“Know thy customer” is a core principle of marketing, but website marketing takes this idea to another level. Because websites are so interactive, web teams and usability specialists work together in defining the “persona” of the typical visitor of the website.
The personas, or user profiles, help the web team design the functionality and messaging that supports the web visitors’ actions. Personas are also widely used in the User Experience (UX) field in creating usability test cases.
A persona is not a literal representation of your customer, but a type of customer, for example, the CEO of a software company. Starting with their job title, you flesh out their profiles with assumed details about the nature of their preferences, motivations, and expectations based on their business role.
You can add details to the profile from industry research, but the best source of information is often a sales person who works closely with customers and understands their needs and frustrations. To capture this information, a buyer persona template can be used.
Developing a buyer or user profile is a critical step in aligning content to user needs. In creating a strategy for quality content, this is the first step of the process. You may have two or three main personas and a couple of minor ones. Keep refining your personas and add details to the profile descriptions as you discover new things about your customers and users.
Some questions you can ask yourself as you brainstorm topics are:
- What is my ideal customer looking for? Or, what are the problems that they are seeking a solution for?
- How do they like to consume information? Print, online, video?
- What do they read? What do they consider expert sources of trusted information?
Drilling down into your buyers’ personas is like finding a goldmine of valuable words and phrases, “messaging” if you will, that your customer will respond to.
My next post will discuss these “golden” words and phrases, that are also called keywords, and how to use them.