How to develop your audience personas

On the Brand Storytelling podcast, we are joined by the biggest name in content marketing in Brazil, Cassio Politi. Cassio was named the content marketer of the year in 2015 and authored the first book in content marketing to be written in Portuguese. He is the founder of Tracto, a content strategy consultancy that builds audiences for brands and companies. 

At Content Marketing World this year, his keynote, How Small Differences In Buyer Persona’s Behaviour Impact The Global Strategy, touched on customer environments, perceived barriers and how they help you make wise strategic decisions. 

We also talk about how brands are building audience personas through storytelling and the influencers that map a buyers journey. 

Listen to the full show here: 

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In this episode: 

  • Key takeaways from Content Marketing World 2016.  
  • The importance of developing audience personas. 
  • Steps marketers take to identify their audience’s persona.
  • Mistakes to avoid when mapping out an audience persona!
  • Who is influencing the audience and how are they engaging them? 

Preview of the show: 

Rakhal Ebeli: It is almost exclusively what we say as the first step with content marketing is putting the audience first. Let’s go through the actual process of identifying our audiences and then how we can start to nut them out into different personas. What steps should marketers follow?

Cassio Politi: I think the first step is to list some hypotheses. Okay, we avoid to use assumptions. Assumptions are very useless for us. We have to really discover something about our buyer persona. Anyway, I would recommend to list a few hypotheses that you can get from people that works in the company and employees and partners. Once you have this hypotheses in a list, you really should talk to your customers.

This conversation is not like an interview, a formal interview. Sometimes we get scared about the idea of calling someone and asking some questions. What do you do? We really prepare and pre-script some questions. Then we feel safe by having those questions in our hands. It’s a mistake, I think. I think you should really have a conversation and just pay close attention to what your interviewee says. Then you can ask other questions.

Really try to understand what his journey was from the moment he first considered to buy something that your company sells up to the moment that he really made the decision to purchase or to purchase from your competitor or just given up the purchase itself. I think it’s all based on a conversation in which you try to make your interviewee tell how was his experience? Don’t ask what he thinks. Don’t ask what he feels. Just ask what he did.

Rakhal: You mentioned at Content Marketing World that it’s almost better to ask them, what did they tell other people that their experience was, rather than tell you. Is that right?

Cassio: Yes. They can tell other people. They can tell you, but it doesn’t matter who is having this conversation, actually. We just want to know if you could really record that experience. Take me back to the day. That’s the kind of question we usually do.

Take me back to the day when you first considered buying something or you first considered resolving that problem. Tell me what happened. Tell me what kind of decisions and pain points. Tell me everything that crossed your mind in this bath. I think this is the best way to do it. You can do it yourself. You can ask someone to do that. The most important thing is that the interviewee reproduces the whole story.


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