Great content marketing is a channel between a brand and its people, enabling the brand to convey important, helpful, and significant content that individuals need and want based on their aspirations or issues. Be that as it may, numerous advertisers don’t absolutely comprehend what their people’s wants and needs are.
Rather, they make content without a reasonable thought of who they’re attempting to educate, draw in, or motivate, and then send content out into the ether with the blind hope that somebody some place will come across what they’ve created and like it. Obviously, this content typically fizzles.
Be that as it may, it doesn’t need to. Marketing personas can make all the difference. Marketing personas fill in the spaces, helping you personally comprehend the individuals you’re attempting to come to:
- the issues they’re managing
- the issues that influence them
- their mystery expectations and desires
- the things that drive them (regardless of whether they know it or not), and so forth.
What Is A Marketing Persona, Really?
Generally, they’re a mix of somebody’s character traits, properties (e.g. age, demography, and geography), and psychographic data (what really matters to them). All of that combined serves as a representation of an actual human that you want to attract.
Essentially, promoting personas are a far reaching “map” of their minds and characters, helping you see the world from their point of view. With this x-ray super power, you can discover, vet, and tailor your plans to fill in the holes, guaranteeing your substance is intriguing and applicable.
In addition to the fact that this gives you a colossal major advantage over your opposition, it makes it simpler to frame a real association with your kin and become their go-to asset for the information they need and the data they don’t realize they need—yet. This is hugely gainful for two straightforward reasons:
Individuals are progressively responsive to what you need to state on the off chance that they see you as somebody who increases a mind-blowing value.
It makes coming up with substance thoughts significantly simpler on the grounds that it decreases the mystery that creates off-base or insignificant thoughts.
How to Create A Marketing Persona in 4 Steps
Step 1: Ask the Right Questions
On the surface, the people you’re trying to reach are probably not a homogeneous group. They have different fears, worries, and concerns, but they do have one thing in common: they can use your product or service. Thus, your goal in making personas is two fold. You want to know:
- What things do they have in common? What do they desire or need help with?
- How do those things relate to your product/service? How can you fulfill those desires or solve those problems through content?
To uncover this, you will need to talk to directly to your people. But first, you need to identify what it is you want to really know about them. There are a million attributes you can identify, from their favorite podcasts to their preferred type of workout, but it’s important to hone in on what is most relevant. Once you know what you’re looking for, you can better tailor the questions you ask.
To start, make a copy of our free marketing personas template spreadsheet. This is a sample of the type of demographic and psychographic information you may want to define. You can add, edit, or tweak relevant items as you see fit.
Pay particular attention to the job-challenge questions in the template, as these speak to the heart of what people deal with on a regular day. These questions also address things like the problems they’re trying to solve, as well as the risks they’re attempting to mitigate.
We find that focusing on these ideas more heavily makes it easy to develop high-level content ideas, whereas some of the other inputs, such as interests, hobbies, or age, are useful items to consider when developing tone, design aesthetic, etc.
Note: Some of the geographic or psychographic information may seem tedious or unnecessary for coming up with good content marketing ideas. But if those inputs help you better understand who you’re trying to reach, then the more information you have, the better and clearer your content will be.
Step 2: Talk to People
You may, like us, have long-standing relationships with your clients and a deep understanding of their needs and desires, but it’s still important to take the guesswork out of it. Go directly to the source to find out as much as you can. You can consider this the “research” phase of crafting marketing personas.
Your goal is to find out as much information as possible about the people you’re trying to reach so that you can find the common threads and fill in your marketing personas in detail.
There are many ways you can get this information. You can ask questions via in-person chats, calls, and emails. You can comb through customer surveys or online feedback. (It’s also helpful to loop in sales and customer service at this stage; these are the people who have the most direct contact with your customers.)
Ultimately, the goal is to have as much info as you need to develop well-rounded and thoughtful marketing personas.
Step 3: Consolidate Your Responses
Once you’ve collected your responses, gather your team to collate and condense. Comb through your research to identify the common threads, concerns, hopes, desires, and challenges people face. Sometimes you may notice a common theme or even phrase in your responses. These are incredibly valuable.
At this stage, you want to create a rough draft of your marketing personas. Block off an hour or 90 minutes, depending on how fast you move and how many personas you’re attempting to map. (It’s helpful to take about 20 to 30 minutes per persona.)
First, identify how many personas you’re going to create (at least three is helpful to start). When we did this for ourselves, we segmented personas as people who work at the same organization at different levels of seniority.
(Note: There is no wrong or right way to do this. Your business and your goals should dictate your approach to how many marketing personas you want to create.)
Next, start to brainstorm the attributes for each identifying element in your template, based on your research. Write everything down and refine as you go so that you have a succinct list of attributes for each question. For example, you might have three to five items for “fears,” whereas you might have a range for “age” (e.g., 35-45).
We find that it’s helpful to whiteboard this out first. This enables our team to stay focused and interact with each other in real time. It also helps to have one person facilitate. By the end, you should have a loosely defined group of personas.
Step 4: Finalize Your Personas
Once you have your “rough” personas, it’s time to refine and vet. Make sure you have a name for each, and circulate your personas for feedback from relevant people (e.g., your sales team or company founder). Once refined, memorialize these in a Google Doc or Excel spreadsheet that is easily accessible.
Use these finalized personas to brainstorm content. Going forward, you should be able to identify:
- Which persona will be interested in the idea
- Why that persona will be interested in it
Make sure to regularly review and update personas as well.
Remember: Always Put Content First
The best way to get people to listen to what you’re trying to say is to first make yourself useful to them. You can do this by teaching them something new or creating something that they simply find interesting or entertaining. If you lead with this type of content (instead of only what you’re tasked with communicating as a brand), people will be more receptive and attracted to your content.
Of course, there are a million things that influence and affect your content operation, from departmental directives to your editorial calendar. Luckily, in addition to marketing personas, there are several things you can do to ensure your content is as effective as possible.
Source: Column Five Media (https://www.columnfivemedia.com/how-to-create-marketing-personas-in-under-60-minutes)