How to Build a Buyer Persona and Why They Matter

Even the best marketing strategies and tactics can only get you so far if you do not know who you’re marketing to. Creating a buyer persona is an integral part of marketing. Buyer personas help outdoor marketers and businesses understand the needs, desires, and habits of their customers while also predicting what triggers them to buy their product or service. 

What is a buyer persona?

The point of a buyer persona is to better understand who your ideal customer is and how to market to them. A buyer persona is your ideal customer avatar that represents one of your key target audiences. We recommend making more than one persona since often your data will be composed of a variety of people. Your personas will be created by assessing the demographic and psychographic data that you have accumulated since the start of your business. 

Follow this blog and learn the 6 steps to building your buyer persona.

1. Demographics

First let’s think about demographics. Demographic data is collected information used to inform researchers and outdoor marketers about the characteristics of your outdoor customers. While this may be surface level information, it is integral to understanding your audience and building your persona. Demographic data can help you answer the following questions: How old is your audience? What part of the world or country do they live in? How much money do they make per year? Do they have a family? Are they single or married? These high level questions are the first step in identifying the persona you will be building. 

Demographic data has helped us understand key features of this persona including income range, age, family, education, and location. We recommend choosing a photo for your persona that will embody these characteristics so you can better visualize who you are speaking to. 

2. Psychographics

Psychographic data is collected to better understand why the population buys and does the things they do through collecting data about their lifestyles, behaviors, and habits. Psychographic data is harder to get but is extremely helpful in building and validating buyer personas. The best way to collect psychographic data is to ask your audience directly through surveys and forms throughout your website. Psychographic data helps us build a bio for our personas as seen in this example:

Creating a bio for your persona unpacks the lifestyle, hobbies, and the interests of your outdoor customers and helps marketers understand the language to use while writing things like website copy or ads. 

3. Build a User Story

Once you understand who your persona is, build a user story for them. A user story describes what the persona is ideally looking for without necessarily identifying how your product or service can help. Building a user story helps outdoor marketers understand potential pain points and goals that their products or services can help ease or how they can fit into the personas lifestyle. 

user story example

The user story can be brief but should have enough information to help frame the goals and triggers of the persona. 

4. Identify Goals and Triggers

The goals of the persona should take into account the lifestyle and values they hold. Are they on a budget and looking to save money? Do they want to spend more time with family? Do they have time for a high maintenance project or product? Look back at your profile, bio, and user story to estimate what these goals will be. 

Triggers are the things that push your persona to finally purchase the product or service. Maybe they’re looking for a replacement for something they’ve had for years or are seeking a solution to a new problem they’ve been having. Understanding your persona’s triggers will come in handy when the customer is getting close to a purchasing decision. If you touch on their pain points in your ads or website copy, they will feel more inclined to buy. 

5. Understand Your Persona at Each Stage of the Buyer Journey

The buyer journey is broken down into awareness, self-educating, consideration, rationalizing, and decision. As your persona moves throughout these stages of the journey, the way you should interact with them will vary. In the awareness stage, they may not even know they have a problem or that your company exists. In this stage it is important to show them your brand and products without pushing sales too much. Once they realize your product and brand is right for them, your interactions are going to eventually lead to a sale. To understand this journey, map out potential questions your persona may have as they move through each stage and create landing pages and ads that help move them to the next stage.

6. Build the Persona

Once you’ve completed each of these steps, download our buyer persona template and fill out the document to build your persona. 

Creating buyer personas is the first step in transforming your outdoor content and marketing efforts. Humanizing your data this way will help your outdoor marketing team stay on track and be consistent with your messaging across all channels and generate more sales for your brand.

Are you interested in starting your content transformation? Contact us today for a consultation. 

8 Must-Have Content Marketing Skills!

Content marketing skills are powerful, but only if done right.

It’s researching what your specific audience wants to know. It’s talking to them as a friend, in your own unique way and voice. It’s keeping up with current trends, so you can create valuable content that resonates with your audience. 

Follow along this blog and learn 8 skills to master and lift you to success in no time.

1. Research Your Audience

No matter how compelling your content is, you won’t convert anyone if you don’t know exactly who you’re speaking to.

For instance, look at this content from Pond King’s email campaign.

The email holds enticing promise to readers who want to purchase in the near future. But what makes it compelling isn’t fancy wording or clever phrases. It’s simply that we knew his audience’s pain and need before writing it.

