Buyer personas. You’ve heard about them over and over again. You know you need personas in order for your marketing to be successful, but you still haven’t created them. What’s holding you up? Is it because you don’t know where to start? Or perhaps you’re just not quite sure what a finished persona should look like …

Well, it’s time to take off your procrastination pants and put on your persona pants, because I’ve put together three sample personas that you can use as a guide to build your own.

For my examples, I’m going to re-create a persona from three different industries I’ve worked in: health care, technology (specifically, mobile apps), and animal rescue (a.k.a. animal shelters). Now remember, if you work in one of these industries, it’s important to create your own, unique buyer personas, based on interviews and research specific to your organization.

Once you have your persona data, that’s when the real fun begins. Here’s where we take all of those insights and create a fictional but accurate representation of a specific person in our target audience that we’ve identified as an ideal prospect. We’ll give that persona a name and a face, and we’ll start to build out their story. That story, in turn, will give us direction on how to best reach these people with marketing. Let’s dive in!

Health Care Network Persona: Working Mom Wendy

When I worked in health care, we had a number of people to market to, but again, personas are about dialing into each unique group to an individual level. In this case, one primary target group included working mothers. Thus, one of our personas was “Working Mom Wendy.” As always, we started with persona interviews, took key insights from those interviews, compiled the data, and created her persona card (which you can download a template of), which looked like this:

Buyer Persona - Working Mom Wendy

How to Use This Information for Marketing

The “How We Help” section of the buyer persona is designed to address your persona’s goals and challenges. This gives you a good idea as to what should be included in the messaging of your ads. In this example, we know that Wendy is a busy woman, so we’ll use targeted ads featuring our same-day appointments and convenient locations.

We also know that Wendy uses the internet as a resource for information. This gives us a few clues as to how we can best market to Wendy. First, since we know Wendy is often surfing the web, online marketing efforts such as inbound marketing or paid digital media should be used. Second, creating a blog with health and wellness information such as at-home remedies for common ailments or healthy family recipes could be a great way to build a relationship with Wendy. We could even encourage her to subscribe for email updates on top stories.

Finally, Wendy may not have a dedicated primary care physician but wants to find a provider she can trust. Posting easy-to-find online reviews of our physicians, along with their locations, will make Wendy’s selection process much easier, improving her overall satisfaction and increasing the chances she’ll select one of our providers.

Mobile App Persona: Advocacy Andy

At this particular tech organization, we created a free mobile app that was built for social action. One of our primary buyer personas was Advocacy Andy, someone who was looking for a tool to assist his mission for change.

Buyer persona - Advocacy Andy

How to Use This Information in Marketing

Here again, you can use the “How We Help” section to guide your marketing messages to Andy. We can also determine the best marketing channels through some of the key identifiers. For example, we know that Andy is eager to learn about politics so he can advance his efforts. Creating relevant downloadable e-books and guides are a great way to provide Andy something valuable while capturing his information for lead nurturing.

Additionally, Andy is a smartphone user and enjoys app games. Mobile advertising or SMS alerts could prove very successful. Gamification of the app with task completion rewards could also appeal to his gamer side, enticing him to download the app and even become a promoter of the app through social sharing of his earned rewards.

Animal Shelter Persona: Bachelor Brice

Who doesn’t love animals? Okay, maybe there’s a few people out there, but when I worked at an animal shelter our adopters came from all walks of life, so we had many personas. You know who’s a great candidate for dog adoption? Bachelor Brice.

Buyer persona - Bachelor Brice

How to Use This Information in Marketing

From Brice’s persona, we can see that one of his biggest reservations is that he’s unsure if pet ownership is right for him. We can guide him through the journey of this decision with blog posts or downloadable guides related to frequently asked questions, training tips, general pet care, and more. Since Brice is also a health nut, creating a blog series dedicated to the health benefits of pet ownership would be appealing.

“Matchmaking” could be effective on a couple of different levels. First, it will help Brice make a decision on the type of dog to adopt. Next, it will also speak to his need for companionship. This matchmaking tactic can be executed via a blog series, an online quiz, or a networking event, where Brice could even meet other singles.

To learn more about building buyer personas, read SmartBug Media’s The Ultimate Guide to Inbound Marketing Personas.

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