How to build personas for a content strategy that leads to conversion
by Hephzibah Dutt on March 22, 2023
Series: Social Intelligence for Content Strategy - Part I
Do you ever feel like the product, service, or brand you’re trying to sell is a step (or several!) above a competitor’s, and yet, the competitor seems to have better sales, bigger clients, and a larger share of the market than you/your client?
You might have even tested and honed your advertising game to perfection, have an entire team optimizing your website, and another one cranking out content that would feed the engines of several companies or brands … and yet, your leads wither away and die as soon as they’ve sprouted.
There’s no need to despair. And no mystery to unravel.
It’s more than likely that your content strategy is missing its mark … and therefore, missing the consumers that would actually go the whole distance to a closed deal or purchase.
Why hone your content strategy with consumer intelligence?
In today's crowded digital landscape, you’re going to need to do more than advertise in order to make sales or close deals. You need to build trust with your audience.
A precisely honed content marketing strategy allows you to connect with your target audience in a meaningful way. When you provide valuable content, you can establish yourself as an expert in your field and develop a relationship with your audience. This can lead to increased brand awareness, customer loyalty, and ultimately, more sales.
Unlike traditional advertising methods, content marketing has the potential to reach a much wider audience through social sharing and SEO (search engine optimization).
This is even more imperative in the tight 2023 market conditions that impact both B2B and B2C companies.
Whether you casually pass it off as a “year of efficiency” a la Mark Zuckerberg, or openly bemoan inflation, your sales might depend on how your brand is perceived, whether clients know what you do, and why you’re a better or more trustworthy brand than the other guy. This is where your content strategy is key.
In this three-part blog series on content strategy, we look at the research and insights that will guide you in building content strategies that lead to sales. We’ll specifically show you how you can use your social intelligence platform to feed your content strategy all the data-driven love it needs!
5 ways to use social intelligence for content marketing strategy
If you want to build a strong brand and connect with your audience in a meaningful way, your content has to be valuable and relevant to your target audience. This means you need to conduct thorough research and gather relevant consumer insights to inform your decisions.
Your social listening solution will be your best friend when it comes to discovering the insights that will help you:
- Build personas
- Analyze your competitors’ content strategies
- Assess the effectiveness of your content with social media benchmarks
- Stay on top of industry trends
- Gain keyword insights and conduct topic research
Once you have gathered all of this social listening data, you can use it to create a content marketing strategy that is tailored to your audience's needs and preferences, and that aligns with your business objectives.
In Part II and Part III of this series, we’ll explore how a social listening solution can give you vital consumer insights for items 2-5 in the list above. For now, let's jump into how you can use social listening to build personas and target your audience.
How to build personas using social intelligence
You can identify your ideal customer persona by researching their demographics, interests, behaviors, pain points, and aspirations. Typically, marketers use online surveys, social media analytics, website analytics, customer feedback, or market research reports to gather this information.
This can get expensive, time-consuming, and increase the burden on staff. Instead, one of the fastest ways to get to these insights is to use a social listening platform.
We’re going to use a specific example and dive into defining a target audience for Star Wars.
Social Intelligence Demographics
When it comes to your social intelligence platform, post volume acts as a proxy for interest. Using our social listening solution Infegy Atlas, we examined the conversation around Star Wars to see who’s talking about the brand the most.
Age distribution in Infegy Atlas shows us that the people most interested in Star Wars are adults aged 25-44 (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Age distribution of people discussing Star Wars online; Infeyg Atlas data.
Social listening demographics are a great way to dispel assumptions about consumers. Since people online are sharing personal experiences and opinions, we get unbiased data that gets us to truly understand our audiences, and therefore craft content for them.
This became especially true when we looked at gender demographics and Star Wars.
Social Intelligence Demographics - Gender
Historical data from the past 15 years shows that the conversation around Star Wars is not dominated by males. 40% of the conversation were from posters who self-identify as female. Additionally, female conversation grew 53% more in the last 15 years than male conversation. This growth rate suggests that creating content that would be particularly interesting to adult females might be key to our content strategy.
Social listening even showed us which topics dominate the conversation from women vs. men. Men were more likely to talk about action-based video games like Battlefront and women discussed topics like Princess, Leia, and toys (Figure 2).
Figure 2: Gender distribution and trends in the conversation around Star Wars; Infegy Atlas data.
Social Intelligence Demographics - Language
Social listening can also give you insight into whether you’re accidentally making your content inaccessible to a portion of your audience. When it comes to Star Wars, it is easy to assume that it's a franchise that would mostly draw an English-speaking audience.
Infegy Atlas highlighted the danger of this assumption. Sure, 75% of the conversation around Star Wars was in English. However, Spanish made up almost 9% and French made up 3.5% of the conversation (Figure 3). These percentages of your audience are worth attending to and can be accounted for in your strategy. They act as breadcrumbs to guide further research.
Figure 3: Top languages represented in the conversation around Star Wars; Infegy Atlas data.
Get immediate insights to create content strategy personas
Our particular dive into Star Wars not only revealed several insights, they helped us avoid a couple of assumptions about Star Wars’ most avid fans.
We learned that Star Wars fans are aging up, not just being replaced with younger enthusiasts. This shows great potential for nostalgia as well as themes for adults in Star Wars content. In this hypothetical situation, we would also craft content that might specifically attract and further nurture a female audience, as well as French- and Spanish-speaking audiences.
Be sure to check out Part II and Part III of this series on how to use social Intelligence to build a content strategy that leads to interest and conversions!
To start finding the insights that will build brand trust and consumer loyalty, reach out today for a tour of Infegy Atlas - Consumer Intelligence. We’d even love to do a custom demo for your particular research needs!