If, like most businesses, you’re spending more time and money on content marketing, you want to ensure you’re getting the best return on your investment by creating engaging, lead-generating content. To do that effectively, you need to understand your audience and their motivations and challenges, and it has become standard for many organizations to develop marketing personas.
First thing’s first: What is a persona? Simply put, a persona describes whom you are trying to target and reach with your content or message.
In this post, you’ll learn how to build marketing personas for your business so you can target your messaging and create more compelling content that will engage your ideal customers.
How to Create Your Marketing Personas
Step 1 – Research
To create your marketing personas — most businesses have more than one — cast a wide net with your research. Combine raw data with educated guesses and interviews of both customers and staff members. A fully fleshed-out marketing persona includes everything from demographics to hobbies and career history, all written as if the persona were a real person. Here’s how to gather this information:
Schedule time to speak with existing customers, either in person or over the phone. You can glean important information about your customers’ goals, challenges and what they like about your product or service through short informational interviews. Your company’s sales team can also provide key insight into customers and prospects. In fact, anyone interacting with customers and customer data (like account management and your customer service team) should be involved in persona development.
It’s likely that your database is full of customer data. Review this information and identify any trends that suggest how customers or prospects find and consume your content.
If you’re uncomfortable collecting demographic data about your customers over the phone, you can conduct online surveys or use Google Analytics for target audience demographics. Using Google Analytics to identify where site visitors come from, what keywords they use to find you, and how long they spend on each page can go a long way toward educating you about your audience and their motivations.
Step 2 – Create Your Personas
Now it’s time to put your personas together using the data you’ve collected. To begin defining your personas, start by being as broad as possible, then drill down into more specific details. When compiling marketing personas, you can either use a standard template or create your own. If you prefer to start from an established layout, you can download a free template online. Take a look at the list below for templates from industry leaders:
Whether you start from a template or build from scratch, ensure each marketing persona contains the following information:
- Job Title/Role
- How We Can Help
- Real Quotes
Step 3 – Tune your message
When content is in the idea stage, it’s important to ask yourself, “What does my target persona need to know now?” This, after all, is more helpful than asking “What should we say this time?” Develop content that offers real solutions to your target marketing persona — valuable information that the consumer can use to solve a problem, save time and money or generally make his or her life easier. The customer will enjoy a better experience and your business will gain a more engaged user.
BrandpointHUB’s Persona tool makes it easy to develop, store and assign personas to specific content.
Once you’ve created your marketing profiles, you can fine tune everything from the words you use on the phone to the content on your website to ensure that prospective buyers receive the most persuasive sales pitches for their persona. This can help boost website traffic, increase lead generation and ultimately shorten your sales cycle. As you learn more about your ideal customer, don’t forget to go back and continually add to and edit your personas to ensure you’re targeting potential customers effectively.