Many marketers take their target market for granted. They start optimizing sites and creating paid campaigns without knowing anything about the potential customers. As you can presume, this lack of focus comes at a major cost, affecting their campaigns’ ROI.
Before your marketing and sales team creates its first article or sends the first email, it’s necessary to create a buyer persona template. By using a comprehensive, structured approach to customer research, you can ensure better conversions for your digital campaigns.
In this article, we explain what is a buyer persona, how to create it, and what are the common obstacles you might encounter along the way.
What is a buyer persona?
Before a marketing team can start a client campaign, they must create a buyer persona in accordance with their target audience. A buyer persona represents the ideal customer profile based on real-world data extracted from various marketing tools like Google Analytics. In other words, this is just the type of individual you would want to walk into your store.
For the most part, we assess a specific demographic and psychographic profile to create a buyer persona. We analyze things like traffic location, user age and sex, financial state, and so on. Each of these data points can be used during the content creation process, allowing marketers to tweak their style and tone for better performance.
Most notably, we’re trying to match our target customers and their intent to specific marketing materials. Keep in mind that content always needs to adapt to potential customers, not the other way around. Otherwise, website visitors might be turned off by your blog posts and will look for better information someplace else.
In most cases, a business will use multiple buyer personas, ranging from two to more than thirty. This is usually affected by the industry and the product’s versatility (how many different groups are looking for that particular product). For example, if you’re selling bread, you’ll have to consider a more diverse target audience than when selling Ferraris.
Why are buyer personas important for SEO?
Understanding ideal buyer personas is vital on every level of the business, from product development to sales. As a company, you’re looking to tweak your offer according to what people are looking for from similar product categories.
Among others, having a clearly defined audience persona is crucial during marketing campaigns and search engine optimization. Given that Google nowadays gives an advantage to web pages with high user engagement, you have to create posts that would cater to your perfect audience.
Someone who’s not interested in your offer might read the post but won’t take any additional steps afterward. In other words, the website visitor won’t browse other pages and might spend less time on the initial landing page. This will affect the content performance and the results of your marketing efforts.
People who fit the ideal customer persona profile will have longer and better interactions with the site and are more likely to convert. So, besides affecting your sales, catering to the right audience can provide various marketing and branding perks.
Common questions related to buyer personas
The marketing and sales team uses complex buyer persona templates to figure out what a perfect client would look like. For the most part, your target customer is based on your existing customers as well as website visitors. Ideally, the more info you have about the users, the more accurate you can target leads.
Given that every product or service has unique features, almost every business has its own buyer persona. So, this isn’t something you can fake or replicate by spying on competition. These are the most important questions you need to ask yourself when looking for prospective customers:
- How old is a person?
- In which country, state, and city do they live?
- Are they married
- What is their gender?
- What is their religion?
- What is their ethnicity?
- What is their political preference?
- How much do they earn?
- What is their job title?
- What is their education level?
- What are they looking for in a product?
- What type of website do they usually visit?
- What type of social media do they use?
- Do they click on paid search, or do they prefer organic results?
- What keyword category are they more likely to browse?
- What is the content archetype they prefer?
- Do they prefer visual or textual content?
- How much do they browse sites after landing on them?
- Are they likely to commend and share web posts?
- What kind of device does a person use?
As you can create, the process is extremely segmented and can drive you to various conclusions. There are various buyer persona examples that a business can use, and almost every group will exhibit a different website behavior and will have unique content and marketing preferences.
How to analyze a buyer persona?
Creating buyer personas can be relatively easy if you have enough initial data. In some cases, you’ll need to perform additional research to find the perfect audience for your products and services. These are the most common processes MiroMind uses when determining the target audience for its clients:
- Start with the client’s real-world contacts. These people have already made purchases from the company and can serve as the perfect blueprint for creating your marketing persona. Furthermore, it’s also much easier to extract demographic data from them as they have a working relationship with the brand
- Contact forms are a perfect way to do basic market research. By adding various lead magnets to your site, you can learn more about the ideal buyer personas without having to forcefully beg them for information. Among others, the voluntary approach ensures that you get the most accurate data
- Take into account customer feedback and other forms of interactions with qualified leads. In this particular case, you’re looking for things that can tie all these users together and give you insights into what potential customers are looking for from your website and products
- Use segmented marketing to your advantage. Focus on groups that most likely represent your customer personas and create events that would cater to them. In order to participate, these users should leave personal data that would give you a better understanding of potential clientele
- As mentioned, Google Analytics is one of the best tools for various marketing strategies, especially those pertaining to website audiences. This tool can provide valuable insights about your visitors, including where they’re coming from, which device they’re using, and how they interact with the site. Similar can be achieved with social media analytics software (for social visitors, of course). Keep in mind that software won’t do you much good if the site is relatively new and doesn’t hasn’t accrued enough data
- If you wish to go a bit broader, you can also get a lot of fantastic data from governmental agencies such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Aside from assessing audience persona, this data might help you with other marketing strategy tasks
- Lastly, you can use focus groups, perform paid surveys, and similar research to learn more about audiences’ pain points and what they find interesting in your products
Be creative when analyzing customer persona. As long as the information is valid and relevant, it doesn’t matter where it’s coming from.
How much data do you need?
The trickiest thing about buyer personas is determining how much research to perform. In theory, you can always benefit by accruing more data about your ideal clients. However, you will eventually come to the point of diminishing returns where your research dollars no longer move the needle.
