Simply put, your customer is the person you want your content marketing geared toward. But how can your content explain to your reader how you can make their lives better if you don’t even know who they are?
Content creation begins with asking one simple question. Who is your customer? Once you answer that question, you write to them. This post explains how to identify your ideal customer.
Understanding Your Customer
The internet and social media changed how we present products and services. With that comes the new challenge of directly marketing to your ideal customer. Gone are the days of ad men on Madison Avenue. Newspaper ads and black and white TV commercials are a thing of the past. Advertisers had the advantage of casting a wide net. But, today, great content speaks directly to your specific customer. Your website content is your best ad. Getting it right is crucial for buy-in.
What you present online shouldn’t alienate your ideal audience. It should engage them.
You just might have the best deal in town. But, if you target the wrong audience, you won’t have a sale. First, you have to have an idea of who your customer is. Ask yourself, who will benefit most from your products or services? Whose lives can you enrich?
How Do You Get to Know Your Customers?
You have an idea of who your customers are, but how do you know for sure? Do you know them well enough to understand what drives them? Understanding your customer pool is where the real work begins.
When getting to know your customers:
- Don’t Assume. Never assume your customers’ preferences. While a potential customer might be a woman, it is not an automatic sale for makeup. Assumptions do not equate to sales.
- Collect Data. Third-party data and information from social media can offer you tons of insight. For example, you can see past purchases, customer service experiences, and social media behaviors.
- Engage. Seek real insight by asking questions. Instagram stories are an excellent solution. Take a poll or ask for feedback. Make it fun and allow your audience a chance to tell you what they want.
Information will help you go from an idea about who your customers are to identifying your ideal customer. Your ideal customer is who you write your content for.
Building a Buyer Persona for Your Ideal Customer
Now that you have data to tell you who your ideal customer is, it’s time to create a buyer persona.
A buyer persona is a data-based fictional person that shares most of the common characteristics of your target audience. The buyer persona is more than raw data. They have a human quality. They are a well-developed “person” with ideas, desires, passions, needs, fears, strengths, and flaws.
Buyer personas give your business the ability to spend your sacred time and marketing dollars on the right audience. When you market products and services, you speak to your buyer persona.
Demographics vs. Psychographics
We know that to target your audience, we have to build a buyer persona. Divided into two distinct categories of data are:
Your demographic data are the measurable characteristics of the entire group. Some examples of demographics are age, gender, profession, religion, education, etc.
Psychographics are different in that they are far less measurable. Instead, psychographics look into personalities, interests, values, and lifestyles.
Together demographics and psychographics create a 360-view of your buyer persona.
Build Your Buyer Persona
Finally, you have your product, and you’ve built your website. Now you are ready to find your audience. It’s time to build your buyer persona and find out exactly who your customer is.
To build your buyer persona:
- Check Analytics. Google makes this a simple task by dividing your audience into demographics. Once you have your demographics, choose a broad segment. An example of this is men, 40-50 years old. These are the guys that visit your site most often to learn more about your company.
- Pick a Location. For a small local business, choose the surrounding area. For a chain or less location dependent business, choose a geographical area, such as North America. Either way, this is where your ideal customer lives.
- Housing. Does this persona live in an urban, rural, or suburban area? Is their home an apartment or single-family house? The type of home matters because it informs us of the things your persona may buy.
- Make It Professional. Give your buyer persona a job and education level. A profession will give us income, and a higher educated persona might tell us that they have debt.
- Give It Life. Give your buyer persona life. What does your buyer persona like to do? Google Analytics breaks down our interests based on web searches. Does your persona attend concerts? Do they search for recipes or shop for running shoes?
Once you gather information about your buyer persona, you begin to see a person form. This buyer persona has a name, age, location, profession, family, and interests.
Buyer Persona Example:
- His name is Mike.
- Mike is 42 and lives in South Florida.
- He is a nurse.
- Mike is a husband and father with a college degree.
- He likes to cook, but he is terrible at it.
- He is environmentally conscious.
- Mike is willing to spend more money on things that make his life easier.
Is Mike your target audience? Take your buyer persona and ask yourself, would you buy from your business if you were Mike? Does your product or service fit into Mike’s lifestyle? Will your product enrich Mike’s life? If not, then get back to the drawing board. Just like people, buyer personas are fluid.
Finding Your Customer is Only the Beginning
Once you perfect your buyer persona, you have a clear picture of your audience and their needs. Then you can create content that speaks directly to them. You will know their challenges and prioritize the features that matter most to them.
At Content Journey, we can help you create the perfect content that speaks directly to your ideal customer. Contact us today and let us take the guesswork out of content marketing for your target audience.