Building Personas to Improve Engagement

Storytelling is a large component for modern marketing campaigns, as content creation has become a critical element for the buyer’s journey. Not only are marketers developing relevant content to help audiences make more informed decisions, they’re also positioning their companies as valuable resources in the digital space.

On the other hand, developing content that’s timely and relevant can be challenging and time consuming. Strong content strategies are built purposely with specific audiences and needs in mind. We must first learn more about the audience, and we must take some time to identify and distill the key messages that will resonate with these audiences.

Defining Marketing Personas

Customers and potential customers take their own buyer’s journey based on distinct needs, interests, habits and trends, so it’s important to consider those unique experiences when developing content. Some folks are ready to make a purchase, others are still considering options, and some haven’t even found your content yet.

Learning more about your audiences can help you tailor content for those critical moments when buyers express interest. This can mean the difference between converting leads and missing potential sales. Leveraging marketing personas is a great way to creating stronger content that fits specific audience needs.

Personas are fictionalized characters based upon data gathered from customers and potential audiences in a number of categories. The data is analyzed and reorganized to describe and reflect the attributes of real people in your audiences. Some categories can include:

  • Demographics
  • Attitudes
  • Media habits
  • Buying preferences
  • Interests
  • Behavioral patterns
  • Job description
  • Career experience
  • Education level
  • Pain points/Motivations
  • Job keywords
  • Product/Service needs

Used to personify your character, this data helps marketers and salespeople gauge customer drivers, beliefs, backstories, personality traits, fears and more. Here’s an example:

The information here is gathered through qualitative and quantitative research. A mixture of focus groups, interviews, polls and surveys can be used to collect details from defined audiences. Then it’s a matter of comparing results to identify trends, insights and similarities that can be applied to a single persona that represents a specific audience.

Applying Personas to Marketing Automation

Content needs will look different from persona to persona. The example above indicates Charlie Seasweet is concerned with overall profitability and missed growth opportunities, thus putting pressure on each department to prove ROI.

As a result, the most effective content strategy for reaching him should include short summaries, infographics and overview videos that provide enough information to cover the who, what and why – but not the how. On the other hand, a persona for department managers may prefer blogs, peer-reviewed articles and video presentations, as they want content with more insight.

While some audiences prefer detailed reports, others may only have time for bite-sized materials. The only way to understand these preferences is to create detailed personas for each target audience. Not only will you be able to implement more effective marketing strategies, you’ll also see improvements for your sales teams, as they’ll have a better understanding of audience needs and desires.

In our next blog, we’ll explain how personas fit into the sales funnel. For more information on personas, marketing automation or other marketing strategies, visit www.quell.com.

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