The MiroMind team always suggests that you create a budget for your targeted marketing campaigns. Here are a few things you’ll have to consider when deciding how much to invest in the process:
Your product has the biggest impact on the customer journey and buyer persona research. Items and devices that are easy to explain don’t require an extensive process, as they have limited functionality. However, if you’re selling, for example, complex software, you’ll need to ask people how they intend to incorporate all these different features.
If you’re selling a versatile, mundane product, you’ll have an enormous customer base. This is especially true for product categories like food, clothes, and medicines. So, when creating a marketing campaign, you’ll have to create buyer personas for all these different categories driving your research costs up.
Given that buyer persona research is such a complex process, you can do it in perpetuity. This is a trap that many marketers fall for. It’s important that you determine resources ahead of time so that the research doesn’t drag on for too long. Give yourself limited time to conduct these surveys and then implement whatever data you managed to get.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that the process shouldn’t tarry for too long. Each day you spend forming buyer persona segments is an additional day delaying your campaign.
How to implement buyer persona into SEO?
The initial research is perfect for accruing raw data. However, the next step is even more important as it will help you use this refined data to turn it into actionable information for your SEO team. Basically, you’ll need to organize everything in sheets and classify the information in an understandable way.
Data errors and incoherence can be disastrous for your marketing campaigns as they can lead you down the wrong path. Furthermore, you should always take this data with a grain of salt, as we can never be certain whether it’s valid.
Luckily, we’ve created a free buyer persona template that will help you create buyer personas for your business. Here are four steps you need to execute to optimize your website for the perfect target customer:
- Segment buyer personas
If you wish to use several buyer personas, it’s best that you first segment them into several groups based on specific characteristics. You can create different classes based on location, age, or gender.
When creating buyer personas for SEO, you can classify them based on content engagement and conversion data. For example, you can create an ideal customer based on how much time they’ve spent on the site. Or, you can classify buyer personas based on the likelihood they’ll buy the client’s product.
- Fill data
Once you’ve made categories, it’s time to fill in basic data. You can have one sheet for all users and separate sheets for different buyer personas. If you’re struggling to segment your users into groups, which often happens when you don’t have enough data, you should just create the master sheet for the entire target audience.
Focus on things such as names, emails, company names, and social handles, for starters (this is where website forms are especially handy). As you accrue more data, you should add other demographic data such as location, age, and education for more accurate buyer personas.
- Create motivations and pain points
It’s very important to remember that different groups might have different motivations. For example, a certain buyer persona might prioritize gaining knowledge from your blog posts while carrying a low conversion rate. Other groups might go straight to your product pages without interacting with any other pages on your site.
Understanding the motivations and behavior patterns of different buyer persona groups is especially valuable during the sales process. If you understand how a specific audience will react when faced with certain choices, you’ll have a better chance of converting them.
- Create branding and messaging
While companies might cater to several different buyer personas, they usually prioritize the segment with the highest conversion rates. This group should serve as the blueprint point for your marketing and sales, guiding your branding and content efforts.
Similar to content, you can adjust your branding so that it’s better suited for this group of users. Think about website elements, colors, and a logo that would “speak” to that particular buyer persona.
Buyer persona in keyword research
You’ll start using the target marketing persona from the earliest moment of optimization. The concept can be implemented during keyword research, as you’re trying to identify phrases that your ideal buyer persona is looking for when accessing the Google search engine.
According to the traditional keyword research approach, you should only focus on search volume, difficulty, and relevancy. However, we also suggest that you add the ideal customer to that mix.
Keep in mind that different profiles of people might be looking for the same information online. So, you might look at a certain phrase, notice a massive search volume, and decide to go for it when, in reality, only a fraction of these users are your potential clientele. By focusing on specific phrases your optimal clients are more likely to search, you can reach a more “useful” audience.
Buyer persona in content creation
In terms of optimization, you should find the optimal content type to ensure the highest conversion. Furthermore, you should introduce a writing style and tone that would make your ideal customers stick to the site for as long as possible. Your ideal website visitors might also have certain preferences in terms of text, visuals, and article structure.
Like with other SEO processes, this method works best if you’re catering to one or two customer persona segments. However, creating the right content for several groups can be tricky as you’ll always lose some of the readers if you choose a specific style or tone. In these cases, it’s best to use a uniform content format that would appeal to as many readers as possible.
Buyer persona in link-building
Similar to our target clients, other bloggers, and influencers in the field have a similar demographic and psychosocial profile. So, by creating posts that would cater to your potential customers, you’re also catering to them. This information is especially valuable if you’re relying on link-baiting to garner attention.
Properly optimizing your site and content for ideal marketing personas can also pay dividends during your guest posting outreach. If other bloggers like your writing style and branding, they’re more likely to grant you guest posting opportunities. So, this meticulous approach will help on several levels during your link-building campaign.
If you properly identify the pain points and demographic traits of your audience personas, you can create fantastic marketing messages according to their preferences. As a result, you can maximize conversions and, more importantly, sales from your marketing campaigns.
Although the audience research process might be tedious and requires a hefty investment, it will pay off in the long run. Most importantly, it would prevent you from aimlessly creating SEO content. As we’ve just mentioned, the customer-centric methodology can also improve your building and overall brand awareness.