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.)