Many target group descriptions are boring or do not help you to create better content. We show you how to create the right Buyer Personas for your target groups, which will inspire you to create great content for your blog. Additionally, you will get a matching cheatsheet that you can use to get started right away.
Before you start with your target group definition, you should first define your goals and content marketing strategy. This will help you to be more successful with your corporate blog. This is not only relevant for a blog, but also for all other marketing activities. Once you have done that, you can start getting to know your target group better.
Your target audience is the total of all users who visit and read your blog. Of course, you should know them to publish content that is relevant for them. There does not have to be only one target group. You can have several for your blog.
The more precisely you define the target group(s), the better you can satisfy their wishes. We will now show you step by step how to set a target group.
We have summarized the 6 points for you first, with which mostly a simple target group is created:
With these points, a target group definition could be like this:
Male, single, 25-30 years old, university degree, employed, €2,000-2,500 net income.
Such a target group includes all representatives. Thus, it only covers demographic characteristics, as discussed above. But this does not help you to develop empathy for your readers or to introduce them to you visually.
The Buyer Persona only starts here and describes your target group much better! The method used to create personas goes much further and differentiates more than just demographic profiles. For example, a persona contains challenges, goals and much more from your target group. Thus, the Buyer Persona is a method to introduce better and define your target group.
The big problem with a superficial description of target groups is that even very different people can be sorted into the same target group.
We will explain this to you using an example: Who do you think of when we describe this target group: male, over 50 years old, wealthy, professionally successful, often in the media and born in Germany. Do you perhaps think of Til Schweiger or BMW boss Harald Krüger?
Both fit into this target group in terms of demographic characteristics, but would you address them both in the same way? Certainly not. Different topics, speeches and contents are relevant for both. This is where the Persona Method comes into play.
A Buyer Persona is a semi-fictitious person who is a typical representative of your target group. Semi-fictitious because your persona is a mixture of found data and the ideal customer. In addition to demographic data, your persona should have characteristics such as goals, wishes, expectations and challenges.
In short: Your Personas shows you what makes your potential customers tick. You have to use this knowledge to respond to the needs of your customers. This allows you to guide and influence them in their buying decisions.
The aim is to create as many as necessary and as little as possible. 3-4 Personas is a guideline you should use to cover your target group. For the beginning, this should be enough. If you notice while working with the personas that you have to work out more, you can still do that.
Your Buyer Persona brings many advantages. Here we have summarized the most important benefits:
Your Buyer Persona is your target group:
Your content will be much more targeted if you don't write for anyone. With the Buyer Persona, you can visualize a representative of your target group and write precisely for him.
"What would my persona do?" By answering this question you can help yourself. If you get to tricky places or don't know how to go on, ask yourself what your persona would like to read.
Through your Buyer Persona you know:
Write your blog articles in the same way you would talk to the person you are writing them to. Explain things the way you would explain them verbally to your counterpart. This will help your readers understand what is meant and they will feel directly addressed. By introducing a persona while writing, you know what the speaking position should be and it is easier for you to find a suitable style of conversation.
If several people write for a blog, you may come to different results and views. Through a persona, all involved have a guide to help them orient themselves. And so you all come to the same or at least similar results.
Through your Buyer Persona you reach:
For readers to come back and visit your blog more often, you need the right communication between you. Your persona makes communication more personalized and customer-oriented. This creates the sympathy you need to make your readers come back.
By introducing your persona, you can better assess what the media habits of your readers are like. You can adjust your publication plan accordingly. For example, you know better which channels should get more attention and therefore, which you need to maintain better.
To create a good Buyer Persona, you need to get meaningful information. This is an extensive process, depending on where you start. But take your time, it will pay off in the end.
These seven methods are the best way to get information:
This test compares two or more versions or interfaces of your blog. During the evaluation, you can then determine which interface has performed better and received more positive feedback. Based on this you can better determine which design your persona likes and how web-affine it is.
Analyze the typical behavior patterns of your customers. Use Google Analytics, for example. Find out what people on the net are doing, for example Google Trends. From these analyses, you can improve your content.
Analyze the moods on social media. Which content is clicked? What content is being searched for? What is asked or searched for in the comments? These insights can inspire you for new topics.
