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What is a buyer persona?

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You can only create content tailored towards a specific audience when you know who that audience is!

For that reason, buyer personas are a key component of the inbound methodology. 

What is a buyer persona?

A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on facts, data and some educated guesses. Buyer personas help you envision the audience you're marketing to. This will enable you to strategize, create and promote content effectively. 

So how do you get started?

  1. Do your research.

You need to lay the foundations of your buyer persona with empirical data – educated guesses come later in the process.

Using your CRM, examine overarching trends in your customers. For B2C businesses, consider demographics such as age, location and spending patterns. For B2B businesses, consider other demographics that may be relevant, such as industry, job title and spending authority.

In addition to your CRM, you can also use tools such as Google Analytics to compile this data.

You also need to conduct some research about where your buyers consume their content. You can do this similarly by using Google Analytics or another analytics/insights software. 

  1. Evaluate the problems your customers face.

We sometimes refer to these as ‘pain points’. What problems does your buyer persona deal with and how will your product or service solve those problems?

Understanding the challenges your prospects face will enable you to effectively communicate how your product or service will make a difference to their lives.

For example, if you were a manufacturer of budget-friendly electric vehicles, what kind of problems would your ideal customer be facing? Would they be proponents of the environment without a lot of expendable income? What would you tell those people about your product?

  1. Construct your buyer persona

The fun part! You’ve researched what your ideal customer looks like, and where they might be spending their time online. Now you can make some educated guesses to bring your buyer persona to life. What do they love and hate? What are their hobbies? What did they have for breakfast this morning?

Anything you can think of that will help you better visualise your ideal customer is worth adding to your persona. Remember, you want to be able to imagine that this is a real individual.

An infographic of a buyer persona

  1. Brainstorm content that will add value to your buyer persona’s life.

The content that will be best received by your buyer persona (and, by extension, your audience) will be the content that solves problems, addresses challenges or otherwise adds value to their life.

Use your buyer persona to brainstorm valuable content. Going back to our EV example, you might, for example, brainstorm some infographics comparing the pros and cons of various electric car models, balancing benefits with costs.

  1. Never stop referring to your buyer persona.

This one’s pretty self-explanatory. When brainstorming or generating new content, when segmenting your audience, devising your social media strategy, coming up with aftersales processes – never forget about your buyer persona!

Want to learn more about inbound marketing? Why not read our recent blogs 'Creating a Content Strategy: The Basics' or 'How to Conduct a Content Audit [With Resources]'?

And for more easy-to-understand marketing definitions, check out our Inbound Marketing Glossary