Personas are the latest buzzword to define how to cater to a company’s multiple audiences. While audience segmentation is nothing new, marketing automation tools and content-based marketing (with heavy analytics integration) has made personas a powerful tool for maintaining customers and getting new sales. The more you integrate personas into your marketing automation processes, the more likely you are to speak directly to your audience segments and make them feel like your marketing is specifically for them.
If you haven’t started using personas, what are you waiting for? Using them is as easy as 1, 2, 3!
1- Determining Your Personas
Determining your personas involves a mix of looking at your ideal audience and your actual, established audience. Even if you have a large client base already, have you really taken the time to figure out who, exactly, it is your serving.
This is a good opportunity to see how well you’re serving your market. If your ideal audience and your actual audience are too far separated, you might want to re evaluate your marketing plan.
You’ll want to gather data in generally-homogenous groups, but what those groups are is up to you. Depending on your market, you might divide it by job title, age, relationship status, company size, or industries that use your product.
It’s important to not limit the number of personas you use, but don’t over segment your audience either. You want to look for groups that have similar buying patterns and product/service needs.
2- Personal Templates
There are as many persona templates as there are CRMs. If you have a platform like SharpSpring, HubSpot or Pardot, you’ll want to follow their template. But, if you’re doing this independently, you’ll be building something from scratch.
Be mindful to make the persona template as usable as possible — you will, after all, be using these to guide your marketing strategy and content. This means that beyond demographics, you’ll want to focus on USPs, Motives, and Pain Points.
USPs, or Unique Selling Propositions, is the objective the persona is looking to fulfill. Their motive is why they want it, and what will drive them to eventually buy it. And pain points consider possible problems/barriers they have that you can help them solve.
Other pieces of information—like their overreaching price-sensitivity, the length of their sales cycle, and what they value in a product/service (including the level of customer service they want, how much they want something to solve their problems)—are also critical to keep track of. That data is going to influence how you speak to your personas, and can help you figure out how many audience segments you have.
By honing these elements down to something that is unified across market segments, you get an idea of who your clients are. You can then adjust your content accordingly, and take one more step to increasing conversions.
3- Using Personas
Once you’ve determined who your personas are and completed your templates, you need to start applying the insights you’ve gained.
If you have a CRM or automated marketing platform with dynamic content, personas are the way to segment them and help reach your audiences more effectively. This allows you to have a single piece of content that speaks to each persona, helping to create relationships, increase conversions and lower the amount of campaigns you need to run.
Dynamic content also applies to digital campaigns, as most online platforms allow you to segment by demographic information, interests, how much they’ve interacted with your company before, and a lot of other metrics that allow you to have a dynamic content experience.
Beyond dynamic content, personas can help you develop content strategy for your campaigns, website text, social media posts, and more. Once you’ve created your audience segments, you can start speaking directly to them with your content and structure what pre-existing content you have into categories that allow each persona to find the content they need without fuss.
Personas should influence your website content, blog writing, whitepapers, landing pages, and any other marketing efforts you create. Some of your pre-existing content likely already fits your personas (it’s how you got your current clients, after all), but refining it is a prime way to help draw more people to your website and conversion process.