What are audience personas?
Audience personas are fictional, generalized representations of your ideal target audience. They help you understand your donors, members, sponsors, volunteers, and prospects better. And they make it easier for you to tailor content to the speciﬁc needs, behaviors, and concerns of these diﬀerent groups.
The strongest personas are based on market research as well as on insights you gather from your actual target audience base (through surveys, interviews, etc). Depending on your nonprofit, you could have as few as one or two personas, or as many as 5. (Note: If you’re new to personas, start small. You can always develop more personas later if needed.)
What are negative personas?
Whereas an audience persona is a representation of an ideal prospect, a negative – or “exclusionary” – persona is a representation of who you don’t want to target.
This could include, for example, corporations with a mission, service, or product that doesn’t align with your nonprofit’s mission or cause; students who are only engaging with your content for research/knowledge; or individuals who don’t have a history of donating to causes or consuming content related to your particular issue or cause.
How to use audience personas
At the most basic level, personas allow you to personalize or target your marketing for diﬀerent segments of your audience. For example, instead of sending the same lead nurturing emails to everyone in your database, you can segment by audience persona and tailor your messaging according to what you know about those diﬀerent personas.
If you take the time to create negative personas, you’ll have the added advantage of being able to segment out the “bad apples” from the rest of your contacts, which can help you achieve a lower cost-per-lead and cost-per-customer. When combined with engagement or lifecycle stage, audience personas also allow you to map out and create highly targeted content.
To learn how to create your own audience personas and generate more leads for your nonprofit, download our free ebook today!