Personas are the backbone of any powerful content marketing strategy. With content marketing playing an increasingly important role in the marketing mix these days, are you keeping your personas up to date? Or do you need to create them for the first time? Don’t think you need them for your interior design business? You might want to re-consider.
Why? Because with a deeper understanding of your target customers, your communications with them will be exponentially more impactful.
The more you know about what moves, inspires and challenges them in their daily lives, the greater the opportunity to engage them. Serving up useful, relevant, and meaningful content, gets you one step closer to developing a relationship with them, and converting them into a new customer.
Do you have data-driven personas that are representative of current customer groups? They’re key to assuring your content will attract new customers. They also keep your entire team, and all your communications agencies, in sync and on the same page, when it comes to creating content.
Even though they represent a fictitious person, each of your personas should be based on real data–data that’s comprehensive enough to inform the educated assumptions needed to create your personas.
Where do you get that data? It depends on your company assets, talent and resources. There are 2 schools of thought here.
Do you hire an outside research firm to conduct primary research and pull together your in-house research assets for you? Or, do you draw from data you already own, and leverage your team’s contact with customers to gain further insights?
Either way, the point is to make sure personas are backed with data, and represent real people, with real emotions, behaviors, and attitudes.
Why hire outside? First, it’s on the outside firm, and not your team, to get the project done. You also get the value of their talent, the objectivity of an outside point of view, and their expertise in guiding you on how to get the most useful and scientific information.
It’s just one firm’s point of view, but this introduction entitled, “Predictive Personas: Understand Your Audience” is a good example of how an outside research firm might formally approach a persona development project.
On the other hand, if you choose to draw from existing in-house data to develop your personas, look to these sources
1. Existing data. Have you already done some customer research? Are there third-party studies about your potential customer base you can glean from?
2. Social media interactions. What are your customers saying? What interests them? Ticks them off? Gets you likes
3. Real-life interactions. Who in your company interfaces with customers and prospects? What can sales, customer service, and social media managers tell you about them
4. Your own online surveys. Develop your own SurveyMonkey or Zoomerang surveys, use Google’s Consumer Surveys, or other survey platforms out there.
Here are two helpful articles on how to go about conducting your own research:
Of course, the key to getting the right data lies in what information you want to include in your personas. Have you determined what you want to include in your updated personas?
There are good articles out there on this subject, and if you choose to work with an outside research firm, they’ll have their own recommendations.
This article written by Sasha Kudler contains 10 examples of persona formats. None of them are specific to the interiors business, but they provide a good snapshot of the many formats used as best practice.
We also wrote an article on what parts we think should be included in our personas for our modern furniture business, entitled, “Are Your Personas Working Hard Enough for Your Content Marketing?
Once you determine what you want to include in your updated personas, bring on the data. Work with an outside firm, or gather it yourself.
Either way, you’ll be assured your personas are representative of real people, with real attitudes and emotions, and the real possibility of becoming your next new customer.
VIOSKI is an experience of artistic expression brought to life in timeless modern furniture design. Unique in style, charismatic and sensual. Each piece is masterfully created to be simple yet complex. Proportional yet fluid. Handcrafted in California by master artisans who devote themselves to extraordinary quality. VIOSKI is New-Century Modern.