Speak to your customers personally. There are several ways to do this, such as comments, forms, telephone calls, e-mails or interviews. In the dialogue, you can check assumptions and information about your personas:
Conduct interviews not only with customers but also with employees who are in contact with customers. Ask them similar questions as you would ask customers.
You have observed your content compared to the competition. What topics and content do they share? Is this also suitable for you? How can you set yourself apart from your competitors?
Offer free frying smells - and evaluate them. Where have many customers had problems? What was not clearly communicated? This direct and intensive way of customer research brings exciting and direct insights.
Your customer database and the collected information are the basis for your personas. Try to group your target group in commonalities and then create a persona for each group. 3-4 should be a good starting value. Depending on the blog and the topics and marketing activities it deals with, you will also need more or less.
We have collected all the relevant information for you in one place. With this cheat sheet, you can easily create a good persona:
Define the following for your persona: picture, name, gender and age.
This will help you to see your persona as a real person and to remember it more easily. You will also have a picture in front of your eyes, and so the following steps will be more manageable for you.
2. Demographic characteristics
Determine the following for your persona: a place of residence, degree, marital status and income.
Up to here everything is the same for target group identification. Define the demographic characteristics to get a better picture. The target group definition is now finished and the next eight steps are to create the Buyer Persona.
Specify the following for your persona: industry, company size, job title, performance measurement and to whom the reporting is made.
The first step, which goes beyond the target group definition, is the company and the career of your persona. It is essential to know where your persona works, for example to know the competition and the competitors your persona works with and has to deal with. You can derive a lot from this in the following steps.
4. Characteristics of the job
Define the following for your persona: goals, biggest challenge and responsibility.
With this you can get to know the daily work routine of your persona. When creating your content, think about whether you can help your persona to achieve their goals or to make their daily work more comfortable with good tips and tricks.
5. Working method
Define the following for your persona: Tools in everyday work and communication channels.
So you can find out how to contact and address your persona best.
6. Consumption habits
Define the following for your persona: information gathering in the job, social networks and media consumption behavior.
How do your readers get information? Depending on this, you may want to consider whether your content is easily accessible and suitable for your readers based on the behavior of your persona.
Determine the following for your persona: Dislikes and fears
Concerning work, you can derive the fears and dislikes of your persona from the 3rd and 4th step. Can you be part of the solution? Think about whether you can publish content that is useful for your persona.
Define the following for your persona: Challenges
If you know the challenges your readers face, then you may be able to help them with an article to make them easier or master them.
9. Hobbies and interests
Define the following for your persona: interests and hobbies
Know the habits of your persona to understand them better. For example, it's good to know what content your persona likes to read online or what she likes to do in her spare time - there you will find content tags or comparisons that your persona likes.
10. Media behavior
Define the following for your persona: web affinity, channels, end device and amount of consumption per day
The social media behavior is important to pick up your readers on the right channels. If you want to provide content for all areas of the funnel, you need to know this information. You can use it to entertain your readers at the end of the day when they don't want to read long blog articles.
Creating your persona is an individual process. Add more features if needed or leave one out if it doesn't help you or you don't know it yet. Make sure you keep your Persona up to date and adjust it from time to time. Also share your persona with your department and work colleagues so that you all get the same results when you create content.
Here is now the (for the time being) finished Persona, which we have made above in an overview. But always keep in mind that you should constantly develop your persona based on new insights. Maintain it, keep it up to date and you will grow with it and always learn something new.
The box on the bottom right with empathy is very important. This box makes your persona a fictitious friend. With it you can write well and imagine what he wants to know about.
A classic target group with purely demographic characteristics is imprecise. Very different people can fall into the same target group. Therefore, such a target group description does not help you to develop better content and relevant solutions for your customers. The Persona Method is much better suited for this. It is not so superficial but contains goals, wishes, needs and much more. This way you can imagine your target group more vividly and create the content exactly for them. To create a persona, you first have to collect information and data. There are different methods to do this, as the simple conversation with customers, Google Analytics and much more. There are just ten steps to create a persona.
With which steps do you create your persona? Can you add a few more tips? Write us on Twitter at @storylinerlabs