7 Steps to Actionable Audience Personas

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Nick Cotton Sep 19, 2014


In my (brief) experience working in the restaurant industry, I was frequently reminded we didn’t have “Customers.” We had “Guests.” The assumption being that the title I used for our clientele affected how I treated them. Likewise, in Content Marketing we don’t have “Guests.” We have “Audiences.”

Welcome to the entertainment industry!

When it comes to the use of Audience Personas to dominate the marketplace, no one has done it better than Netflix. Here’s Vice President of Product Innovation at Netflix, Todd Yellin, talking about their approach.

Follow these seven steps to defining actionable Audience Personas to jump-start your content marketing strategy:

1) Define your ideal customer
This is aspirational. Who do you wish was using your service or stopping by your restaurant?

2) Find that customer on social media
Use every social media platform to seek out people that fit your profile. Each platform has unique means of searching and you’ll get vastly different results depending on where you conduct your search.

3) Observe them on every social media platform they utilize
Go to where they’re comfortable. Twitter, Vine, Snapchat. Even if you’re not utilizing the platform yet this is a great way to brainstorm how you could benefit from a format you haven’t adopted yet.

4) Who do they engage with?
Their friends and followers aren’t as important as who they comment on, share or like. Those are the accounts you want to emulate.

5) What subjects encourage their engagement?
Even if those subjects don’t directly relate to your products or services, you might discover a way to piggyback off their interest to catch their attention.

6) When are they most active?
If your audience doesn’t jump online until lunch you shouldn’t be posting first thing in the morning. Plan your activity around their activity.

7) Where are they most active?
If they love Pintrest, you need to learn to love pinning. If they’re a Twitter fanatic, you need to up your presence with the bird.

Follow these steps and you’ll have created the kind of Audience Persona you can act on. Tailor content to attract your ideal audience and squeeze value from your efforts. Define who you want and give them what they’re interested in when and where it’s most convenient for them. If you’ve done your job right, they will be oblivious to your effort, and you’ll have built a new pool of potential sales.

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