The Five Key Elements
of a Strong Buyer Persona

Despite the continued rise in content marketing, it’s surprising to discover how many marketers don’t use buyer personas to guide their activities. This is a missed opportunity.

Understanding your prospective customers’ wants, needs and goals are critical to creating an effective content marketing strategy. This knowledge should form the strong foundation on which all other activities and materials are built. Developing a buyer persona is the best way to understand your target audience at a deep level and get them to complete a purchase/transaction with your company or business. 

What are Buyer Personas?

Think of a persona as a fictional character that represents your target customer and gives you a detailed look at who they are, what they want, and what drives them.

For many businesses, of course, a single buyer persona doesn’t work. Different segments often require different personas—though you don’t want to get carried away, either. For most organizations, creating two or three detailed buyer personas is sufficient to help guide the marketing process.

What are the Key Elements in a Buyer Persona? 

So how do you go about creating an effective buyer persona? While there are a lot of potential areas to consider, here are five key elements of a strong buyer persona:


Who are you talking to? 

The best way to tailor a marketing message is to know who you’re talking to. Ask yourself, “Who is my buyer?” For buyer demographics, you need to consider two core areas: personal demographics, such as a job title or role and age range, industries of interest, hobbies of interest, and geographic location. 

Knowing who you are talking to can help you shape messaging and promotional efforts to reach them. 


What do they value? 

Psychographics looks at what a person values or holds of importance, which might influence their buying decisions. Spending habits, patterns, lifestyle choices, aspirations or interests in your area of business, are all part of psychographic details. 

Knowing what your ideal buyer values, is important in making sure you can deliver in a way that speaks to their values. 


What does the buyer want to get or achieve? 

The buyer is often looking for a solution to their challenges, which gives them the motivation to pull through on a purchase. Evaluating how your product or service addresses the need, can help present your company or brand in a way that says, “Hey, we can get you exactly what you need”, in a way that removes obstacles. 

Knowing what your buyer wants, helps you to highlight what your offer is to meet their needs and achieve the outcome they are looking for. 


What forces affect your buyer in making their decision?

Quite literally, an influence on a buyer can be a paid influencer on a social media platform, or it can be as simple as a colleague, family member or boss that might influence their decision. Humans tend to seek validation when making purchases to know they’re making the “right decision”. 

Knowing who these influences are, gives you insights into where your buyer is getting information from and what they are thinking about. 


What might hold them back from the purchase? 

Sometimes, this stems from an influence. Other times, it can be because of a competing company they’ve heard of that offers something incredibly similar to yours. It could even be because your offering isn’t as reputable as more established brands. 

Knowing these objections and their root causes gives you the information you need to address concerns in your marketing messaging. 

Using Buying Personas in Your Marketing Process

The process of creating personas is valuable. To create a detailed and believable persona means looking deeper for answers, seeking patterns in past customer behaviour, and viewing your products or services with a more critical eye.

However, the long-term value comes from using the personas. Buyer personas create a structure for your marketing strategy and influence your messaging. Personas also operate as a “true North” document for your team. By revisiting the written persona while creating communications materials, team members can ensure that they stay aligned with the strategy and hone their messages for the right audience.

The result is better marketing materials that are aligned with your target customer’s true goals.

Quality, Quantity and Content
Marketing Challenges

Today, companies and brands are faced with three main challenges when it comes to their content marketing. One challenge is the increasing pressure to create consistent, high-quality content for their company or brand. Another challenge is that competition is increasing.

In a recent survey by HubSpot, 90% of marketers are using content marketing as part of their strategy. Not only is there more content vying for audience attention, but marketplace “noise” is also increasing. But the overarching challenge is how to create this consistent content that stands out in the marketplace when faced with budget challenges and bandwidth constraints.

Creating Quality Content With Less

If you’re working on content marketing, and are faced with a similar dilemma, there are two main paths you can focus on to meet the ever-rising bar for quality content, with fewer resources and more competition. 

One way is to focus your efforts by creating fewer, high-quality pieces, or “cornerstone” content. Many content marketers spread themselves too thin, filling up their content calendars and then scrambling (and often failing) to create worthwhile pieces. Instead of creating multiple “okay” blogs or articles, focus your attention on something larger and more worthwhile. For example, you could complete a study or conduct a survey, then provide your company’s unique take on the insights provided as a whitepaper with a series of tie-in blog posts. These types of pieces not only garner attention but show leadership and expertise that can help your brand stand out in a crowded market.

Reshaping Content for Different Platforms 

The second way to approach the dilemma is by getting full value from the content you produce. While you don’t want to re-use content word-for-word on various platforms because of SEO penalties and spamming an audience with the same information, you also don’t want to allow the content to be used once and never again. 

Once you have your cornerstone content, you can reshape it into smaller pieces, like pulling interesting parts of it to use in a newsletter or pulling out 10 facts to use as social media posts to promote the piece. While you’re delivering similar information, it’s saying it in a different way and delivering it in a different way than the original piece. Your audience might engage with your piece differently when it’s presented to them in smaller pieces too. 

This also gives you more time to get the full value out of the resource, and really get the most promotion out of it. If you take every piece of cornerstone content and apply this method, it takes out some of the guesswork when it comes to creating a content marketing calendar and actually executing it. It then becomes a matter of pulling out smaller ideas from it and reshaping them for your next platform. 

Evaluating Your Content Marketing Plan  

Many companies and brands have success using the less quantity, more quality approach to help balance their time and their expectations. It proves that time and budget don’t need to be a barrier to a good content marketing strategy if you use your resources wisely and promote them wisely. 

But for some companies and brands, there comes a point when you might see an even higher demand for content marketing, or a more specialized approach to continue on the path of success. That’s when getting an external agency can help. An agency, like 9dot Digital, can help evaluate your current content marketing plan, and help re-strategize what can be done content-wise, within your budget, to meet your goals. Agencies can help increase your bandwidth by helping with content creation, or by steering your content in a direction that you’ve never thought of before. 

For more information on content marketing, check out our content creation services and our digital marketing services.