Table of Contents
Whether you’re a one-man band or heading up a big company, if you own a business in 2021, you need to create a “buyer persona”.
But what exactly is a buyer persona, why is it important and how do you go about creating one?
While those familiar with marketing techniques might throw the term around, not everyone knows exactly what having an effective persona means.
In short, buyer personas help you stay tuned into the evolving goals, pain points and challenges of your customers. Understanding this will help you produce content that directly meets their needs and wants. This is especially important in 2021 where the world around us is changing so rapidly, and with it the needs of your customers.
Once you have identified your ideal customer through in-depth research, it will transform your digital strategy overnight. Because from that point onwards everything you create will be designed to speak directly to your target audience.
We’ll go through exactly why buyer personas are so important and how they will benefit your business in 2021. We know creating a buyer persona can seem a little daunting, so we’ll also show you some simple tips and tricks to kickstart things.
But first, let’s get clear on the definition.
What is a Buyer Persona?
At the most basic level, buyer personas are semi-fictional profiles of your ideal customers. They are created through a combination of research, data and interviews.
Sometimes called marketing personas or customer profiles, their purpose is all the same: to help you understand the main characteristics, physiological drivers and pain points of your ideal customers.
Using this information, you are then able to create meaningful, targeted content which will cut through the noise and engage and attract quality leads.
It’s common for a business to have more than one buyer persona, which makes sense when you consider that different words and phrases will appeal and engage different segments of your audience. At the same time, it is important not to overcomplicate matters by creating too many buyer personas – experts recommend no more than three to start with.
So, to recap: a buyer persona is simply a way of understanding – and serving – your customers in the best way possible. And everyone wants to do that, right?
What’s Included in a Buyer Persona?
There are four main areas to consider when developing your buyer persona. These include:
Who are they?
Where do they live?
Do they have kids?
What’s their occupation?
Do they have a spouse or partner?
EXPERT TIP: Having a specific someone in mind can really help when creating content. So, we suggest giving your buyer persona a fictional name and including a picture of what you imagine they might look like.
What are your customer’s core beliefs?
What do they believe in: e.g. are they striving for positive change?
What is keeping them awake at night?
What search queries are they using?
EXPERT TIP: Getting to know your customer on a deeper level can help you create hyper-personalised content that builds relationships and trust.
Identify their needs, wants and pain points
What would make their life easier
What would make their life more enjoyable
EXPERT TIP: Once you understand this about your customer, ask yourself: how can I position my product or service to solve the needs and issues I have identified?
Remember to keep where they are in the funnel in mind. The first step may be to bring awareness that such a product or service exists to solve their wants and needs.
How do they spend their time, both online and offline?
Who are their influencers?
What media channels do they read or watch?
What publications do they prefer?
What social media platforms do they frequently visit? Who do they follow?
EXPERT TIP: Rather than trying to bring your ideal customer to you, engage with them on the platforms they already like and use. You can use this information to target influencers, websites and other forms of media that your customer spends time with.
Why is Creating a Buyer Persona Important in 2021?
A global pandemic, the change to WFH, furlough: the uncertainty of 2020 delivered a huge blow to our economy, and dramatically changed buyers’ needs and purchasing habits, perhaps forever.
Many businesses were forced to make the move from bricks and mortar to online. As a result, an already saturated online market became even more competitive, making it even harder for brands to stand out.
But simply churning out content is not the answer, especially in a marketplace full of social-media savvy brands. To cut through in 2021, creating customer-centric content is essential.
And this is where the value of a buyer persona comes to the fore.
Knowing who your customer is and understanding their search intent (e.g. your audience’s main goal: what they want and what they’re looking for) means you can better cater to them with content they actually want. In turn, this will help you develop a relationship and trust with your customer, inevitable resulting in more leads or sales.
- It will help you generate highly relevant leads.
- It will attract your ideal audience and high-quality traffic.
- It positions you as a trusted industry expert.
- People naturally gravitate toward businesses they know and trust, and buyer personas help you create relationships and foster trust.
- It helps you produce content that is more likely to generate sales.
It also means you can go to them. If you know where they spend their time, who they speak to, who their influencers are. It makes finding your optimum buyer far more efficient. If you know your buyers spend time on Pinterest rather than instagram for example, then running ads on Pinterest is going to produce a far better ROA’s than instagram ads ever would.
The Best Way to Create a Buyer Persona
There is no one way to generate a buyer persona, although they are usually created through a mixture of data gathering, research using specific platforms, and conducting surveys and interviews.
Making a buyer persona for the first time might seem daunting, but there are plenty of useful tools out there that can help make the process easier.
We suggest writing down what you already believe about your audience, including what type of person you think they are, their likes and dislikes.
This should be based off your findings from the data you have available, as well as general assumptions from different individuals within the company. You can also make use of certain softwares like Spark Toro. The next step would be to go out and test your theory by interviewing some real life customers.
We have spent time building a buyer persona document, make the process a lot for you. It goes through all the all the areas you should be looking at within Google analytics and a sheet to fill in the information. As well as the tools you can use to help you dig deeper into your buyer persona and a template for you to fill out each persona type.
How Does Creating a Buyer Persona Benefit SEO?
SEO is a constantly moving picture. With updates like Bert, Rank Brain and Passage, Google’s machine learning is getting far better at displaying answers to queries, rather than just keywords.
As a result, having a detailed understanding of exactly what your target audience is looking for is essential. By nailing that buyer persona, you’ll be able to create content that is more likely to display in the SERP due to search intent being on-point.
Creating with your ideal buyer front and centre also means that your content will more likely be shared and linked to on sites that your target audience will read. This will increase the chance of your content being shared beyond that one site or social media channel. In turn, this will lead to a higher CTR (Click-through Rate) as well as engagement on site. All of this will act as good user experience indicators to Google, which will rank you higher as a result.
And these aren’t the only way creating a buyer persona can benefit SEO.
Doing so will likely increase repeat visits to your site, as well as keeping users on your site, roaming through all the relevant content, products or services you have to offer as it’s addressing their demands. As engagement is a ranking factor, this is again a great indicator to Google to push your site through the SERP.
Having a buyer persona can also make the process of Digital PR outreach much easier.
Going in search of backlinks, coverage or shares from journalists or webmasters that manage media channels that resonate with your audience and are relevant to your niche can be a challenge. However, your chances of success are much greater if you can show that your content directly talks to their target audience. Creating these connections will not only increase backlink count but also backlink relevance.
Buyer Personas: The Take Away
Creating a buyer persona can be a little time consuming, but it’s well worth the investment.
Truly understanding your consumer will help you generate conversations and become a recognised industry expert, which in turn can help you stand out in a crowded marketplace.
Engaging meaningfully with your audience will also help you develop relationships and trust. This will benefit you and your business in both the short and long term.
So, what are you waiting for? Use our advice above and get started building a buyer persona that will radically improve your 2021 digital strategy.
Need help creating a buyer strategy from an expert? Want to know how a marketing specialist can grow your business? Contact Digital Rainmaker today. Our team of marketing specialists are here to help.