Audience Personas Go Digital
Typically a buyer persona is a research-backed profile that describes your ideal customer. Seeing that demographics only tells you so much about the personality of your target group, it’s important to expand your audience profiles to start connecting with the people who are most likely to engage with your business and purchase your products.
In today’s digital world we have even more access to information that can help us craft an accurate audience persona. It’s no longer about making generalizations about who you think your audience is, it’s about listening to what the data says.
Just think about all of the touchpoints you make online just within one day! These digital footprints we leave say a lot about who we are, what we like, where we work and more. Bringing together these multiple touch points into one solid buyer persona, helps marketers create personalized content that has an impact across platforms.
The Importance of Personalized Content
Tailoring your content to fit your audience’s needs is a sure way to generate results. When comparing personalized content to un-personalized content, 80% of marketers have said that it’s more effective. However, due to lack of technology and resources content creators are not fully taking advantage of the power of personalization in the digital age.
But just because creating audience personas, and segmenting based on your findings isn’t easy doesn’t mean you should ignore it! Unfortunately, when we don’t take the time to understand our audience, we can run into trouble on social media. These spaces reward marketers for publishing quality content that audiences resonate with.
Just take Facebook’s relevance score as an example. While this score helps you gauge how successful your content is, you can also experience some repercussions if your audience isn’t receptive to the ads your putting out there. While there are a variety of factors that play a role in achieving a high Facebook relevance score, we can’t argue that targeting is at the very center of it all. In fact, we looked at 291,848 sponsored posts and found out that ads with the lowest Relevance Score have nearly 40x higher Cost-per-Click (CPC) than ads with the highest score - ouch! If you're not supplying the right audience with right content you could be experiencing higher ad costs.
Audience Personas and Social Media Insights
In the age of digital marketing, personalization is key. Your audiences are not receptive to media targeted to the masses because it isn't about them and their needs. Instead, they now have their own personal space in the cyber world that opens up an opportunity for them to discover content, products, or services that are relevant to them. And if you want to be a part of that world, you need to create content that opens up conversations.
Though demographics play an important role in any marketing strategy - they aren’t everything. Segmenting simply by age doesn’t allow you to get to the heart of who your audience really is - age is just a number and with social media, you can discover so much more.
Previously companies would have to hire expensive agencies to find out their audience’s music tastes, favorite celebrities, past-times etc. Now? Marketers can get all of that and more, for a fraction of the resources.
Here’s what you can learn about your audience through their social media and digital activities:
Their social media interests
How active they are on social media
What stage of the customer journey they are in
The influencers they follow
Their page affinities
Using social media to learn about your community is a huge breakthrough. Not only can you learn about their likes and interests - but also their behavior. Are they more active in the morning? Are they always on the go? When you truly understand who you are talking to in combination with their behavior, you can make your messages even more powerful.
The Future of Interest-Based Marketing
Of course, a company is bound to have more than one persona which is why you can expect to target multiple audiences, developing a tailored strategy for each. Afterall, there are many different parties involved when it comes to making purchasing decisions.
However, with the power of digital insights at your fingertips, you can connect with each and one of these groups on a very personal level. For instance, let’s say that you know your audience predominately follows a micro influencer. This would be a great opportunity to reach out and establish a relationship with that influencer - before your competition gets to them!
One of the challenges of developing an audience persona through social media data is the variation of audience behavior across platforms. Seeing that platforms have different strengths, it’s only natural for people to develop different behaviors. Afterall, your LinkedIn persona is much different than your persona on Facebook! Marketers can’t forget to take this into consideration when they take to the drawing board to draft their personas.
Just take a look at the example above! After reading Maria’s social audience persona we get a clear sense of who she is as a person, and what she aspires to be professionally. Knowing what she likes to read in her free time, along with her goals and challenges allows us to create content that she finds value in, helping her succeed in her everyday work.
The bottom line. Creating content that is relevant to your audiences can generate tremendous success on social media. If you stay true to your audiences, customizing content for your different personas you will see higher Relevance Scores, engagement, visibility and improve ads costs. With so much data available at your fingertips, there is no need to take a stab in the dark. Roll up those sleeves - it’s time to start digging!
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on socialbakers.com. Any statistics or statements included in this article were current at the time of original publication.