If you’re a digital marketer, you’ve likely heard a thing or two (or 500) about the benefits of content marketing. More than a passing trend, content marketing has the potential to expand your company’s reach and grow your business significantly. The key is to produce and deliver content that’s relevant and beneficial to a clearly defined target audience.

Nailing down a detailed buyer persona is the first step toward successful content marketing. If you want to connect with and capture the right leads, you need to collect as much information as you can about your audience. Using tools like Google Analytics to monitor trends and buyer behaviors can help, but crafting an effective persona goes beyond data analysis—it’s about thinking outside the box to learn about your prospects and customers on a more personal level.

To get started, here are four resourceful ways to learn more about your buyer persona:

1. Twitter Interactions

If your brand isn’t using Twitter, it should be. With over 300 million active users each month, Twitter is a great place to spend some time getting to know your target audience.

Not sure where to start? First, make sure your Twitter handle is posted on your website and other social channels so those interested in your product know where to find you. Then, consider creating a hashtag for a live webinar or other events to see who is tuning in and what questions they are asking.

Don’t use the platform only to promote your product or content, either. Ask questions, show your brand personality, and study how your followers interact with your handle.

2. Follow-up Surveys

Conducting a follow-up survey after a webinar or speaking engagement is a great way to connect with people who are showing interest in your brand. Ask attendees which tips or tools discussed were the most beneficial or what was missing from the presentation. Or ask them about their most pressing pain points to find out what solutions you may be able to bring to the table.

To increase the number of survey submissions you get, consider offering company swag or another incentive for completion. And include at least one open-ended question to allow respondents to use their own voice and words to speak about your product—this could help you find more targeted ways to describe your offerings for your buyer persona.

3. Crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing is a popular practice in today’s digital world, but have you considered using this technique to learn more about your target market? Seeking information from a large group of experts or people who embody your targeted buyer personas can help you get further perspective on problems your company can solve.

Using a crowdsourcing question-and-answer platform like Quora, you can ask questions and hear from real people who fit the description of your targeted buyer personas. You can also research your company and your competition to see what topics are being discussed around specific company names and products.

4. Targeted Contests

If you want to learn more about your buyer persona and have some fun in the process, consider running a targeted social contest that requires entrants to reveal some key information about their business or professional lives. This can help you gather beneficial messaging and blogging inspiration, as well as get the attention of passive members of your audience.

MINDBODY, a fitness studio management software, took this idea and ran with it for its “My Business Inspired” Pinterest contest. The software provider’s target audience includes yoga, Pilates, and other fitness studio owners. The contest required these business owners to create an inspiration board with at least five pins that illustrated their drive or passion for their work. The contest was a success and helped MINDBODY collect new information about things that really matter to current and prospective customers.

Creating successful targeted content for your business hinges on the existence of a detailed buyer persona. But don’t rely solely on analytics and statistics to craft your buyer personas. Step outside the box and connect with your target audience on a different level—you’ll have more fun and end up with a more robust end product.