Personas are generalized characterizations that represent different clusters of your real and potential customers classified on the basis of their needs, goals, and observed behaviour patterns.
These ‘sketches’ help in developing a better understand of your customers and provide you with a benchmark (or multiple benchmarks) for creating content. Building personas for the core target group can help businesses in fine-tuning their marketing and content strategy and the way they intend to interact with the customers.
It is generally recommended to create 3 to 5 personas to represent your audience. The idea is to put yourself in the shoes of your typical customer and figure out/guess calculatedly the role, goals, hobbies, interests, and more.
A typical persona, which includes key information about a particular customer type, looks like this:
Size, type, domain of the workplace, Role in the company
Gender, Age, Household Income, Location, Education, Family
Goals and responsibilities, Primary goal, Secondary goal
Primary challenge, Secondary challenge, How do you face/overcome these challenges
Obtaining customer data to create these personas could be as simple as looking into your website analytics to as tiresome as conducting market research to understand your customers. There are, however, simple practices that can help you develop an understanding of your customers gradually over time.
Creating forms on your website to collect data: To allow access to relevant content on your website, demand information from the visitors which could help you classify your audience in groups.
Contact customers through phone, post, email etc.: The customers can be contacted directly to understand their perception of your product/service, as well as their expectations from the same.
Working closely and brainstorming with your sales team: Your sales team probably has a better understanding of your customers than anyone else in your company. Working with them can help create personas that are simple and accurate.
Conduct research on social media: Use your online presence on social media platforms to collect information such as demographics, location, interests etc. of your digital audience.
Using traffic analytics on your website: Simple and powerful analytics tools like Google Analysis can not only give you information about your audience, it can classify the visitors into clusters as well which can make the job of making customer personas a lot easier.