How To Build A Customer Persona

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Whether you’re new to social media or well-versed in digital marketing, fundamental business concepts apply - you have to know your customers. Understanding your ideal customer can make all of your marketing efforts more effective.

The key to a successful campaign is a targeted one that’s tailored to engage your specific customer base. While it’s tempting to cast a wide net and hope for the best - best practice proves that brands gain more traction by marketing directly to their target audiences.

To get started on the right foot, it helps to create customer personas that bring your ideal clients to life. Customer personas help you visualize your clients and understand the characteristics that motivate them to complete a sale.

When you’re starting out, you may have limited data to base your personas on. But remember, these personas evolve as your business intelligence grows with your company.

Here are a few tips to help build your own customer personas for your business:

1) Do your research

Who are your customers and what do they have in common? Are there commonalities in demographics, interests or location? Can you categorize them into distinct groups?

If you’re established online, a great place to start looking is your Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, or Twitter Analytics. Drill down to see who’s engaging with your business online and what their interactions are like on your pages.

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If you’re social media presence is relatively new and you don’t have a lot of data to dig into, try looking at your big competitors. Who are their followers?

Once you have a better understanding of who are or who you want to be your clients, you’ll start to hone in on how to better speak to their interests and engage them effectively.

Here is a list of some key elements to consider in your persona profiles:

  • Location - Where do they live? Where do they not live?
  • Age and gender
  • Interests
  • Education level
  • Job title and income level
  • Relationship status
  • Favourite businesses and websites

2) Dig deep

Once you’ve figured out who your target audience groups are, find out more about each segment. How do they live their lives? What is their world view?

Think about where your personas hang out and how they spend their free time. Where do they have fun? What do they find amusing and interesting?

In other words, what gets their attention, where and why?

3) Name them

While this may seem odd, name your personas so they’re easy to remember and refer to.

Your personas should be top-of-mind when crafting your marketing strategy - both traditional and digital. Use these personas to help you stay focused on targeted tactics and tailored messaging that gets results.

Once you have a clear understanding of your customer personas, you can use them to inform your funnel advertising campaigns focused on brand awareness.

Once you’ve got your persona ready to go, try testing an ad campaign. Facebook is a great place to start since its targeting options are so expansive and detailed. Check out this article for tips on how to get started with Facebook advertising.


Written by Calgary blogger and freelance writer Michelle Seto from michmash.ca. Connect with Michelle @michmashblog.