Audience Personas: How to Create Content For Them

All great pieces of content have one underlying characteristic. Many successful creators, from those who discuss bird migration patterns to Logan Paul, know who their audience is.

They have a deep understanding of who their audiences are and what they expect from them. They have mapped out their audience’s needs so thoroughly that they have even figured out who the audience is. They keep their audience engaged with the content by maintaining this intimate level of familiarity.  

In addition to knowing your audience intimately, you should also know how to market your products. Though it is sometimes called buyer personas or target customers, the idea is the same. Through different marketing initiatives, you can target different customer personas based on your segmentation of the audience.

The purpose of these personas is to help marketers reach their target demographics in an accurate fashion. Currently, 72% of marketers use these types of personas on a regular basis. Here, we’ll explain what audience personas are and why they’re important for your content marketing strategy.

What Are Audience Personas?

It is best to use an example to understand the basics of an audience persona. Imagine you’re planning to open a streetwear boutique in Los Angeles. To start, you need to conduct market research, and your audience persona should always be identified first.

After doing some market research, you discover that the majority of your audience is males between the ages of 16 and 30. Congrats, you’ve identified your audience. By building a larger narrative for that target audience, you can create an audience persona.

Imagine a fictional boutique streetwear store in Los Angeles where the target audience is a male 18-year-old living in an affluent suburb with his parents. Drake is his favorite rapper, and he is just entering college. To keep up with trends and releases, he also watches YouTube videos of expensive streetwear brands. The focus is no longer on the audience, but on a specific persona that you are targeting.

In order to build audience personas, a marketer must thoroughly research their target audience. The idea is to humanize a more general audience and break down vagueness. It’s not like you’re speaking to a packed auditorium – you’re speaking to a freshman in the back row named Brandon, who is working on his Apple laptop with Beats headphones.

When it comes to audience personas, you have to be as detailed as possible. Compile as much information as you can about your target audience in order to accurately market to them. Marketing initiatives based on audience personas will build long-term relationships beyond the sale of a product or service. Over time, you’re forming lasting relationships with your customers and establishing a sense of trust.

How To Know Your Audience Personas

Our previous discussion of audience personas has focused on humanizing your target audience. Instead of viewing them as a group of potential customers, you are looking at them individually. Thus, it’s crucial to ask about the kind of things you would like to know about them in that same human-centric way.

Think about it as if you had a very good friend. Knowing their age, favorite music, and favorite food has been a part of your life for years. If you have this information, planning with them will be easier. I’m sure they’d love to go to the Ed Sheeran concert with you since they love Italian food. As their friend, you can choose them from among your larger circle of friends. You can ask them to accompany you on particular outings if they are the best person.

The same questions need to be answered when creating audience personas. What are their occupations? Do they have children? What is their favorite pastime? When we answer these questions, we’re getting to know our audience as individuals along with their business personas.

It also depends on how much detail you’re seeking to identify your audience personas. When you are just getting started and new to the process, you should concentrate on basic factors such as your age, gender, location, and income. 

Why You Need Audience Personas for Content

Audience personas should always be the driving force behind any kind of content your business produces. Without understanding who your target audience is as individuals, you’ll simply be making educated (or not-so-educated) guesses about what they want to consume.

Content is also an invaluable part of any sales strategy. It determines the way your business is perceived by others. The ability to visualize individual customers gives your sales team additional insight into how they can guide customers through the sales funnel. They can also help them determine customer pain points. They can then pass that information along to the company’s marketing team, who are able to address these issues in different content forms.

One part of this sales strategy is securing organic traffic from Google and other search engines. A large part of SEO is understanding your audience by knowing the keywords they might search on Google that is aligned with your business. This can drive qualified customers to your site by optimizing your pages with target keywords.

Understanding the user intent of your audience personas is also important when adding the title tag, meta description, and keywords tag to your website pages. Is it a selling point to your audience persona that you are a local company? Are they bargain shoppers that want to see the words low prices and free shipping mentioned? Understanding the way your customers think before making a purchase or investing in your services is not possible without having detailed audience personas.

Similar to SEO, understanding your audience personas clearly can help map out a strong strategy for online advertising on Google or Facebook. The images you choose to feature in a display ad are based on what would resonate with your audience personas. It’s the same way that certain text can either grab their attention and click or be something that doesn’t apply to them and their needs.

This can also apply to any form of print advertising as well. A prime example is this IKEA ad from an advertising campaign they ran in 2013. They have clearly identified that one of their primary audience personas is young couples, looking for bargains, and who are expecting children.

The more your business grows, the more insights you’ll gain that can help you create more detailed personas of your targeted audience.

How to Create an Audience Persona

It generally depends on your business model how you create an audience persona. You can identify a persona based on either talking to customers directly or analyzing digital analytics.

Direct contact with customers sounds simple, and it is. With this method, you would interact directly with members of your target audience and extract insights from their interactions. Past customers might be willing to participate in a questionnaire to help you better understand who they are.  You can send out an online survey or ask them directly.

On a large scale, social media is an excellent tool for getting insights from your audience. Your business can answer very specific questions by creating a poll or survey for them. When someone scrolls through social media regularly, it’s not a time-consuming task and makes them feel like a valued customer.

Take a look at your Google Analytics to see who has visited your website and engaged with it. You can view demographics in Google Analytics by clicking the Audience section of your account. Here you will find information about the age of visitors and their gender.

We can use the Geo and Interests categories in the Audience section to find out more about our audience. Interests tell us which online browsing categories our current visitors fall into based on their geolocation.

Affinity Audiences are browsing categories based on the browsing history of a user, while In-Market Segments (targeting consumers who research or compare products and services) are browsing categories based on the browsing history of a visitor. When setting up your Google Ads targeting, this can also be helpful. One of their primary audiences is young couples expecting children and looking for bargains.

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