What are buyer personas, and why are they important for marketing?

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Before you can begin marketing to an audience, you must understand that audience. Otherwise, your marketing materials, including messaging and visual elements, won't speak to them. If you're wondering how to get started with getting to know your target audience, one of the best ways is to develop buyer personas. Detailed buyer personas can give you clear targets to pursue with your marketing efforts, which is why they're among the most effective tools to help with your campaigns.

The following is a breakdown of:

  • What buyer personas are
  • How to create a buyer persona
  • Why they're beneficial for marketing strategies

What are buyer personas?

A buyer persona is a fictional representation of a particular segment of your audience. It often features a name such as "Consumer Carl" or "Parent Paula" and an attached personality that best represents real people. You can create multiple personas based on various audience segments. Each of them can help you determine which approach to take to reach it with your marketing.

For example, you might develop a buyer persona named "Student Sam," which represents a segment of your audience composed of students. You can then define this persona based on this segment's particular demographics, including age, interests, hobbies, occupation, lifestyle, and other elements. In the process, you'll create a profile that gives you a single person to target with your campaigns, which can then reach others within this particular segment.

How do you create a buyer persona?

You can create buyer personas using a buyer persona template with specific fields detailing different aspects of each persona. For instance, a template may include a section about interests, while another details specific pain points. Based on this template, you can then learn about your existing customers through market research, surveys, or directly reaching out to customers. In addition to existing customers, consider prospective audiences and others who aren't on your contact lists quite yet.

Some specific steps for creating a buyer persona include:

  1. Take a look at your contact lists to identify specific details about how people interact with your brand and content.
  2. Conduct surveys of current and past customers. Determine what they're looking for from your brand and others in your industry. Also, ask about particular issues that they're facing that you can help solve.
  3. Develop lead capture forms that ask for relevant information to help create buyer personas. Details can include job title, company size, income levels, or even what interests them about your offerings.
  4. Ask sales teams and other customer-facing employees what they've learned about audiences based on interactions with them.

Taking these and other steps can help you put together comprehensive buyer personas.

How many buyer personas do I need?

The answer here is: as many as you feel you need. However, it's best to start with a few based on your largest audiences. From there, you can segment audiences into various personas based on more specific demographics. Over time, you may have groups of personas that you can target with various campaigns and highly targeted marketing materials.

Why are buyer personas important for marketing?

Once you've created buyer personas for various audience segments, you can begin tailoring your marketing to each segment. For instance, you can develop unique messaging, graphics, video content, and other materials based on the wants and needs of each persona. This will make your marketing campaigns feel as though you're speaking more directly to each audience. This is more effective than trying to reach and appeal to everyone at once with generic campaigns.

You can also target marketing based on where people are located throughout the sales cycle, creating content that carries them through the entire buyer's journey.
While well-optimised buyer personas can help you connect with audiences, you may not be entirely sure where to start.

For help with creating buyer personas and other aspects of your marketing campaigns, get in touch today for a comprehensive marketing solution.