Creating customer personas are essential for establishing an effective content strategy. However, many businesses owners have trouble figuring out where to start. What is a customer persona? What’s the point of having them? How do I utilize personas to support my goals? All of these questions can help you better understand your customers and take your business to the next level.
What are customer personas?
A persona is a fictional representation of your audience. It focuses on demographics, background, position in the buyer’s journey, behaviour patterns, motivations, goals and problems. By using customer personas, you can determine and analyse your target audience and deliver your content to the right people.
Why are personas important?
Personas can help you gain insight into the minds of your customers. It helps you understand their relationship with your product or service and your brand from a new perspective. Collecting personal information about a buyer helps you identify their problems so that you can offer a solution. The more refined your personas are, the easier it is to select what channels to put your content on. They also guide guide you to develop content for your audience. Although the task may seem daunting, the value of constituting customer personas makes every other aspect of your content strategy work and much easier to implement.
How to build customer personas
To develop customer personas you can look back inside your own business at your best customers. Go out and talk to them and ask them relevant questions and help shape a persona based on a real person. Then, bring that profile to life as a character. For instance, giving your buyers a fictitious name, choosing a specific age for them, giving them a certain job title and acquiring personal information about the individual such as family dynamic and living situations is helpful when fabricating accurate and detailed personas. You should aim to be as specific possible so that you can role play and use that persona to understand what content your customers and looking for and will respond to.
A good example of creating personas is to consider a bank. A bank targets many different types of clients, so to produce a strong content strategy, it is important to create distinct personas. Developing a persona for when somebody first leaves college would be vastly different than an individual that has just obtained a senior position in their company or someone contemplating retirement. The bank must understand each persona fully because there is a completely separate suite of products and services that they might market to each persona differently.
Are personas the same as demographics?
Although personas contain measurable demographics, the two profiles are extremely different. Demographics were traditionally developed to buy media. So, if a business was targeting a single gender and age group with a specified income, demographics would be useful to determine the best channel on which to advertise and what kind of content to present. But, this information alone doesn’t help you actually understand that person.
Instead, customer personas indicate pain points that relate to your product and draw customers in. These problems are not always as obvious as many businesses think. Understanding exactly what problem you solve for a customer helps you then develop content and reach your content strategy goals.
Should I update my personas?
Personas change as your customers and business may over time. Therefore, it is important to reevaluate your personas every 12 to 18 months. The needs and problems of your audience will evolve as the world around them changes. Additionally, if your business undergoes a change such as a shift in your purpose, product, solutions and goals, then you should rework your personas to fit your content strategy.