5 digital personas your communications must engage

You’ve seen the advice to develop ‘personas’ for segments of your audience. Maybe you’ve tried to work up some personas for your non-profit. If you found the process difficult and the results sketchy, consider these five personas. Right now, they’re looking at your website and social media feeds and wondering whether – and how – they should engage with you.

1. The observer

The observer wants to watch. Observers are interested in your organisation and want to stay up to date with your work. They read your content, sign up to your newsletter, RSS feed your blog, and follow you on social media.

2. The researcher

The researcher wants to dig deeper. Researchers want reliable, accurate, authoritative information. They want information not just about who you are and what you do, but also why you do it. Researchers click on ‘read more detail’ links, download your publications and reports, and cite your content.

3. The campaigner

The campaigner wants to change the rules. Campaigners want to to take actions to change laws, policies and social norms. They sign your online petitions, send your pre-filled emails to political representatives and corporate heads, and attend, host and promote your campaign events.

4. The advocate

The advocate is a commentator and arguer: if the campaigner wants to change the rules, the advocate wants to change hearts and minds. Advocates want to ‘convert’ their friends and family. They will argue your cause around dinner tables, and in cafes and bars. They share your work online. They forward your emails. They comment on your posts, and love to argue your case on others’ feeds.

5. The giver

The giver wants to give a gift that makes a difference. Givers donate time and money to change the world for the better. They donate online, and crave your updates showing evidence of their positive impact: they will read those updates and, if they are compelling, will share them online.

These five personas are ‘generic’ audience segments you can use to evaluate your non-profit online communications and design new and more engaging digital strategies.

They are simple, easy to understand, and don’t require expensive data analysis or tracking. Give them a go: they’ll almost certainly be part of your online audience and supporter base, and each has specific needs that your digital communications should be fulfilling.


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