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How to power up your personas

Mike Harrison 11-Jan-2019 10:09:00
Giving your target personas a boost

The big question

You’ve got a great product or service that appeals to a wide audience. That’s fantastic! But how do you define your messaging to meet the needs of all these different people?

It’s a question that comes up often, and it’s one that I like to think of as a ‘good’ problem.

It’s good because it’s not a bad problem to have in the first place. It means you are doing something right and your product or service is bound for success with the right plan behind it.

It’s also good because it’s an easy problem to solve and at the end of the day that is what inbound marketing is all about: saying the right thing, to the right people.

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Identify your target audience

Trying to hit your entire audience with content that will appeal to everyone is likely to be a confusing task that will give everyone involved a headache.

Instead, let’s slice that audience (figuratively, of course) into easy-to-define segments.

Once we have these segments, we can characterise them as personas. Imagine each persona as a real person – give them a name if you like!

You could have Julie, a tech-savvy decision maker who likes to share interesting content with her influential followers. Or Peter, who values dependability and support over the latest gadgets and unsubscribes if he receives too many sales emails.

Design for your key personas

With each persona, consider their own objectives, responsibilities and decision-making influence.

I’d recommend trying to define three to five personas that represent these segments. You can do this by thinking about differentiators like age, location, job role, goals, challenges and any specific values that apply to your business.

You can also consider your current customers, research your email subscribers or even check out your social media followers. Anything that helps to narrow down a segment and improve your understanding of your audience’s goals.

Even after these few basic steps, you can begin creating content aimed at each persona. You’ll quickly find that even a rough outline of the ‘person’ you’re writing for will help you focus on meeting their needs.

It will also help with other techniques, such as addressing your reader in an active voice, as you can feel confident that you are addressing them directly.

A clear message for your target persona

Having content with a clear message that’s easy for each persona to understand is absolutely vital.

Especially when it’s so easy to switch off or look elsewhere.

If your audience is confused, they’re not going to hang around.

Just by reading this, it’s likely that you fall into a persona that I created. You could be a Jeff, or perhaps a Katie. Weird huh?

The objective is always the same: to deliver useful content that is relevant to the person reading it.

So stop trying to cast your net too wide, and power up your personas instead!

Personas are key in your Lead Generation efforts

Generating leads, more sales - that's what it's all about isn't it?  Personas are central to this as inbound marketing is all about saying the right thing to the right person at the right time.  Understand your audience is central - your persona definitions will provide the overarching brief on how to develop valuable content that ticks the boxes for your ideal buyer. Persona development is core to your inbound marketing efforts, we have more on this in our dedicated page: Inbound Marketing: A Guide to Generating Leads.

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