Whether your company is B2B or B2C and you’re on the path of inbound marketing, you’ve probably heard the term “buyer persona” been thrown around before – or at least some variation. Buyer personas are extremely useful to your business when strategizing inbound content.

With that in mind, here’s a quick guide to how personas can help your marketing efforts:

The Definition of a Buyer Persona

You might be asking yourself “What exactly is a persona?” and the answer might not be as simple as you’d like.

A buyer persona is a partially fictional representation of your ideal customer.

This semi-fictional representation is based on two determining factors: market research and what you know about your existing customers.

You can think of your persona(s) as an incredibly detailed target audience. Consider factors like customer behavior patterns, demographics, goals, and motivations when creating your persona(s) – the more details, the better!

Buyer Personas and Your Marketing Efforts

Now that you know what a persona is. What’s next?

Research is a major aspect of creating a buyer persona. You can connect with the person behind the persona when you conduct market research and talk to current customers about their experiences. 

Buyer personas don’t just create a target audience. They provide your company with immense structure and vast insight for your marketing strategy. The most detailed personas can guide product development and help you focus your time and resources in the best way possible.

Here are three more ways personas help your business:

  • Demographic Information – Interviews and research reveal your company’s preferred demographics. Examples include age, race, ethnicity, gender, marital status, income, education, and employment. 
  • Defined Audience – Demographics enable you to split your broad target audience into a more pinpointed smaller subgroup based on, say, income or education level. Segmentation helps you create targeted content to separate your contact lists based on specific personas for personalized communication.
  • Relevant Content – When you have a defined audience with concise demographics, create the most appropriate content with them in mind. If you’ve done your research correctly, you should be able to determine what your buyers’ major pain points, challenges, and questions are so you can address and educate them.

With the right buyer persona, you can attract visitors, convert leads, and welcome customers that are worthwhile to your business. Are you ready to get started on creating a buyer persona yourself?

Originally published September 13, 2016; updated October 7, 2017.