When it comes to online marketing, the key to success is to create content that builds a connection between your brand and the people who buy your goods and services. To do this, you must start by figuring out who those people are.
The traditional approach to marketing has been to define one or more “target markets”. Typically, a target market is described in relatively general terms. Example: “Males, 35-50, Management Professionals, Salary $80,000+, live in Canada.”
While this type of broad information is better than nothing, it doesn’t provide enough details for you to truly understand who this person is and what they care about.
Online marketing is all about making connections.
The more you understand the customer, the better you are at creating engaging content that inspires them to act in ways that benefit your brand. Click to tweet.
This is where the idea of “buyer personas” came from.
Buyer personas are fictional characters that represent your ideal customers. They allow you to visualize the people you are trying to connect with, and relate to them as human beings. While you can customize Buyer Personas based on your business activities, the core elements generally include:
How old is this person? Are they married? Do they have children? Where do they live? Where do they work?
- Fictional Elements
Give them a name and a descriptive title. Add a photo or create an avatar. Include a descriptive paragraph written from their perspective. These elements help the character to come to life.
- Concerns and Interest
What are their concerns and issues? What topics are they trying to learn more about?
- Content Needs and Preferences
What are they looking for online? Expert opinions? Product reviews? White papers? Checklists?
Where do they look for information? Google searches? Forums? Social Media?
What formats do they prefer? Videos? Photos? Text? Infographics?
What motivates them? What inspires them to act?
Clearly, Buyer Personas provide more information and insights than traditional target market descriptors! And this level of detail offers many marketing advantages:
- When you identify the needs and wants of your customers it becomes easier to tailor your products, services, and content, to match those needs and wants.
- When you know where your customers spend time online and off-line, you know where and how to promote your business, and what types of content to produce.
- When you develop multiple buyer personas you can target specific customers with the goods, services and content they will find the most appealing.
- When you understand how your customers make purchasing decisions, your marketing becomes more precise and you can create more effective sales funnels.
- When you share buyer personas within your company, everyone becomes more attuned to customer needs and can meet those needs consistently and effectively.
To master online marketing, you need to STOP trying to sell things and START trying to make connections. Creating Buyer Personas that bring your customers to life is a good start!
“Get so close to your customers that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.” Steve Jobs. Click to tweet
Article written by Kim Scaravelli, CEO, Trust Communications Inc.
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