develop customer personas

Understanding Your Target Audiences With Customer Personas

As a business owner, nobody understands your target audience better than you. You can probably pinpoint what it is they are looking for or interested in based on characteristics such as age, location, job industry, job role, budget, etc. Selling at that point is simple for you, but the challenge seems to remain how to get your leads in the door in the first place. This is where digital marketing plays an impactful role by working alongside your existing team to spread the word about your product or service through a digital platform.

This is why working closely with a digital partner can greatly help you grow your visible reach. With two teams working together (you knowing your business best, and an agency understanding the strategies of digital marketing best) your efforts online can be multiplied versus with traditional small business marketing strategies alone.

How to Develop a Customer Persona

Whether you think you fully understand your customers or not, one of the most helpful ways of marketing for your business is to segment different personas of your buying audience. This doesn’t have to be a limited number, but there are probably at least three or four general types of customers that you run across consistently in your sales. These buyer personas are fictional profiles, but are used to represent a generalization of a type of customer you sell to. These personas can then be used to make targeted approaches to any sort of marketing plan, whether online or otherwise.

How do you develop your target customer personas? Simply put, you break them down based on personal characteristics and then use that data to market to a specific audience, rather than a more generalized sales pitch to all customers as a whole.

Step 1: Bio

Start with easy to spot demographics about the persona. What typical age range is this category? What size company do they work for? What is their role there? What are their hobbies or interests? The more specific you can be the better so try to hone in as best as possible for each persona. The bio of the buyer persona can be filled with anything related to their background, and focusing on the qualities that are most directly related to your product or service will be helpful (e.g. if you’re selling computer software to entire businesses or organizations then knowing what your buyers role and company size is may be more beneficial than knowing if they have outdoor hobbies).

Step 2: Goals

The next section to build in your buyer’s persona is a list of that customer’s goals. What are they trying to accomplish as it relates to your service or product? Fisherman Frank may have a goal of spending as much time out on the water as possible so he can enjoy a full day of his weekend perfecting his hobby. Working with that knowledge, you can cater to Frank’s goal by touching on how your sunglasses are polarized and are guaranteed to handle the action of being on the water.

Step 3: Frustrations

Another step would be to dig into the mind of your customers by really understanding what their frustrations are. Maybe their time is so valuable that they don’t see the ability to complete a task themselves. Or perhaps they belong to a company that has grown so quickly they are now in a role that demands superior expertise to remain successful. Problems are great things when you can offer solutions to them!

Step 4: Reservations

Even if your product or service is the most amazing to be offered on the market, your customers will almost always come with reservations about making a purchase. Being able to foresee what those reservations are will help you and your sales and marketing team be able to combat those concerns in a strategic way. Maybe College Grad Courtney is looking for a used car but is concerned about her overall budget. As a car dealership, having resources available to her with financing options, trade-in deals, promotional specials, or even creating an online price filter through your website will help direct her search rather than turning her away to other solutions.

Use the Segments to Your Benefit

Once you’ve created a solid outline for your business’s buyer personas, don’t just let them go unused. Continually use your outlines of customer segments to curate the most effective content possible for marketing. Use these segments to create strategies that will bring more leads through the door and through your sales funnel. Find out where your target audience spends their time online and meet them there. Are they on social media? Which platforms? What words might they use to search for information related to your product or service? Get into the mind of your consumer and tailor your marketing to showcase what they are interested in.

Strategizing how to do this best can be overwhelming for business owners and even those in marketing. The landscape of digital is changing so rapidly that it can help to have a partner who can guide your business in the right direction. Contact SWELL if you’d like to have a consultation in what type of strategy may be best suited for you. (No, we don’t charge for that.)

Dinosaur Digital Presence

It’s a Digital World, and We’re All Just Living In It

As I stare at my computer screen trying to convey the importance of having a strong digital presence, my mind drifts to what’s in store for those organizations or industries who are currently behind in the digital playing field. What would a fish be without water? What was the fate of the dinosaurs after the meteor hit? What eventually happened to your crops when you realized Farmville was consuming your life? I think you’re starting to understand the picture. Is it a little harsh? Yeah, maybe. Am I completely wrong? Not in the slightest.

Many organizations have shied away from investing in SEO, Adwords, and even a properly functioning site. Why? It could be because the business they currently obtain are returning customers and referrals. Therefore, they probably haven’t seen a drastic change in business (yet), and a need to heavily hit the digital world is not completely necessary. However, let’s take a look at demographics. The millennial generation is starting to enter the sweet spot of large purchases such as cars, homes, and so on. Millennials are the largest generation to date, that’s right, even bigger than Generation X and the boomers. And finally, millennials, also known as the digital natives, grew simultaneously with technology change. So, time to connect the dots. Your target markets are evolving, and it is essential that you evolve your prospecting and marketing methods to match.

From new applications to new data tracking softwares, the status quo of the digital world is only rising. To put this in perspective, Google has over 100 billion searches in just one single month. While not every search is solely focused on a product or service, a very large percentage of that is. Ecommerce, or online purchasing, is at its peak popularity and I don’t see any evidence that the percentage of those who buy online will decrease.

So how do you cater to the new era of digital craze? First, have a website that is user-friendly, responsive, and filled with content that accurately describes what you do and why you do it. Google, and more importantly the users of, are laying down the law. The Google gods are basically sprinting the digital marketing marathon, and you betcha, we have to keep up. Your site lacks responsiveness? Well, you just earned yourself a slap on the wrist from Google and a move back two search pages card. Does your content lack vital keywords? I’m, guessing you won’t like the number of visitors to your website.

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is an extremely important tool that continually generates leads. While SEO costs a pretty penny, when done correctly, you get a shiny dime in return. SEO allows you to better position yourself on the web through content improvements, blogging, continual data tracking, keyword research and more. A better overall digital presence will allow your site to be better recognized by Google, therefore better recognized by the average user.

If you’re already sitting pretty on the first page of a Google search after typing in related keywords, good for you. According to Hubspot, 75% of users never scroll onto the second page of a search. Not on the first? Don’t worry there are ways to get there, it may take some time, but you can make it happen with some investing.

Paid Search Results, or Google Adwords, is another survival tool when it comes to the vast internet. Do you ever see the little “Ad” icon next to the top results when searching? Bingo, that’s AdWords. For example, if you owned Bob’s Pizza in Boston, then you could pay Google to be a top result for “pizza places”.

I have one more tidbit of helpful information that can make your presence online skyrocket. You’ve probably been waiting for it, social media. I cannot stress enough how prominent social media is in a majority of companies, organizations, and individuals lives. With over 2.3 billion users, every generation has some sort of social media presence. Whether Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, or even Snapchat, it is very wise to make yourself exist in the fast-paced media universe.  Through consistent product pictures, company videos, or even fun facts you’re guaranteed to get a follower base.

So, if you feel like you’re behind in the times of digital marketing then continue researching and check out competitors. Feel free to contact us with any questions, and we will not hesitate to help. It’s a digital world, and we’re all just living in it.