When pushing out content that potential customers of a brand will see, how much thought are you putting into the message? Sure, there is the part of the process that involves writing copy — but what sort of voice does this copy have? Without taking the time to consider the audience that is viewing the content and how they may connect with the tone, marketing risks falling flat or appearing tone-deaf.
Consider this example. Sarah is a marketing coordinator for a mid-sized company that markets a new community platform for athletes. Intended to be a social media platform with a bit more content for audience members to consume, Sarah is tasked with reaching new users and enticing them to join the platform. She spends hours crafting copy and sourcing imagery, writing blog posts, and recording video testimonials. She’s excited to start pushing out content.
But when she begins posting the content she’s created, she’s a bit disappointed in the results. Her boosted posts and paid search ads aren’t really converting, and website traffic is down. Sarah feels she’s ticked all the boxes for her content, so why isn’t it working?
While several factors are always in play when it comes to marketing, Sarah did miss one element that was crucial to success: defining an audience persona.
Audience personas are essentially “fake” customer profiles that brands create based on market research. These personas often help marketers craft content that truly speaks to this individual, who presumably shares several characteristics with a broad number of target consumers. When choosing a tone and a message, having audience personas can help more specifically define this message so that it has a stronger chance of connecting.
An example of an audience persona that Sarah could have created could be a millennial CrossFit athlete who has been training in the sport for a couple of years. This person is not a professional, nor is she an expert, but she does take CrossFit seriously. She enjoys finding new workouts to try and also appreciates the camaraderie offered by the group element of the workouts.
By crafting a strong audience persona, Sarah can now build content that speaks to this fictional person. For example, content that stresses the community aspect of the new platform may speak more strongly to this person. Content that is geared towards professional CrossFit athletes who go to competitions every weekend may not resonate as strongly with this person.
In the process of creating audience personas, the message that marketing content must take on may become more clear. Of course, the other potential here is for content to be too targeted, too specific, and therefore exclusive. This is why creating multiple audience personas to fit a wide range of personalities that can be found within a brand’s target demographic is often a good solution. While this process is time-consuming, it can be very useful in honing in a marketing strategy that perhaps was struggling to find direction before.
Creating audience personas can help brands who are having trouble connecting with their target audience. This practice brings marketers onto the same level as their targets, allowing them to think more clearly about how content connects with consumers. This crucial step will prevent wasted budgets and time on marketing that fails to evoke a response from the audience.
Ronn Torossian is the CEO and Founder of 5W Public Relations