The first question I ask my clients is who their target audience is. I always get the same puzzled look followed by a stutter about who their ideal customer is that they just thought up.
As a marketer, knowing your client’s audience is beyond important. How can you effectively talk to and sell your products or services if you don’t know who you’re talking to?
That is where building out your business’s personas comes in. A business (or buyer) persona is a fictional generalized outline of your ideal customer. Having an understanding of who your customer are will help your business reach your target audience on their level. These are real live people. For your business to effectively reach them, you have to learn what they prefer, their work habits and lifestyle preferences.
Your business can have a few personas. For example, at the Virgo Girl, we target creatives, artists, entrepreneurs, and small business owners. That means all our content, social media efforts, and email campaigns are targeted at these individual personas.
Here we share a few tips on building out YOUR business’s personas.
Identify your current customers
Take a look at your customer database. Are there any trends you can uncover? Are they all interested in similar content? Do they click on the same links in your email campaigns? By uncovering similar content that your audience is interested in reading, you can expand on creating more of that content.
Group your top three customer into buckets
Each “bucket” represents one of your top customers. For example, if one bucket is small businesses, you should create content specific to small businesses. Follow small businesses online and engage with them directly.
Ask your audience!
This seems like a no-brainer, but it gets overlooked all the time. Start an email campaign or social media poll asking what content is of interest to your audience. This can help you identify and group your contacts based on their interests.
Questions to ask yourself when you make your personas:
Once your personas are identified for your business, you need to answer a few questions to better understand their wants and needs. Here are some questions to think about when creating content for your new personas.
Role: What is their job role? Title? What does a typical day for them look like? What skills are required to do their job?
Company: In which industry or industries does your company work? What is the size of your company (revenue, employees)?
Goals: What are you responsible for? What does it mean to be successful?
Challenges: What are your biggest challenges?
Watering Holes: How do you learn about new information for your job? What publications or blogs do you read? What associations and social networks do you participate in?
Personal Background: Describe their personal demographics (if appropriate, ask their age, whether they’re married, if they have children). Describe their educational background.
Shopping Preferences: How do they prefer to interact with vendors (e.g., email, phone, in person)? Do you use the internet to research vendors or products? If yes, how do you search for information?
By taking the time to get to know your customers you will develop a better understanding of their needs and wants, and in turn be able to better market to them.