Created by Charles Vinal on 4/27/2017 9:58:22 AM
In order to be seen and heard in today’s noisy digital environment, associations must produce helpful, valuable content that speaks directly to their target audience. Building user personas can help you understand your target audience so that you can provide them with focused and relevant content (and stand out from your competition)! In this post, we’ll discuss how to build user personas to enhance your content marketing strategy.
User Personas are fictional archetypes that represent key audience segments.
They are built on educated hypotheses and user research and encompass a collection of prospective and current members’ goals, challenges and fears.
What’s in a User Persona?
The purpose of building user personas is to help you understand your target audience. The user personas you create will never perfectly match any one of your users but should help you tailor your content to key user segments. User personas typically include information such as:
- Goals, Aspirations, Challenges
- Values and Fears
- Interests and Needs
- Marketing Message
- Elevator Pitch
Step 1 - Do Your Research!
The first step in building user personas is to do your research! In this stage, you’ll want to gather as much information as you can about your clients and prospects. There are many different ways to collect this information, including:
- Qualitative interviews
- Online surveys
- User Research
- Website analysis
You can gather demographic information by conducting user research (surveys, interviews, etc.) and digging into your web analytics. That said, your best bet for uncovering more abstract information about your audience (e.g, their goals, challenges, values and fears) is through actual interviews (Buffer). By combining this information, you’ll be able to create marketing messages and pitches that resonate with each user persona.
Step 2 - Segment Your Audience & Build Out Your Personas!
Using the information that you’ve collected, you can now start to segment your audience and build out your personas. The way that you segment your audience can be based on various factors, such as demographics, role/title, goals/challenges, company, and preferences.
Make sure to segment your audience in a meaningful way. It may be easy to segment based on demographic information such as age, but a more impactful strategy is usually to segment based on some kind of psychographic factor such as attitude or aspirations. The segments you create should have distinct interests and needs which allow you to tailor content to each group.
Once you’ve segmented your audience into 3-5 personas, you can start to pull the pieces together and create your user personas! You can use the bulleted list (above) to help you get started.
Step 3 - Create Content for Your Specific Personas
Now that you’ve identified your personas, you can start to create content geared towards the specific needs and interests of each of your segments. When creating content, make sure to focus on the delivery as well as the content itself. Some segments may be likely to engage with you via social media while others may be more interested in visiting your website. The delivery method can be just as important as the message itself.
How CV Can Help
ClearVantage can help you pull information on your current audience so that you can build out your user personas. More specifically, you can:
- Use the CV Survey Module to create, send and track survey responses for audience research
- Use the Power Query Tool to find & report on any tracked information about your current members
- Add custom UDF fields to start tracking any additional demographic information that you need