Market Artfully: How to Create Marketing Personas

Market Artfully: How to Create Marketing Personas

A marketing persona helps you turn the rough sketch you have of your customer into a vivid, life-like portrait.

We all know that a well-constructed landing page leads to better conversion rates. However, landing pages aren’t one size fits all! A CTA or special offer can snag one customer, but be completely lost on another. To lead a customer through the sales funnel effectively, you must learn their goals, concerns, and habits by creating marketing personas. A marketing persona helps you turn the rough sketch you have of your customer into a vivid, life-like portrait.

A persona includes details based on data, customer interviews, and competitive analysis. These details are then used to guide every aspect of your inbound marketing, at every level of the sales funnel: from ads, to landing pages, to web content and drip email campaigns.

A good persona outlines demographic details such as age, gender, income, and location, as well as professional ones, like job title/responsibilities, career goals, and pain points. Depending on the product or service you’re selling, you can also explore a persona’s more personal details such as relationship status, personal goals, or consumption habits.

Since social media and online metrics offer endless data mining opportunities, creating a persona can seem daunting. But the more complex your personas, the better you’ll know your potential customers and the more effective you’ll be in both marketing and sales. By creating personas, you position your brand to better for solve your customer’s problems and/or meet their goals.

For example, if that fake chair company I mentioned in my Ad Group Management post, looked through its Google Analytics demographics & interests reports, the company may discover that its typical customer is a middle aged, high-income homeowner who rarely shops online. If the chair company decided to send out a questionnaire to its mailing list, it may also reveal that a typical customer also owns a summer home and enjoys vacationing on Lake Ontario.

With these details, our chair company can now create a vivid portrait of an ideal customer – let’s call her Linda. The chair company might assume she’s looking for a super sturdy Muskoka chair. With the details of her persona, the company is able to create relevant ads that reach Linda as she’s searching for Muskoka chairs. The persona will also help the company optimize any landing pages associated with Muskoka chair ads, so that Linda – as a middle-aged person with little online shopping experience – will find it easy navigate. After all, she and customers like her would get frustrated by a landing page without good search features, or one that makes me scroll through cheap plastic lawn furniture to find the perfect Muskoka chair.

Below is a great persona template, courtesy of Buffer:

Sample Marketing Persona Template

Have you ever created a marketing persona? Tell your story in the comments section!

Stick the Landing - Landing Pages and Quality Score

Why A Good Landing Page Is More Important Than Your CTR

Quality Scores (QS) are determined by Click Through Rates (CTR), but neither of these metrics determine the actual effectiveness of your ad. Only conversion rates do that and only an effective landing page can raise your conversion rates.

After searching for a description of your product, seeing your ad, and deciding to click on it, a potential customer arrives at your landing page. Sounds like her decision to buy is already made, right? Not so much! You see, in the age of infinite distraction, the minute your potential customer gets confused or frustrated, she is on to the next search result. This makes a usable and clear landing page absolutely crucial.

As discussed in my Intro to Quality Score post, CTR is what Google uses to determine QS and measure how much you should be paying per click for your ad. Google lowers an account’s QS as a penalty for taking up ad space that other, more usable, relevant, or authoritative accounts might have occupied.  Since ads with more clicks make more money for Google, those advertisers don’t need to pay as much per click. Ads with fewer clicks, however, must to pay more to keep their spot.

If your ads seem stuck in with low CTRs and a low QS, you can try selecting alternative, high CTR keywords, or you can restructure your ad groups. If those approaches don’t improve your CTR or QS, it may be that poor landing pages have earned you a bad reputation with Google (well, their QS algorithm, anyway).

Even if you’ve managed to increase your CTR, neglecting your landing pages means that the clicks you’re paying for aren’t aren’t leading to conversion. Best case scenario: you’ve increased your QS and you’re paying less per click, but those clicks aren’t leading to sales. Worst case scenario: you’ve increased your ad group’s CTR, but you have a newer account that has less historically high CTRs, so your QS remains low; this leaves you paying more per click (sometimes up to $10!) on an ad that is not leading to a conversion. Either way, your bad landing page is losing you money and turning off potential customers.

There are tons of online resources that can help you create a compelling, high converting landing page! Here are just a few:

How have you increased your landing page conversion rates? Share in the comments below!