Whether it’s people considering your product or those who have already purchased, it’s important to have intimate knowledge of who’s at the other end of the relationship. Brands out of touch with how their audience thinks often end up paying dearly for this mistake. Knowing your users is an important part of reaching, converting, and keeping them. That’s where user personas come in. Let’s dive in and explore how to identify your users, build user personas, and use them to elevate your marketing ROI.
What are User Personas?
Simply put, a user persona is a fictional representation of one of your target users.
The person depicted may not exist in the real world, but is the result of real market research. This research takes into account the goals, interests and behavioral patterns among your actual target audience.
A user persona typically includes the following components:
Name and Photo
A user persona is supposed to look and feel like a real person. And a real person has a real name and picture.
Made up names like “Jane Doe” or “Mandy the college student” will not do justice to the persona. And putting a face to the name can help make it even more real.
Some brands put up fictional characters or famous people as their persona image. However, it’s better to create a clean identity free of any biases or stereotypes.
In fact, you can easily get real-looking, AI generated photos of people who don’t actually exist.
A short background story gives a little history to go with the persona. It considers things such as where the user grew up, how did they pick their careers, and what they do in their free time.
Having demographic information further improves your understanding of your users. It can give you the necessary context for specific needs and interests – information you can use to relate with them.
A persona also lists personality traits which might be related to how your users purchase or use your product. This part involves identifying attributes like your users’ level of focus, decision-making, risk-appetite and other qualities.
Goals and Motivations
This part covers what user goals and motivations come into play, whether directly or indirectly, with regard to your product.
It’s important to understand both long-term and short-term objectives in order to ensure a holistic user experience.
Preferred Brands and Influencers
A big part of learning about an individual is what they like and follow, making this information another crucial part of a user persona. So you can analyze the traits and tactics used by these brands, or collaborate with them to reach your audience.
Developing User Personas
Now that you know what user personas look like, you’re ready to start gathering user data, identifying segments with commonalities and turn them into user personas. Let’s look at the process in more detail.
Conduct User Research
The best way to get information about your users is to ask them. You can do this via one-to-one user interviews or a survey.
If you’re conducting a survey, for example, you can reach out to your current or future users with a message like the following:
Hi [First Name], hope you’re doing well.
Our team has created a short survey to learn more about how we can serve you better. It mainly consists of multiple-choice questions, all of which you can answer in less than 3 minutes.
As a way to say thanks for your time, we’ll also give a 20% discount code for your next purchase at the end of the survey.
My team and I would really appreciate your help. Thanks and have a great day!
When conducting an interview or a survey, consider asking questions to help you get data on the persona components we discussed above. These include:
- What is your most pressing issue?
- Where is your goal and what do you need to meet the goal?
- What kind of solution would help solve your problem or meet the goal?
- What does your typical day look like?
- How does our product fit into that routine?
- What makes you the most excited about our product?
By conducting this type of first-hand research, you don’t just get valuable intel about your users, but also about the kinds of words and phrases they use in context with your product.
Organize Data Into User Segments
The next step is analysis. Go through the data you have gathered to identify commonalities, trends and patterns.
While doing so, you will see that groups have begun to emerge, each corresponding to people with similar answers. And each of these groups can be turned into a separate user personas.
The finishing step is to add any missing information to each persona, like assigning a name and photo to help visualize the individual.
Once the personas are ready, it’s time to start utilizing them to elevate your marketing game.
User Personas in Digital Marketing
User personas are highly effective when it comes to growing your business with digital marketing. They help reveal the different ways in which users discover and purchase your product.
By targeting specific user personas, you can channel your efforts where they are likely to matter the most. To elaborate, user personas can be tied to the following benefits.
Consistency in digital marketing communication: Brands often have different digital marketing departments working in silos. Depending on company size, there may be separate teams for SEO, PPC advertising, social media and other campaigns. User personas help everyone get on the same page about exactly who they are trying to reach.
Identifying relevant media channels: User personas help you understand how users consume information and on which websites or social networks they spend the most time. This information is invaluable to reach users where they are and make a strong impact.
Optimizing product offering and positioning: You may have the product but user personas reveal the best way to present, package and price it for maximum benefit.
In fact, by creating separate product pages on your website or online store for each of your user personas, you can meet their specific needs and increase conversions.
As evident from this analysis, user personas play a major role in exploring what’s going on in the minds of your audience. They help brands make decisions that correctly meet user needs and add to the brand’s bottom line.
While creating user personas may seem a little daunting, the effort is worthwhile considering the immense long-term benefits they have to offer. So go all-in with your user personas. We promise it will be worth it.