Brand Optimization

The miracle of a target persona

"When you market to everyone, you market to no one." This adage also applies to creating and distributing your content online.

The reality is that your business has a specific type of customer, so it isn't reasonable (or feasible) to try to create content for everyone. A customer, after all, is a person or business that you believe is a good fit for your offering. Through the creation of a target persona (also known as a marketing persona, and a buyer persona), you can identify this proper fit as your ideal customer—the person with the pain points you wish to serve. A target persona will help you to understand your audience as an individual, so you can create content and messaging that makes an immediate connection.

Photo by  Clark Tibbs  on  Unsplash    

Describe (in detail) the number one ideal person that you want to reach with your content/brand story and why. Whom do you want to attract? There are many templates out there that you can “fill in the blanks” to flesh out your target persona. I typically follow a checklist like the one below.

Who do you wish to talk to?

  • Give them a name.

  • Are they male, female, or does it even matter?

  • Are they in a relationship? Do they have family obligations?

  • What is their likely location? (indicating urban/suburban/rural is sufficient)

  • What profession will they likely have? (identify jobs, industries, or position levels)

  • What is their salary range?

  • Where does your target persona typically hang out online?

  • How do they like to spend their free time outside of work?

  • Do they like to read? If so, what?

  • What are their core pain points? What are the exact problems to which they need your assistance in solving?

  • Can you visualize this person? If helpful, find an image that best represents what this person looks like to you. (If searching the web, watch for images that are free to use. And always include a source!)

  • What does your target persona value? Choose 5, in order of importance. (Here’s a handy list of shared values.)

The good news is that your people are out there! But you need to be crystal clear about who they are, and picture them in your mind as you create content for them. Take it one step further and complete an Empathy Map exercise to understand your target persona’s needs and wants. Include quotes and other media types to get even more specific.

Kirsten, web content strategist and designer

Save time and money by creating a compelling brand optimization content strategy in alignment with your business goals and your user's needs. The Evokery is here to help you get your story out of your head and into their hearts. Curious? Then let's chat!

How to create an empathy map in 5 easy steps!

To address your audience at an emotional level is to empathize with your target persona. By creating an Empathy Map, you'll be able to plan for and create content that inspires at every touchpoint in the buyer's journey.

What is an Empathy Map?

An Empathy Map is a human-centered design tool initially created by David Gray to help design teams empathize with their end users. I’ve also found that this is a useful exercise that you, the content creator, can use to gain more in-depth insight into understanding the needs and wants of your audience to outline a transformation that makes a connection and inspires!

Empathy mapping will help you keep your user at the forefront of your mind so that you never lose connection while telling your story online.

How is empathy different from sympathy?

Many confuse empathy with sympathy. I saw this video,  Brené Brown on Empathy,  a few years back and it helped my language in communicating the difference.

How do I use this tool?

The best way to approach the exercise is with a whiteboard and post-it notes so you can quickly and effortlessly move your insights around. If you don’t have access to a whiteboard, a blank sheet of paper will do!

Creating an empathy map can help you better understand the needs and wants of your target persona.

Step one: following the example above, draw 4 quadrants labeled, and label each section with the following:

  • think/feel

  • say/do

  • see

  • hear

Step two: include a human head in the center as a reminder that you are documenting insights into the behaviors of an actual person.

Step three: add two additional sections below labeled:

  • Pain

  • gain

Step four: the order in which you work doesn’t matter. Start with the section you have the most insight on, then work your way around, using a single Post-it to capture each thought or idea.

Step five: as you work through the exercise, ask yourself the following guiding questions:

  • What do you want them to think while experiencing your content and brand story? (Experience)

  • What do you want them to feel while experiencing your content and brand story? (Connection)

  • What do you want them to say after experiencing your content and brand story? (Communication)

  • What do you want them to do after experiencing your content and brand story? (Your call to action)

  • What do you want them to see as they experience your content and brand story? (Get visual)

  • What do you want them to hear as they experience your content and brand story? (Get anecdotal)

  • What are their pain points that you wish to have your content and brand story to address? (Their problem)

  • What is the type of gain that you want your content and brand story to communicate? (Your solution)

Get creative and review all your current client interactions (such as emails, social media, blog comments, etc.) for inspiration. Include quotes from testimonials, too!

Final (optional) step: capture it. Take a photo of your work for your digital archives and refer to it often while designing your web content marketing strategy.

An emapthy map I created for a digital marketing campaign

Your answers to the questions above will be combined with your findings on the empathy map to inform your target persona!

Rest assured that there’s no right way to do this. Empathy Mapping is merely a tool to help you better cater your content and brand story to the type of person that you wish to serve. As a result, you'll be able to gauge better the kind of media (and themes) that will best resonate with your desired audience by integrating the results you offer (solutions), and what you stand for (values) to create a compelling brand story!

Kirsten, web content strategist and designer

Save time and money by creating a compelling brand optimization content strategy in alignment with your business goals and your user's needs. The Evokery is here to help you get your story out of your head and into their hearts. Curious? Then let's chat!

The reason why everyone loves to hear, "why"

Before sitting down to plan your web content and inbound marketing strategy ask yourself, why? Why are you creating content? Maybe it’s to tell your brand’s story or to teach something? Perhaps it’s to move your target audience to action? Or better yet, is it to sell a product or service?

The Evokery

At the very beginning of a web content strategy project, I always ask my clients to dig deep and understand the purpose of the content they wish to create, and how it will serve. But more importantly, I want them to know how they can infuse that with their purpose as a business or individual.

It’s as simple as asking yourself, "why do I do what I do?"

Do not focus on the results of your actions, but know and communicate the more profound meaning of your work. What inspires you? What change do you want to bring into the world? Show AND tell it.

Why, what’s the point? Well, it’s because people like to align themselves with people that have similar values and beliefs. It’s in our DNA.

Think about it. Ever feel stuck in a conversation with another person just rambling off credential after credential? "I graduated at the top of my class in medical school!" Who cares, right? But what if they said, “I quit my well-paying job in finance to get my Master’s in Elementary Education because I believe kids should learn about money at an early age. ” Or, “I went to medical school to become a pediatrician because I lost my young brother to measles and I want to make sure that every parent out there is well informed about vaccinations.” If the welfare of children is essential to you, then these stories of why will resonate—gave you the feels a little bit?

This video by Simon Sinek is one of the most popular Ted Talks of all time. And rightfully so. He breaks down the formula that makes a great company or leader.

Source: TEDTalks

As Simon explains, the limbic system of the human brain is what drives behavior. Associated with feeling, trust, and loyalty it's my favorite chunk of grey matter. It is also the part of the brain that is influenced by visuals and stories, and more importantly, it is the part of the brain that drives decisions.

People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
— Simon Sinek

If you want to create content that inspires, motivates, sells, or demonstrates, find the audience that believes in what you believe.

Why do you exist and why should anyone care?

  •     Why do you do what you do?
  •     How do you do it?
  •     What do you do?

Put your why at the forefront of everything that you do, especially your stories. People remember how you made them feel.  Focus on your why. Why am I creating this video? Why is my story important? Why do I do what I do?

I believe...

I believe...

Your "why" should be in alignment with your core values. If you need help defining what it is that you stand for, I highly recommend that you give Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, a skim. By integrating your purpose into your content, you're communicating your value to your audience. By following your why, you're demonstrating integrity and developing trustworthy relationships that are integral to influencing human behavior. It’s a win/win!

Kirsten

Kirsten

Save time and money by creating a compelling brand optimization content strategy in alignment with your business goals and your user's needs. The Evokery is here to help you get your story out of your head and into their hearts. Curious? Then let's chat!