Every kind of business in the world has to deal with targeting people as customers. It’s people whom brands build relationships with, people who see your advertising or your packaging, and people who ultimately make the decision to do business with your company or not.
The whole idea behind what is now called inbound marketing is being able to earn people’s interest and draw them in, which says a lot about why leveraging content online is becoming very popular these days. Beyond letting you cut back on the marketing budget, using online content that is relevant to your customers lets you interact with them on a more engaging level.
What you need to identify before starting any marketing effort is your buyer persona - a fictional but well-researched representation of your ideal customer. These are the most essential questions you need to ask in order to draw up a realistic peg:
1. What is their demographic profile?
This will be the easiest information for you to obtain, as the data is used to commonly filter groups from under each label. Find out what their gender and race is, how old they are, where they live, how much they make, and whether they’re married or not to frame how you build your buyer persona.
2. What jobs or roles do they take on?
If a person spends most of their time investing in a career or doing what matters to them most, then knowing what roles your persona takes on will guide you through understanding them much better. Job titles also give perspective on what seniority and responsibility level they find themselves in at work or in other institutions. This brings us to more rooted, psychographic questions such as…
3. What are their needs and goals?
What problems are your persona trying to solve? Do they need anything to reach their goals? How do they plan on realising their goals? There are a number of ways you can phrase this question, but ultimately, it will give you more insight into what your persona values most. Learning what they value gives you an opportunity to position your brand as precisely what they need.
4. Do they have common expectations from your brand? What about objections?
You can use the feedback that you get from customers or even the feedback your competitors get from them to answer this one. Identify what improvements you can add to your products and services. Anticipating fears or misunderstandings between your brand and the buyer persona also lets you prepare the content you’ll need to educate them about your offers.
5. What would a day in their life look like?
You can learn a lot about your persona’s lifestyle by filling in what gets them from point A to point B—literally and figuratively. For example, your first buyer persona could be bent on keeping a healthy routine throughout their day, and your second could prefer consuming food while in transit. While these narratives might not be as pertinent to your brand, your marketing strategy could benefit from knowing which channels are aligned with your target’s access points.
6. Where do they go for information?
Aside from providing insight into another set of access points, you can learn about which identities influence them. Targeting these identities when you’re at the stage of personalising content can also give you a marketing advantage.
7. How do they act online?
Because most of your content will probably be found on the Internet, learning about your persona’s behaviour will let you determine which channels are going to be more effective than others in reaching them. This becomes helpful when you plan on interacting with them or convince them to perform a specific action (such as downloading content, providing information, and purchasing online).
Once you’ve put together a collection of research, real quotes, and educated guesses about your persona, you can summarize your persona using appropriate keywords. These keywords should be in line with the language your persona uses and should inspire the tone of your content as a whole. Give them a photo and name them to make them even more believable.
What are the next steps to making sure your marketing strategies produce great results? Download our eBook to find out what our business coaches recommend.