When we are identifying our target customer’s pain we use these five powerful methods to dig up clues about our audience so we can find them a solution. Here are a 5 powerful ways to put on your detective’s cap and dig up clues about your audience:

  • Use Google Analytics to find out who’s visiting your website. Analytics gives you information like the names, ages, and genders of your site visitors.
  • Go on Answer The Public and research topics around your niche. What are people saying? What are their fears/desires/dreams? Reading what they talk about will help you understand them on a deeper level.
  • Take note of how users respond to your content. With a tool like Moz , you can learn how people are reacting to what you write. Analyze your top engaged posts and discover what made them appealing to your audience.
  • Ask your users through surveys (with incentives like free downloads – an e-book).
  • Engage with people in the comment section of your blog and social media. Listen to what they’re saying and respond personally and directly.

Remember, speaking to your audience should be like conversing with a friend. The better you know this friend, the more personal and appealing your message will be.

2. Become an Expert Interviewer

To write amazing content, you need to be an expert on your topic. When you master the art of conducting subject matter interviews, you can produce authority content even if you are not an expert in the niche you write in.

But you can’t just jump into an interview with an expert and ask any question that comes to your mind. Remember, the value of the information you get depends on the quality of your questions.

Here are 5 tips to make your interviews seamless.

  1. Be prepared. You don’t want to come to an interview with absolutely no idea on the topic. Rather, you want the interview to be a deep dive into the topic. So, before you start the interview, do as much research as you can. From your research, make a list of questions you can’t find the answers for online.
  2. Skip open-ended questions. You want your interviewee to gush over the topic. You want them to feel excited. To do that, intrigue them with unusual questions. For instance, instead of asking, “Is your product great?” you can ask, “Can you give me some facts most people don’t know about your product?”
  3. Bring your content outline with you when you interview. Asking a bunch of random, unrelated questions wastes time. To avoid this, base your questions on the outline you prepare for your content. This will help you ask specific, driven questions you can use in your writing. 
  4. Record your conversation. Later on, you’ll want to go back over the exact words your interviewee said during the interview. Then you can write notes later without disrupting the interview process.  If your interview is through zoom we love using Otter. It takes notes for you so you can save them for later and spend more time focusing on your content outlines.  
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. If there’s something you don’t understand during the interview, ask! This can open doors for an even deeper dive into the topic.

When you approach interviews with a genuine passion for your topic, there’s nothing you can’t dig up from the experts’ knowledge banks.

3. Fine Tune Your Keywords

So, how do you choose keywords to use in your content? Keywords don’t only help you rank higher on Google, they act as the spine of your content. Keywords direct what you say and allow you to stay relevant with what people want to read.

  • Go for long-tail keywords. For example, instead of choosing “dress,” go for “Walt Disney princess dresses for kids.” Keywords like this help direct quality traffic to your site.
  • Choose low competition keywords. If you go for a keyword like “shoes,” you’ll find yourself up against content from huge brands like Adidas and Nike. As a rule of thumb, go for keywords with a score below 50.
  • It’s OK to select a keyword with low search volume. As long as there are people searching for this keyword, creating content around it will get you results.

To help you find the best keywords for your content, you can use tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush.

Did you know?

76% of marketers use organic traffic as a measure of content success

4. Planning and Time Management

So, how do you choose keywords to use in your content? Keywords don’t only help you rank higher on Google, they act as the spine of your content. Keywords direct what you say and allow you to stay relevant with what people want to read.

You don’t want to wake up one morning panicking because you have to produce content but have no idea what to write. To avoid this, create a content calendar.

With a content calendar, you’ll avoid problems like repetitive content and stay up-to-date with events like holidays and special occasions.

Always remember, to leave room for spontaneity. For example, if a relevant question from one of your followers suddenly pops up on your social feed, why not address it at length in a blog?

After you’ve solidified your idea and did your research next comes your outline. 

5. Creating Strategic Outlines

An outline is your roadmap to the content you create. It not only helps you with your work but also shows the client what to expect. Put as much detail into your outline as possible. Take a look at our example outline below. 

6.Writing Value-rich Content

When you write, put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Ask yourself, would I read this? Did I learn from what I just read? Was it a user friendly experience? The content you write is the solution to your audience’s pain point.

74.2% of companies saying that content marketing is increasing their marketing teams’ lead quality and quantity.

If you want to improve your content here are 4 simple steps to follow: 

Step 1: Understand what data-rich content entails.

When writing a data-rich blog post, every key point that you make should be backed by a credible data source. The more legitimate your source is, the more authoritative your content will be.

