Without buyer personas, an inbound marketing strategy is like a ship without a rudder. They help businesses understand what drives customers to purchase what they're selling and craft marketing strategies to attract more of these customers. Without a detailed buyer persona in-hand, any attempt to create compelling and engaging content isn't as effective as persona-centric content.
When beginning to craft buyer personas, businesses often focus too much on what type of person they would ideally want as a customer. Creating a persona doesn't mean coming up with one out of thin air. Base your personas on existing customers. That's who you're trying to focus all of your marketing efforts. Start by finding out their pain points, motivations, and how you could get them to buy from you.
Your buyer persona isn't static. Expand and fine-tune your persona as you learn more about him/her. If possible, review your persona every 6-12 months with customer interviews, for example, just to make sure your persona is still accurate. This will help you assess if there are new barriers preventing customers from choosing your product or service. Reviewing will also help you gauge whether your current marketing strategy is solving any challenges you had.
Demographics are the basis for any marketing strategy. But not knowing how to interpret and integrate the information can be the downfall of a potentially successful marketing campaign. For example, if you know that your target audience are females between the ages of 25-35 from the U.K., then you can begin to develop a "story" about what their day-to-day life looks like and how and where they find information online. Demographics help define your interactions with your buyer persona like when you should post (depending on your persona's time zone).
inadequate sample size
To reiterate, a buyer persona requires intense market research. Sometimes that means surveying customers and asking them what it is about other companies in your industry that they like and they don't like. Of course, if you only ask six people you're answers won't be as reliable as if you asked 100.