Who is your Customer?

WHO IS YOUR CUSTOMER?

They say knowledge is power, and this certainly is the case if you’re looking to create compelling content marketing campaigns. The better you know your audience, the more effectively you’ll be able to engage with them.

Your key to creating customised and useful content is researching your target customer and then refining that information into what’s known as a customer persona. While there are lots of ways to get the word out about your products, none of them will be beneficial if you don’t take the time to create your customer profile first. With this in mind, here’s how you can go about identifying and speaking to your customer personas.

1. Identify your target customer - If you haven’t yet identified your target customer, now is the time to do so. Pinpointing your target audience involves taking a big-picture approach and segmenting your audience by demographics, including location, age, gender, interests, and more. If you have an online store, you can use Google Analytics to gather even more specific data about your prospective customers. Take a look at where your visitors are coming from and what keywords they’re using to find you — things that will highlight their desires and intent.

2. Create your buyer personas - Simply put, a buyer persona, or customer persona, is an extremely refined version of your target audience. To create a persona, you’ll want to take all of that big-picture data from your target audience and make it personal. Use it to create an avatar of a single customer — one who represents your audience. Keeping your buyer persona in mind will allow you to create content for a specific person, allowing you to present things in a relatable manner, almost as though you were speaking to them directly as a friend.

Here are a few questions that you can ask when creating your customer persona:
How old are they?
Are they married?
Do they have kids?
What’s their job title?
What is their income?
Where do they live?
Where do they get their news?
Which social media platforms do they regularly use?
What hobbies take up their time?
What are their goals?
What are their values?
What are their interests?
What challenges do they face?
What are their pain points?
How do they decide to spend their money?

The goal is to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and look to create a detailed profile for them. If you already have an existing customer base you can send out surveys to learn more about them. Once you’ve created your buyer persona (or several personas if you have more than one prospective customer), print it out and keep it near your desk, looking at it every day will help you get a feel for who you’re talking to, enabling you to familiarise yourself with your customer.

3. Choose your marketing channel - Identifying your buyer personas will help you determine which marketing channels and social media platforms you should be focusing on. For example, if your buyer persona is a 25-year-old hair-dresser who uses Facebook to stay up-to-date with trends and colleagues, you should ensure that your business is on Facebook as well.

4. Craft your message carefully - Creating targeted messages isn’t just a good idea; it’s what people want. Just over half of consumers say they’re likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t make an effort to personalise its communications. Once you know who you’re talking to, you can work to create content and campaigns that will resonate with them. At this stage of the game, you’ll want to put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself, “What type of things are they interested in?” This is where your research will come full circle:

  • If you’ve identified their needs and wants, you can speak to them, helping them to solve problems that they’re facing or showing them how your product is right for them.
  • If you’ve identified their interests, you can work these into your content as well.
  • If you know how they spend their money — whether they’re frugal, free-spending or influenced by friends and family — you can determine how to create your sales copy.

5. Regularly fine-tune your buyer personas - Finally, buyer personas are fluid and something that you’ll want to revisit as you acquire more information about your customers. As you grow your customer base, you can use a combination of analytics and surveys to gather more information, adjust your personas, and even create new ones.

Now, more than ever, you need to know who your customers are. Buyer personas allow you to find and reach customers far more effectively than you’d ever be able to flying blind. Take the time to get to know your audience, and they’ll be far more receptive to what you have to offer.