The key to success in running a business is to know what customers want and need. Although there’s no exact formula to determine their needs, you can still find success by taking advantage of user personas. Having user personas take many responsibilities of business and make them much easier to process.
A user persona is a made-up character based on user data made to help you understand your customers. These areas include brand identity, writing voice, website design, social media, customer pain points, user experience, and data and analytics. However, there are more elaborate ideas to consider. Check out here to find other significant information.
User personas also represent real and living people who’ll engage with your products and services. While people featured on personas are hypothetical, the details on the document must be real. Every section should be completed based on research, facts, and hard data.
Below are some of the things you should consider when creating user personas:
When it comes to creating a user persona or a buyer persona, always use real data and never make things up. After all, it’s a business document that should be conducted properly. Also, your user personas are only as strong as the accurate data supporting them. If you avoid using empirical data, don’t expect your user personas to be effective.
Having a reputable but unique title enables you to reference a group of users quickly during discussions. It’s crucial to pick titles wisely. If you give user personas human names, ensure those who view the documents don’t make generalizations through the names alone.
For example, a user persona that’s named ‘Emma’ doesn’t mean every user in the category is female. If you decide to use titles, ensure they’re specific. Avoid the ones that are too general. Before you settle on a title, consider the message it sends to the readers and the details it conveys.
The user persona’s bio section might seem a little intimidating for non-creative types. However, never shy away from it and consider tackling it proactively. One of the advantages of user personas is humanizing hard data, and the bio ties every human aspect together.
It’s a good idea to challenge yourself to make a description that depicts real human beings. But if you’re struggling, consider using a background from real-life customers. Ideally, you should have user profiles on file from your customer research. If not, you may pull some details from the social media profiles of actual customers.
If you don’t have enough customer data to create user personas, you can collect data easily. The best and quickest route is customer surveys since you can ask questions that would help you determine personality traits. Also, your performance analytics can answer lots of demographics depending on the settings.
If you have the resources, it’s perfect to invest in thorough user research such as on-site field trips, product testing, actual user interviews, and more.
This section in user personas provides viewers quick insights into one’s background, consumption practices, and lifestyle. The demographics must reflect trends from surveys, questionnaires, and interviews. The best way to find statistics on consumer demographics is through researching on the internet about the latest trends.
Get data on the age, origin, and marital status of the people currently visiting your website and interacting on various social media platforms. This will help you categorize who your target customers are.
If you want to reach your target audience and define user personas effectively, you have to include the preferred channels of your customers. This is because you might not find your elderly customers on social media, and you can’t expect your young customers to read business journals.
These days, tech-savvy people can be reached online through different applications. From your data collection journey, you must have a good picture of what channel your target audience is using.
The preferred channels of most customers nowadays are divided into several categories, which include the following:
Those categories are broad, but you could consider all the options if they’re relevant to your target consumers.
A user persona is a key tool to explore the preferences of audiences and help businesses make well-informed decisions that reflect user needs accurately. At first glance, fictitious user personas may seem like a burden, but they help satisfy the primary needs and wants of your customers.
Have you defined your company’s target audience? Has your company developed a buyer persona? If the answer is no, then your marketing campaigns – and every decision your company makes – cannot be as effective as it has the potential to be. Continue reading to find out why.
A company’s target audience is the group of people who would most benefit from their product or service. These are the individuals who are already actively seeking products or services like those you offer, or who would be interested in them were they to know about them.
Defining your target audience is vital because every decision you make will be geared towards them (broadly) and your buyer persona (specifically) as described below.
Think about it like this. If you get into your car you always have a destination. Without that destination, it is entirely possible to continue driving until you run out of gas or experience car issues pertaining to overheating or other minor mechanics.
Knowing your destination gives you a clear view of how long it will take, how much fuel you will need, and even what to expect once you get there. The destination is your target audience, and that car is your marketing campaign. Every “mile you drive” or decision you make should be geared towards your destination.
Defining your audience is as simple as asking yourself a set of questions and answering them. The answers can come from your own experience – especially if you are an established company – or from research. You can use surveys or check out who your competition’s customers are. The people who need your competitors’ products or services are also the ones who need yours.
When defining your brand, the following are the questions to ask. You can feel free to delve deeper into certain questions as it pertains to you.
Hubspot defines a buyer persona as a “semi-fictional, generalized representations of your ideal customer.” They also state that “Personas help us all… internalize the ideal customer we’re trying to attract and relate to our customers as real humans.” The term is often used interchangeably with marketing personas.
What this means, essentially, is that a buyer persona is a detailed but fictional person who is the ideal customer for your business. Although generalized, it is much more specific than a target audience. They bring a level of realism to the world of digital marketing and are an essential part of all modern company’s models.
A buyer persona, like your target audience, will give you direction. The difference is that instead of catering to a large, generalized group of people, a buyer persona will allow you to cater to a person. When you write articles or blog posts to the second person “you,” acting as though you are writing to your buyer persona will allow you to create more customized, personalized content.
