How to create customer personas

Unlike stereotypes, customer personas are based on tangible research and evidence and can be used to reliably draw assumptions about your audience, allowing you to tailor your content to suit their needs.

If you’re looking for that extra edge to transform your marketing content from good to great, it’s worth investing in the process of identifying your customer personas. According to hubspot.com, ‘A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.’ Whether you’re formulating content for social media, your website, mailers or blogs, having customer insight will help you to shape the information you offer to them for higher appeal.

Customer personas assist in:

  • developing a deeper understanding of the needs of your customers and how to address them
  • guiding product development
  • knowing which campaigns and initiatives to prioritise
  • developing a customer-centric vision across your company
  • personalising your marketing messages by segmenting according to customer persona

You should aim to create at least five customer personas to begin with, but you can increase this number to as much as 20. There are a number of ways to gather the important information you need to build the personas, including forms on your own website, surveys, interviews, focus groups and by tracking user activity. Your existing customer base is a good place to start because they are already engaged with your brand.

You can reach out to both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ customers, as the latter will still provide valuable feedback on the challenges they face. You’ll also want to interview prospective customers and even those who don’t know your company yet. Interview three to five people for each persona you’re creating. You’ll start noticing patterns and commonalities the more interviews you do, which will allow you to start forming more complete pictures of your personas. (Templates to organise your information can be found on hubspot.com and the app Xtensio.)

NetProspex, a US data management company specialising in B2B partnerships noted a 900% increase in visit duration and 171% increase in marketing-generated revenue after moulding its website on its buyer personas, creating a customised experience for visitors. Read the full case study here. While it’s important to identify basic demographics, it’s the deeper questions that will allow you to formulate your customer personas. Questions like ‘What motivates you?’, ‘What are your main pain points?’, ‘What content do you like?’, ‘How do you like to consume that content?’. An agency specialising in content marketing will be able to guide you on asking the right questions to get the most out of this essential part of your strategy.

As part of any content strategy, TPP starts with understanding your brand’s audience by creating in-depth customer personas. Get in touch with us to see what a strong content strategy can do for your business.

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