Understanding the people who visit your website and purchase your products is an effective way to grow your brand.
Wouldn’t it be great not to guess arbitrarily and instead make educated decisions regarding your marketing actions? Well, good news! This is where buyer personas come to save the day.
It’s easy for marketers to “get lost” in the details of tracking metrics. Put simply, buyer personas are a reminder for businesses to put their audience’s wants and needs first.
A deep understanding of your buyer personas is vital in creating targeted content for your SEO and social media marketing efforts. In this way, you can attract high-value visitors and customers that you’ll be able to retain over time.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to create your own buyer personas to boost engagement and supplement your SEO efforts in terms of keyword research and targeting.
But before we dig deeper into how you can create them for your business, let’s take a brief look at what they are.
A buyer persona is a representation of your ideal target customer. It’s not a real customer, rather a semi-fictional profile embodying the characteristics of your best potential customers and their behavior.
You assign to each buyer persona a name, some demographic details, interests and, last but not least, behavioral traits. You can even go the extra mile and give them a face using stock photos.
The goal behind this is to treat this model customer as if they were a real person. Believe it or not, this allows you to craft efficient and personalized messages and assists your SEO efforts to market your brand.
You’ll probably need to create more than a single buyer persona since different groups of people buy your products for different reasons. While it isn’t possible to create a persona for each individual prospect, representing each segment of your customer base with one is more than ideal.
Now that we’ve laid the fundamentals, it’s time to see how exactly you can start creating your customer personas.
The good news is that buyer personas aren’t that difficult to create. Follow the five steps outlined below to harness deep audience research and create compelling customer personas.
When you’re creating a customer persona, in essence, you’re creating a personality embodying a key segment of your audience. Consequently, your buyer personas have to be based on real-world data, not random guesswork.
The first step to accomplish this is thorough audience research. Initially, you’ll have to compile data on your existing customers as well as your social audience. The details you’re looking for include:
If you’re a B2B company, you should also consider details such as the size of the business and who makes purchasing decisions.
The easiest way to acquire this data is from your customer database. Your next step is to look at social media analytics, such as Facebook Audience Insights, which provide a detailed view of almost everything you need to know about in order to develop your buyer personas.
Moreover, you can use online surveys and questionnaires via your social media channels or even interview people over the phone. It has been observed that a considerable amount of people feel more comfortable disclosing personal information in this way. Then, it is advisable to get your sales team’s feedback on the leads they’re interacting with since it will later help with making generalizations.
It is also important to learn which social channels your audience uses and where they spend their time. You can do this with the help of the familiar Google Analytics. Such tools can simultaneously shed light on where your site visitors came from, which keywords they used and how long they stayed on your site.
Last but not least, you need to utilize form fields from your site or optimize them to yield the specific data you need. Therefore, it might be a good idea to invest in an online form builder to uncover crucial data that will lead to more conversions.
Understanding your customers’ pain points will enable you to solve issues and deliver a better user experience.
A great way to find out their problems and the barriers they face is by using social listening. With the help of the appropriate tools, you can monitor mentions of your brand, products and competitors. This will provide you with a real-time look into what people are saying about you online.
Social listening can help your business uncover problems that you may not be aware of and incorporate those insights into your personas.
Another great idea is to contact your customer service team. Ask them for feedback on the most common questions they get. They can also inform you about the complaints that customers have about your service so that you can identify what’s working and what’s not from a product point of view.
You can go the extra mile and ask your customer service to gather real customer quotes. This adds an extra “depth” to your customer personas.
You’ve identified the pain points of your customers. Now it’s time to do the opposite, namely, find out what they aim to achieve. What’s their endgame and aspirations and how do they go about it?
These goals will most likely be personal or professional, depending on what product or service your company is offering. It’s possible that for some customers, their goals do not align with the features of your product.
Nevertheless, your personas’ goals are of vital importance, since they can inform your campaigns, determine the tone of your marketing messages and make your content impactful.
Again, social listening could help you gather this information.
Don’t forget to consult your sales team for insights into customer goals. They are communicating with prospects thinking about using your product, so they have developed a deep understanding of what your customers are trying to achieve when using what your brand is offering.
Delving deeper, it’s important to find out search demand and keyword competition.
This involves the use of appropriate keyword tools that help extract and organize the terms that people use most in the search process.
You don’t want to be wasting resources on “low-revenue” keywords or ones that are too competitive.
The good news here is that once this is done, you’re one step away from generating quality traffic and attaining SEO success.
The next step is to define how your products or services can help the user.
This is a “tricky” step because marketers don’t get out of the feature mindset easily. So what you need to do here is stop thinking about your brand feature-wise and consider your products and services from a buyer’s perspective.
It’s important to focus on the benefits rather than the features because benefits indicate how the products make your customer’s life easier.
Ask yourself how you can help your audience overcome their purchasing barriers and move further into the sales funnel.
Again here it’s a good idea to consult your sales team as well as customers and loyal fans themselves through an online survey.
In short, by flipping your thinking and considering your offering from the customers’ perspective, you can transform your messaging and create compelling campaigns for each persona.
The moment of truth! It’s time to gather all of your research and start looking for common characteristics. As these characteristics are grouped together progressively, you’ll have the base of your unique customer personas.
For example, let’s say you identify a core customer group of men in their fifties that have children and live in the countryside. You’ll need to take this abstract collection of characteristics and turn them into a persona that you can interact with.
Now give your buyer persona a name, job title, age, home type and other defining traits. The persona needs to seem like a real person.
The information you use needs to derive from your research data. Be careful not to make each persona overly specific, as this could mean missing out on attracting other types of customers.
Surely not all people in the customer groups you’ve identified fit all the characteristics of the persona. However, this persona serves as a representation of a segment of your audience and allows you to think about them in a human way, not as a set of data. Isn’t it easier to speak to Nick, let’s say, than speak to “men in their fifties?”
Pro Tip: You can also include who each persona is now and who they want to be. This will enable you to pinpoint how your product or service can help them rise to that place of ambition.
Creating your buyer personas will allow you to understand your target customers on a deeper level. In this way, you’ll be able to create highly-relevant content for SEO and promote your brand as the answer to your buyers’ problems.
So, start now and aim to create at least three key buyer personas for your company.
This will not only help you create appealing content and launch successful campaigns but also allow your brand to grow and evolve along with your customers.