A buyer persona (also known as a customer persona or customer profile) is a detailed representation of your target customer. It shines a light on key characteristics such as demographics, job title, goals, pain points, purchasing behavior, and more. Buyer personas are based on research and data about your customers, and most businesses will have multiple buyer personas based on different customer types.
The most useful buyer personas are rooted in primary research like focus groups and customer interviews that help you capture the voice of the customer and give you a clearer sense of what it’s like to walk in their shoes. They are also content actionable—meaning that the information you capture should directly enable you to create great content. In other words, don’t just record information such as education level and pain points because they’re in the template you downloaded. Instead, think about how those attributes fuel purchasing behavior and how they can help you create content that speaks to your buyer’s concerns.
Buyer personas are a foundational marketing tool and an indispensable reference when creating audience-focused content. Personas can inform your content strategy, help you create content marketing assets that align with audience needs at each step of the customer journey, and enable you to scale your content operations. This last point is key: Once your stakeholders agree on who you’re marketing to, content creators across the business (and even outside agencies) can work in alignment to support a consistent content strategy.
While buyer personas are a must-have for any marketer, they pay extra dividends in the B2B world, where sales cycles are often longer and more complex. In this context, understanding the nuances of how your buyer thinks and behaves, and how they interact with other personas from their organization, can make all the difference.