Know Your Audience - Why Creating Personas is Essential


Published: May 1, 2017 Author: Jason Holicky - Hometown Design Studio Inc.
Know Your Audience - Why Creating Personas is Essential

The idea of “knowing your audience” might seem like an obvious one. After all, you can’t advertise and market without at least a little targeting. Understanding demographics and broad audience segments may have been enough when running a TV commercial or newspaper ad--channels that tend to have a very broad reach. When it comes to content marketing, the wide-net approach isn’t going to work nearly as well. The idea behind inbound marketing is to gently lead buyers down a path, not rope them in and subject them to ads at every turn. A new approach to understanding your market is necessary.

Enter the Buyer Persona

A buyer persona is a realistic depiction of your ideal customer for different segments of your audience. They are built using existing data from your current client base, user research that focuses on behaviors and needs, and web analytics that provide insight into how people are behaving on your website and other digital assets.

An ideal persona will be broad enough to represent a significant portion of your audience while also being specific enough to address their needs and expectations. It will also be detailed enough to include things that real people have: goals, families, job histories, successes, failures, wishes, and dreams. The more you can humanize your personas, the more successful your team will be at speaking directly to him or her.

Is Creating Personas Worth the Extra Work?

With so much on everyone’s to-do list, it’s easy to want to sweep something like buyer personas under the rug. However, once you put in the time to develop your personas, everyone in your organization will benefit. Here are just a few ways:

  • Customer Needs.

    Understanding the needs of your customers is at the core of every sales and marketing activity and ultimately your entire business.
  • Visitor Activity.

    The more time you spend investigating what people are doing online and how they are interacting with your website, the better you can prioritize projects, upgrades, and budgets.
  • Better Leads.

    When you dig deep into your customer’s needs and behaviors, you will be better equipped to provide content and offers that resonate. You’ll also get better at weeding out those who won’t ever get on board so you can stop wasting your time.
  • Consistent Messaging.

    When everyone in your organization is “speaking” to the same person, it’s easier to achieve consistency in your messaging and solidify your branding efforts.
  • Better Development.

    From product development to web development, creating products and services that are based on your customer’s needs will help you keep growing with an ever-changing consumer market.
Maximizing Resources

Developing buyer personas from scratch can be a bit of a resource-heavy project. However, once you’ve built them, they will be yours to use throughout your company for years to come. Future development will consist of making small changes based on feedback, or adding new segments to pursue new markets. Your advertising, marketing, and development projects will all be more streamlined and more efficient which delivers a better bottom line for everyone.

Next week, we’ll dig into the different types of content to use in your marketing along with the benefits and possible drawbacks of each.

Categories: Content Marketing
About the Author

Creative Director Jason co-founded Hometown Design Studio of New Lenox, IL in 2013. He spends his days guiding and consulting industrial clients and small businesses owners on their marketing strategy and projects. Jason enables everyone to be successful and grow their business by sharing his knowledge and experience.
Content marketing builds trust while helping your customers make informed decisions. The result? More leads.

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