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6 simple steps to convert site analytics data into valuable audience personas. And how to build content strategies to service them.

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Who is your digital audience? And how to determine your content strategy for them. This is a talk I gave at the Information Industry Network's Digital Content Strategies event 21 April 2016. #iidigital

Full post on Medium:
https://medium.com/@ianrobins/how-to-develop-your-audience-personas-and-build-content-strategies-for-them-fe21588f10a7#.wziktsuda

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6 simple steps to convert site analytics data into valuable audience personas. And how to build content strategies to service them.

  1. 1. 6 simple steps to convert site analytics data into valuable audience personas And how to build content strategies to service them.
  2. 2. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/09/weekinreview/09lohr.html?pagewanted=all
  3. 3. “5 years ago we were writing for robots (for Google). Now we are writing for people.” Kevin Delaney Editor-in-chief & president Quartz
  4. 4. Site-as-a-service “Journalists need to understand and interact with people as individuals and communities, rather than as a mass. Journalism needs to shift from creating content to providing service, helping the people we serve better meet their goals and needs.” Jeff Jarvis Media blogger, adviser and professor
  5. 5. PART 1 | 6 simple steps to convert site analytics data into valuable audience personas
  6. 6. A persona is a way to model, summarise and communicate research about people who have been observed in some way. It depicts a specific person but is not a real individual. Smashing Magazine https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2014/08/a-closer-look-at-personas-part-1/
  7. 7. The purpose of personas is to create reliable and realistic representations of your key audience segments for reference. These representations should be based on qualitative and some quantitative user research and web analytics. Usability.org http://www.usability.gov/how-to-and-tools/methods/personas.html
  8. 8. They help you define your key digital audiences to create an understanding of their characteristics and needs. They establish data informed insights that enable you to create content strategies that engage, retain, and serve your digital audiences. PURPOSE OF DEVELOPING AUDIENCE PERSONAS:
  9. 9. Capture what you’d like to know about your audience. Filter down to 5 to 10 key questions. These will give you initial focus when you start looking at your data. 1
  10. 10. 1 How many people come to our site each month? 2 What content interests them most? 3 How long do they spend reading? What type of content has the longest / shortest read time? 4 Do people consume different types of content on different days? 5 What are people doing at different times of the day? 6 What are people consuming when they visit us on a mobile device? 7 How does that mobile behaviour differ from desktop audiences? 8 What content or sections have the lowest bounce rates? Which have the highest? A few starter questions
  11. 11. Explore your site analytics to identify trends & behaviours. You’ll have a lot of data. Use your questions to help filter down. Start looking for patterns that you can explore. You may need to look at your how you use content tags to help you collect meaningful data. 2
  12. 12. Area of focus Observations Content interests (themes, topics, sections) Format of content consumed (style, length, type) Time of day most active Days of the week most active Frequency of visit each month Length of visit each session Mobile consumption Desktop consumption Other characteristics A framework to capture your observations
  13. 13. Segment your audience into frequency of visit. You can focus in on those that you want to understand more. 3
  14. 14. Flyby audience Loyal audience Power audience 1 - 3 4 - 20 21+ pieces of content consumed on our sites each month. pieces of content consumed on our sites each month. pieces of content consumed on our sites each month. How we define our audiences
  15. 15. Flyby audience Loyal audience Power audience 1 - 3 4 - 20 21+ pieces of content consumed on our sites each month. pieces of content consumed on our sites each month. pieces of content consumed on our sites each month. Focusing in on our loyal audience
  16. 16. Explore building segments of audiences to help develop understanding. Examples are by business size or mobile device consumption. *personas are meant to depict an individual person. But if you are unable to do this initially, this can be a useful approach.
