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So you've got your marketing personas. What now?

So you've got your buyer personas. What now?!

Posted in Inbound Marketing by Holly Edwards on 30-Aug-2016 15:38:12

Once you’ve created your buyer personas, take a long minute to revel in a bit of self-satisfaction. You’ve just made yours and your marketing team’s life that bit easier, you clever thing, you.

Back of the net Alan Partridge gif

However, as is always the case with Alan Partridge, that smugness should be short-lived. In making your life easier, you’ve sort of also given yourself a more work to do… 

Don’t take that as a sign to put those buyer personas in a drawer – when we say more work, we’re not talking a week’s worth. And some of the work’s got “delegate me” written aaaall over it, don't you worry.

The first bit of extra work you’ll have to do is distribute those newly created buyer personas among your team – and we don’t mean just handing them the buyer person cards and saying “’ere you are, give them a read”.

Sit down with them all, explain to them that they’re going to be seeing more of these made up personas than they are some of their mates…

Beware, though, those words might prompt one of these looks initially:

James Franco looking confused gif

Explain to them that you haven’t lost the plot, nor are you planning to keep them in the office until they can recite their buyer personas off by heart (however tempting that may be). But you do expect them to spend a bit of time getting to know the brand’s audience.

Once they’ve had a bit of time to get to know Shopaholic Sid and Gadget-mad Grace, or whatever it is you’ve called your buyer personas, it’s time to put this knowledge to good use…

Scrutinise your existing content

Either you or one of your team (told you some of the tasks were ‘delegate-able’) will need to have a look back and the existing content on your website and decide if it works for your personas.

Questions you’ll need to have in your head include:

  • Is the tone of voice appropriate for the persona it’s aimed at?
  • Does it answer questions your buyers might have?
  • Is it presented in a persona-appropriate format?
  • Is the content pitched according to where the persona is in the buyer cycle?

This will help you decide whether your content is actually doing its job. Obviously, your analytics will be able to give you some clues on whether your content is being read, but it might not indicate what impression it’s having on the reader.

For the content that you conclude doesn’t quite work for the persona it was seemingly aimed at, a rework is required. For example, if it’s bang-on other than being too long, consider chopping it up a bit or turning it into a video – you get the gist.

Think about a campaign

Once you’ve got your existing content to where you want it to be, it’s time to think about your next or ongoing content marketing campaign.

Questions you’ll need to have in your head include:

  • What kind of things will the different personas read?
  • What time of the day are they most likely to look for content?
  • Why are they on the on the lookout for content?
  • What format would the content work best for them?

This information can then be built into a content calendar; lining up the content ideas with where your personas sit in terms of the buyer cycle.

Promote the content on social

As you go about creating your new, persona-specific content, you should have in mind what social media platforms it will appear on. For some personas, the content might be best received through Facebook, whereas for others, LinkedIn might be the place where it’ll get the most traction. It all boils down to where they are in the buyer cycle, and matching that with the social platforms which are fitting of your business/industry.

Questions you’ll need to have in your head include:

  • On which channel is the persona spending most of their time?
  • What tone of voice and approach is most appropriate for this platform?
  • What types of format get the highest engagement on the platform?
  • At what times of the day are they logging on?

     

    Three months later….

After a few months of uploading content to your blog and promoting it on social, it’s time to reflect on whether your personas are working.

You probably won’t need to go looking to find out – you should be able to sense an increase in engagement, maybe even an increase in business.

To be sure, though, dive into your data to discover if you’re on an upward curve. If not, perhaps use surveys of recent customers to check that you do understand your personas fully.

Even if all signs are good, you’re going to have to update your personas after six months anyway, to ensure they still accurate in light of any shifts in the industry, or any internal business changes.

Your personas shouldn’t be set in stone – just like us, they will change over time.  

Of course, this might all be a little bit ahead of the curve for you - or perhaps you're now thinking you need to take those personas back to the drawing board? No worries - download our Persona Template to get started.

Converse, Convert & Crush Targets - Free Persona Guide

Tags: Inbound Marketing

Holly Edwards

Holly Edwards

Holly is the long form content specialist at Noisy Little Monkey. She blogs about content marketing and cats. And gifs.