors include how often they purchase products or services, what kind of media they consume, and what devices they use.
  • Objectives drive people to make purchases—whether to get information or save money.

What makes a good buyer persona?

An ideal buyer persona helps you focus on the people who will buy from you. This means it needs to be targeted toward an existing audience (not just "people who want X"), and it should reflect the real things that motivate them to buy from you.

What are negative buyer personas?

Negative buyer personas are any group of people who aren't likely to buy your product or service. This is a great way to identify if your products target the wrong demographic.

For example, if you're selling a financial product and one of your negative buyer personas is someone who just lost their job, it may not be worth trying to sell them something that requires money upfront.

You can create a negative buyer persona by looking at your customers who have never purchased from you. If most of your non-customers are in a specific demographic, you can assume that other people who fit that demographic will also be unlikely to buy from you.

What are the benefits of having buyer personas?

Buyer personas are a great way to better understand your customers. By identifying their needs, wants, and pain points, you can tailor your marketing strategy to address those needs. 

Here are just a few of the benefits of having buyer personas:

  • They make connecting with your target market easier by understanding what they're looking for when interacting with your brand.
  • You'll be able to identify trends within your target customer base and adjust accordingly.
  • They can help you define your target audience, which can make it easier to reach them.
  • They can help you avoid making assumptions about your customers and instead focus on the facts.

How can you use buyer personas in marketing?

Buyer personas are a little bit like the superheroes of marketing. They're the individuals that your business knows best, and they can help you develop strategies to reach and connect with your target audience.

You can use them to help you understand your audience, create content that resonates with them, and shape your content marketing strategy.

You can also use buyer personas to help you develop a consistent voice across your marketing materials. This makes it easier for people to connect with your brand and understand what you have to offer.

How to create buyer personas

Creating a detailed buyer persona is an essential part of marketing, and it helps you understand your audience so that you can tailor your message to them.

Here are some tips for creating a compelling buyer persona.

Research your audience

The first step in creating buyer personas is to do some research about your audience. Try to get a picture of the person they are, their interests and motivations, and what they like and dislike. You can research this market by talking to your current customers and prospects.

Ask your existing customers what they like about your product and service and what they wish was different. You can also ask them what they consider the most crucial factor when buying from you.

Ask your potential customers what they want in a solution like yours and how they plan to use your product or service.

Interview your sales and marketing teams

Talk to the people in your company responsible for generating leads and closing sales. Your sales team interacts with potential customers daily, so it's necessary to ask them about their experience with customers to identify the kinds of personas within your company's customer base. 

Your marketing team can give valuable insights on customer experience and how to better create an effective buyer persona to develop a targeted marketing message.

You can also ask how customers feel about your products and why some people choose not to buy from you. It will help you to identify the common characteristics of your customers and will give you a better idea of who they are.

Conduct surveys

Send a survey to customers and prospects, asking them about their needs and what they like and dislike about your products or services. You can also ask them if they would recommend your company to others. 

By taking the time to speak with your customers directly, you'll be able to gain valuable buying insight into how best to tailor your marketing efforts toward them.

Develop their demographics

Once you've identified your audience, it's time to dig deeper into their individual needs and wants. You'll want to start by figuring out how old they are, where they live (and how long they've lived there), what kind of education they've received (if any), and what kinds of jobs or careers they hold or hope for in the future (if applicable).

This information will help you determine where these people are going online for information and how you can reach them. It's also important to note the types of devices they prefer to use when they go online, as well as the apps and websites that they use most frequently.

Demographic data can be a great starting point for the research process. You can use this information to build a more detailed picture of the audience you want to reach and how they behave online. 

You could say that your ideal customer is:

  • A single woman in her 30s.
  • Lives in an urban area.
  • Works a 9 to 5 job.
  • She has two kids.
  • Looking for ways to make extra money.
  • She uses Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.

This way, you can focus on what she likes and wants to see when developing your product or service. This will help you create something that she'll enjoy using.

Identify their pain points and goals

To find out what your audience wants, you need to know what they're struggling with. You can do this by asking questions like:

  • What are the main challenges that are keeping them up at night?
  • How can you help them overcome these challenges?
  • What do they want to achieve in the next 6 months, 1 year, or 5 years?

You can also find out your audience's needs by looking at their social media profiles. Look for posts that mention problems they're facing, or read through their blog posts to see if there are any recurring themes. If there are, you can use this information to create content that addresses those problems.

For example, if your audience is struggling with finding new customers, you could create a piece of content on how to get more clients without spending money on advertising.

Finding your audience's pain points and goals can help you create content that will solve their problems and help them achieve their goals. This is a great way to show that you care about your audience by giving them what they want, and it's a lot easier than trying to guess what they might want from scratch.

Prepare your solutions and benefits

Once you've identified your audience's pain points and goals, it's time to figure out how you can help them. The first part of this process is figuring out what solutions and benefits your content will provide. 

It's important to note that these solutions and benefits don't have to be directly related to your business; they can be as simple as providing helpful information or entertainment.

