A persona, called “buyer persona” in classic marketing, is a fictional person who represents a specific user segment of a website. In the field of digital marketing, the characteristics of the persona are based on analytical user data. This data gives a clear idea of how users use a website. A persona is therefore an effective instrument for targeted and effective marketing strategies in the online area.
Definition of the special features of a user group in a persona
A persona combines the characteristics of an entire user group of a website in a single, representative figure (segment). There is no general example of a typical persona – it has to be created individually for each page. For example, a persona in an online shop has completely different requirements than those of an information site.
Personas always have classic socio-demographic characteristics such as age, gender, origin, marital status, education, occupation and income.
In addition, a persona also records the psychographic characteristics of the people who belong to a common user group. Like a real person, she has personal values and goals that are important to her. It thus expresses the central needs and expectations of the user group. Understanding the persona ultimately results in the correct interpretation of the functionality of a website. A persona provides insight into:
- The goals of a group of users on the website
- The behavior of the group of users on the website
- The needs of the users on the website
With Persona, characteristics of a target group become visible
Depending on the project, one or more personas can be created. The following applies: The personas represent the main target groups of a website and by no means all user groups. The reduction of the data to a few personas with clear characteristics makes user behavior transparent.
When creating multiple personas, it is advisable to distinguish between primary and secondary personas. The most important group of users is specified as the primary persona.
Searcher Persona vs. Classic Persona
The classic persona is based on conventional OnPage data. In addition, it is possible to record the user on his customer journey at an earlier point in time. The relevant term for this is Searcher Persona and enables user-controlled SEO.
In addition to the goals, needs and behaviors of the user on the page, a searcher persona also shows how he ended up on the website. It therefore contains information on search behavior and user activity on other pages, for example in forums or in social networks. Knowing which other platforms a persona is active on offers relevant added value for link marketing. A searcher persona is created on the basis of extensive keyword research.
The difference between target audience and persona
Do persona and target group describe the same thing in online marketing? Not quite – one
Persona gives the abstract target group a face. Strictly speaking, the persona is the target group – just described in much more detail. It can therefore be understood as a kind of further development of the target group. The general target group of a company gains valuable depth of detail through the persona.
What tools can be used to create a persona?
In order to create a persona, user data is required. It is advisable to work with various tools such as the Google Keyword Planner, Google Trends and Google Insights. Data from social media monitoring are also relevant. Furthermore, SEO tools such as Sistrix and Searchmetrics also provide useful data.
It should be noted that the information collected is by no means final. This data may also be interpreted in different ways. In order for the persona to be able to form a reliable basis for online marketing strategies, it is essential to be thorough in this work.
Tailored optimization for a stronger conversion
The creation of a persona is a highly complex process. This determines what the target group is looking for. Equally relevant in this context is which content best meets the needs of the target group. The company’s goals are also omnipresent on the website – in online marketing they are referred to as conversion. It is of fundamental importance to which target group the goal is most important and what triggers the conversion. The detailed research is the basis for a targeted optimization, which in turn has a beneficial effect on the conversion rates – and the company benefits from this.
Personas for targeted strategies in content marketing
According to FUN-WIKI, the precise and clear definition of personas is a relevant factor that contributes significantly to the success of the content on a page. Scattering content blindly to a too crude target group is not efficient. What are the personal needs of the user? What specific problem is the reason for visiting the site and what benefits does the user expect from the site? The content must provide the user with a tailor-made solution for their concerns and match their actual goals.
It is therefore important to check which keywords the persona Googles and which problems can be derived from them. Once the central concerns of the important user groups have been identified, the content can refer to them and offer the site visitor real added value. If a user is unsure about the decision to buy a product, for example, it is worthwhile to clearly communicate the advantages of the product.
Persona as the key for performing content
With recourse to Searcher Personas, precise content strategies can be conceptualized that specifically meet the needs of the user. This means that it is important to create content with concise topics that really interest the persona. The type of content also plays an important role. Whether image, video or text – the preferences of the format vary considerably depending on the user segment. The pivotal point is not just what content is published, but especially how it is presented to the user.
The targeted optimization of landing pages also makes it more likely that a content strategy will bear splendid fruits: It is advisable to create different versions of a landing page, each of which specifically addresses a persona. If the user reaches the page that matches his problem via a landing page, the bounce rate is significantly reduced at this point.
A target group including their needs becomes clear via the persona. The concept enables optimization based on reliable and objective data. It also promotes the creative development process.