Customer personas offer a ton of value to your business. With the right persona, you will be able to make a stronger connection with your ideal customers. Your business will be ideally positioned to help them make informed decisions and find value in your company’s products or services.
Furthermore, the right customer personas will allow you to create intent-based content that is tailored to the reasons your customers came searching for your solutions in the first place.
In this article, we take a look at customer personas for content creators. We dive into the reasons why a persona is an absolute must, as well as what goes into creating the perfect customer persona.
We will also take a look at some examples of detailed personas and how you can create, reference, and utilize personas effectively in your own business.
So without further ado, let’s get right to it!
What is a Customer Persona?
Also known by a variety of other names, including buyer persona, marketing persona, user persona, or audience persona, a customer persona is basically a fictional character that you create to represent your ideal customer.
As a marketer, you may construct qualitative personas to represent specific segments of your target market.
You can give your customer persona all the characteristics that fit your best potential customers, including:
- A Name
- Demographic Details
- Behavioral Traits
- Interests and Hobbies
- Goals and Desires
- Pain Points
- Buying Patterns
- …and so on.
Your customer persona can be as simple or as complex as you like. However, the more detailed you can make your persona, the better it will guide you toward marketing success. You can even give your persona a face using stock imagery.
In fact, many businesses have gone so far as to make cardboard cutouts of their customer personas in order to give them a presence that is more “real” within the office.
The idea is to think about this persona as your actual customer and to speak to them as if they were a real person.
This helps marketers to create marketing messages that are specifically targeted to that persona.
Once you have created a buyer persona for your business, that persona guides everything you do in your marketing, including product development, your brand voice, the social media channels you choose, and so on.
Why Customer Personas Are Key for Content Creators
The value of personas in a content marketing strategy cannot be overstated. In marketing, you need to ensure that your content not only captures the reader’s attention but also helps to retain it by helping them visualize their problem, challenge, or goal so you can present your product or service is the ideal solution.
With the right marketing persona, you have a framework that can help you target all your marketing materials to ensure that they are relevant, useful, and engaging for your target audience.
Not only that but if you have the right persona you’ll be able to customize products you’re making for your audience. As an example, if you build and sell online courses, understanding the persona of your users will allow you to create content that will be helpful and resonate with them, which increases the likelihood of making more sales.
To achieve this, you need to create your customer persona based on your market research, as well as real data pertaining to your existing customers (more on that later).
Here are just a few of the ways you can utilize buyer personas as a content creator:
1. Create Better Content
Buyer personas allow you to compile information on customer problems, ambitions, and working infrastructure, among other things. This can help you in crafting content that can better appeal to your ideal readers.
Whether it’s for your blog, email newsletter, social media posts, downloadable e-books, etc., customer personas will guide your content creation efforts to ensure that all your content is relevant, useful, and valuable to your target audience. That said, when you create content, It is always advisable to create an error-free copy and you can use editing tools like Grammarly or something similar.
2. Address Customer Priorities
With the right persona, you will have the ability to reframe your marketing approach from the perspective of the customer. For instance, your persona will remind you that you’re talking to a real human and help you avoid using corporate-speak or buzzwords in your marketing messages.
By thinking about the customer persona before you make a decision about any aspect of your marketing, it helps you to maintain focus on addressing your customers’ priorities as opposed to your own. You will also be able to form a better idea of how your customer’s journey looks in reality.
3. Increase in Marketing ROI
One of the main reasons for creating a customer persona is to have a model to connect your business objectives to your ideal customer. This benefits you in many ways and allows you to create the type of content that speaks to your target buyer, as well as finding the organic channels frequented by your target audience.
With good data, you will be able to monitor all your marketing efforts and report on the success of your campaigns so you can revise your strategy and optimize your results.
What Information Goes Into a Persona?
Keep in mind that when developing marketing personas, your focus should be on creating a realistic interpretation of your target customers. This includes their background, pain points, pressures, goals, and more.
As previously mentioned, the more information the persona has, the better, as this helps you build up a strong mental image of your ideal customer.
Here is the information that your personas should include:
- Bio: Full name, location, age, interests, and other personal background information. You can also include a stock photo or avatar to represent the persona.
- Professional Background: This includes the persona’s employer, job role, responsibilities, key day-to-day tasks, and so on.
- Situational information: You can include information about the customer, as well as the company where they are employed. Include factors that might affect the persona’s current buying position. For instance, length of time working for the company, level of seniority, company IT set-up, etc.
- Pressures or Pain Points: List any struggles faced by the individual that may cause them to seek an alternative product, service, or solution.
- Doubts or Points of Resistance: Include all the reasons why the individual might hesitate or be reluctant to invest their money and/or time in your business.
- Ideal Solution: This is the ideal solution your target customer would be searching for that would result in them contacting your company. This can be technology-based or otherwise.
- Effective Messages: Determine the phrases and words, style, and tone of voice that might best draw your target customer in and the content that they might find most interesting and engaging. You can also include their content preferences here and how they like to consume their content.
- Ambitions: Depending on whether you’re creating a persona for B2B or B2C, you can also include information on where your customer persona sees the company heading in the future.
By including the information outlined above, you will be able to create a detailed customer persona that is an accurate representation of your target customer.
With this information in hand, you will have the ability to create useful and relevant marketing material that will help you convince your ideal customers that you are the perfect solution to solve their unique challenges.
In addition to the points listed above, you can also include other information (depending on your type of business), such as educational level, familial situation, political affiliations, and whatever else you think is relevant.
The point is to try and flesh out this character as much as possible.
The persona must be specific enough to be useful to your marketing efforts, but not so specific that it might exclude important prospects.
Here is an example of how your buyer persona might look:
It’s a good idea to have more than one customer persona.