Step 2: Firm up your content marketing strategy. 

Firming up your content marketing strategy and what you want to accomplish with your content, most specifically, will allow you to cut out the guesswork and get consistent results.

Each content you write needs to have a clear purpose. Understand who your audience is and the information that they want to gain from reading your blog post.

Step 3: Come up with engaging headlines.

While most people will read your headlines, few will commit to actually reading the blog post. You have less than 3 seconds to grab your reader’s attention, and a data-driven headline will leave your audience wanting more.

Step 4: Develop data-driven outlines.

Do you create outlines for your blog posts? Whether you’re writing a data-driven post or sharing your unique perspective about a relevant topic, developing an outline will speed up the blog writing process and keep you organized and on track.

7. Editing

Engaging content can be powerful enough to persuade hesitant prospects to buy. And, on the flip side, messy, error-prone writing could cause the end-user to abandon your site entirely.

In short, the ability to edit is the difference between mediocre writing and compelling, engaging, high-converting content.

We love using, it helps whip your content in shape and checks for things like:

  • Proofreading
  • Revising
  • Drafting
  • Spelling
  • Structure
  • Style
  • Punctuation
  • Strong Vocabulary
  • Using the Rhetorical Triangle
  • Devise Structure
  • Establish Tone
  • Forming a Thesis

8. Measuring Your Content’s Success

Analyzing data is the key to knowing if your content performed well and if you need to make changes. Attaching metrics to your content will help you determine whether the content is successful or needs improvement. Here are three great ways to measure content success:

  • Email click-through rate. If people are clicking the links in your email campaigns, take note of what makes this email different from others.
  • Bounce rate. Do people leave your site without clicking through to other pages? The rate at which they do so is your bounce rate. If people click away more than 70% of the time, you need to improve your content.
  • Scroll depth. Do people read your intro and then leave the page? Or do they scroll all the way to the bottom? At what point do they stop reading? When you analyze what’s working and what’s not, you’ll be able to improve your content.

Marketers need to constantly learn new skills and adapt to online changes. As online behavior and algorithms shift, so do marketing tactics – and therefore marketing best practices. Marketers that thrive on this change and are eager to learn new techniques will succeed. 

Once you hone in on these skills it’s only up from here. Your content will improve and so will you as a professional. 

3 Unique Ways We Utilize Personalized Content with Examples

In content marketing it is getting harder than ever to grab your audience’s attention utilizing generic material. By personalizing your content, you are more likely to engage your targeted customers. In this blog, we’ll break down 5 ways we have utilized personalized content with examples.

You will know if they are a man or woman, their age, location, and even their interests. Which helps you better connect with your customers and drives engagement.The numbers don’t lie — personalization is what shoppers want.

 Around 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with companies that present them with personalized offers and recommendations. And around 74% of online shoppers are frustrated when web content doesn’t target their interests.

In order to be successful, every brand needs a strategy that delivers targeted personalized content and relevant information to consumers to increase their likelihood of engaging with your company.

You can do this by looking at the available data about each visitor to your website or social media page. The information available ranges from their keyword searches and buying history to information they might provide, such as location, age, and gender. When pulled together, this data helps paint a picture of each customer’s interests and needs, so you can share content that speaks to them. The result is higher sales and increased engagement.

About half of the retailers that personalize their marketing content see a 300% ROI over the course of their relationship with a consumer. Other industries have seen an increased ROI due to content personalization, as well.

Segment Your Audiences

There are different ways you might segment your audience when creating personalized content. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) have made it easier than ever to mine information about your customers and web visitors. Then, based on where they fall within the lists you’ve created, you can optimize their content to address their personal interests and buying habits.

Here are a few common demographic factors used to segment audiences:


Using location-based marketing, you can target customers who live in specific areas. For instance, if you have noticed your customers are primarily from the east coast, you can target web visitors in major cities such as the New York metropolitan area.

Insider tip: A shopper’s location also provides additional information about them, such as the weather or season they are currently experiencing.


Knowing your visitor’s age gives you additional insight into who they are as a consumer. For example, millennials, Gen Zers, and younger generations are more likely to shop online, so you should drive them to make their purchases through your social sites or directly to your website.


Marketing based on a consumer’s gender can also help drive sales. Be careful, though, as this can be tricky. The interests of men and women tend to overlap more these days.

Stage in the Sales Funnel

Our goals seven main stages in a customer’s sales process when it comes to digital marketing:

The overall goal of each stage is to move the consumer toward the bottom of the funnel, where they make a purchase, and, hopefully, start a long-term relationship with your brand.

