Persuasion Architecture and Persona Based Marketing
Persuasion architecture refers to a website that has been designed and developed in such as way as to convince visitors to take the action you desire. One way of achieving this can be through persona based marketing or by creating a persona based web experience. What this involves is really understanding the traffic that you receive and segmenting it into persona groups. Often different types of people come to your site for different reasons and are looking for different things. Once you have identified clear and defined personas you can then start designing and developing different parts of the site to appeal to different groups so they will take the action you want.
Identifying and developing accurate personas for your website traffic can be a difficult task. Below are the steps to go through when doing this. I will also illustrate the different concepts with an example. The example we will use will be from a site that I recently saw called Wix, which is a free and simple website builder. They have effectively created multiple personas and designed their site in a “Choose Your own Adventure” style to increase conversions by really communicating the right message to different groups of people.
Segment website traffic based on demographics
You would start by analysing the traffic you receive and try to segment it via demographics. Look at the people who successfully take the action you want them to take and split them into groups based on different demographic elements such as age, country, sex, education, job title etc. It will vary depending on the type of site you run.
A site like Wix may have people visiting their site who are between 20-40. They may be predominantly from USA, Australia and the UK. They may be mainly small business owners or entrepreneurs who work for themselves.
Identify and determine their needs
Once you have segmented your users via demographics try to identify their needs. Think about what problems they may experience? What solutions do they need? Where do they go to find solutions? What will impact their choices? Spend time to really understand where they are coming from and what they would expect to find from your website. This process involves you putting yourselves in other people’s shoes and really trying to think and experience your website from their perspective. Another way to go about this is find people who fit the demographic segments you identified earlier and ask them about their needs, wants and problems.
With people visiting Wix, their biggest problem is not being able to be found online. They do not have a web presence and are desperately looking for one. They are not particularly web-savvy and are overwhelmed about where to begin with creating and building a web presence for potential clients to find them.
Develop personas and profiles based on behaviour
Now that you have analysed the demographics of people who visit your site, and also identified your visitor’s needs now it’s time to create a person or profiel for those groups of people. What are they interested in? What do they do online? Where do they go to find information? How do they consume information?
With Wix we can develop profiles based loosely on their profession. They all have a lot in common which is that they are looking for an online presence, they are not particarly web-savvy and they don’t have the technical skills to build an online presence themselves. Wix could simply create a homepage and landing page that communicated these problems and offered solutions that would appeal to this group of people. Instead what they have done is found what these people do not have in common, and that is their line of work or occupation. This allows Wix to create personas and profiles based on people’s occupation such as small business owner, photographer, muscian, tradesperson, graphic designer, restaurant owner, artist and many more.
Choose Your own Adventure
Now comes the fun part!! We have identified different personas or profiles of people that we want to target. We can now create an entrance point of the site where your visitors basically choose which persona they fit in to have a personalised experience on your site. To do this you would list all the different personas or profiles you are looking to target and then under each one list the problems they have and the solutions that they would find appealing. Once you have completed this list you will then have to think about how you will go about providing a unique, targeted and relevant experience for each of the personas so that you can maximize the conversions of your traffic.
You can create dedicated landing pages for each persona. Each landing page would address different problems based on the ones that persona experiences. It will provide different solutions and explain why the product is perfect for solving the problem that that persona experiences. You may want to include testimonials from successful clients or customers who are in the same persona group. This involves analysing all your content and only displaying the right content to the right people in order to create a more targeted match between your product and the visitor. This is website persuasion architecture at it’s best.
For example with Wix.com a graphic designer is going to want a very different website to a consultant. This provides an opportunity to serve different content to these very different types of people to get them to convert and purchase the same product, in this case a free easy to build HTML5 website.
Here are two examples of well executed “Choose your Own Adventure” style sites that have effectively identified clear personas and create unique and relevant web experiences that their users can resonate with.
Here is the end result of Wix. They have a HTML 5 scrolling website which jumps to the right section depending on what persona group the visitor chooses. Each section acts as an independent landing page designed to convert and sell the visitor into using the Wix website builder and creating a website.
Hubspot have a “Choose Your own Adventure” style with two personas identified and clear paths for them. They have small business owners and marketers. You can see they have different icons and text that appeal to the each persona group.
Here is an awesome infographic comic explaing persona based marketing:
courtesy of Think Vitamin