The best way to do this is by writing down a list of everything your audience needs and wants. This will also help you identify any holes in your content plan so that nothing falls through the cracks.

For example, if you're writing a blog post about how to make more money from home, your solution might be "to find freelance jobs that pay well." The benefit of this solution is that it allows freelancers to earn more money without having to leave their homes.

Start with a few ideas for each topic, then narrow down which one works best for your business. Don't be afraid to experiment with different angles or formats; you can find what works best by testing different content types and styles.

The key is to always think about your audience's problems and how you can help them resolve them by providing solutions.

Understand and organize all of your data

You've got a ton of data. You have all your customer information, churn, retention data, sales and revenue numbers… the list goes on.

But how do you turn that data into something actionable?

For one thing, you need to organize it. It's not enough to store all of your data in one place—you need a way to make sense of it so that you can draw conclusions and take action. That means setting up an analytics dashboard (or two), so you can track key metrics like revenue and customer lifetime value over time.

This will help you understand your audience, optimize your marketing strategy, and make data-driven decisions.

Segment your buyer personas

You can create buyer personas by segmenting your customers into groups based on their behavior, needs, wants, and demographics. By segmenting your buyer personas, you can better tailor different aspects of your inbound marketing strategy to appeal to different market and customer segments. 

For example, suppose one of your buyer personas is interested in high-end luxury items. In that case, you might want to focus on selling higher priced products for that particular group.

You can also segment your buyer personas based on behaviors and needs. 

For example, suppose you have a customer who is interested in the price of your products. In that case, you can segment that group into people who are only concerned about cost versus those who are more concerned about quality.

This process will help you understand what makes each group unique from one another so that when you're marketing towards them later, it won't feel like generic messaging anymore!

Create your persona’s name and story

The next step is to create your persona’s name and story. A persona name should be something easy to remember but also representative of the type of customer you're targeting.

You can think of this like an avatar; if you were writing a book, you'd create an avatar for the main character in your story—one with the same age, gender, background, etc., as your ideal reader. This would help ensure that you're targeting your audience effectively, so they'll be able to relate to the main character in some way.

In other words, buyer personas are like avatars for your customers—they give you a name and story so that you can relate to them better! 

You can do this by creating a list of characteristics that describe them. This could include things like age, gender, marital status, location (city/state), education level, occupation type (e.g., doctor), and industry experience (e.g., hospital administrator). 

It might also include some behavioral qualities like whether or not they're tech-savvy enough to use an app on their phone easily or prefer shopping online over going into stores (e.g., a younger millennial who's not married).

The more specific you can be when creating a buyer persona, the better! You can create a few different personas and see which is the most accurate.

Questions to ask your ideal personas

The questions you ask your ideal personas will help you understand what they're looking for and what they need to see to buy. Here are some sample persona-based questions:

Demographics and personal background

  • What do you do for a living?
  • How does your job affect your daily life?
  • Where do you live, and what is your commute like?
  • How would you describe yourself?
  • Why did you choose this profession/industry over other options?
  • What does your typical day look like?
  • How do you feel about [industry]?

Daily life and consumer habits

  • How do you spend your time?
  • How do you use technology in your daily life?
  • What do you buy online, and why?
  • How do you shop for products/services in this category?
  • How do you relax and unwind after a stressful day?
  • Where do you get your news and information?
  • What are some of your hobbies and interests outside of work?

Career and industry-specific questions

  • What is your career goal?
  • What do you think the next steps are to achieve that goal?
  • What are the biggest challenges you face in your industry?
  • What are some of the trends you see in this industry?
  • How do you feel about the current state of this industry or category?
  • How long have you been working in this industry?
  • What are the top 3 skills that are most important to have in this field?
  • What tasks do you have to complete daily/weekly/monthly?
  • How do you think your role in the company makes a difference? How does it contribute to the overall success of the company?
  • What is your career path like? Where did you start, and where do you hope to be in five years?

Pain points, challenges, and goals

  • What are your top three challenges and how are they related to one another)?
  • What do you want to accomplish with [product category]?
  • How does [product] help you achieve that goal?
  • What do you wish you could change about [product category]?
  • What are your top three goals for the next six months?
  • How will you measure your success?
  • What are your top three priorities for the next six months?

Remember that not all of these questions need to be answered in the same persona interview. You should tailor your questions to each person and situation. The most important thing is that you find out how they think and value to better understand how they'll react to the product you're creating.

Use your buyer personas in marketing campaigns

Now that you have created your buyer persona, it's time to implement them. Use the buyer personas in a marketing campaign as inspiration for content that will resonate with your audience.

Here are some examples of how to use buyer personas to create more effective content marketing campaigns:

  • Create a blog post or video that is relevant to your buyer persona. This could be anything from a funny video about how you solved a customer's problem to a walkthrough for using your product.