Our 3 Types of Personalized Content:

  1. Interactive Surveys and Quizzes  
    a. Everyone loves interactive surveys on social media and your website, making them an excellent content marketing tool. The interactive nature of these surveys lets users personalize the content presented to them.
    b. These surveys have different features, functions, and content, based on the curated data pertaining to the specific consumer.
    c. Our example: An Interactive Quiz- Chronic Wasting Disease Quiz | Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership ( engages the end-user and helps evaluate your audience. 
  2. Retargeting ads on Social Social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook make it easier than ever to deliver personalized content to your target audience. Curated campaigns are beneficial to your brand. They create awareness, boost traffic to your site and increase sales. We recommend targeting specific audiences based on various demographics, including age, gender, location, and specific interests.
    a. You can also retarget current customers or audiences that have visited your site before. Facebook states, “If your business is using retargeting to find people who have visited your physical store, or if you have collected customer contact information through a CRM, you can create a list to reach these people with ads.”
    b. Retargeting is a great way to get a second chance at selling to recent visitors.
    c. We helped understand Pond King’s audience in their buyer’s journey through targeted ads. See their success here.
  3. Personalized Emails Today email marketing is less about promoting your offers and products/services and more about giving the subscribers a personalized experience that serves their needs. When the emails speak about what the subscriber desires, they are more likely to engage with them
    a. We recommend segmenting your audience so you can target your subscribers with specific email campaigns. Personalized content is more likely to resonate with your audience, which drives consumers to your website so they can make a sale. Or better yet, they share their customer experience on social and tell their friends/followers about your quality brand.
    b. For example, Spotify sends users a personalized Discover Weekly playlist based on what they have been listening to, their likes, and dislikes. This email re-engages users and gets them to sign into their app again.
    c. Personalization increases the likelihood of your recipient opening an email from you, and it is something anyone can benefit from, as well. For instance, when sending an email to those on your specific list, you can add a personal touch by pulling the recipient’s first name into the subject line.
    d. After creating personalized messages for Leupold’s email campaigns we saw an increase in their open rates and sales doubled.
    e. After understanding who Pond King’s audience is and what they care about we were able to send them personalized, targeted emails about products and services they want to learn about. This resulted in higher opens and click-throughs on all their emails.

How We Personalize the Customer Journey and Map It

Want to drive more traffic to your site and social accounts? Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Customers are on a journey. From the moment they first learned about you to their first purchase, every step leads to a curated path. As a digital marketer, it’s your responsibility to drive them to your desired conversion path – the customer journey.

Personalizing your brand’s customer journey leads to a great customer experience. Which is why all your created content, ‘everything you send them’ needs to be relevant to their specific needs. 

Do this and you’ll see results. Being higher website traffic, better performing emails, and of course more sales with returning customers. 

In fact, 96% of organizations believe that email personalization can improve email marketing performance.  And the open rate for emails with a personalized message was 18.8%, as compared to 13.1% without any personalization.

What is customer engagement?

According to Google,

This kind of interaction takes place on multiple channels, not just at the point of sale. For example, companies can engage with customers through the following platform.

It’s important to track the customer journey, for this process to be a success.

Here’s our example of a customer journey. 

Creating a customer journey ensures that brands are available at the necessary touchpoints where a customer may need to be engaged.

It also helps brands understand who their target audience is and what they need to do to extend one sale into multiple opportunities.

What are the components of a customer journey map?

Next we need to look at what’s happening at each stage. Here’s the framework we like to use:

  • Customer personas: A buyer persona is a representation of your target customer based on detailed market research. It includes demographics such as age, gender, job title, etc. Each buyer persona has separate buying behavior. This is why you need to create a different customer journey map for each persona. The persona information you’ve already collected helps you map out a customized journey for that particular buyer persona.
  • Funnels: Before mapping out the customer journey you need to figure out the stages your customer goes through to come into contact with your brand. Better known as the marketing funnel which consists of – awareness, consideration, decision, and retention.
  • Understanding your customer: You need to understand the goal your customers are trying to achieve at each stage. Collect data through surveys on the website and through emails. Then you can align the information with the customer journey touchpoints.
  • Identify touchpoints: Touchpoints are the interactions the customer has with your brand at each customer stage on specific web pages or ads. For example, awareness stage touchpoints are likely to include short-form landing pages, testimonials, your blog, etc. 
  • Consider your customer’s emotion: The client’s journey is told from the customer’s perspective. So, keeping into consideration which emotion (whether delight or frustration) your customer is likely to feel helps you ensure they will move from one stage to the other.

