For search engine optimisation to be effective, excellent content must be used. Some consultants now believe that the concept of the target audience is a bit too broad. They prefer to use content which is aimed at buyer personas. An SEO service has to assess different sites and see whether or not this kind of approach makes sense for specific online companies.
Explaining buyer personas
When thinking about what makes an idea distinctive, it comes down to individuality. Whereas a target audience can be thought of as a mass group with typical preferences, buyer personas are less general. One expert has described them as being equivalent to a buyer personality. The basic idea is to consider one person, such as a 22-year-old arts student who lives away from home, for example, who could be persuaded to make a purchase. Then, you should produce content which might tempt individuals like that to act.
Use three or four personas
Many campaigns involve inventing three or four personas. These are given characteristics which could be seen as typical or relevant. For example, a site which is selling office stationery might look at building personas in the knowledge that certain types of people typically make the purchasing decisions with regards to office supplies. There is arguably little point in trying to sell large volumes of stationery to temporary workers, for example.
Make them real
The individual buyer persona should be given a range of characteristics. For instance, the age, income, gender, education and interests of an office manager may be relevant if you are trying to persuade them to buy stationery products. Some imagination can be used effectively at this stage, but there is no need to go overboard. The ‘interests’ section of the persona should not be extended to the point where it becomes unrealistic or distracting.
The personas should not be isolated
If you think back to the office stationery example, more than one individual may have a say in deciding whether or not a particular product is bought. While there may be one persona with greater influence than the others, all the personas might have something to contribute to a discussion. Therefore including a secretary persona as well as an office manager one makes sense.
An alternative route
When making personas, social media can be a great help. Sometimes the likes of Facebook and Twitter will be useful networks in this area. With some goods or services, it might be more effective to use LinkedIn. This has 140 million members and can be an invaluable social tool. It is excellent if you want to find out important details about a wide variety of business people and organisations.
Not a total content solution
Whether or not you use LinkedIn, the use of buyer personas can be useful when producing better content. Content writing can be quite complicated, however, and a whole range of things contribute to the success or failure of web content. Buyer personas may be a slight improvement on target audiences, but it is important to remember that they are also just one piece of a bigger picture.