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Four Ways to Target Your Customers’ Personas Using Audience Data

September 6, 2013

As a publisher, you want to cater to your audience. You are well aware that by creating useful, engaging content for your readers, you can generate more revenue. You’ve probably even taken steps to understand your audience more deeply by collecting data about their needs and activities.  Using audience data to create context awareness is likely not a new concept for you, but are you using it to its greatest potential? Do you know what your key customer personas are? 

The idea of segmenting populations of people into general categories is an old one. The Myers-Briggs personality assessment laid the groundwork when it was developed to help determine which jobs would be best suited to certain types of women entering the workforce in World War II.  Since then, these types of assessments have enabled a variety of professionals to better serve a group of people who shares common qualities. Now, there are countless variations ranging from business behavioral styles for networking to target customer traits for marketing.

Customer personas help you to use your audience data in an even more targeted way. It is highly likely that you can divide your customers or site visitors into several small categories that have a certain set of traits and behaviors in common. Hubspot provides some great insight on how to go about doing this.

When you create your customer personas—each one based on data from real customers, you can better identify the specific needs of a specific type of customer and create an engaging experience that caters specifically to them. That’s a lot of specifics. But, we know that this type of targeting keeps people engaged for longer and results in more purchases.

How Exactly? 

1)    Rich Taxonomy. You can identify key taxonomy terms associated with certain personas and tag your content—blogs, articles, podcasts, image and video galleries, white papers, resources, etc.—with terms that will present the most appropriate content to a specific group.

2)    Perfect Timing. When you look at behaviors of certain personas, you will likely see a pattern of timing. This information will help you recognize when people are visiting your site, the best times to engage them via social media and when they are browsing versus getting poised for a purchase. Use that information to present offers, calls to action and ideal content to a specific persona at the ideal time.

3)    Content Design. If you understand the language and areas of interest specific to each persona, you can organize how you present your content to speak to each persona. As we mentioned, this is done in part, through taxonomy tagging but you can also use the design of your site to more effectively engage each group. Choose images and keywords to guide certain readers to a category of content that best suits their needs.

4)    Ideal eNewsletters.  If you send out a regular eNewsletter, you can increase your open and subscription rates by making it more targeted. If, for example, you have four personas that you are working with, you can take the base content of your eNewsletter and tailor it to present four versions with the most relevant content and language style of each group. Having an integrated newsletter tool makes this quick and easy. You aren’t reinventing the wheel each time but you are reaching more of your audience and engaging them more deeply.

As you begin to employ these tactics, make sure you track your results and think creatively about how to gather more audience data to support your targeted activities. Your audience has the answers and they will give them to you as you give them more of what they are looking for.