Long gone are those days when a high form of content was believed to be independent, aloof from the critical viewership. Now the content is manufactured under the microscope of highly defined characteristics and features of consumer-base that irredeemably curates content in the range of personal to desirable results. What makes that happen, you may ask. It is the art of creating segments, fashioning hypothetical personas, and categorizing people of similar choice and behavior. But how is that possible, you may ask again.
We have a fairly simple method, and by the end of reading it, you will know why it is important and what you have been missing out on. In a nutshell, the business of segmentation is all about learning demographics, culture, ethnicity, thought-structure, and behavior of your target audience to make your content more relevant, useful and suited to your audience. And installing this mechanism means, you are embarking on the journey of knowing about your audience from the point of not knowing them at all. Before we lay out the methodology, you should see how and where customer segmentation is going to come in handy.
a. In order to make content that your audience appreciates, learning about their choice is incredibly important.
b. Instead of spending hours on finding the right content, experimenting with colors and styles, you can simply trust your database. Sometimes logic, in the form of data, is the best strategy for creativity.
c. Look at the amount of money you’d be saving by taking every step calculatedly, instead of brainstorming on new ideas that may cost a lot and won’t come to fruition.
d. Knowing your audience does not mean we are entirely preventing creativity from the process, in fact, creativity is going to be needed the instant you realize you know enough, deep well, to take a leap ahead and drive the contemporary fashion style, trend, and time-spirit, in the direction you want. For now, you know quite well what your audience already likes, and what they “may” like even more. So digging into this data, either through site traffic, surveys or reports is going to pay off quite well in your endeavor.
e. Of course, you are going to save a lot of money with this approach, but what else? Time. The more time you spend on analyzing the audience, the lesser time you spend on experimentations. You will, in fact, have a system of working that thrives on data and can do well without human input as such. In more technical terms, data mining, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are going to do three-quarters of your work, and you will save enough time to lead multiple projects at once.
f. Automation systems eliminate the possibility of mistakes.
A marketing person is a hypothetical individual that centrally fits into a specific segment of your audiences for they share the most common features and characteristics of your existing customers. Do not delude into thinking this persona is limited to age or income level. Consider this persona as that of a character of a novel. It has to have weaknesses, strengths, passions, choice or opinions. This persona has to be taken as seriously as your next-door neighbor. By adding characteristics, you whittle down the customer segments so much so that it filters all down to a single person. THIS is your persona.
Step-by-step Guide to Creating Persona
You have the option to either look into your database, perform a series of interviews and surveys from your existing customers/audience-base. After that, you can collect common characteristics into one persona for each demographic. Or, you can start from scratch, go the long and hard way but with a high success expectancy rate.
Here are the simple questions you need to ask:
Make sure you are starting off from a broad pool of audience. This way you will filter out a persona purely subjected to specific characteristics. Whether you have an audience or not, this is the process that will benefit you the most. Take your website as the platform to find prominent demographic groups. Use Google Analytics to separate the audience database into demographics and interests.
Select one of the major demographic groups.
Step 1. Go Wide and Broad
Select a demographic example of a 24-30-year-old woman. By picking out one number out of this range, you can tell which year she was born in, and from that, you can look into the most popular baby names to allot one to your persona. Let’s consider, Ayesha.
Step 2. Allot Location
Ayesha has to belong to a specific area, doesn’t she? Determining location is important because you will, more or less, observe a similar behavior among people belonging to a common area, sharing similar interests. In case you are a chain and don’t necessarily aim for a specific geographic area, you may hesitate to give your character an area. Don’t worry about it; this exercise is going to immensely benefit you in that regard as well. If you can broaden the locality, do it for your convenience. Does Ayesha live in a city? Suburbs? Village? More often than not, your character will reflect upon herself every choice made for her or the ones that she made.
Step 3. Allot Profession
Of course, you need to know what Ayesha does, how much she earns, what choices she makes, what dreams she carries in her spare time. A lot of these will be reflected through her salary, job position, and description.
Step 4. Allot Qualification
This is one of the most important ones. Remember that we don’t discuss exceptions. So, let’s say, Ayesha belongs to LUMS. Or what if she belongs to GC? Would she make similar life choices based on her choice of studies and institute? These institutes have a huge difference between their fee structures. Given that, one can assume they are financial to social background.
Step 5. Add Interests
How can we forget the interests and hobbies of Ayesha? What can she possibly do when she is off from work? How much time would she possibly spend on using social media, watching movies, etc.? You can use Google Analytics to find “affinity audiences” to look through different interests of different audiences.
Step 6. Her Spending Choices
With her daily routine straightened out before you, you can tell what kind of things would she like spending on; what are necessities to her and what is merely recreational. If she goes to cinemas, attends concerts, visits salons, etc. All these would contribute to determining her spending choices.
Step 7. Her entertainments and exposure to media
This step merely concerns with viewing what kind of articles she reads, books, or blogs. Is she into digital media; if so, how much? Does she take her phone to the bathroom? How frequently does she check her social media channels? Does she make purchases from online forums? How often? What are her preferences etc.?
Step 8. Get Personal
This step demands you to know about the things that Ayesha does not speak of: her fears, her insecurities, her wishes. It is not easy to get a hold of this information, yet there are multiple benefits if you succeed or fail at achieving it: 1. you have the chance to identify the inconsistencies in your perceived persona. The more you invest it solving these inconsistencies, the better you will be at smoothing these out in your personas. 2. Knowing your persona on these levels would help you predict the behaviors and reactions of your customers/audience in different situations.
As a content marketer, finding these personas, wisely defining segments, and approaching them to market your product is extremely important. You have either the option of analyzing the traffic on your websites or you can conduct surveys. Either way, you can collect data to determine the choice of your audience and create user-generated content on the side for a further push to this strategy.