audience personas

First, the bad news: The year is already halfway over. And don’t ask me where it went because I got nothin’.

Now the good news: We still have six more months to achieve those lofty content marketing goals we set for ourselves back in January. And that’s why this is the perfect time to dust off that strategy and see if anything needs tweaking … starting with your target audience personas.

Remember, if we don’t know precisely whose eyeballs (or earballs) we want on the other side of our content, we’re wasting a lot of time and effort. And while it’s unlikely that your target audience has made any huge shifts over the last six months, a few subtle changes can make a big difference in how we need to approach our content marketing.

Fortunately, updating those personas is fairly straightforward, especially if we did a good job creating them in the first place.

Step 1: Review Your Current Audience Personas

First, pull out that content marketing strategy (hey, it’s OK if it’s accumulated some dust – no judgment here) and look at the personas you put down back in January.

If your team did a good job, you have a complete profile of all the folks you want to reach: not just demographics, but also values, beliefs, and priorities. And if you’re on the B2B side, you’ve covered individual characteristics (job title, years of experience, level of technical expertise, etc.) as well as company characteristics (industry, size, global footprint, etc.).

And if those personas have a few gaps, now’s the time to fill them.

Step 2: Discuss With Your Team

Set up a brainstorming session with your team to discuss recent developments that might require some tweaks in your audience personas. I suggest you also invite some folks from your sales and customer service teams – remember, they’re the ones dealing with current and potential customers on a daily basis, so their insights are vital.

Here are a few questions to get you started:

  • Have we introduced any new products or services over the last six months? If so, are these new offerings targeting slightly different audiences? Was there any research involved that can help us update our current personas?
  • Have any shifts in the economy or in our industry forced us to adjust our targeting strategies?
  • Are we aiming to enter any new markets?
  • Have changes in our competitive landscape uncovered opportunities to target new audiences?
  • (For B2B brands) Are the companies in our target audience growing? Shrinking? Going global? How does that affect our targeting strategies?
  • What changes in the content marketing landscape (such as the rise of live video) have affected our target audience’s content preferences?

Step 3: Need Additional Research? Do It.

If the answers to any of these questions uncover the need for some consumer research, now’s the time to do it.

Remember, you have several tools at your disposal to help you reach those customers:

  • Interviews (by phone or in person)
  • Online surveys
  • Onsite surveys (if you have a brick-and-mortar store or a booth at a trade show)

Step 4: Make Your Edits

Armed with the most current information about your target audience, adjust your personas as needed and share them with your team to guide your content creation from now through the end of the year.

Remember, your personas drive every aspect of your content marketing, from the topics you cover to the media you use. Make sure every member of your content marketing team has access to those updated personas and understands how to use them. If you continue to let your personas be your guide, your audience will reward you for it.

Happy persona updating!