  • Develop an email campaign targeted at one or two specific buyer personas. If you have multiple types of buyers, try sending different emails to each group. For example, send one email to people who signed up for your newsletter and another email to people who downloaded an ebook.

  • Produce a video that shows your product in use with one of their customers. This is especially effective if you can show how they solved a problem or used the product in an unusual way.

  • Write a landing page that is targeted at one of your buyer personas. This could be an informational page about how to solve their issue or a sales page with a special offer for this type of customer.

  • Create an ebook or whitepaper that is relevant to one particular buyer persona. This could be anything from advice on using social media effectively in business to tips on making money online.

For marketers, it's all about knowing your audience—and the best way to do that is by understanding their motivations for buying things in the first place. So, creating buyer personas for each type of customer (or potential customer) helps guide your marketing strategy.

Create a buyer persona template

A buyer persona is a fictional character created to represent a specific type of customer. You can use it in marketing to understand who your customers are and what they want and develop strategies to reach them.

Here's how to create your buyer persona template:

  1. Choose a name for your persona.

  1. Write down a person's description, including demographics like age, gender, ethnicity, and location.

  1. List their goals and interests, including things like hobbies or activities they enjoy doing together with their family or friends.

  1. Describe their pain points or frustrations with current products or services that don't meet their needs in some way (e.g., "I'm frustrated by not having enough time for myself" or "I'm annoyed by how much time it takes me to keep my house clean").

  1. Include details about their buying process (e.g., "I do most of my shopping online").

  1. Your buyer persona should be based on real-life people who are similar in terms of demographics (age, gender, etc.) but who also have different needs so that you can make better decisions about how to reach them.

  1. Use the buyer persona as a guide when creating content and designing content marketing campaigns so that they resonate with real-life users.

Example of a B2C and B2B buyer persona

B2B buyer persona example

Industry: Information Technology, Computer Software

Name: Bob Miller

Title: Director of IT

Age: 40-50

Gender: Male

Education level: Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science or related field

Job function: Managing an IT department at a large company that employs over 1,000 people

Key goals and challenges: To reduce the cost of IT operations and increase efficiency by automating repetitive tasks. He is responsible for ensuring that his department runs smoothly and efficiently and always looks for ways to improve. He has a limited budget and needs to be able to justify any new investment with measurable results.

What they're looking to buy: He is looking for a solution that will allow him to automate repetitive tasks and increase efficiency by eliminating some of his existing staff.

B2C buyer persona example

Industry: Fashion

Name: Rosa

Role: Stay-at-home mom with 3 kids.

Age: 35-45 Years

Education: High school, some college

Challenges: Rosa wants to look good, but also wants to save money. She is a busy mom who works part-time and spends most of her free time with her children. Rosa is also on a budget and needs to be able to find quality clothing at a reasonable price point. Her biggest challenge is finding clothes that fit well without spending too much money and time trying on different outfits in the stores.

What they're looking for: Rosa wants clothes that fit well, are stylish and can be worn to work or play, all in a time-saving manner.

Buyer persona FAQs

How many buyer personas do you need to create?

The number of buyer personas you need to create depends on what you're trying to accomplish. If you have a small team and limited resources, it may be best to start with one or two personas, see how they work, and consider developing a different buyer persona. But if your organization is more complex, you may want to create multiple buyer personas.

What industries should create and use personas?

Any industry that sells to a customer (and most industries do) can benefit from creating buyer personas. However, some industries have more complex buying processes, so they may require more in-depth research or multiple personas to cover all the bases.

What are the differences between B2B and B2C buyer personas?

B2B buyers are more involved in buying, so they're looking for high-level information about your company and its products. They want to know how you can help them solve their problems, so make sure your content focuses on this.

B2C buyers, on the other hand, are looking for products and services that meet their needs. They're generally less involved in buying and are more price-conscious than B2B buyers. So, don't go into too much detail about your products, and keep your content focused on the benefits.

What are buyer personas vs. target audience?

The target audience is the group of people you're trying to reach with your marketing. A buyer persona is a detailed description of one specific type of user in your target audience. It includes information like their job title and level of seniority, how they use technology in their workday, what they want from a solution like yours, and more.

For example, if you have a product for dog owners, your target audience might be "dog lovers in the US who have at least one dog and live in an urban or suburban area."

Your buyer persona will be someone like "Karen, who is 32 years old, lives in the suburbs with her two small dogs, and works as a graphic designer for an ad agency. She uses their products daily to walk her pups and wants a new collar that will be stylish and durable enough to withstand their active lifestyle.”

Wrapping up how to create buyer personas

As we've seen, buyer personas are an incredibly useful tool in the marketing world. They allow you to get a deeper understanding of your audience, which can help you create more effective campaigns and content that resonate with them. This will ultimately lead to more conversions on your site and higher ROI for your business. There are many ways to create buyer personas, and there's no right or wrong way.

The important thing is that you take the time to put together a persona that accurately represents your audience. If you find that it's taking too long or confusing, don't be afraid to reevaluate and simplify things by focusing on just one segment of your audience first.

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