How to create data-driven marketing personas for your content strategy
Creating marketing personas is a fantastic technique to help businesses connect with their audience, help them produce more customer-oriented communications, and ultimately, convert more sales.
In this post, you will learn how to conceptualize and develop audience personas to inform your content marketing efforts.
First of all, what is a marketing persona?
Marketing persona is a model created with a view to represent your target audience that you aim to reach with your content strategy. The idea is to create a data-driven profile of your ideal audience representative so that you can effectively tailor your customer communications to them in terms of content, tone of voice, design etc.
Since different groups of people are likely to engage with you content, you’d probably need create several marketing personas to represent multiple segments of your audience. Marketing personas tend to be conceptualized in a story-like format, and include their basic demographic and psychographic information, a snapshot of their day-to-day life, as well as their ‘pain points’ or problems.
How to build your content marketing persona in 3 easy steps:
Conduct audience research.
When creating your marketing personas, you are essentially creating an avatar that represents a key segment of your target audience. Logically, before you draw up a persona, you need to understand what those segments are in the first place. The first step to gaining this understanding is to conduct a thorough audience research to identify the key demographic and psychographic characteristics of each of your target audience segments.
You do not necessarily have to hire the services of a professional market research firm for that. There are many ways to go about obtaining this information. The easiest way to evaluate your audience makeup is to consult your in-platform insights analytics. For example, Facebook Audience Insights allows you to gather a wealth of information about the people interacting with your page including their location, gender, education level, relationship status, job title, page likes and more.
To dig deeper into the psychographics of your audience, you can also run follower polls on your social media channels, send out survey emails to your existing customers in return for a reward (e.g. discount code), and look at your competitors to see who their audience is and how they interact with their brand online.
Identify your audience’s pain points
Once you have identified and documented your audience’s characteristics, the next step is to understand and conceptualize the pain points they are experiencing. What problems are they having in relation to your business? What obstacles are they facing in trying to find solutions?
There are several ways you can get at your customers’ pain points:
- Survey your customers. When creating surveys with a view to identify your audience’s pain points, it is important to conceptualize your questions in a way that makes sense for the customer, not for you. You can use services such as SurveyMonkey and Typeform to help with phrasing of the questions to ensure you are getting the most accurate and informative responses from your audience.
- Check online reviews and industry forums. Online review sites are a goldmine of customer pain points. It’s also a good idea to monitor industry forums for any discussions related to your product. Even if it’s not specific to your brand, checking those threads can unearth a wealth of information about your audience’s pain points.
- Ask your sales team. You may also want to ask your customer service representatives what questions and complaints they get the most. Find out if they can help you identify patterns about the unique challenges and concerns each audience segment is facing. You can also ask them to curate real customer feedback quotes that you can then include in your personas’ templates to bring them to life.
Turn your research into a marketing persona.
Once you have gauged your audience demographic and psychographic characteristics, identified their pain points and goals, you will be ready to consolidate all of that information into a persona. Here is a standard outline of what you should include into your marketing persona template:
Occupation and demographic details:
- How old are they?
- What is their occupation? Industry? Seniority level?
- Where do they live?
- What is their relationship status?
- What is their education level? Major?
- What are their interests and hobbies?
- What do they do in their spare time?
- What are their values, attitudes, beliefs?
- What are their goals, ambitions and passions?
- What do they do on an everyday basis?
- What does their average day look like?
Concerns and pain points:
- What are their most common concerns and worries?
- What are the main problems they encounter on a regular basis?
Typical objections to products and services:
- What are they looking for in your product/service and what might they object to?
- What could prevent them from purchasing your product/service?
When conceptualizing your personas in these areas, you would want to tell a story as opposed to simply listing their speculative traits. Also, keep in mind that not all people in your target audience will match your personas exactly, but that’s not the point. The point of marketing personas is to represent your audience in a way that allows you to think about them in a meaningful way rather than as a set of lifeless numbers.
It takes time and effort to develop your content marketing personas. By following the above steps and taking the time to create personas to represent your audience segments, you’ll be able to create more effective and customer-oriented communications, develop better products, and ultimately convert more sales.