Personas: What They Are and Why Your Event Marketing Strategy Needs Them
Every marketer knows it’s essential to know your audience — especially if you’re planning an event. Who is likely to attend your event? What demographic(s) does your event marketing appeal to? Understanding your audience will help you plan a more targeted event, and using personas is key to truly understanding your audience.
So, what are personas? They’re fictional people (based on real ones) who represent the demographics your event marketing appeals to — for example, several different personas may represent different types of event attendees. Personas are built on common traits belonging to these demographics: a persona may be based on an industry, job title or function, work experience, company size, or previous relationship to your business. Importantly, though, personas are more specific than just these traits. Rather than appealing to everyone who possesses one of these common traits, focusing on specific people — albeit fictional ones — empowers marketers to better understand the objectives of their audience as well as the obstacles they face, which makes for smarter and more targeted marketing strategies.
To leverage personas in your event marketing strategy, define them at an early stage to target as much of your marketing as possible. Start by thinking about attendees at previous events or visitors to key websites or registration pages, taking a look at specific demographic traits like those listed above. Consider attendees you want to attend your next event, too. Then, group demographic characteristics into realistic personas that resemble past event attendees: for example, a manager at a medium-sized B2B software company who attends your events primarily to network. You can even give them names to refer to them more easily — let’s call this one Penelope.
After defining a set of personas that cover most of the traits you identified, begin planning actionable strategies to appeal to them. What are do these personas hope to accomplish at your event? How are you most likely to appeal to them, and how will you engage them while in attendance? Think about each persona’s journey, from registration to follow-up, and consider how you can optimize their experience every step of the way. If you’ve identified realistic, targeted personas, the strategies you enact as a result should appeal to attendees who resemble them. Personas are an invaluable tool to better understand your audience and customize the attendee experience — and they’re sure to take your event marketing strategy to the next level.