The ancient oriental military masterpiece ”The Art of War” states, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles”. The wisdom of knowing your target audience applies today to the modern warfare of app marketing.
Thankfully, unlike in ancient times, we have more scientific ways to help marketers know their audiences. One of the most validated methods is to create user personas for your app.
Why is it important?
User personas are different from user segmentation: segmentation is a method of filtering users into different groups when they meet certain criteria, while user personas create fictional user profiles that describe the company's desired users.
By combining demographic and personal characteristics, you can develop different personas with motivations and pain points, which help you understand what kind of marketing strategy will meet their needs.
User personas also help marketers to identify the reasons their audiences engage within their app. This analysis can unlock insights that empower your advertising creativity. It can help develop a personalized approach to improve the user experience, and eventually improve overall user retention.
How to create a user persona?
User demographics are physical factors. They help identify your target audiences. They are extremely helpful when you plan a programmatic campaign or try to introduce optimizations. Some factors like occupation might be useful when your app has a very specific target group. To get the most out of your advertising campaign, customize your metrics based on your product’s unique selling proposition.
Personal characteristics refer to emotional and behavioral factors. The user journey is different for each individual, so consider how to design the user experience for various different motivations. Designing your creative to appeal to specific emotions is a highly successful strategy but can be difficult to execute. The app users’ habits and interests should be a guideline for your ad creative production and your storyboard should reflect their impulses.
User Persona Example - The Super-Fan
Keep in mind that the emotional messages are more likely to appeal to dedicated players because they feel a strong connection to the game and see themselves as part of the game’s world. For people who play games for fun, like casual game players, sparking their interest or curiosity might be a better trigger.
- Conduct an in-app survey
- Create a personalized experience
Can you name the exact differences between two soda drinks? Many people can’t but they still have a strong preference. This is the power of emotional bonding. Claiming a place in your users’ minds is one of the most effective ways to differentiate your brand. User personas help marketers to learn and study their users’ motivations.
Run retargeting campaigns to personalize their journey
With so many distractions, users are very likely to get lost among apps and never return. Leveraging marketing strategies such as retargeting, can help you re-engage with your lapsed users.
A retargeting campaign is based on a user list and an ad creative. The user list might be a dynamic list that is shared via MMP or an API, or a basic CSV file. The readiness to spend in-game is a great metric when selecting audiences for apps with the in-app purchase (IAP) monetization method. For in-app advertisement (IAA) powered apps, in-app engagement - such as level reached - is a good benchmark to focus on.
Best practice suggestions
As discussed above, user personas can empower ad creativity. You need to think about which elements of your app each persona loves the most. The goal is to resonate with their emotions and remind them of their passion. For example, the ad creative might feature their favorite characters and express sad emotions with the copy “we miss you”, or some seasonal events with “come back and join the parade”. For high-value purchasers, utilizing strategies like storytelling can deliver powerful emotions.
Although users' motivations vary, they are still impacted by the macro environment such as the economy and the pandemic. Hence, keep up with the latest market news to adjust your strategy accordingly.