User Personas: what and How

A customer profile or user persona is a useful tool to help you understand your customers and their behaviours; to understand their needs and wants, so that you can drive sales by connecting with them in a personal and effective way.

Years ago, digital marketing efforts were put together in a standardised way and basically sent out to the masses, with no personalisation or targeting involved. Today, the sheer volume of analytical and data tools available make it possible for us to really refine our marketing efforts. Marketing today is all about providing a 5* experience to our customers.  And to do this means that we need to understand what each of our customers need.

So, this is where user personas come in.

What is a user persona?

user persona is a fictional, visual representation of your ideal customer. A persona is generally based on customer research and includes the needs, goals, and observed behaviour patterns of your target audience types.

Put simply, a user persona is a set of characteristics that you put to the ideal kind of people who would purchase from your business offerings. A thorough and data-driven user persona can be the key for your business to build more impactful strategies and even assist in the development of your product and services to fit these profiles.

Here’s our guide on building a user persona, to help in gaining a deeper understanding of the customers you want to attract and how they may act

Step 1: Create a general outline of each kind of ideal customer. What do they do? What’s important to them?

At this stage, you will give each type of ideal customer a name, job title, and outline their interests and attitudes towards general products/services in your industry.

Here, you will outline what is obvious about them that means your product/services will benefit them or solve their needs.

Ask yourself:

What are their values?

Do they match your business values?

Do they already use a product/service that your company offers?

If so, are they happy with this product? What does your offering bring that could convince them to switch?

What is their attitude towards products and services like yours in the market?

Are they open to your products and services or is it something that they are apprehensive towards?

 

Step 2: Enhance each customer persona with unique goals and important features

The next step in building your customer profile is where you will begin to add more detailed information. At this stage, it’s important to identify the needs and goals of each customer type, and what features could affect their willingness to choose your business.

 

Answer these questions:

What kind of language would each customer use to identify their problem?

Understanding this means the language that a customer uses to describe their problem can be replicated in your copy.

What is each customers biggest hesitation when thinking about trying out your product/service?

Understanding your customers hesitations will mean that you can resolve these before they dismiss choosing you because of them.

What is the most effective way to engage with each customer?

Everything considered so far in the profile building process will allow you to consider what will be the best way to engage with each customer type. Including how to talk to them and how to answer/resolve their questions.

 

Step 3: Assess how and where each customer type will find your business

Depending on the customer types that you have identified so far, the ways that they could find you may vary.

Important questions to answer here will be:

What websites/online blogs does this customer visit?

Being present on the websites and blogs that your customer will be visiting is great for brand awareness and ensuring you are seen by your ideal customer types.

What kind of search terms will each customer type be using?

Creating useful content that your ideal customer types will actually be searching for could be the key to making your online content seen and shared. At this stage you can decide which customers will be looking for specific, niche content that will benefit them directly, and which customers will be looking for more general and shareable content.

You don’t have to create these personas from scratch, either. There are plenty of both paid and free templates out there that will give you a base for starting:

Building customer profiles for your offerings is one of the essential elements for crafting your content marketing strategies, and it may seem like an arduous task, but the benefits could be genuine conversions on your website from customers that you have targeted effectively.

We’re experts in helping businesses define their market and drill down into the nitty gritty parts of customer profiling. If you’d like any help with this, then get in touch today.