Let’s Get Personal: Audience Personas & the Magic of Using Empathy in Your Marketing

At the start of every good marketing campaign is a set of laser-focused target audience research. It’s essential to make sure any and all marketing efforts will resonate with your potential leads. If you have no idea who you’re communicating with, it’ll be almost impossible to know how to engage them. By creating an audience persona, you’ll be able to create better content with a clear idea of your audience in mind.

As digital marketers, it can be so easy to get lost in tracking engagement rates and retention time that we can forget why we’re creating content in the first place: for an audience to engage with. Creating an audience persona allows you to empathise with your audience more readily so you can hold their wants and needs at the forefront of your mind whilst you’re making content. 

What is an audience persona?

An audience persona is a very detailed description of a potential audience member. We’re talking really minute details here. Their profession. Their location. How they take their coffee, even! The more specific, the better. 

The point is that they’re not a real person in your audience. They should be entirely fictional. Think of it like a creative exercise. It’s a made-up person that embodies your business’ perfect customer. You’ll give them their name, their geographic location, their needs, their pain points, hobbies, and more. 

It’s likely that you’re going to be juggling a few audience personas if you’re targeting more than one industry or if you’re targeting more than one person within an industry. Keep in mind how these personas differ from one another. The difference in your personas will definitely aid you when creating content to target different audiences.

Why are audience personas useful?

There is a range of benefits to adding audience personas to your market research strategy. We’ve condensed them down into 3 reasons that really encapsulate why audience personas will add tonnes of value to your marketing efforts. 

1. Putting your audience first

Look – we’re all guilty of it. We get into the hum-drum swing of pumping out copy and assets and forget that there’s people on the other side of their screens consuming it. They’re not just a collection of data. They’re real-life human beings looking at your stuff and deciding whether or not to click. By using an audience persona, you inject empathy back into your marketing. You’re not thinking about how to engage a busy CFO. You’re thinking about how to engage Taylor Smith, a person in finance that is passionate about their job but also loves playing golf in their spare time. In short, an audience persona helps marketers focus their content on the audience’s wants and needs.

2. Increased ROI

Those two words that we so love to see together – an increased ROI. By really nailing your audience personas, you’ll be able to create content that really resonates with your audience, push them on social channels that you know your audience is already on and use all the data collected to further monitor and revise your strategy to the fullest. 

3.Targeting with pinpoint accuracy 

When you create an audience persona, you don’t only outline the basic stuff like their job title or the industry they’re in. You outline all the little details that make a person… well, a person! By creating an audience persona, you’re forced to think about their likes and dislikes, their hobbies, their family, their location and more. And it’s with those details that you can target potential leads with a great amount of accuracy. Social ad tools provide loads of detailed targeting options, and with audience personas, you’re ready to get specific. 

How to make an audience persona

To make a detailed and useful audience persona, it’s important to cover the basics, like:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Location
  • Job title

But it’s also important to drill down into the specifics, like:

  • Fears
  • Core needs
  • Motivators
  • Pain points
  • Preferred communication channels
  • Budget
  • Who’s their boss?

And it’s important to examine who they are outside of work, too:

  • Hobbies
  • Family
  • Spending habits 
  • Stage of life

At the end of the day, an audience persona can be as simple or as complex as you like. Some companies simply have an A4 document with bullet-pointed lists. Others create mood boards to encapsulate the feel of their persona. A few companies really push their personas out of the box and make life-size cutouts to give their audience personas a real-life presence in their workplace. No matter how you create your audience persona, make sure you have one, and watch how empathy for your audience transforms your content.

We’re experts at market research and customer experience at Boss Digital. Why not have a free consultation and discover how we can help target your audience and convert more leads?