Updated: May 27
In order to create brilliant content, it's necessary to have a deep and meaningful understanding of your audience. Its often helpful to synthesize these points about your audience into what’s known as a buyer persona, away of grouping and putting a face to these insights.
Let's take a look at how you can go about creating your own buyer personas for your content.
The Importance of a Buyer Persona
Building a buyer persona is an important step in an SEO strategy as it will help you understand who it is you’re trying to target.
But first, what is a buyer persona?
Let's take a look at the important points to consider when making a buyer persona and what the overall goal when creating them. A buyer persona is a kind of avatar or character that you create that shares the same characteristics of who you imagine your ideal customer to be.
They are a way of putting a face to what can often seem like quite an abstract list of characteristics of your audience. They also help you group and segment different parts of your audience so that you can target some content to one target area and different content to another. The type of information that you might decide to include in your buyer persona will vary depending on the services you provide, the audience you are trying to capture, and the content that you create but often include things such as:
Basic demographics: Age, gender and location
Traits: Their job role, personality traits, buying patterns
Motivations: Their reasons for seeking your content, are they looking to make a purchase to carry out research.
The process of going through and asking yourself these types of questions about not only your current audience but your desired audience too is valuable in itself. By creating these personas, you gain a greater level of understanding of your audience but also what an effective marketing campaign to that audience would look like, and that is really the goal.
Building buyer personas allows you to understand where the valuable traffic is. It's an inefficient use of your time to drive traffic through other means if you are not sure about the exact type of traffic that you want and are receiving. A buyer persona helps you understand the type of traffic that you want, and through this process, it will help you decide an effective way of capturing it.
Understanding the Difference Between B2B and Local SEO
In our previous posts, we have talked a lot about the differences between different content strategies, in particular, B2B and local SEO. It's important to understand that, whether you’re pursuing a B2B or local SEO strategy, your audience is necessarily going to be different and because of that, so too will your buyer personas. Local SEO is an optimisation strategy that aims to capture location specific searches. As we said in our previous posts, local SEO is a strategy that is not necessarily defined by search volume but more by intentions and location.
The fact that a searcher is in your local area with an intention to purchase a specific item is more important in that particular buyer persona. B2B SEO, is the more difficult of the two strategies to build a buyer persona for because although the search volume is much smaller, the demographics don’t really apply in the same way because you are targeting decision makers for companies. This requires a different type of analysis to find relevant information when building your persona.
Identifying Your Audience for Your Buyer Persona
Understanding and identifying your audience should come in two distinct parts. First you need an understanding of the target for your content and that will come through market research and an analysis of your own goals.
Also, you will need an understanding of your current audience through customer engagement, feedback and surveys in order to understand their pain points, questions and queries. Some of the easiest information to gather about both your current and target audience, is simple demographics.
You want to think about who your audience in terms of their age, their location and their gender. These are not always the most useful indicators on the likelihood of someone engaging with your content but it’s often the easiest when it comes to setting goals for and to measuring success. For B2B, where you’re targeting decision makers at businesses, these demographics may become something more like location, type and size of business.
You can get this information by encouraging people to sign up to newsletters or online accounts or if you’re on social media sites, they may offer their own engagement insights and demographics information.
You also want to consider the customers pain points or motivations.
What is the reason that they’ll be seeking out your content?
What is the content that you can offer to create value for that particular audience?
What stage of the sales funnel they’re at (awareness, consideration or decision)?
Local SEO - they have likely made a decision and are looking to make a purchase.
B2B SEO - they’re likely carrying out research, so what are the questions that they want answers to that you can provide for them.
These kind of questions are much more useful in informing the type of content that you will make since it is easier to match the aim of your content to the wants of the audience. This is where the creation of your buyer personas interface with the broader goals of your content.
You can create content for a particular type of audience but its necessary to compare these with the broader company goals to effectively measure the success of your campaign. For example, you may have goals for more audience engagement and to increase the conversion rate from those interactions.
Now, what an effective buyer persona should be able to do is to help you identify customers that will not just lead to more engagement but will target content at the type of audience that will result in higher conversion rate.
Finally buyer personas are often assigned names and even an avatar. For many, this helps remove the abstraction and helps us think of them as actual people. As some writers will say when they write they imagine as though they’re writing to one specific person rather than an audience, well that is kind of what its like building these buyer personas. By personifying these bullet points that you’ve created about your audience it will help you to try and imagine the broader and more abstract questions that you may have about them that are difficult to answer for yourself.
Buyer Persona Goals: Reflecting, Analysing, and Improving
As you start putting out your content, consider what the type of audience you receive in reality is, compared to what your buyer personas are. You should timetable in the ability to return to your buyer personas and check that they are compatible with your new goals and effectively helping you achieve them. It may be that your content is received in a way that you hadn’t considered and this can be an important point of consideration when creating your future content.
Through the output of content, your audience will grow and change but, reflecting upon how this has affected your goals and whether you still want to target the same people is a key step to staying ahead and being agile.
It's also important when reflecting on your output to encourage feedback from customers and your audience and this will allow you to continuously improve and deepen those bonds with your audience. Once you have asked these questions its important to go back and question how that affects both your goals and your buyer persona and the process starts again.
There is value in each step of the process of building your buyer persona and by going through it you will undoubtedly come away from the experience, not only with new perspectives on your audience, but also equipped with a fully fleshed out picture of your ideal audience to help inform you on future content choices.
These insights are only valuable for a as long as they’re relevant though and so it's important that as your audience and content grow and evolve that your buyer personas do too. By setting a timetable for reviewing your buyer personas, you can ensure that you’re always targeting the correct audience to match your new goals.
At Kahana, we live and breathe content creation. We love learning new concepts, exploring emergent trends, and writing about topics that foster creativity and wellness. If you're interested in writing with us or would like to collaborate for your dream content, we'd love to hear from you!