Developing customer personas is a great starting point for your content creation journey. Not only do they help you understand exactly who you want to target, but they also ensure that you’re able to create content that is tailored specifically to those who are most likely to invest in what you’re offering.
But what is a customer persona? And why do they hold so much value?
What is a Customer Persona?
Essentially, a customer persona is a fictional character designed to replicate specific members of your target audience. By conducting in-depth research, you can bring them to life by detailing characteristics like their name and demographic information, wants and needs, pain points and desires, even spending habits and hobbies.
Once your personas have been created, you and your marketing team will be able to consistently refer back to them to ensure all the content you produce is perfectly tailored to your target audience.
Sounds great – but how do you get to that point?
How to Create a Customer Persona
Creating authentic customer personas is all about research – the more research you’re able to undertake, the more realistic your personas will be, and the more likely your content will be to resonate with your actual target audience. When it comes to research, however, it can be challenging to know where to start. Here’s how we do it:
Collect Audience Data
It’s imperative that you kick off your persona creation with some research into your target audience – and yes, we mean actual research! For ease, many businesses make assumptions about their target audience based on what they think they already know about them. While this may be accurate if you’re lucky, more often than not, in-depth audience research throws up some things that you had no idea about.
So, while you may feel you know your business and your audience well, it’s always better to check and double-check that your assumptions are correct – otherwise, you may end up pushing your content in completely the wrong direction!
This first part of your research, therefore, should focus on the key characteristics of your target audience. You’ll need to find out things like:
- Stage in life
- Buying habits and patterns
- Business size etc. if you’re creating B2B personas
Collating this information will give you a solid foundation to build your persona upon and will really help to start to bring it to life. If you’re unsure where to start when it comes to audience research, utilise tools like Google Analytics and your social media analytics – these will give you a good indication of the above characteristics. Or, if you’ve got a well-managed customer database, this will also give you the information you need.
Remember, different aspects of your business may attract different audiences. For example, here at The Edwards Company, our credit control clients are very different from our clients for content creation. If you’re offering multiple services or products, take this into consideration when creating your personas.
Establish Customer Pain Points
Pain points are issues that your target audience are searching for a solution for – and, if they’re interested in your business, the chances are that solution lies with you.
By establishing these pain points, you’ll have a better idea of what to focus your content on when it comes to it – there’s no point creating a social media campaign about a problem that none of your customers are facing!
Instead, set up social listening tools to identify the challenges that your target audience are looking to overcome. Social listening tools enable you to set up feeds to monitor mentions of your brand, products or services, competitors or specific topics, all of which will give you an indication of the most talked-about pain points.
Collate and analyse this information and attach it to the personas you have started to create. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be able to consult it before creating content to ensure that what you eventually put out will be relevant to the people you’re trying to target.
How your Business can Help
Once you’ve identified the pain points your target audience is facing, the next step is to establish the solutions your business can provide. Against each pain point, make a note of how your business can make a difference and analyse the benefits investing in your product will have for that specific customer.
Think about it like this – how will your product or service improve the lives of your customers?
By establishing how you can help, you’ll ensure that this can be a focal point in your content. The last thing you want to do is talk about problems without offering solutions – identifying the benefits you can provide will allow you to create well-rounded content that provides your target audience with all the information they need to make a choice about investing in what it is you’re offering.
Completing the three research steps above and collating the information will result in complete personas for your target audience, specifically designed to ensure your content is reaching the right people.
The Benefits of Creating Customer Personas
We’ve established that creating personas will improve the effectiveness of your content, but what are the specific benefits of using them within your business?
- Increase in ROI
By creating content that is more efficient in connecting with your target audience, you’ll increase the number of leads generated through your marketing efforts. You’ll also be able to frequently analyse the results of your marketing campaigns and refer back to your personas to make consistent improvements across the board, again helping to increase marketing ROI.
- Improve your Content Overall
Establishing personas not only ensures your content is targeting the right people but it also helps you to establish the correct tone and use of language. Without personas, you may be using a tone or language that doesn’t appeal to your target audience, therefore missing out on potential customers.
Personas not only tell you what you should be creating content about, but they also give insights into how to create it for the biggest impact.
- Keep Customer Priorities in Mind
Not only do customer personas give you an idea of who your target audience members are, but they also allow you to establish their priorities, wants and needs. You can frequently address these in your content, painting yourself as a business that is 100% in tune with its target audience and goes above and beyond to provide solutions for the pain points they’re facing.
Content Creation with The Edwards Company
Getting content creation right can be a challenge – with so many things to consider, it can feel like a never-ending cycle or trying and testing different methods. Customer personas are a great foundation to build your content marketing on. If the direction of your content becomes a bit lost, you’ll always have something to refer back to to get you back on the right track.
If you’re struggling to create content that resonates with your target audience, please do not hesitate to get in touch – we have a range of flexible, affordable content creation packages available, designed to support businesses like yours.