Personas are imaginary personalities that represent a certain target group. In online marketing, personas help to better understand the users of a website or the customers of an online shop.

Concept of personas

For personas to exert their positive effect, they must be as detailed as possible. Life must be “breathed” into them. This entails a comprehensive definition of target group(s) in order to obtain empirical data. The following is some of the required information of a target group:

  • age
  • gender
  • residence
  • marital status
  • education level
  • occupation / career level
  • amount of income

In order to define personas more accurately – four or five are often enough for the main target groups – all of their respective details are first written down in the form of a continuous text. Each persona is given a realistic name, a photo, and assigned demographic data. In addition, its hobbies, things that it does not like, and its preferences are also specified.

This is then followed by the most important part: Specification of the various goals that each of the target groups are meant to achieve with their visit to the online shop, what their wishes and expectations are, and the needs that they wish to fulfill.

Use of personas

In online marketing, personas help online marketers to better understand a target group and, thus, make it easier to achieve the set marketing goals, e.g., in order to improve the conversion rate and increase sales. Personas can also be used to draw conclusions on the type of content that target groups are likely to expect and be satisfied with. In addition, online dealers acquire experience on the type of reaction that the various website elements trigger in the different target groups.

Personas come in handy when one wants to revise a website or add new features. They provide information on how the changes will be perceived by users and if the new ideas are rational. As for the web design and information structure, personas help to better assess the opinions of target groups and facilitate their navigation on the website.

Importance for online marketing

Personas can be used to find out what users are looking for. For example, while the informed and educated target group searches for keywords such as [buy a certain product] or [order a certain product], the somewhat uninformed target group still needs initial orientation and maybe even a search phrase such as [compare product] or [product test]. If these search terms are identified, the landing page can be optimized in a manner that is adapted to the needs of the target group. This reduces the bounce rate. At the same time, it is also makes it possible to optimize the type of content that target groups react best to such as a lot or a little text, images, videos, or other media elements.

The entire content can be adapted to the needs of the various target groups such as the need for specific information or the search for a certain cost-friendly product. With the help of personas, one can identify the forums and social networks that are preferred by target groups, which adds important approaches for the link building and other advertising measures in certain situations. After the segmenting and creation of personas, one can then design specific advertising means more accurately such as the use of an appropriate testimonial.