Last week, Joanna Randall, our Managing Director here at Purplefish, and Greg Smart, CEO of digital tech firm 500 More, delivered an online webinar to discuss how you can use data driven software to identify the ideal persona for your business. Throughout the hour, both Joanna and Greg explored what a persona really is and how to use the software at your fingertips to discover yours and refine your marketing strategy.
So, what is a persona, and why do you need one?
A persona is a fictional profile that represents who you want to talk to. Your persona should embody your target audience, including demographics such as their age, gender and geographical location. More personally, your persona should be identifiable by their interests and what motivates them – why should they care about your content? Even more importantly, what is going to make them care?
Ultimately, your persona is an extremely useful attribute to your marketing strategy. Tailoring your content towards your target audience becomes much easier when you have your ideal persona and their interests in mind during the creative process. As a result, you will see boosted engagement with your business due to the personal consideration behind your content.
As Joanna pointed out – this isn’t the 1980s anymore, where streets were flooded with advertisements telling you what to buy. Nowadays, in a constantly evolving modern world, we are spoilt for choice. However, tailoring your content towards your persona and integrating them directly into your marketing strategy gives your target audience the easy option – to choose you over everyone else, simply because you have their interests at heart.
How can you identify your ideal persona?
Throughout the webinar, Joanna and Greg outlined numerous methods of how you can collect the right data to identify your persona. One of the most accessible methods of collecting this data is by using Google Analytics and analytics from your social media channels. Not only are these data collection methods free, but they also show you the demographic of your current audience and the times and days of the week that they are most engaged with your content. More advanced data-collection methods come with a cost, such as market data and industry reports.
Another valuable way to collect information about your ideal persona is simply asking for feedback. Conduct interviews and surveys with your current clientele and ask them what they think about your content to understand how you can better target your ideal persona. Similarly, hearing the opinion of journalists and influencers on platforms such as LinkedIn and stakeholders within your trade body helps you gain a more holistic insight into who you’re really targeting. Even looking at your competitors and seeing who they’re attracting and what they’re doing differently to attract them can be helpful in outlining your next steps.
What can you do with this data?
Widely debated is determining the number of personas your business needs to target, using the data you’ve collected to identify them. Joanna recommends between three and five personas; however, this number can extend up to eight! Once you have decided how many personas your content needs to target, these then needed to be integrated into your marketing strategy. Use your persona to identify what post styles work best for your engagement and which content attracts the most attention – learn from the past and evolve according to the needs and interests of your identified audience.
Joanna shared her top tips for integrating your personas into your marketing strategy. For an engaged and diverse persona, you should avoid putting a mirror up to yourself – don’t assume you are the target market just because the content you’re creating personally appeals to you! Even after you have decided on your ideal personas, ensure that they are tested and validated outside of your marketing team to see if your aims and audience really do align.
Where do you go from here?
The methods of data collection and identifying personas outlined above have been tried and tested successfully here at Purplefish in our work with our clients. However, if you would like to give identifying your persona a go, check out the webinar recording for more information, which can now be found on YouTube