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Creating a Persona: Give it a Name and Make it Real!

top of mind marketing creating a persona to understand your audience

Creating a Persona and Making it Real!

A buyer persona is term that keeps popping up in articles about content marketing. A persona is a detailed description of someone who represents your target audience. While your persona is fictional, it’s based on your own research into what your existing and/or desired audience looks like.

While the buyer persona details may vary, they all include demographic information and behavior patterns. Personas are a very useful tool that help small business owners identify their customers. The truth is that not everyone is your customer. Knowing the behavior patterns and demographics helps you market most efficiently to your consumer market. Identifying a persona can give you valuable insights into how to improve the customer experience and your product or service in general.

Your persona will include:

  • Research. Interview potential customers
  • Demographics of your ideal customer
  • Background information
  • Goals
  • Motivations and frustrations. Identifying your customers’ pain is a big step forward. Play to this and provide solutions.

Create your persona step by step

  1. Research. Talk to your customers. The number of interviews you need to gather the information will be different in each case. The recommendation is to interview 5-30 people. With some critical mass, you’ll start to identify trends. You’ll notice that you get very little or no new insights after a certain point and you can stop your interviews. If interviews aren’t realistic, interview people who directly communicate with these customers instead.
  2. Use other sources to back up your research. Use Google Analytics or other data sources to validate your findings.
  3. Segment your audience. Not everyone’s going to fit into one category. Group them because you’ll want to be marketing to them in different ways. The attributes should describe what affects a person’s behavior in certain situations. Give your personas meaningful names—this helps validate this experience.

4 Describe your persona’s background. Look for insights that might drive empathy and contain information about your customer, such as job titles and major responsibilities.

5 Define your persona’s goals. See how your goals align with the goals of your customers.

6 Define motivations and frustrations. By identifying your customers’ pain, you can reach them more effectively and, ultimately, boost loyalty.

These are the basics of your persona

You can continue to drill down and add more detail–skills, touchpoints, the technology platform that your Persona uses, quotes, etc. By continuing to build out this information, you’re creating a robust profile that is becoming factual. My own persona is very vivid to me. It’s a woman with a name and an image. I see this person while I’m developing a marketing plan or other content marketing strategy. I think of my persona as I write a blogpost, for instance, and I ask myself if this is a topic that’s going to enlighten her or prove to be meaningless.

Creating a persona is a very worthwhile exercise

Have some fun with this. One of my colleagues has totally decked out her persona in designer clothes and accessories that she changes by season.

Her persona is kind of her North Star that she uses as a reality check. When I produce a blog, presentation or other communication, my first response may be that it’s great. I can come back the next day and realize that I completely missed the boat. I think about my persona to evaluate if it’s appropriate for that specific market.

Reference your persona as a real person

When presenting, talking about or referencing your persona in writing, communicate as though they are real people, people that you know. Express it like you are talking about a friend. The way you present your deliverables is key to ensuring your vision’s consistency.

UX designers are using personas in defining and designing digital products

Designers are increasingly using personas to help make interface design decisions. They’re evaluating behavior patterns, goals, skills, attitudes and background information, as well as the technical environment in which a persona operates. They also take context into consideration. If they’re developing a new banking app, they need to know the user’s level of financial sophistication.

Make your persona a real person

Knowing customer demographics and behavior patterns means that you’re marketing to the right people. Top of Mind Marketing can help you create a persona and marketing strategy. We’re writers and content marketing specialists.