But how can you know your target like the back of your hand? Look no further than marketing personas. Understanding and defining your buyer persona is imperative when it comes to developing your marketing and communication strategy.
What is a persona?
A persona is a fictionalized version of a brand’s target consumer. A company can have outlined multiple buyer personas, all of which correspond to different target segments or offers.
While this may SEEM like a piece of cake, it’s actually a bit more complicated than you might think. The challenge lies in understanding your audience and identifying as many details as possible, so that you can decipher what your target customers expect and their buying habits. It is in fact very hard, if not impossible, to deliver the right message to the right person without knowing their needs and expectations.
For example: Would it be wise for a butcher to advertise his products with vegetarians? Unlikely. Now you get why knowing your persona is such a pivotal marketing step.
Build your persona in 5 steps
1 – Get to know your persona
The objective here is to sketch an identity file for your typical customer, using a list of very simple criteria:
- First name
- Place of residence
- Socio-professional category
- Interests and habits
2 – What does your persona expect?
What may seem natural to us marketing professionals isn’t always obvious to consumers. So what are the market’s true expectations? Are you sure that your target group sees your product or service as being able to solve a problem they have?
If you want to communicate successfully with your target audience, your marketing strategy has to be convincing but more importantly, tailored. You may be wondering how you can adapt your persona without knowing the person you are addressing and more specifically, their particular problems.
This second step aims to define the persona’s problems, in the most detailed way possible.
Let’s go back to our previous example: You want to advertise your butcher shop. What could your persona’s possible problems be? Is he looking for quality meat close to home, tips on how to cook meat properly, recipe ideas or maybe even some pairing products?
3 – What does your marketing persona think of you?
Here, your goal is to understand what your persona thinks of your brand, service or product. Your answer lies in the following questions:
- What fears or objections might prevent your persona from buying your products/services?
- What are your persona’s needs and desires?
- What questions does your persona ask himself when making a purchase decision?
If you answer these questions, you can influence your customers and improve your means of communication. Then you can choose the best time to convince them to buy from you.
4 – Where does your persona do his research?
Now you know your persona’s needs and fears, but do you know where he gets his information?
Like almost 70% of adult Quebecers who use the Internet weekly as a source of information, your persona probably uses the Internet and social media to find information. But what does he use more than anything else? Which social media platforms are his favourites?
Ceci est une note de bas de page correspondant à la statistiques du dessus: https://www.cefrio.qc.ca/netendances/internet-pour-s-informer-et-communiquer/
Once you’ve figured that out, you need to narrow down the type of content your persona likes best: does he prefer to listen to podcasts, read or watch videos? You get the idea. This will help you choose the best way of communicating with him.
And really, you could create the ultimate content for your persona but what’s the use of he never actually sees it? For that, you’ll need to work on your organic referencing and choose some keywords that you think your persona may use when doing a search online.
5 – A day in the life of your persona
This step is meant to gather and put together the information you collected during the previous steps in order to better understand what your persona’s typical day looks like. You want to define the best moment to communicate with your target audience.
You could also use Google Analytics to verify at which time periods you get the most traffic on your site. While this may not help you segment according to personas, it is often helpful for choosing the peak hours to target your audience in a more general way.
Now that you’ve gotten to know your persona on paper, you have all the information you need to define a marketing strategy that is relevant and adapted to your customers, but also to segment your messages to audiences that will be interested in hearing them. You have a much better understanding of your consumers’ interests and expectations, and can move on to content creation.
All that’s left is posting it on the most suitable platforms!