What’s one way you can strategically refine your digital marketing persona?
The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
1. Get Inside Your Audience’s Head
Visualize the person you are targeting, and write down as many characteristics as you can think of. Once you have formed that image in your head, brainstorm about what worries and anxieties keep that person awake at night.
2. Pare It Back if It Seems Bulky
Your digital marketing persona should include the basics: demographics, the goals and challenges it faces, and a brief marketing message. There are a few other topics, but when you get too far away from the basics, it becomes difficult to manage, track and update. That’s when you want to dial it back.
3. Use Analytics to Personalize Your Messages
With today’s marketing automation advances, use analytics to help you determine what messages convert best and what resonates with your target market. Use that information to go even deeper into your prospects’ fears, dreams and needs. Then personalize your messages to speak directly to what your prospects are thinking or worrying about to position yourself as a trusted business advisor.
4. Make Concise Statements
Most of our online attention spans have become increasingly fleeting. Most people share links they don’t even read themselves. In order to build an influential and accessible persona, you have to be able to make your point quickly and stand out from the pack.
5. Don’t Overthink It
Social media’s biggest problem right now is everyone overthinking what their content should be. Over-strategizing can come off as contrived and boring. What people want right now are authentic thoughts. It’s important to give thought to your posts and what kind of effect it will have on your consumers. Just don’t think about it too much, or you’ll water down your content and make it uninteresting.
6. Be Consistent and Valuable
This is what it all comes down to. There are marketers out there telling you what to share with your followers, when to schedule your posts for, and on what platforms. But a bad strategy applied consistently is better than a great strategy never executed. If you keep showing up and you keep sharing content your target audience wants to engage with, you will break through.
7. Test Things Out
There are many things that can help build a strong digital marketing persona. Finding exactly what it is that your customers engage with most takes time and testing. Do you do best with photography? Videos? Email campaigns? What type of content is working best on each of these platforms? Once you’ve tried a few different approaches, look at your results and refine from there.
8. Consider Bringing In Outside Help
When refining your digital marketing persona, I’ve found it best to bring in outside help. An outsider’s point of view can assist with providing a distinctive, unbiased perspective and recognize things that I may not otherwise notice. Additionally, all digital agencies should consider bringing in outside help in order to maximize current perspective and future outlook.
9. Consistently Share High-Quality Photography
I think high-quality photography is underrated in the digital marketing world. The more you can share custom-made photos instead of those from a stock photo site, the more valuable your brand becomes. It should be as big a part of your content marketing as the copy itself.
10. Refine Your Digital Marketing Persona Frequently
I think we should be refining our digital marketing every six months if we can. We need to make sure that it is responding to the needs of our audience and of the people that we want to have as clients, customers and recruits.
11. Contribute to Authority Sites and Media Outlets
One of the best ways to redefine yourself or your brand is to put in the time and effort to reach new audiences. A great way to accomplish this is through the use of guest blogging, contributions or conducting interviews through other online media outlets. This is also an excellent way to reach new audiences and gain massive advertising without spending your own money in the process.
12. Conduct Customer Research
There’s no better way to refine your marketing personas than with in-depth customer research. The insights gleaned from one-on-one interviews, focus groups, and online surveys will always be worth the investment. It’s only by actually asking your customers about their goals, values and pain points that you can hope to understand these profound attributes, central to any useful marketing persona.
13. Be Authentic
Anyone can Google “best online practices” and apply them to their digital marketing strategy, but that won’t make them stand out from the crowd. Our digital selves should be an authentic extension of who we are and don’t compromise. Be authentic even if that means being different and don’t be afraid to break the status quo when it comes to content.