As a small business owner, not everyone is your customer. It’s almost impossible to achieve sustainable growth for your business if you don't know who your ideal customer is- having adequate knowledge of your target audience helps make your marketing more effective and cost-efficient. As the marketplace becomes even more crowded with businesses fighting for attention, it’s more necessary than ever to home in on your intended customer with relevant calls to action, and not waste time and money marketing to people who aren’t likely to buy from you.
Establishing a buyer persona helps you internalize and understand your current customers, as well as make it easier to speak to potential customers. Great buyer personas enable you to produce tailored content, customized products, and targeted messaging, as well as to offer services that meet the specific needs of your target audience- or audiences.
How Do You Create a Buyer Persona?
As a starting point to discovering your buyer persona, it’s a good idea to start broad and narrow your focus down as you drill further into your data and research. You should also keep in mind that most businesses have more than one buyer persona. Think about the customers that you know- are they all exactly the same? Probably not! Do different types of people and personalities tend to purchase one of your products over another? Maybe you only offer one product, but people come to you with vastly different use cases- for example, a travel agency may sell plane tickets to young, budget-conscious adventurers as well as corporations booking huge, costly retreats. It’s the same product, but the personas are very different.
To develop the best buyer persona that will power your small business growth, you need to conduct market research and gather insight from your existing customers. This data can be sourced through questionnaires, surveys, and interviews.
Carry Out Thorough Market Research
Crafting an ideal buyer persona is all about creating a personality that includes some, if not all, of your real customers’ traits. And there’s no better way to do that than by conducting research! You’ll be seeking insight into who your customers are, problems they are actively seeking solutions for, their backgrounds, and their needs. To collect as much information as possible, send out surveys via email and social media as well as conducting formal and informal in-person interviews. Consider incentivizing your customers for participating via a coupon or other small award to collect more, and more thorough, data.
Also, be sure to look into how your competitors interact with their customers online. Follow them on social media and sign up for their email distributions. Are they serving broad general content or more personalized fare? Can you identify the personas they are speaking to? Is their marketing effective to you? It has been proven that personalized campaigns drive 18 times more sales than typical broadcast messages, so study how your competitors are excelling in this practice.
Study Your Site Analytics
While the results from your surveys and interviews will be enlightening and exciting, don’t discount what the numbers will tell you in your site analytics. By analyzing your website, you can see where your visitors come from, what keywords they are using to find you, the duration they stayed on your site, and what actions they took. This data will give you insights into how your marketing efforts are performing, and whether your site speaks to and captivates your targeted audiences- or if there’s something driving them away.
How to Use The Data You’ve Gathered
So what do you do with the data you’ve collected? You'll need to analyze it carefully to pinpointpatterns and common traits. Use the findings to create a buyer persona template. The template should include (but not be limited to):
- Persona name – Give it a name for purposes of humanizing it and making it more relatable.
- Job title – Include basic company information such as size, sector, etc.
- Demographics – This includes age, gender, salary, education level, family size, and location (urban, suburban, or rural).
- Goals and challenges – How you can provide solutions and help them reach their goals.
- Values and fears – This should include both personal values and any fears or hesitations that could hinder their buyer’s journey.
- Marketing message – How you communicate your products or services specifically to this persona.
- Elevator pitch – This contains your overarching marketing message with basics on tactics to use when selling to this type of customer.
Of course, this is not an exhaustive template. You can add other bits and pieces of information that help you and your business understand your ideal customer. And with all the information you’ve gathered, you should be in a position to target your advertising campaigns much more effectively.
Knowing who your customer is will enable you to understand how they think and act. This should enable you to communicate with them effectively and eventually grow your business. Using a buyer persona is the secret to connecting deeply with your clients and to building trust and loyalty with your customers and fans.
We have also created a FREE ebook, 9 Tips to Grow Your Small Business to give you more insights on new marketing trends including social media, how to maximize your customer base and actively measure success. Download it now.
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