Creating a buyer persona is more than just a good marketing exercise.

You may have taken the time to sketch out an idea of your target persona before but didn’t ultimately see the benefit.

It’s true that thinking through your target audience without strategically gathering, documenting, and implementing that information isn’t going to do very much for you.

However, buyer personas in content marketing can be extremely valuable to your overall marketing strategy if used properly.

In this article, we’re going to outline why buyer personas matter, how to make one yourself, and look at some examples of them in action.

 

What is a Buyer Persona?

Buyer Persona example

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A buyer persona is a work of fiction. That is, it’s a customer profile that details a fictitious buyer.

Though the person in your customer profile isn’t an actual buyer, the details in your buyer persona are based on data you have acquired from actual customers.

This data typically includes demographic information such as age, gender, income level, and occupation. Lifestyle details such as interests, behaviors, goals, challenges, and pain points are also typically included.

The idea is to create a detailed description that represents your target audience.

 

What is the Purpose of a Buyer Persona?

Not sure what the point is of drafting this profile of a person who doesn’t exist?
Your buyer persona gives you a clear understanding of who your customers are.

Without drafting out these data-driven details, your marketing efforts are aimed towards some ethereal notion of a “target audience” without any real understanding of what that means.

Your customer persona helps you understand the needs, preferences, and buying behaviors of different segments of your target customers so you know how to market to them.

When you’re thinking generally, it’s all too easy to forget that you’re writing to real people searching for real solutions.

Having an actual person in mind (fictional or not) helps keep all of your content marketing efforts focused, relevant, and effective.

But let the data do the talking.

In the latest research on buyer persona statistics, reports showed that companies using buyer personas saw 73% higher conversion rates than companies without documented buyer personas.

A whopping 93% of companies that exceeded the same goals segmented their database by buyer persona.

If you’ve not used a buyer persona before, now is the time to start.

 

How to Use a Buyer Persona in Email Marketing

If you’ve ever created an email campaign, you know all best practices come back to the two cardinal rules of email marketing:

  1. Personalization
  2. Segmentation

You can’t do either effectively without detailed buyer personas.

Understanding your customers on a deeper level allows you to meet them where they are (read: the right stage of your sales funnel) and offer them what they need. If they’re investigating solutions and getting to know your brand, send them a welcome email with your brand’s story or how they can learn more.

If they’re considering a purchase, send them customer reviews and testimonials to encourage them to make the right decision. Once they do, keep them loyal by sending them anniversary emails with thank-you messages and discounts.

Beyond segmenting according to your sales funnel, you can also segment your list according to customer needs, goals, budget, buying behavior, and more. It all comes down to how well you research and create your buyer personas, so take your time and do it right.

 

How to Use a Buyer Persona in Content Marketing

Your audience persona is your True North when it comes to content marketing.

Don’t make the mistake of drafting a detailed buyer persona just to let it sit in a Google Drive folder somewhere without any functional use.

If done well, the ideal customer you’ve mapped out can serve as a blueprint for your content marketing efforts.

Let’s take a look at how to use your buyer persona in content marketing.

Personalization – The data is clear that brands who prioritize personalization in their marketing content far outperform those who don’t. 2021 research done by McKinsey & Company shows that businesses that employed personalized marketing tactics saw a 40% growth acceleration over the businesses that did not.

Companies that capture more value from personalization grow faster.

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Here, the writing is on the wall. Using your customer profile to personalize your content will pay dividends in ROI.

Targeted Distribution – Content distribution can be a challenge for many marketers because there are so many marketing channels to choose from. When you allow your target persona to be your guide, you’ll know exactly where to distribute content. For instance, you won’t waste time and resources building a YouTube channel if your potential customer is primarily on LinkedIn.

Custom Messaging – The data and market research you use to build your buyer persona will enable you to speak directly to your audience’s pain points. This will increase the relevance of the content to the potential buyer, maximize engagement with your content, and optimally result in more traffic down your sales funnel.

Optimized Strategy – The detailed schematic your buyer persona offers will give you a data-driven foundation for a marketing strategy. Gone are the days of throwing the proverbial spaghetti at the wall, hoping something sticks. You can confidently move forward, expecting results and refine as you go.

Effective Ideation – Most marketers let keywords drive their content ideation. While keywords have their place, and they are a good place to start, the real gold of your content will always be in what your customers most want, not what Google wants to rank. Remember, you are writing for humans, not algorithms. Your customer persona will give you content ideas that’ll help and speak to actual humans with actual problems.

