Often, we can get caught up with figures when trying to measure the success of our digital marketing efforts. How many followers, likes, or shares to name a few.
But here’s some food for thought – are we even preaching to the correct audience? How can we determine if we are putting the right message in front of the right audience?
Audiences vary, they are dynamic and therefore need to be broken down or ‘segmented’ in order to optimise your digital marketing strategy and achieve your marketing goals.
Firstly, what is an audience persona?
No matter what industry you fall into or which brand you represent, the same question is always asked: What do your customers want?
In order to answer this question, we create a persona. This can be known as an Audience, User or Marketing Persona and represents a specific type of consumer or a segment of your target audience.
An audience persona is a fictional ‘person’ or character which you create based on the perception of your ideal customer. This can be based on their buying behaviour, interests and demographic for example. You can then use this character as a reference point when planning new products, campaigns or your next social post. It forces you to ask the question – is it really for them? Is it something this character would genuinely want in their life?
In order for your audience persona to be useful, you need to get specific with it. Personas are objective, they can lead to improvements based on real data about real users and customers.
Create multiple personas, give them names, a profile picture, their consumer needs, their interests. Consider the goals and needs of that specific consumer, what do they look for in your brand? What pain point can your product or service address? Some great, free persona templates are available online and can be a helpful starting point when gathering information to create a persona.
What to include:
- Name / Age / Background (Demographics)
- Hobbies & Interests
- Preferred online channels
Audience Persona Example
Creating a persona through audience research
How can you use existing information and insights to identify your target audience? If your business has a website or social media presence, it’s likely that you already have a wealth of insightful audience information at your fingertips. For example, you can use Google Analytics to view your audience’s online behaviour on your website, while also viewing their user journey and which types of content appeal to them.
For social media, you can use Facebook Business Manager to learn about your audience. By using these insights, you can determine which content works best, the best time for posting, along with more detailed insights such as your audience’s demographic breakdown, geographical breakdown, their interests and even device usage.
All of this information will act as material for the foundations of your audience persona. In turn, the more detail included in your persona will enable you to create more specific and optimised content for your digital marketing.
Some additional factors to consider when marketing your products to your ideal persona:
- How does a customer decide they need a product or service?
- Is this a straightforward process for the customer?
- What does the purchase say about the customer?
- How does the situation influence the behaviour or affect the purchasing decision? ie. time pressure, marketing materials.
Boost your social media marketing:
As we’ve covered before, it’s really important to be social on social media, otherwise you’re just the noise that the algorithms are actively keeping out of users’ feeds. And having detailed audience personas gives you the basis for working out what your audience actually wants to talk about, what kind of community they’d likely take part in, and how they’d respond to certain types of content.
Drive business results with audience personas
Keeping a specific persona in mind when creating your social media content isn’t just good for social engagement, it should start to show in the business KPIs too. By speaking to your audience in a more relatable way, you will see higher click-through rates and conversion rates, because at the end of the day successfully digital marketing is all about relevance. By delivering the right information to the right person, in the right context ad at the right time, everything happens more smoothly. You drive results and you also generate loyalty in the long term.
In summary, knowing your customer is just good business. For digital marketers it tells us what platforms we should be on and when. What content themes to embrace and which formats to articulate them through. But it also tells us how we should talk about our products or services, how we present our solutions based on the challenges and frustrations of our specific audience personas.
You can build an attractive user persona using this handy tool by Xtensio.