By: Jessica Fisher
Given the massive number of people a company’s digital content today reaches, it remains a challenge to on a personal level speak to the niche audience you’re the fit for. There is no pleasing everybody, but in order to experience growth and reach business goals, you will need to keep your target audience close. A persona, I found out in Tuesday’s strategic social media lecture, in a brief mentioning, is a devised “individual” who reflects your target consumer well, and who you run questions through in order to best suit your digital content. I thought this really interesting- of course there needs to be this communicative link between the messaging and those on the other end, but I hadn’t really thought there might be. Rather, I was under the impression social media managers kind of just went with their gut feeling about what they were posting.
But yeah, you know what, that probably wouldn’t work.
“A persona is a user archetype you can use to help guide decisions about product features, navigation, interactions, and even visual design,” Kristina Mausser quotes in her article Why Personas are Critical for Content Strategy. By “asking” this user questions such as “what are common pain points or frustrations?”, “what are common strengths?” and “what does a typical day in the life of your audience look like?”, you can more understand the perceptions from which they’ll be viewing your online content. Kristina claims that with the emergence of digital platforms, traditional target audience segmentation- ex. “males over 40”- is outdated. “Personas are the insurance policy that all organizations need to protect a key component of one of their largest digital assets – their content,” she says.
An article by Adele Revella on the Content Marketing Institute outlines key mistakes some make in building these reflective personas. For one, it’s important to understand your audience through real conversation, in the developing, and to not simply make things up. This is important also because “you will need to uncover specific insights that are unknown to your competitors.” However, she in her next point advises against getting caught up in irrelevant facts which help little when devising content. “Unless you’re a B2C marketer, the buyer’s gender, marital status and hobbies are rarely relevant,” she says. In the article Revella also warns against creating too many personas- like one company who tried to build 24- and in conversing with buyers, using scripted Q&A interviews, which will reveal little about the individual’s thought processing.
Developed thoughtfully, a persona can help keep your company truly in tune with the target audience you hold so dear. He/She can really aid in keeping content not only relevant, but of interest to those you’d like to speak to. Personally, I think the concept’s great- sounds fun to make ’em, too.
To get a better understanding on your business’s target audience behaviour, you may want to utilize an audience insights tool, as shown here – https://luthresearch.com/digital-measurement/audience-insights/.
-Jessica Fisher, @jssclnn