By putting a “face” of sorts on your customers you can revolutionize your whole marketing strategy. Customers feel more like real people than just numbers, which is essential to the inbound marketing methodology.
Creating a buyer persona is like defining your target audience. The difference is that you will be creating a story, not simply defining a large demographic. When answering questions to create your buyer persona, you want to keep your ideal customer in mind – not just any customer.
Start by defining what their biggest need is. Let’s say you’re a marketing company who caters to small businesses. Your customer’s biggest need would be that they don’t have the time or staff to executive all marketing-related tasks.
Now, give them a name. We’ll call our theoretical owner Small Business Bill. Now he needs a story to bring him to life.
Small Business Bill is a man who is probably between the ages of 25 and 49. He’s good at running his business, so he probably has a four-year degree. He’ll be needing to pay out for these services, so his income should reflect this. But also keep in mind that he’s not made of money. So his income probably falls in the upper-middle class income bracket of $100K to $350K.
Last, we need to think about his preference and hobbies. His preferred method of contact is email, because he’s very busy. He is a family man of some kind – he may be married with one or more children. His free time is spent researching and testing new technologies for his business.
Now you have a buyer persona, which should look something like this:
Small Business Bill, age 25-49
Job: small business owner
Education: four-year college degree
Income: $100K to $350K
Preferred Contact: Email
Hobbies: Family Man (married with possibly 1+ children), learning and testing new tech for his business
Biggest Problem: He doesn’t have the time or staff to execute all of his marketing-related tasks
With this information in hand you can use it to make more effective marketing decisions. The idea behind both is to give you more direction when making decisions. They put a face on the blurred image of “customers.”
Your target audience will give you direction in terms of what content to use, which social media platforms you should leverage, and what promotions may prove fruitful. A buyer persona gives you a specific person to cater your products or services to, as well as someone to write your content for.
If you keep these two things in mind when making decisions and ask yourself “how would this improve the lives of my target audience,” or “which choice is best suited to my buyer persona” then you will be driving your company forward with a solid destination in mind and won’t waste anymore gas getting there.
By Justin Gray, CEO of LeadMD
As a content creator, you know that the more personalized the content, the better reception—and qualified leads—it will get. So as a good content marketer, you spend the time to research your target audience and carefully craft buyer personas to help guide your content strategy. These personas become the reference point for all of your content, from white papers and articles to social media and videos and infographics.
Hate to break it to you, but that level of “personalization” might not cut it.
That’s not to say you have to develop a brand-new content strategy for every single area in which you distribute content, but you do have to be mindful and make necessary adjustments if you hope to be successful.
The benefits you get from localized marketing efforts are definitely worth the effort. As we know, relevance is key in response rates, and the more relevant you can be, the higher your conversion rates. You also gain brand loyalty and trust. People appreciate when companies take the time to speak directly to them—it makes them feel more connected. And, you can create a competitive advantage by being present in a way that other companies are not.
When you’ve identified the local markets you want to target, try incorporating some of these suggestions in to your localized content strategy.
You’ve done the work to create personas. Great—you don’t necessarily have to start from scratch to make them local. Just carefully research your target markets and enhance your existing personas with the unique flavor of that area—words, phrases, work/life behaviors, etc.
Remember that your personas should go much deeper than just demographic information, so really dig into details. Talk to customers or partners in those areas to learn their views and ways. Don’t skip the research and stoop to stereotypes; make it real so your content has the ring of authenticity.
Targeting content to a regional or local market can be a fun and effective way of showing you know what their world is like and you have some valuable information to help them navigate it. Maybe it’s creating a white paper called “The Southern Business Owner’s Guide to SEO”, or designing an infographic for New Englanders with suggestions of unique tools to use while building a snow sculpture. With marketing automation tools that enable you to segment, it’s easy to promote localized content.
With social media, it can be as simple as addressing a certain area in your post. This works especially well with timely events—for example, a tire distributor may address an area that’s gotten a lot of rain with “Hey Tampa, we’ve ranked the top 10 rain tires. Looks like you’ll need them!”
Here are some additional resources.
Let me ask you this: Do you say soda or pop? Sub or hoagie? Tennis shoes or sneakers? If you’re looking to target or expand into new areas, you have to be aware of regional differences, preferences, culture and language. Push out a social media reference about pop and your Southern audience will see you as an outsider (Southerners generally refer to all soda as Coke, even if it’s a different brand). Make a reference to supper to an email list of New Englanders and they’ll know you’re not one of them.
You’d be surprised by the affect knowing or not knowing regional specifics can have on your brand’s perception. Just like any other audience you consider while building personas, regional audiences just want to be understood. Make them feel understood (and speak their language) and you’ll have a better chance of earning their trust.
Some areas have a different way of referring to things, which leads them to using different words and phrases when searching for something. Take a look at your website or other content’s keyword results for your target areas and see what words and phrases they are specifically using to find your company. Then, incorporate these keywords into your SEO strategy and keep them in mind as you’re writing content. This will help prospects or customers in those areas find your content a little easier.