Brands know more about their buyers than ever before. Consumers know this, and they expect personalization. A general scattershot approach is not going to have the same impact in this digital age. Content marketing is a preferred strategy, but the first thing you’ll need to do is define a buyer persona. This article offers a primer on how to create a target persona for your business.
A successful business website, blog, landing page, email, or social campaign will all consider the target persona. Creating content because you want to say something isn’t as effective as learning what your customer needs to know and writing about that. With a good understanding of your customer persona, you can design a website that looks great and solves customer problems.
Defining a target persona takes effort on your part. But, the legwork upfront can drive successful marketing efforts. You’ll have a better idea of what people are looking for from you. That lets you establish credibility with the customer and helps you build long-term business brand relationships.
Wondering how to create a target persona? Get started with these preliminary steps to identify your marketing personas:
- Research target audience
- Get specific
- Identify customer pain points
- Determine how your brand can help
- Create persona narratives
- Communicate your target persona findings
Review this Guide to Social Listening to improve your marketing more.
Research Target Audience
Creating several target personas can help focus your content marketing campaigns. However, you can’t determine a customer profile by sitting around a table and spitballing who might be interested. You’re going to need to do in-depth research to develop a rich understanding of the nuances between different buyer groups.
There are many ways to research your target personas. This can include:
- Interview prospects
- Talk to loyal customers
- Review customer survey feedback, social commentary, customer service chat transcripts
- Involve other departments — sales and customer service are forward-facing and could have fresh insights
- Look at what your competitors are doing
- Monitor social media
- Interact with industry influencers
You’ll want to develop more than one marketing persona. After all, you likely offer more than one product or service. Even if you have just one widget for sale, you’ll still want to develop at least a few different target personas that you flesh out with specific detail.
The basic buyer persona template includes important information such as:
- Spending power
- Job role and responsibilities
- Stage of life
You’ll need to fill out these details about each target persona you create. For instance, a wedding cake baker could just think of her audience as women about to get married. That is too generic. It could be useful to create a different target persona profile for the budget bride and the bride who wants the best for her big day. Another possible profile could be the groom or other wedding party member tasked with booking the wedding cake. You can easily imagine each of these three groups would have different priorities.
Identify Customer Pain Points
It’s one thing to talk to a potential customer in a personalized way. Yet, what really brings business success is communicating to that prospect with understanding and empathy. The target persona development process involves you determining what problems that person is facing.
Take the time to figure out:
- What hassles they want to avoid
- What changes in their job or life stage are prompting them to shop
- What purchase barriers are in their way
- What holds them back from using your product or service
Determine How Your Brand Can Help
With a clear idea of who your potential customer is and what they are looking to achieve, you can stop talking at them. Instead, talk to them. Particularly about how your brand can help them achieve their goals. This strategy will take you away from focusing on features and direct you to a more benefit-focused approach.
Relating your brand values to this stage of the target persona can help you develop content marketing consistent with your business overall. Learn more about the Economic Value of your Business Brand.
Create Persona Narratives
Content marketing leverages story and emotional appeal to have an impact. It can help you personalize your efforts if you get creative and develop a buyer’s story. No, we’re not suggesting that you write a persona for every single prospect. Instead, use all the information you’ve gathered to develop customer composites.
You would name a representative of each of your target groups, give them a back story, and even add a possible image of that target persona to help generate the marketing efforts. You’ll write a better email campaign if you can imagine the person who will be receiving it.
Communicate Your Target Persona Findings
You did the work to develop these target personas to better focus your marketing efforts. Still, these detailed profiles of customers can be helpful for other business teams too.
Product development could benefit from the narrative you share about the target persona. Customer service might gain a more empathetic view of the people they interact with after reviewing their pain points. Sales, too, can tailor their efforts to close that deal with the benefit of the marketing team’s audience persona work.
Whether it is your business website, an ad campaign, or a social media post, you can see improved marketing efficacy with the target persona. Now that you know how to create a target persona for your brand, you can focus your budget on the personalization that supports business success.