User Personas - target audiences and strategy: is this a thing for branded communities?

  • 29 March 2021
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Userlevel 5
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Does anyone here create user personas to help influence their strategy for community success? 


5 replies

Userlevel 5
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Giving this thread a bump in case anyone has advice, I’ve been sent yet another blog describing the importance of this for content writing. 

 

My….. hesitancy comes from a few places:

 

  1. Customer base vs community base - which target is better would depend on who you ask.
  2. Community visitors vs community participants  - there’s a big difference here.
  3. Research your audience vs build personas around what you want your audience to be / guess it might be - the former is a lot more work
  4. Personas vs data - In the absence of personas, we make content writing decisions based on user behaviour

Any advice from B2C community professionals out there? @Florian @Ditte @m4rc 

 

Is it better to use your marketing team’s customer base insight to target your content? 

Userlevel 6
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This is an interesting question, Tim, and thanks for tagging me! :D

I’ve never worked with user personas from a community perspective - I am aware of them from a marketing perspective though. I think that an active community user is its own persona from that perspective? (With the caveat that I think marketing is most likely lumping Community in with the Social Media horde ;) (mkt proff’s please correct me if I’m wrong!)). I don’t know how that persona might be utilised for content purposes, though.

From a community content perspective, instead of targeting ‘personas’ I’d target specific challenges and the behaviour to solve them. (Partly your #4)

Education for instance. Is there a gap between what the customer know and what they -should- know to get the most out of the product/service? Pair up with your CS department to see what kind of calls they get (that they shouldn’t get), and check what kind of content you have that matches that already - if you don’t have content that answers those questions, then that could be a place to start, and you free up your support departments time. (shoutout to @Kenneth for his excellent intent matrix idea)

Support. Are customer’s calling with the same ‘simple’ questions over and over again? Could you create content that answers those questions in an easy to understand manner?

Any other gaps you can see? Any Sales and marketing related content you can collaborate on to drive understanding of the benefit of your product?

Lastly, for a loooong time I’ve been playing with an idea for a different view on segmentation from a community perspective - Lurkers vs logged in vs active vs superuser vs staff - Do they all need the same information displayed? What does a lurker’s community journey look like compared to a superuser’s journey? Can you boost specific content in a smart way so only lurker’s see it? logged in users? Superusers? What’s most important to those individual segments?

Lurkers are likely just hunting for an easy answer, and if they can’t find it, they may ask a question (become logged in). Logged in users are probably looking for something to participate in, active users want to keep track of their participation topics and maybe some new and interesting topics they can add their +1 or -1 to. Superusers are most likely looking for topics where they can share their expertise. Staff need to know where they’re needed the most.

Long story short: Maybe you can create your own community personas that touches on the things you find important from a user and content perspective?

Userlevel 4
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Hi @timcavey 

Does anyone here create user personas to help influence their strategy for community success? 

What’s the goal here? To target ‘buckets’ of users with specific content? 

As far as I know, the term ‘personas’ tends to be for acqusition and user journey. For instance, a tech-savvy persona vs a vulnerable persona vs a price-sensitive persona.

Maybe it’s the term ‘personas’ which is confusing me! I’d say it’s def true that there are communities within communities. So yes you might want to have content/conversation relevant to specific ‘tribes’ or groups.

 

Userlevel 5
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Thanks both, really helpful!

 

Yes the benefits of personas is reportedly to allow for more targeted content. 

 

As you’ve advised, if we make sure our content solves pain points or helps in customer success, for each and all of our community groups, we’ll be fine without ‘Tony who likes milkshakes and walking the dog’ profiles :joy:

 

Appreciate the advice! 

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Thanks both, really helpful!

 

Yes the benefits of personas is reportedly to allow for more targeted content. 

 

As you’ve advised, if we make sure our content solves pain points or helps in customer success, for each and all of our community groups, we’ll be fine without ‘Tony who likes milkshakes and walking the dog’ profiles :joy:

 

Appreciate the advice! 

Thanks for this very valid discussion Tim. Not just content, but end-to-end user journeys, navigation, features and even Gamification strategies would be based off of the Personas landing on and using your Community.

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