target personas

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!