Vague No More: How User Personas Make Your Online Presence More Meaningful

  • Date Published
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If you’ve thus far believed that fictional characters can only help movies and books make big bucks, you’ve probably not experienced the power of user personas for your business. Building a user persona is not very different from fleshing out a storyline in which your customer essays the lead role and your User Experience and marketing teams craft the plot to reach a happy ending.

How Does a User Persona Matter to Your Business?

Simply stated, user personas are a well-defined hypothetical representation of who constitutes an ‘ideal buyer’ for your business. Why? So you can target your marketing efforts more effectively.

By successfully aligning your online content and communication to the user persona, you can, for instance, make your website about 2x to 5x more effective and easier to use for your targeted audience. This occurs as a natural outcome of understanding user flows and navigation patterns better and optimizing your website in line with these behaviors.

By modeling user personas from the ground up, businesses stand to glean accurate insight about these exceedingly important aspects:

  • Who are your real buyers?
  • Where do they live?
  • What influences their behaviour as a consumer?
  • Which devices and platforms do they use to access the internet?
  • How and why do they make a purchase decision?
  • How and where do they buy?

Building user personas doesn’t end at seeking answers to these questions. The final, and arguably the most important, step is to create a goal or objective that your users are looking to achieve by being on your website. That gives your UX team insight into which parts of the website need to be highlighted and which ones not so much so.

Stop Chasing the Elusive Buyer. User Personas Helps You Get Real.

It’s now safe to say that the growing interest in user-persona-based marketing is the result of the spiraling interest in content marketing. But to really make the most of user personas in your overall digital marketing endeavours, it’s important to understand the process of creating a user persona.

Here’s an example of a user persona:

Karen user persona descriptors

By putting together a hypothetical user that represents the better part of your target audience, your website or app suddenly transforms into a unique experience in the following ways:

  • Create tailor-made solutions: By knowing precisely who the user is likely to be, you can infuse more personalization into your content marketing. A DemandGen report shows that Thomson Reuters experienced a 175% spike in marketing-related revenue by smartly using personas. Like many other businesses who’ve made sense of user personas, you can too.
  • Extract value from the last marketing dollar: Social platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter give businesses the option to target ads to specific users and funnel them into your website. But there’s a chance of missing the bull’s eye if you’re not sure who your user is in the first place. Over a period of time, that translates to massive marketing dollars spent on mysterious people to whom your offering isn’t event relevant. A user persona can help change that by placing you in the right spot at the right time.
  • Gain trust by fixing pain points: Knowing a general, or better still, specific problem that your users face can help you address them with greater speed and success. And that’s precisely what gets people to stay on your website and follow the trail you want them to. Finding the pain points of your customers is only possible if you know the likes and dislikes of your users. Enter user personas!

Now that you know what you stand to gain from creating the right user persona, here’s what Karen’s time spent on your website would look like in an ideal situation:

Karen's ideal journey on a travel website infographic

What Does Your Brand Lose without Insightful User Personas?

A SiriusDecisions Survey in 2013 revealed a stark fact: About 60 to 70 percent of content created by B2B marketing departments isn’t used. More recently, SiriusDecisions also found that marketers ranked the lack of persona-based insight as a leading impediment to giving their marketing effort the steam it needed. That ultimately means several thousand dollars and hundreds of hours lost in pursuit of an elusive customer.

While the concept of user personas has been around for many years now, it’s now gaining unprecedented traction as marketers increasingly turn to this technique to fuel their digital marketing and content marketing activities. When Pan Communications, a US-based marketing and PR agency, conducted a survey of US marketers in March 2016, 64% of respondents said they had used a user persona approach to building their content marketing plan.

That number is testament to the fact that many marketers are now convinced that flying blind in their digital marketing pursuits will only waste time, resources, and money. Not to mention opportunities!

Flynaut Ensures You Don’t Fly Blind in Your Pursuit of the Right User Persona

Stop chasing elusive buyer user personas help

At Flynaut, we’re out to ensure your business doesn’t suffer that fate. The key to creating audience-centered content lies in understanding what it is that your users are after and how you can bring that magic solution to them at each stage of their buying cycle.

An accurate user persona is the culmination of deep qualitative research and that makes it a task best left in expert hands. At FlyNaut, have our finger on the pulse of the latest in digital marketing trends, and that includes modeling user personas. Drop us a line today so we can show you the many awesome ways to let us help you.

What are your thoughts on creating and deploying user personas to identify your audience? Let us know in the comments before you leave!