The following is a guest post by Cherryl Pereira, Head of Content at Chisel Labs
Designers and developers spend countless hours trying to figure out what their customer is like.
They want to know what they like, what they don’t like, their hobbies, when they are most active online… the list goes on.
If you can nail down your user persona it will make marketing campaigns much easier in the future because you’ll be able to write a copy that speaks directly to them.
Introduction To User Personas
Types of User Personas
Advantages of User Personas
Steps for Creating a Strong User Persona
Introduction to user personas:
User personas are fictional representations of your site’s visitors. It will include information on who they are, what their goals and challenges are, how tech-savvy they are.
Everything you would want to know about them if you had access to this person. Click here to learn about the importance of User Research.
User personas are crucial to marketing because they will help you create compelling copy for your website, ads, and campaigns.
Without a strong user persona, you will have to keep guessing what your potential customers want from your website or product so it won’t be as effective.
Types of user personas:
The first type of user persona is the “External User Persona” which is a representation of what your users are like. It’s important to understand who you’re building for so that you can create products and features they’ll find valuable, relevant, easy-to-use, attractive, and so on.
By knowing more about your target audience it will be easier to craft an experience tailored just for them.
The “Internal User Persona,” which is a depiction of who you are as an individual or what your company values, is the second type of user persona.
Acknowledging yourself and your team is key since it will help you create your company’s culture, vision and mission, and principles of design, among other things.
Knowing more about yourself and your business will make it easier for you (and others) to draw conclusions and prioritize features that are most important to your firm.
The third type is the “Strategic User Persona” which is a representation of who your users want to be. We all have dreams and aspirations, we would like to go on fancy trips, make more money, and so on; and this persona focuses on those desires.
This type of user persona helps you think about features and products that will help improve the lives or workflows of your end-users; perhaps by making it easier for them to achieve their goals (goals aligned with what they value most).
Advantages of user personas:
User personas have various benefits like:
- They provide a common understanding of customers.
- Helps to understand the customer’s goals and motivations better.
- Highlight areas that need focus for improving conversions or sales, helping in making business decisions based on facts.
- They increase the effectiveness of marketing strategies by focusing on the people most likely to be interested in your product or service.
- It helps you learn what kind of material should be generated so that the correct demographic is reached at the right time and in the right place.
- When a user interacts with a brand, they may provide a personalized experience since they know what their target customers seek. These tailored contents are sent through many mediums, such as applications and email marketing.
- User personas are not just for marketers. They help across an organization, from the design team to product managers and engineers – they all want to understand who their users are.
Now that we have looked at the importance of user personas, let us look into the steps that help you create engaging user personas.
Steps for creating a strong user persona:
Define who are the users of your website?
What is their age group? What kind of personas exists on your site now, at different stages in their relationship with your company?
Is it mostly people already loyal to you or new visitors/customers looking around the first time only?
How many are just coming once versus those repeat customers you know by name when they walk through your door?
And how many times do they come back within each month/year since the last visit?
– List down every piece of information about them which you have available right now.
– Create a list of personas that exist within your business, matching each persona to the piece(s) of information you have available about them now. For example, if one group is all people between age 20 and 37 who live in Calgary then they will match long-term customers who are currently loyal to us but didn’t visit last month; or new visitors looking around first time only (i.e., not yet loyal).
– Determine which groups/personas visit your site the most frequently right now based on the number of times they return against those who are new to your site. This tells you whether we’re primarily attempting to attract new customers every day or whether you are attracting existing committed users. You may then concentrate on the kind of content that new visitors will find valuable, as well as how long-term users may become bored and require fresh experiences.
– Make the best use of your customer knowledge.
– Create strong user personas that describe the behavior, needs, and goals of your ideal customers so you can design an experience for them.
– Take time to interview current users about their experiences with what’s already on offer to get a great understanding of who is coming through your doors right now. This will be helpful when designing new features or improving existing ones. Designing is based on real insights from people like yourself (your target audience) rather than assumptions made by product developers (not always experts).
– Then use this information to create different types of persona profiles — which we recommend doing in groups — before identifying commonalities among them and adding up unique characteristics until you have enough data points for one single profile that fully describes your core audience.
– Once you’ve completed this process, take a look at the persona to make sure it reflects your customer as closely as possible.
And ask yourself whether any elements are missing from its profile or if anything does not match up with behaviors observed in specific behaviors that might seem counterintuitive — such as someone who doesn’t fit into what we would consider our “typical user” buying product X rather than Y.
– The main thing is to ensure that it accurately reflects your users before you start using the persona in any marketing materials. Not only will this help avoid alienating or confusing prospective customers, but if anything doesn’t match up with reality at all, there’s a good chance something about the product design itself needs tweaking. And if everything does align perfectly? That means you can be confident in your user personas moving forward and know they are well on their way towards being successful for both business development efforts as well as conversions.
User personas are made-up personalities who reflect your desired audience. They include demographic profiles, ambitions, and difficulties that you can employ to improve products for real people, not just numbers in a spreadsheet.
The secret to building strong user personas is asking the right questions during research so you understand who you’re designing for and how they feel about their problems before writing any code.
Cherryl Pereira is the Head of Content at Chisel. Chisel Labs is a premiere agile product management software company that brings together roadmapping, team alignment, and customer connection.