If you want to communicate effectively with your target audience, creating a buyer persona (also known as a customer avatar) is a tremendously important piece of your business marketing. By optimizing your content for a clearly defined avatar, you’ll begin to see a lot of success in terms of attracting prospects that are the exact fit for your business.
What is a Buyer Persona?
A persona is a fictional representative of your ideal target customer. If you do not really know who your perfect customer is, you won’t be able to craft your marketing message in a way that appeals to them. For instance, if your ideal customer is actually a 55 year old male that hangs out on LinkedIn and Google+ but your marketing message is aimed at 34-45 year olds, then your campaign is likely to fail miserably.
Knowing and understanding your ideal target customer is a really important piece of your business marketing. It is the secret of successful selling. You should always be looking to attract the customers that are the exact fit for your business. Foc
using on attracting your ideal target customer will help you develop advertising that brings you serious returns on your initial investment.
The fact is, people have different personality types, and they also have different buying habits based on the current situation of their lives right at that moment. You’ll have people with different levels of awareness, intent and personality types within your target audiences. This is why your must create many different types of messaging that will resonate with different people.
Describe your ideal customer and include the following details:
Start your customer persona development by asking and answering questions:
- What is the demographic profile of your ideal customer: age, gender, income, occupation, marital status, lifestyle, education, etc.?
- What are their desires, wants and needs?
- What are their fears, challenges and frustrations?
- What makes them suspicious about companies like yours?
- What are their worries?
- How does your product or service solve their problem?
- What social networks do they use?
- What stops them from buying?
- How do they make decisions?
When you’re brainstorming for keywords, understanding what each of your target customers’ needs are will help you pair up the most relevant content types with keywords specific to that audience. For example, let’s say you sell baby monitors. If you are targeting expectant mothers with your baby monitor, understanding a newborn’s mother’s mindset, challenges and problems and how the baby monitor will solve that mothers problem will help you develop content using language that will resonate with her.
When you know who you’re talking to, you’ll be able to craft the right tweet or status update that she would want to engage with. If you have an email marketing campaign, you’ll also be able to send emails that she would want to open because the subject matter would resonate with her.
In addition, when you understand how your target audience searches for your products or services, you’ll be able to produce content for your ideal customers at different stages of the buying cycle.
Developing Personas for a Golfing Website
In this example, we are going to create a customer avatar for a golfing website. You’ve created a video course that will help people improve their golfing skills within 6 weeks, and you want to create a website and market to potential customers. You need to identify that one person that you’re going to focus on to solve their golf-related problems.
Here’s a good example of a target customer for this website:
Abiye is 55 years old, he’s hoping to retire soon, he’s a marketing executive at Insights.com and makes $105,000 per year. He lives in Los Angeles, and golfs 6 times per month. A lot of deals that he is putting together at work are from relationships on the golf course. At present, he feels that his poor game is really holding him back from connecting with some of these executives and he wants to step his game up so he can shoot in the 80’s instead of the 100’s so he can be a more confident golfer and a more confident person on the golf course.
As you find out more about your customers and prospects, you can begin to refine your persona so that you can create a more “actual” person. The more you understand your customers, the better you will be able to communicate with them and they’ll feel you’re talking directly to them.
When you address the particular needs of each specific group or segment of people, you can create a more personalized experience for that group of visitors. You can also speak to your users in the language that would most likely appeal to their needs.
Using a Media Kit
A media kit is a set of FAQs created by magazine publishers that answers a lot of questions that potential advertisers may have about the audience profile. So a prospective advertiser that wants to run a full page ad in a magazine would search for the magazine’s media kit to research who their average reader is: their demographics such as average income, average age, marital status, etc.
Carrying on with golf as a niche, we can get some great insights from golfing magazines. This will give us a great idea of the audience we need to be going after. We’ll start out with broad, general golf magazines so can get a good idea of who their readers are. We can start out with a few golfing magazines on Magazines.com.
Focus on magazines with a very broad, general audience. Once you’ve identified a few candidates, you can visit their website to search for the media kit for their web audience where we can check out some important demographic information. Note that you can also google the magazine’s media kit. This will provide information such as the media age, income, gender, employment and marital status, net worth, etc.
We’ll repeat this process until we have a good idea of who our target audience really is. For example, if a number of magazines show that the average customer is male of a certain age, then that is your customer avatar.
Facebook Audience Insights
Facebook Audience Insights helps you target your Facebook ads more effectively. If you will be marketing to people on Facebook, it is critically important to know who your who your target market is and who the big players are in your niche, i.e. your top competitors. You also need to understand your audience and focus your reach to ensure that your message will reach the right people. You should be looking to build an audience of 50,000-100,000 people, which will be a good sample size.
Using Facebook’s Audience Insights will make sure your ad reaches your ideal target customer rather than just anyone, which ensures you are not wasting money by marketing to the wrong audience. By doing your research with the Facebook Insights tool, you’ll know the right demographic to target including where they are located and purchase behaviour, page likes, and Facebook usage.
Specifically, the Audience Insights tool allows you to break down audiences to learn a whole lot about them, including:
- Age and Gender
- Relationship Status
- Education Level
- Job Title
- Pages Liked
- Location and Language
- Activity on Facebook
- Devices Used to Access Facebook
- Household Income
- Home Ownership
- Household Size
- Home Market Value
- Spending Methods
- Purchase Behavior
- Type of Car They Drive
The Facebook Insights tool is a really powerful way to build an audience from scratch when you don’t have a mailing list, website traffic or have never built an audience.
For example, if you’re researching your audience for the golf niche, the tool will provide all of the information you need on people who do not just like golf, but are passionate about it, and already spend a certain amount of money on it. It will provide the insights you need to structure your ad to ensure that you’re marketing to the right people.