How To Create Buyer Personas (With Tips for Targeting Your Audience)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published October 21, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When creating sales or marketing materials, you may target different types of customers with varying preferences, needs or interests. You can more easily cater your campaigns to reach a wide audience by building buyer personas for the specific groups of customers who are more likely to purchase the product. Once you make several sets of buyer personas, you can better understand how to update and improve them further to help you connect and build relationships with your audiences. In this article, we explain how to create a buyer persona and share tips for using one.

What is a buyer persona?

A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of a brand's potential or current customer. When building a buyer persona, it's essential to analyze and understand the characteristics of your target audience. Each buyer persona can represent different segments of a business' audiences to ensure you reach the wide variety of customers who may purchase and benefit from the product you sell. You can use this buyer persona as a reference when creating marketing and sales materials that cater to the specific needs, preferences and habits of potential and current customers.

Here are some elements to include when building a buyer persona:

  • Name

  • Interests

  • Location details

  • Buying patterns

  • Behavioral traits

  • Personal or professional goals

  • Industry challenges

Related: FAQ: What Are Marketing Personas and How Do You Use Them?

How to create a buyer persona

Follow these steps to successfully create a buyer persona:

1. Conduct research on your potential target audience

To better understand the audiences you're speaking to in your marketing materials, consider speaking with current customers. Reach out to customers who regularly use the product or service you sell and ask which features they enjoy most about it. You can uncover this information by conducting market research on your customers. Craft surveys by sending questionnaires to those that subscribe to your marketing messages.

You can also host focus groups where you ask customers about what they enjoy about your company, which challenges they face in their industry and how the product or service you sell helps them overcome certain obstacles in their professional or personal lives. Offer incentives to complete these surveys or focus groups, like discounts or free products. Consider speaking with customer-facing employees as well to better understand the challenges customers may face and why they choose the product or service you sell.

Related: Defining Your Target Audience: What It Is and Why It's Important

2. Segment your customers

Once you've researched your target audience, you can sort your customers into groups according to factors like their behaviors, interests, needs and demographics. Sort through the different types of customers you have and organize them by the similarities they hold, like goals and challenges. This can help you better understand how to target these audiences and cater your messaging directly to them.

If the customers you sell to all belong in different industries, try to create segments for each one. You can also consider segmenting your customers by the job titles they hold if you're targeting professional within one similar profession or industry.

Related: How To Perform a Customer Segmentation Analysis in 7 Steps

3. Brainstorm your personas' personal information

After deciding how to sort and group your personas, you can start developing their personal details. You can create a simple and memorable name to remind yourself what kind of customer you're targeting. For instance, if you're targeting professionals working in the technology industry, you can name your persona, "Software Sammy." Building a name for your persona allows you to more personally sell and market to the target audience.

You can then decide the age, job title, location and hobbies that buyer persona has based on the characteristics of the majority of customers within that segment. Developing these additional traits helps you understand the persona's potential motivations to create content that more accurately caters to their needs, goals and interests.

4. Establish goals and challenges for your personas

Use the characteristics and traits of your buyer personas to create more specific and detailed goals and challenges that these customers might face in their personal and business lives. If you're targeting business professionals, decide what job title your persona holds and how the product or service helps them better perform in this role.

You can then establish the goals your persona might have. This helps you create content that targets these personas directly to describe how your product helps customers better meet these specific objectives. Determine the challenges your personas might experience in their daily lives. This allows you to position your messaging to explain how the product or service helps customers overcome these obstacles to improve their lives.

Related: 4 Persona Examples and How To Create Them

Tips for using a buyer persona

Refer to these tips when using your buyer persona to target specific audiences in your marketing efforts:

  • Inform marketing and sales teams of different personas. Create templates for each of your personas that break down their goals, challenges and characteristics. Communicate these personas and share the templates with marketing and sales employees to ensure they reference them when speaking with potential and current customers in person or through promotional materials.

  • Target promotional campaigns toward specific personas. The information provided by your developed personas can tell you how your audiences prefer to consume content and which channels they typically visit. Use these details to market your campaigns on outlets that specific audiences are more likely to visit to increase their chances of seeing your content.

  • Review your existing content pieces. Perform a content audit to better understand the segments your current blog posts, articles, e-books and white papers currently target. This can tell you what other types of content to create to more effectively address the challenges and goals of personas you haven't yet targeted in current materials.

  • Build landing pages that address different personas. Landing pages are sections of your website that attract visitors and encourage them to learn more about a company, industry topic, product or service by filling out a form. You can create landing pages with messaging that directly speaks to specific buyer personas that motivate them to fill out a form and convert themselves into leads for the sales team to contact.

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