How to Create Buyer Personas (plus a free buyer persona template)

Buyer personas turn aimless content into a successful strategy that guides your prospects gradually down your marketing funnel. Use this buyer persona template to create them and learn why they’re necessary for successful content marketing.

Did you ever have imaginary friends as a kid? They were a lot like real people, weren’t they? They had their own personalities, likes and dislikes, and even families & friends.

Well, creating buyer personas is a lot like creating imaginary friends – only, these imaginary people represent your target customers. Allow us to explain…

Why You Should Use a Buyer Persona Template

Creating content without buyer personas is like cooking a fancy meal for guests without any idea of what food they like. You can only hope they enjoy what you make.

Similarly, without buyer personas, you can only hope your audience likes the content you create for them.

Buyer personas turn guesswork into strategy – they’re “people” who only exist on paper, but they represent the demographics and behaviors of your ideal customers.

So, just how much do you need to know to create your buyer personas?

Your Buyer Persona Template

You have at least 3 - 5 types of ideal customers, so aim to create that many buyer personas. Use the following as a template to create yours.

Collect information like:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Employer
  • Family life
  • Goals
  • Challenges
  • Computer literacy
  • Where do they get their news? (e.g. Facebook, Huffington Post, blogs)

Let’s use BlabberJax content marketing software as an example. Two of our target customers may be:

  1. 48 years old, male, lives in the US, self-employed, goals include generating lead and boosting revenue, challenges include lacking knowledge about content marketing and not having enough time to manage web content strategy.
  2. 28 years old, female, lives in the US, works as a content marketing manager, goals include generating more content faster & managing the entire content marketing strategy with an all-in-one solution, challenges include proving ROI and convincing executives to invest in software.

If you don’t have all that information right away, don’t worry. There are plenty of ways to learn more about your target customers.

Where to learn more about your customers

Start with your website analytics

If you don’t have any idea about who uses your website, then use free tools like Google Analytics, Alexa, or even SimilarWeb.

They’ll help you track people who currently visit your website, and give you basic information like gender, age, general interests, and referral source.

Referral source is particularly helpful to discover where your prospective customers hang out online, and target your efforts there. 

For example, if your analytics show you that Facebook is referring 25% of your web traffic, then you know that regularly posting on Facebook will help you attract more prospects.

Gather more information with lead magnets and surveys

You probably have an email list, so use it to learn more about your subscribers. Immediately after people join your list, ask them to share more information about themselves in a follow-up email.

Send new subscribers a link to update their profile, and when they click, ask them about the type of information they’re most interested in, or what their biggest problem is right now.

You can get this same type of insight by sending out a survey to your existing email list. Online entrepreneur Pat Flynn has an excellent podcast episode about how to use surveys to figure out your audience’s needs and challenges.

Conduct direct interviews with customers

Talk to current and past customers; they’re a gold mine of information!

Not sure what to ask? Try…

  • Their biggest challenges
  • What they like and don’t like about your product/content
  • What they wish you would provide for them
  • What the ideal solution to their problem looks like

Their answers will tell you a ton about their goals and problems, and that should directly inform the type of buyer personas and content that you create.

Between website analytics, surveys, and in-person interviews, you’ll be able to build out your buyer personas, and start creating targeted content that draws prospects to your website.

Have you used buyer persona templates?

Buyer personas are a key building block in your content marketing strategy. They’re your daily reminder of who you’re talking to each time you sit down to write a blog post, record a podcast, or make a YouTube video.

Have you created yours? Have you faced any challenges generating them? Let me know in the comments, I read every one.

And remember, as you create awesome content targeted at your buyer personas, it helps to have a content marketing system to keep all of your content in one place. Create, schedule, and analyze your content all in one place with Blabberjax™. Learn what makes BlabberJax™ different from other marketing platforms.

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