 

How to Build a Useful Buyer Persona

We’ve been harping on using good data, and that’s exactly where you should start when building a buyer persona in content marketing.

You’ll want to utilize:

Customer Surveys and Feedback – This is where you’re going to find out what your customers care the most about. Who are they? What issues are they most commonly facing? What solutions are they looking for? What do they enjoy the most?

Market Research – Market Research is where you’ll find much-needed stats about the age, gender, location, income level, education, values, attitudes, and behaviors of your target demographic.

Existing Customer Data – Scour your user data for information on the customers you already have. You’ll find a lot of demographic info as well as user behavior and your highest-converting consumer pool.

If you’re not sure where to get these insights, here are a few places to start:

  • Facebook audience insights
  • Google search console
  • Sales team feedback
  • Google Analytics
  • Email analytics

Next is the fun part. Using your data as a guide, you can channel your inner storyteller and create a character from a particular demographic with a specific problem to be addressed.

This customer profile should include:

  • Responsibilities
  • Occupation
  • Interests
  • Hobbies
  • Job title
  • Gender
  • Salary
  • Name
  • Age

How you present your shiny new customer profile is up to you. It can be a simple document, an infographic, a 3D model, or anything else you’d like.

Buyer persona template

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The important thing is that it’s accessible and shareable to everyone in your marketing department and used to make strategic content marketing decisions.

Once you are clear on everything you want to include in your ideal customer profile, create a template you can reuse in the future.

 

4 Examples of Buyer Personas in Content Marketing

Now let’s take a look at four basic buyer persona examples and how to use them as a guide for content marketing.

Buyer Persona Example #1 – Finance

Name: Ted
Age: 35
Gender: Male
Job title: Senior Accountant
Interests: Investing for beginners, wealth building
Occupation: Finance
Salary: 90k/year
Hobbies: Basketball, reading, sculpting
Responsibilities: Pet dog

Ted already works in finance and is interested in learning more about how to get started investing.

With this buyer persona, you’re looking at beginners in the financial market, particularly those interested in diversifying their investment strategies.

This group is on the lookout for clear, accessible explanations for options trading for beginners and other step-by-step guides that demystify the process of options trading, a subject that might initially seem daunting to novices.

Buyer Persona Example #2 – Health & Wellness

Name: Mark
Age: 43
Gender: Male
Job title: Customer Success Agent
Interests: Weight loss, dieting
Occupation: Customer Service
Salary: 75k/year
Hobbies: Video games, board games, puzzles
Responsibilities: Spouse, one child

Mark is the type of buyer you want to target if your brand offers telehealth services and Wegovy prescriptions for weight loss.

How can you make your content straightforward, helpful, and informative? What fears can you mitigate, and what solutions can you offer?

Using your health and wellness buyer persona will help you think through what type of potential customer will be interacting with your content and interested in moving along the buyer journey.

Buyer Persona Example #3 – Travel

Name: Chaz
Age: 36
Gender: Non-binary
Job title: Bus driver
Interests: Travel, history
Occupation: Transportation
Salary: 60k/year
Hobbies: Documentaries, cosplay, reading
Responsibilities: Spouse, three pets

Travel agencies such as Beaches of Normandy Tours use their website content to direct potential customers like Chaz to their available tours, Utah Beach Museum, and other available historical sites.

They offer a FAQ page, clearly navigable from the toolbar, that addresses common questions potential buyers may have. This helps readers understand what to expect, how to book, and what they can gain from the experience.

Additionally, they include a “Reviews” tab for social proof from previous visitors from all over the world who have purchased the experience.

Buyer Persona Example #4 – Marketing

Name: Trish
Age: 36
Gender: Female
Job title: Marketing analyst
Interests: Databases, career growth, marketing channels
Occupation: Marketing
Salary: 115k/year
Hobbies: Wine tasting, gardening, fitness
Responsibilities: Two children, spouse

Customer data platform Hightouch targets buyer personas like Trish using comprehensive guides and articles on innovative topics like composable CDP and how they are replacing traditional CDPs.

This targeted approach proves buyer personas shape successful content marketing strategies.

 

Wrap Up

Building a data-driven content marketing persona will give you a deep understanding of your typical customer and valuable insights into who you want to attract with your content marketing strategy.

Use your profiles to create persona-based content that resonates with readers and increases engagement and revenue.

 

 

Author Bio:

Jeremy is co-founder & CEO at uSERP, a digital PR and SEO agency working with brands like Monday, ActiveCampaign, Hotjar, and more. He also buys and builds SaaS companies like Wordable.io and writes for publications like Entrepreneur and Search Engine Journal.