Personas can be very valuable for and search engine optimization. In this video, we cover what you need to know.
How to Create a Persona
How to Create a Persona
If somebody asked you to describe your ideal customer, how would you answer?
That ideal customer is also your buyer persona.
Basically, a buyer persona (sometimes known as a marketing persona) is an imaginary friend to your brand. He or she is a mythical person that you envision as someone who takes an interest in your products or services.
Even though buyer personas are works of fiction, they’re important in the real world. They enable sales and marketing people to create pitches and campaigns that appeal to specific sub-groups within their company’s target market.
If you haven’t yet created a brand persona for your business, now is the time to do so.
Successful Marketers Use Buyer Personas
“My target market consists of people who are into men’s fashion. Isn’t that good enough?”
You still need to create buyer personas.
Why? For several reasons.
First, think about the men’s fashion niche. When you say “men’s fashion,” have you said everything?
Of course not.
There are several aspects to men’s fashion. There’s casual, business, and formal wear just for starters. There’s also a number of product lines within men’s fashion (shoes, ties, cufflinks, etc.).
When you create buyer personas, you’ll find that it’s easier to segment your market so that you can create highly targeted campaigns aimed at specific types of customers.
Second, buyer personas help you identify common traits within your market. If you find, for example, that a lot of men who are into fashion also enjoy fine dining, you can craft an advertising campaign that appeals to that side of their interests.
In other words, your brand can better relate to people in your target market once you understand what makes them tick and how they like to enjoy life.
Also, buyer personas take the abstraction out of marketing. Instead of creating marketing campaigns that appeal to “the men’s niche target market,” you’re instead creating campaigns that appeal to real personalities.
For example, you might create ad copy for a middle-aged man who owns his own business and needs to look sharp all the time for client meetings. That kind of targeted marketing sure beats the all-too-common practice of advertising to the masses.
Finally, as we’ll soon see, buyer personas help you stay in line with your goals.
It All Starts With a Goal
As with so many other business initiatives, you’ll begin the process of creating business personas by starting with a goal.
Ask yourself what you’re trying to accomplish with your marketing efforts. Are you trying to expand into a specific region? Are you marketing to a new demographic? Are you advertising recently added features of an existing product?
Those are the kinds of questions that have to be answered before you create your persona. Your ideal customers will depend entirely on your marketing objectives.
Creating a Persona
When it comes to creating a persona, one word describes everything you need: data.
You’ll have to gather information about people in your target market and construct various personas from that information.
So where do you get that data? Fortunately, there are plenty of sources.
Social media sites give you more than enough information that you can use to create personas.
Start with Twitter. Just head over to the Analytics screen and click on the “Audiences” tab. You’ll see information about interests, demographics, lifestyle, consumer behavior, and even the mobile footprint of people that follow.
Next, have a look at Facebook. Just fire up your Facebook business page and click on “Insights” at the top. Select “People” from the left-hand sidebar on the page that appears and you’ll receive a wealth of information about people who’ve “Liked” your brand. That info includes age, gender, and location.
YouTube is another great source for gathering data. Just head into the Creator Studio and click on “Analytics” on the left-hand sidebar. Scroll down towards the bottom of the Overview page and you’ll immediately see a demographic breakdown of the people who have watched your videos. Click on “Demographics” on the left-hand sidebar and you’ll see even more detailed information about your audience.
Beyond that, you can look at analytics from other popular social media sites, such as Instagram and Pinterest. Almost everything that’s popular nowadays offers analytics.
For social media research, though, it’s important that you have a large pool of followers. If you’re a new brand with only a few followers on social media channels, you might not have enough data to start building personas.
Fortunately, there are alternatives.
If you aren’t very popular on social media, you still might attract a lot of people to your website thanks to effective PPC advertising. You can gather data from your website visitors to create personas.
For that, though, you’ll need the aid of Google Analytics, which you hopefully have already set up for your website. If not, then set it up now and wait until after you’ve had plenty of visitors before mining the data.
Head over to the “Audiences” section in Google Analytics. Click on “Demographics” under “Audiences” in the left-hand sidebar and select “Overview.” That screen will give you an age and gender breakdown of people who’ve visited your site.
Next, click on “Interests” on the left-hand sidebar under “Audiences.” The screen that you’ll see is a gold mine of information about the interests of your visitors.
And don’t forget to click on “In-Market Segments.” That will give you insight about the kinds of purchases your visitors are likely to make.
Finally, be sure to check the “Mobile” section. If most of your users are on a mobile device, you’ll have to optimize your digital marketing efforts for users on a smartphone, tablet, or phablet.
What the Persona Looks Like
Once you have a sufficient amount of data, it’s time to create the persona.
So what does a persona “look” like? It’s really not that complicated at all.
A persona is nothing more than a paragraph or series of bullet points that describe a typical customer.
For example: “Joe is a middle-aged business owner who does his own accounting with a cloud-based software solution. He’s frustrated with all the time he spends entering financial data manually when he’d much rather be focusing on building his business.”
That kind of persona would be ideal for a company that’s offering automated integration with various financial systems.
You see where this is going? Now try to create some personas for your brand.
Create a Persona Now
Now that you know the basics about how to create a persona, start gathering information from social media and Google Analytics so that you can create personas relevant to your target market. Then, adapt your marketing plans to those personas.