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Persona — A Tool For Building Your Brand

Persona — A Tool For Building Your Brand

Summary:

You know how much you need a persona to strengthen your marketing message. But how do you avoid the traps while building it?

If you want your message to spread, if you want your brand to be a topic of many conversations, you have three platforms you can use to distribute your content. First, you can pay for advertising (paid media is the name we use). Second, you can do something awesome so the media and consumers will talk about that (we call this earned media, the buzz you deserve). Third, you have your own channels at your disposal: your website, blog, your newsletter or Facebook fanpage — if you manage to gather the audience this may be an efficient and cost effective way to get your message across (we call this owned media).

But in order to succeed in using any of these platforms some strategic work is needed. You have to decide which you are going to use and what to write about. Creating a persona helps a lot with making these decisions. A persona is a list of information about a certain member of your audience. No matter if you are in B2B marketing or B2C, there’s always human buying from you in the end. So getting the characteristics of persona right makes it easy to reach this human with an interesting message.

Learn more about personas in marketing from this short & sweet video

The danger with creating a persona is filling it with a meaningless content. So here’s a list of questions that help you get it right.

  1. Demography. Who is your audience? Age, sex, location or education allow you to tailor your message. You will use one set of arguments when writing to a young woman from a small town, and another one when persuading a fifty-year-old university professor. And remember you have to choose only one version. You can’t be Jack of all trades.
  2. Work. What does he or she do? Position, job description, how large is the company (corporations tend to have a different set of values than mom and pop’s stores), what’t the industry (the slang they use will give you authority).
  3. Rituals. What does his or her day look like? What time does he get up? What does she read when eating breakfast? How does he spend his free time? This part will allow you to define the perfect brand touch points. If your customer spends half an hour on the bus on his way to work, you can decide to record a 20-minute podcast or serve him a longer text to read on his phone.
  4. Pain. What problems can you help to solve? These problems can only loosely relate to what you have to offer. It’s hard to imagine them reading your advert every single day. But if you manage to identify their problems, you have their attention.
  5. Values. What he or she values? What ambitions does he have? You can buy a product either to impress your boss, or to have no worries at work. If you identify the carrot, the prize they’re after, it’s much easier from there.
  6. Fear. What are they afraid of? When there’s a carrot, there’s usually a stick as well. If you want them to act on something, a fear serves as a great motivator. What is your customer afraid of? Which of his fears is the strongest?

Answering these questions will give you a scope of topics you can use to have a conversation with your customer. Remember: a good brand is a great conversation starter.

Written by
Paul Skah
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