Creative campaigns can take a lot of time, teamwork and budget to plan and put together. So how do you know you are pooling those resources into the right things that will resonate with your audience and have a real impact? Personas can help:
Create personas to get to really know your customers
Creating personas – invented characters the encapsulate the most common traits, needs, habits and behaviours of your ideal customer base – will help you decide what content is worth your time and budget to create, and will keep your messages super targeted and focused on the right people.
Having personas you can reference means you can plan activities that address a real need for your audience, identify who you need to talk to and how they like to be communicated with, and see why they need your message.
The best way to create personas is through first-hand research: customer surveys, feedback opportunities, interviews etc. Ask them; Who are they? What kind of life do they have? What are their needs? Why do they choose you? How did they find you? What problems can you solve for them? What might stop them from becoming a customer?
There are so many questions you could ask, and there are loads of templates you can find to help you when creating personas online.
Use persona data to target and create a fanbase
Once you have a great set of personas, you can start pre-emptively solving their problems, answering their questions, filling their knowledge gaps and reassuring their needs with campaign content that will get them to your door. This is where your creative content can demonstrate that you understand your audience’s specific requirements, and help you stand out from the crowd.
For example, a “Quick new ways to jazz up classic recipes” blog post would solve a problem for a persona who wants to try new foods, but only has 30 minutes to cook dinner and relies on tried and tested favourites.
Be genuine, show interest, do your research and solve common problems… draw your audience to you through the things you have in common and then ask them if they want to sign up for more. Ask for more than their email address, too… always think about the information you can feed back into personas to create better, more relevant and targeted content.
The list you build from this sort of activity is GOLD DUST to your business. The registered contacts are your crowd and they want to know about you. Just remember to be GDPR compliant at all times when collecting personal data, and keep that list up to date.
The next step: divide and conquer!
Look at the information you have about people in your contact lists and start to form further groups of common themes. Persona-subsets, if you will…! Can you start to deliver even more personalized creative solutions to keep them engaged, and turn loyal customers into brand advocates?
For instance, have a few customers already been tagging you in social media posts? Pop them into a group. They will be a great group to send content about events, hashtag campaigns or competitions. They may even present influencer marketing opportunities down the line. Does your product or service have different options for different ages/genders/business sizes etc? Group them up too. This way you won’t risk emailing an 18-year-old college student about Over-50s fitness classes!
When you have your personas refined, and your fanbase is starting to grow steadily, you will reach a point where you can start to take greater steps with your creative marketing, because you will be feeding more and more gathered information into your persona insights. You can begin to feel more confident about the open book of possibility that is creative content by asking this one question: What would impress your personas the most?
And if you need some ideas, you can take a read of my content types blog, here.