Ideally, you should create between three and five personas to ensure that your marketing answers the needs of different segments of your audience.
When crafting personas, first ask yourself who your business’s most valuable customers are. Once you have selected the target customers you want to focus on, you can use the information above to see what you should include in the different personas.
Keep in mind that your personas need to be more than a few words on a page.
Instead of using a bullet list of points, take the time to create a detailed persona by combining the reasons why a potential customer might look for the solutions that your business provides and why they would choose your business over competitors.
How to Create a Customer Persona
As you walk through the steps to create the semi-fictional person or persons that will represent your ideal customer, you must gather all the necessary information so you can put it all together into a concise and useful buyer persona.
1. Compile Audience Data
Your customer persona must be based on real data and not gut instinct. Instead of guessing or making assumptions as to what you think your ideal customer is like, do thorough audience research and outline the information in your persona template.
Collect all the information you need to compile the data on your social audience and your existing customers.
Details to consider include:
- Stage in Life
- Spending Power
- Buying Habits/Patterns
For B2B, you also need to consider the size of the business, and whether or not your customer persona makes purchasing decisions, or has influence over the person who does.
You can gather audience data from the following places:
- Google Analytics
- Your Customer Database
- Social Media Analytics (particularly Facebook Audience Insights)
2. Determine Customer Pain Points
Your next step in creating a customer persona is to identify the problems that your potential customers are trying to solve.
What is holding them back from achieving success? Determine the barriers they face when it comes to reaching their goals. One way to identify your customers’ pain points is through social media sentiment analysis and social listening.
You can set up search streams that allow you to monitor any mentions of your business, products, and competitors so you can get a real-time glimpse into what your audience is saying about your brand online.
With the right social media sentiment analysis and social listening tools, you will learn what your customers love about your products, the aspects that can be improved, and which parts of your business’s customer experience are not working.
3. Identify Customer Aspirations
Pain points are at one end of the spectrum. At the other end are the goals your customers are trying to achieve. To identify your ideal customer’s aspirations, your focus should be on the positive things they want to achieve, as opposed to the negative things they are trying to get rid of.
These goals can be anything, including professional and personal goals. It all depends on the types of products and services your business sells.
- Ask yourself what motivates your customers?
- What is their end game?
The goals may or may not be directly related to the solutions you provide. The point here isn’t so much about matching customers to the benefits and features of your product as it is about getting to know your customers. Social listening is a great way to gather this information, as well.
4. Bring Your Brand Into the Picture
With all the information you have collected so far on your customers’ problems and goals, you can now determine how your brand can help the customer who fits the persona that is being created.
Rather than thinking about your products and services in terms of features, dig deep and analyze the benefits that you can offer to customers.
Consider your solutions from the buyer’s point of view. Bring your brand into the picture by outlining how your product will make your customers’ lives better.
Here are three key questions to ask for each of the challenges and goals you’ve collected:
- How can your brand help? Capture the answer to that question in a single clear sentence and add that to your persona template.
- What are the main purchasing barriers of your target audience? Write down the answer to how your brand can help overcome them.
- Where is your audience in their buying journey? Your answer should make it clear whether they are researching, ready to buy, or looking for reviews, etc.
A good source of insight would be to ask your customer service team about the kinds of questions they received the most. It might help you identify patterns as to the challenges faced by different segments of your audience.
You can also check in with the salespeople as they typically have a deep understanding of the goals customers are trying to achieve by making use of your products or services.
5. Compile the Persona
The final step is to compile all the information you have collected into a detailed and concise persona. Look for common characteristics in your research. Group them together to create the basis of your semi-fictional target customer.
For instance, say you identify a customer group of mothers in their 30s who live in the suburbs and like to do yoga. Now you can transform that abstract collection of characteristics into a persona that your marketing team can speak to.
Give that persona a name, home, job title, pain points, goals, and all the other defining characteristics outlined in the section above.
At the end of this step, your persona must seem like a real person.
Examples of Customer Personas
Here are three examples of detailed customer personas that showcase things that work in various industries.
Utilizing Your Personas
Once you have created a set of detailed, realistic customer personas, you can then start targeting and effectively marketing to those types of audiences.
In this section, we take a look at how your business can utilize your personas. Each of the points below explains how you can reference the personas you have created in an actionable way.
1. Design Targeted Campaigns
Now that you have a realistic and actionable persona, you can use it to improve your marketing by designing campaigns that are specifically dedicated to each customer persona. This can include:
- SEO Campaigns
- Landing Pages
- Longform Content
- …and so on.
2. Create Relevant Content
To help improve your marketing, you can add a preliminary step prior to creating your content marketing strategy to determine which persona your marketing material will focus on.
3. Demonstrate Authority and Expertise
You can add your customer personas to value propositions that you send to customers and clients to demonstrate that you have a firm understanding of their audience.
4. Update Personas Regularly
Keep your customer personas updated after campaigns, events, etc. to ensure that there is always an accurate representation of your business’s target audience.
These are just a few of the actionable ways in which you can utilize your new buyer personas. Hopefully, by now you have a firm understanding of how important personas are in laying the foundation for current and future marketing activities, as well as helping you develop long-term content marketing strategies.
When used correctly, customer personas can have a profound impact on your overall marketing strategy. Use the tips outlined in this article to ensure that you construct the best personas and get the most from them once you’ve created them.
Once you have a clear idea of your customer personas, you now have a better perspective when making a proposal for your prospects. If you need help in creating proposals, check out Prospero. This helps you generate signature-grabbing proposals easier and faster!
Ron Stefanski is an internet entrepreneur and marketing professor who has a passion for helping people create and market their own online business. You can learn more about Ron by visiting OneHourProfessor.com