Using personas to shape your content

As we are preparing this site to promote tourism in tribal areas of Costa Rica, one of the things we did was to create personas for potential audiences for the site. Here’s what we came up with:

Backpacker Bob: He will make a last-minute decision to visit as a part of a longer trip. He doesn’t mind rustic accommodations and different foods, because he is in it for the adventure. He’s physically fit and will enjoy some of the nature activities like hikes to hidden waterfalls, but he will also really enjoy the “off the beaten” path aspect of visiting people who live in a way quite different from the rest of the world. He will access the site on a mobile device, and will want practical information quickly. That means he prefers, in order, text/photo/video. He’ll find out about the trip from word of mouth, probably.

Professor Penny: This is basically me. It’s an educated professional in his or her 30s to 50s. Penny is teaching either some kind of ecology-related class or some kind of anthropology/sociology related class. Her two main questions are

  1. What can my students learn?
  2. Will my students and I be safe and comfortable enough to focus on learning?

Penny likes to read, and will privilege text as well, but will want photos and video to show students and to get a realistic picture of the conditions. The photos and video don’t have to be on the same site. Penny will want specifics, as much as possible. She will use the site on a computer with a high-end Internet connection. Referrals from other faculty or trusted sources will be important to her.

Single Steve: Steve and his buddies are taking spring break or a work vacation to visit a fairly popular country for tourists. But they are a little more interested in something different, and might come up for a couple of days to see a different view of the country and to have a chance to do fun stuff and hang out as a group. They are probably in good physical shape and are seeking adventure. They are platform agnostic – will probably start on a mobile device and move to a full computer to look at videos and learn more specifics. Steve will probably learn about the trip from travel review sites and bbs.

Mama Mary/Maria: It’s a special family that would want to go on this trip, but they do exist. Mary and her family are highly educated and highly paid. They see a visit as an educational opportunity for the children and themselves. Mary will want as much information as possible. In addition to scouring reviews and getting personal recommendations, she will read every word and watch every second of video to determine if this kind of trip will be safe, fun and educational. Maria is like Mary, but may be local and will want to know how this trip will let them do something really different. She’ll read on a desktop or laptop machine.

Next step: To make sure the content is useful to and usable by these different types of users.

Learn more

Get in your customers’ heads. Create great personas. 


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