It is no secret that when talking SEO, content is king. However, writing and getting your content out there is not the only things that writers should be worry about.
The way content works in a website’s effort to become more optimised for search engines is no secret: it attracts new readers, establish a brands relevance to specific keywords, and help your site rank better on the SERP. However, all this does not matter if your content does not appeal to your audience.
Creating content that resonates with your audience is more than creating images and swapping out traditional modes of presentation for more novel ones. It includes writing specifically for your audience. This may seem really basic, but many businesses fall into the trap of being too engrossed with the creation of quality content and the way it is presented that they forget to create content for their audiences. This can be easily solved through the creation of a buyer persona.
A buyer persona is a document that contains a detailed description of your ideal customer. They should be as informative as possible, containing information about their hobbies, career history, and even family background. The goal of the buyer persona is to help your team of writers have a vivid image of who they are writing for.
By identifying the demographic and their constraints, it helps the team narrow down topics that they should cover and how in depth the content should be – after all, it wouldn’t make sense to use technical jargons when your reader does not have the technical knowledge and vice versa.
Why do I need to have tailored content?
At this juncture, you may be thinking, “So what if I don’t write for my audience? Does it matter?”
And the answer to that is yes, yes it does matter, and for several reasons too.
Firstly, like what we mentioned previously, by knowing who your audience is, you are able to moderate the amount of knowledge you put into a piece of content. This saves you the guesswork of what information is necessary and should be included into the article.
Secondly, having a persona allows you to address specific pain points that your audience have instead of glossing over general experiences and facts. This not only make you relatable to your intended audience, but it also establishes you as somebody that is well attuned to their needs and therefore a viable source for advice.
Finally, being able to relate and create tailored content for your audience improves your site’s conversion rates. Every reader on your site has the latent potential of becoming a loyal customer. What switches them from being a casual reader to becoming a loyal customer is the ability to convince them that you are able to help them solve a problem or propel them into the future that they desire. With a buyer persona, you are able to do just this by defining your customers, knowing what troubles them and how you can fill the gap.
Creating a Persona
Now that you know the importance of a buyer persona, let’s get started and create one for your business. While it is recommended for this to be done even before any content creation starts, it is better to start late than never. So grab your team, some coffee, a laptop or two, and let’s get started!
Step 1: Segment your audience.
Before you embark on the process of defining who your customers are, you want to first group them into segments. When doing this step, you want to take note of the different types of customers you are currently serving. A question you can ask to aid yourself through this process is who are they and what they are buying. When doing his step, you also want to consider those who you want to reach but is currently unsuccessful in doing so.
For example, if you are an e-Commerce site that sells jewelry, some customer segments that could work for you are couples getting engaged, children looking for a mother’s day present, or people interested in birth stone jewelry.
If you are having trouble identifying these groups, you can approach your sales team and ask them who are they interacting with the most and what generalisations can they make about them.
At the end of this step, you should expect to have more than two customer segments.
Step 2: Define your segments.
Once you are done segmenting your audience pool, it is time to define them. This step is vital in the process as it dictates the clarity of your mental image. To recap, a buyer persona is created to give writers an idea of who they are writing for. Therefore, personas should be realistic, descriptive, and reflective of an actual customer.
To get started, you can pull together a list of question that you would ask if you are trying to get to know your audience. However, instead of collecting their responses, you would answer it as though you are them. A few questions that you can ask are:
- Buyer’s age, gender and interest
- Buyer’s income
- Buyer’s location: the countryside or the city?
- Buyer’s lifestyle
- Buyer’s choice social network
- Challenges they face
- Objections they may have
- How does your service fill the gap
- Buyer’s preferred mode of communication
This list of questions are not exhaustive. However, as rule of thumb, the questions that you decide to ask should be exhaustive and allow you to understand your audience better and what would spur them to action.
Step 3: Involve your segments.
It’s 2018 and people want to be involved. There are many ways you can involve your audiences into this exercise and one of them is by conducting a survey. This survey should contain questions that are similar to the ones your team has answered. Just like the list of questions you and your team went through, this survey is conducted with the primary intent of getting to know your audience better.
If you want to reach a greater audience, you can always make use of social media polls. These polls have the potential to reach a great number of audience, even those who are not acquainted with you. Although these polls have massive reach, it is advisable for it to be used alongside another tactic as social media polls are unmoderated. Furthermore, social media polls may not be suitable for all businesses as some demographics or industries are less common on such platforms.
Other ways you can involve your segments is by incorporating some of these questions into the forms they fill on your website. These questions can help you identify basic information like their age, their occupation, where they are from and what content they are interested in.
Step 4: Create for them.
Now that you have your buyer persona written out and disseminated, the next step is to apply this persona into your content. Using the profile that you and your team have pulled together, brainstorm for topics that would interest and impact the audiences that your business serve.
Besides deciding what kind of content would go well with which segment, look into the language to be used. If you have two personas with different experience levels, would you use the same terms for both of them? If your audiences are scattered across the continent, would you continue to use your local slang even when addressing audiences that are not native to your culture?
Another thing to consider when creating content for your audience is how you would get your content to them. For example, do they prefer to receive updates on their social media, through emails newsletter or blog updates? Do they prefer to read an infographic, a blogpost or listen to a podcast? Knowing this preference would help you to decide what kind of content to create for who.
Step 5: Revisit your Personas
Personas, being a reflection of your business’ ideal audience, grows as your business grows. Therefore, as your business look to enter new markets, revisit your buyer personas and see if anything needs to be updated or added into what you already have.
And… you’re done!
If you have followed these five steps, you would have created a persona for your website. Besides creating content that appeals to your audience, personas can also help to guide marketing and lead generation strategies, allowing you to reach customers effectively. Know a friend that need help creating a persona? Pass this article to them!
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