Then put yourself in their shoes…
What is the customer doing at each stage? What actions are they taking to move themselves on to the next stage?
Motivations: Why is the customer motivated to keep going to the next stage? What emotions are they feeling? Why do they care?
Questions: What are the uncertainties or other issues preventing the customer from moving to the next stage?
Barriers: What structural, process, cost, implementation, or other barriers stand in the way of moving on to the next stage?

5 tips to be on track for personalizing your content:

1. Take into consideration a customer’s past experience

One effective way to know what your customers want is by checking their history. Look at their previous interactions and transactions with you to find patterns.

For example, you can set up triggers in your email marketing software for customers who frequent a certain product page. Their returns indicate intent to buy, and they may only need a little push to make a purchase. Create a funnel that triggers a personalized email containing offers on the products they visited. It will be automatically sent to them after their, for example, the fifth visit.

Insider tip: If you want to upsell, review their past purchases so that you would have an idea of which related offers are most likely to appeal to them.

2. Extract as much psychographic data as you can

We utilize psychographic data to find a deeper understanding of the customer. Our curated survey extracts information about a person’s values, attitudes, interests, and personality traits that are used to build a profile of how an individual views the world, the things that interest them, and what triggers motivate them to action.

To gain more insight on Heaven’s Trail (a high-end line of tree stand, tools, and installation processes) audience we asked for curated content pertaining to their pain points. For example:

How would you describe your last tree stand installation?
– It was easy.
– It was difficult.
– I leave my stands in the tree so I never have to install them again.

Collecting valuable customer data should start as early as when customers sign up for your emails or follow you on social. Apart from the name and email address, ask for information that will help you know more about them such as location, birthday, interests, industry, and more. Be sure that the amount of information you ask for in your sign-up form must be reasonable. Keep it short and sweet because sign-up can turn off customers.

For existing customers, you can send a survey email or create a survey landing page that aims to extract more information about them. You can motivate them to send a response with incentives such as special offers and discounts. 

Insider Tip: Your customer’s IP address can also help you determine location so that you can send location-based offers.

3. Send a personalized note on holidays and their birthday

Customers feel valued when they are remembered on holidays or special occasions like birthdays. Take this as an opportunity to make your bond stronger.

In your email marketing sends, you can automate a birthday message to customers on their special day. Make it more special with a birthday gift such as exclusive discounts they can utilize on their day. Holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day are a great way to personalize your content for any type of campaign. Your options are limitless. Just to give them a reason to celebrate.

Insider tip: Make your emails even more personalized by adding their first name in your subject line. 

4. Create funnels based on customer behavior

Now the customer knows who you are and what solution you have to offer. However, they are still considering whether you are the right choice. 

The online behavior of customers tells us whether they are ready to buy or are still weighing their options. With advanced marketing software today, it’s now possible for brands to set up triggers to send personalized emails that match their website journey. It also allows you to automatically add customers to a workflow based on how they interact with you so that you can nurture them further.

A common triggered email for eCommerce sites is shopping cart abandonment email. Here, customers get a promotional email containing discounts on the items they abandoned.

For customers who click on your CTA, you can automatically add them to a workflow designed for those who are ready for conversion. On the other hand, lapsed customers who have been disengaged for months can be automatically sent with a series of re-engagement emails.

At the consideration and decision phase, you need to separate yourself from the competition. Make it clear to customers why you have the winning edge over the competition and why they should make a decision in your favor.

5. Testimonials from customers are KEY to knowing what worked

Once the customer passes through the conversion stage, the retention phase begins.

The retention stage is an on-going phase and lasts till the customer decides they no longer wish to remain your ‘customer’. The primary touchpoints used in the retention stage are your support landing page, product page, email and blog. Reaching out to customers to ask how they are doing is part of their journey. Customers feel that their voice matters when you take time to listen.

Using survey landing pages and emails, ask how their experience was with you. Use this opportunity to know which aspect of your brand needs improvement. You can also ask them if they find your business recommendable to their friends and colleagues. Keeping an open relationship with your customers is healthy for your brand and for their journey.

There is no single right way to create a customer journey, and your own brand will need to find what works best for your particular situation.The framework and tips provided above should give you a good head-start at better understanding the journey that your customers travel through as they engage with your brand, products, and people.

With the right amount and usage of customer data combined with targeted strategies, you can pull it off like a digital marketing pro.