Creating viewer personas will give you an understanding of your target audience; the interests, goals and behaviour patterns of your existing and potential viewers and subscribers. They allow you to understand the ideal viewer you’re trying to attract, and relate to your viewers as real humans instead of just a number.
Use your knowledge of what makes your viewers tick to direct the style and themes of your creative video content, as well to decide which social media channels you use, the events you attend and where you promote your personal brand and your channel. Creating and then using these viewer personas can help grow your channel, engagement and revenue.
Step-by-step guide to creating viewer personas
So we already know that viewer personas are really important for your YouTube channel. But how do you go about actually making them? By doing market research!
Analyse your engagement (views, likes and comments), ask your viewers some questions and then present the information in a helpful way so you can memorise it and really get to know your viewers.
You can create as little as one or two personas, or as many as 10 or 20 if you want. We recommend starting small, as you can always build on them later if needed.
1. Look at your engagement
Which of your videos have received the most views and thumbs up (as a percentage of total likes and dislikes)? Whoever your viewers are, clearly this is the type of content they prefer. Use your YouTube Analytics to draw conclusions about who they might be and why they click on and enjoy these videos. Look at things such as gender, age and country.
In addition, read your YouTube comments, as well as blog or Instagram comments and mentions on Twitter. You can start to build a good picture of who these people are and these insights can form the basis of your viewer personas.
2. Interview your viewers
You can ask your viewers questions in a variety of ways, such as within videos (inviting viewers to reply in the comments), via surveys on social media or mini-interviews face to face. If you do email marketing as well, you could always ask your recipients to fill in an online questionnaire.
Ask them what they like about your content, which kinds of videos they most enjoy or would enjoy seeing, and what their hobbies and interests are. If you make videos about games, ask your viewers what they enjoy playing, when and how often they game, their age group and which consoles they own. If your channel is centred around beauty, you could pose questions about viewers’ favourite brands, makeup looks and even their occupation, to get a good idea of who you are creating videos for.
3. Always aim to find out ‘why’
Ask your viewers why they like what they like, and why they do what they do. It will give you a much better understanding of their goals, motivations and what drives them. For example, finding out viewers like your videos because they learn something new, get inspiration or simply because they feel a connection to you will tell you so much about what your viewers want.
This in turn will help you create the best, most relevant YouTube content, in order to please your current subscribers and attract more of the same type of viewer. On top of this, you can also use this information to perfect your personal brand, messaging and marketing tactics.
If you manage to build these viewer personas, you will find it much easier to create content that resonates with your own audience. There is no substitute to building these personas, the only people who can tell you what would work for your audience is your audience.