  17. 17. Develop 3 key personas from the data. Start simple. Develop early personas as a presentation. Evolve later. 4
  18. 18. Area of focus Audience 1 Audience 2 Audience 3 Content interests (themes, topics, sections) Format of content consumed (style, length, type) Time of day most active Days of the week most active Frequency of visit each month Length of visit each session Mobile consumption Desktop consumption Other characteristics Identifying your audience groupings
  19. 19. WHO ARE THEY Job title or profession (1st party data) Industry Location BROWSING HABITS Frequency of visit per month Most popular time of day Pages consumed per month Time spent reading Sites they are active on Social sharing AREAS OF INTEREST Type of content consumed Popular topics / sections Favourite reads Format of content consumed DEVICES USED What devices do they use What do they read on each device Length of visit by device Format of content consumed Name your persona Gathering the data to develop your personas
  20. 20. Engage editors and other interested teams. Encourage conversations about your personas. How do they compare with what other teams might have? What surprises are there? What else would people like to know? How could they use them within their work? How will you use them? 5
  21. 21. Tell the stories within the data. Find the stories within your data and personas and share them internally. See how you can evolve these with different teams to embed the value of personas. 6
  22. 22. Bring your audiences alive internally. Publish your personas internally, somewhere visible. Help people understand who your audiences are. Keep asking for feedback. Keep evolving. Analytics is just the start to developing personas. 7
  23. 23. PART 2 | 12 steps to creating effective content strategies to service your audiences.
  24. 24. 1 CURRENT CONTENT APPROACH 2 CONTENT VISION 3 ROADMAP 4 CONTENT PURPOSE 5 STRATEGY 6 GOALS 7 KEY ACTIVITIES 8 CONTENT STRUCTURE 9 PUBLISHING STRATEGY 10 KEY RESOURCES 11 ACTIONABLE METRICS 12 TESTING AND ITERATIONS Content strategy framework
  25. 25. CURRENT CONTENT APPROACH Where are you now?1
  26. 26. CONTENT VISION Where do you want you content to be? 2
  27. 27. CONTENT ROADMAP How will you turn your vision and goals into a quarterly roadmap? 3
  28. 28. CONTENT PURPOSE What’s the purpose of your content? 4
  29. 29. STRATEGY What are your key strategies for creating valuable content? 5
  30. 30. GOALS What do you want to achieve with your content for this audience? 6
  31. 31. KEY ACTIVITIES What are the key activities you need to deliver your goals? 7
  32. 32. CONTENT STRUCTURE What content structure is needed? 8
  33. 33. PUBLISHING STRATEGY What will be your publishing strategy? 9
  34. 34. KEY RESOURCES What resources do you need to support the strategy? 10
  35. 35. ACTIONABLE METRICS What measures should be in place to help you take actions to improve? 11
  36. 36. TESTING AND ITERATIONS How will you test your strategy, apply your learning, and evolve your approach? 12
  37. 37. AUDIENCE PERSONA: Name of your persona CURRENT CONTENT APPROACH What’s your current approach for this audience? CONTENT VISION How might you need to develop the content you create for this audience now you have insights? ROADMAP The key milestones or steps you need to take over the next 3, 6, 12, 18 months to move towards your vision? CONTENT PURPOSE Describe the purpose of your content aligned to the insights you have on your persona. STRATEGY What’s your key strategies for creating value for your audiences through your content? GOALS What do you want to achieve with your content for this audience? How will it engage, retain, and grow your audience? KEY ACTIVITIES What are the key activities you need to deliver your goals? CONTENT STRUCTURE What content formats are needed? What are your style guidelines? How will you structure your content? PUBLISHING STRATEGY How often will you publish? Where will you publish? What time(s) of day will you publish? What day(s) of the week? KEY RESOURCES What resources are needed to support the implementation of this strategy? ACTIONABLE METRICS How are you going to measure the impact and performance of your content? What actions will you take from these metrics? Developing your content strategy
  38. 38. AUDIENCE PERSONA: Name of your persona CURRENT CONTENT APPROACH CONTENT VISION ROADMAP CONTENT PURPOSE STRATEGY GOALS KEY ACTIVITIES CONTENT STRUCTURE PUBLISHING STRATEGY KEY RESOURCES ACTIONABLE METRICS Content strategy - TEMPLATE
  39. 39. Thanks for listening. I’d love to hear your ideas, approaches, and advice. ian.robins@siftmedia.co.uk @ianrobins

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