11 Jan Why User Personas Are Such a Valuable Marketing Tool
When we’re developing a new website, or refreshing an existing website, there’s one question we ask clients that often ends up being more complex than they thought…
“Who is your target audience?”
Many business owners will say they’re targeting everyone. They say, “If everyone can benefit from using our product or service, why limit ourselves?”
In theory, that may be true. In reality, you can’t appeal to everyone unless you’re Walmart, Amazon or handful of other brands. Small and midsize business owners should look for commonality in their target audience and design their website to appeal to that audience. This process begins with the development of “user personas”.
What Is a User Persona?
A user persona is a representation or profile of your ideal customer. In addition to basic demographic data such as age, gender and location, a user persona is based on answers to deeper questions. What influences their behavior? What are their goals and priorities? What are their pain points?
When your ideal customer visits your website, what information are they looking for? What questions do they expect you to answer? What will motivate them to take the action you want them to take?
Beyond the “who” and the “what”, make sure you ask “why”. Why do certain things influence their behavior? Why are they looking for that specific information? If you’re not sure of these answers, ask your best customers.
We typically work with our clients to identify their three best customers and develop a separate user persona for each one.
User Personas Inform Website Development and Marketing
Websites should be designed and structured with your ideal clients in mind. How can you meet their expectations? How can you make your website attractive and appealing to your ideal customers? What questions do you need to answer in your content? How can you earn their trust?
User personas enable you to create a clear path to conversion. A clear, logical path makes it easy for someone to find the information they need. It guides them through their website journey and compels them to take the desired action. That action could be placing an online order, making a phone call, filling out your contact form, downloading your e-book, or signing up for your blog.
User personas can also be used to develop more targeted marketing strategies. For example, instead of sending the same lead nurturing emails to everyone in your database, you can segment leads based on user personas and tailor your messaging accordingly.
User Persona-Driven Testing Can Minimize Guesswork
Most websites and marketing strategies are developed based on instinct and assumptions. We recommend using research and testing based on user personas to make more informed decisions.
For example, you can set up two different versions of the same website page or lead nurturing email. Test different color schemes, images, messages, placement of graphics and other variables to determine which approach is most effective.
Remember, effective websites and marketing are all about your target audience. People want you to help them solve their problems as quickly and easily as possible. Developing detailed user personas will help you deliver experiences that meet those expectations and convert prospects into customers.
Contact us to learn more about how we can help you convert website visitors into customers.