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Inbound Marketing Essentials: Personas and User Journeys

  • 3 min
  • September 14, 2015
    • Inbound Essentials
    • Personas and Journeys
    • Unlocking the Keys to the Kingdom

If you’re new to the Inbound marketing game, just starting out with your content strategy, or looking to make your content more effective, personas and journeys are a great place to start for inspiration. By taking the time to develop your personas and user journeys, you will make your leads more targeted and see a better ROI from your content generation efforts.

If these terms are new to you, never fear! In a lot of ways, they’re industry jargon, but really common sense from a marketing perspective.

A “persona” is an industry term that, put simply, involves thinking through a number of scenarios using fictional example users, their motivations and goals, and the likely paths they take as they interact with a site.  It’s essentially who you are going to be creating content for, and act as semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer.

Persona creation involves defining target user profiles, identifying individuals’ key motivators and decision making processes, then using that information to ensure the appropriate content is presented at the appropriate time in the appropriate way.

You should be able to identify:

  • Common behavior patterns
  • Shared Pain points
  • Universal goals, wishes, and dreams
  • General demographic and biographic information

Details matter! These might be fictional, but the more information you are able to glean, the easier it will be to create effective content.

You can absolutely have more than one buyer persona (in fact, you’ll likely have three or four), but the persona that brings them in the most revenue is the one which should become your “primary persona.”

Once you have identified your personas, take some time to develop your user journeys.

A user journey is a path an individual will likely follow through the buying process to reach a goal (whether that be purchasing a product, a contact form submission, or other action). When thinking about user journeys it’s important to ensure that, at each stage of the experience, the content dedicated to that stage doesn’t try to rush the process. If you introduce information too late, it may cause users to go back to square one and reevaluate their entire decision. By contrast, introducing too much information to quickly may cause users to become overwhelmed.

Ultimately, a thoughtful user journey is just as important as the personas themselves -  without them, you run the risk of not moving the persona through the buying cycle.

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