Learn how to create and use customer personas so that your content delivers value and resonates with your audience.
As business owners, we all want to ensure that our marketing efforts will be as effective as they can possibly be. However, in today’s digital world we easily find ourselves swimming in an ocean of information. As a result of this, it can be challenging to identify the keys to creating highly engaging content.
If you want to dramatically improve your business results, then you cannot afford to miss the information in this article. By the end of your reading, you’ll know how to tap into the power of customer personas to generate content that people love and share.
What Is a Customer (Buyer) Persona?
A customer persona (a.k.a. ‘buyer persona’, ‘customer avatar’) is a detailed description of the characteristics of your ideal customers. This means that it is a generalized, fictional representation of your real target audience.
A customer persona has a name, belongs to a specific age group and demonstrates specific behavioural traits. In addition to that, a customer avatar is associated with particular buying patterns, pain points and aspired goals.
Grouping your target audience into different categories can help you tailor your product development and personalize your marketing to different segments. A single product/service can deliver value to more than one segment. However, different types of customers have different needs and concerns, so they buy products for different reasons. Therefore, tailor your messaging according to what you know about those personas instead of creating the same content for everyone.
On the one hand, having buyer personas can help you speak to your customers as if you were talking to real people. On the other hand, you can also define negative personas that represent the people that are NOT your ideal clients. This can help you increase your sales productivity by decreasing your cost-per-lead and cost-per-customer.
How to Create a Customer Persona
You are not your audience. Therefore it is important to identify who your ideal or real customer is so that you don’t waste your time implementing irrelevant video content marketing strategy.
To create powerful videos that help you attract, delight and sell to your ideal clients, first answer the following questions:
- What are your ideal customer’s needs, challenges, interests and goals?
- How would they look for a solution? Online, offline, both?
- How old are they?
- What are their backgrounds and educational degrees?
- Are they married and do they have kids?
- Where do they live?
- How does their everyday life look, etc.?
- What sports do they practise?
- Are they driving or using public transport?
- What gender or age are they?
Though questions like these may sound too specific, they can help you generate content that resonates with what your ideal clients truly care about. This type of information also comes into play when you choose what channels to use to distribute your videos.
Let’s delve a little deeper:
Step 1: Conduct a Thorough Audience Research
If you want to ensure that your branded content will get the attention it deserves, challenge your thinking. Instead of making assumptions about your audience, gather real-world data.
After you shape your persona with the questions above, it is equally important to test and validate your assumptions. You can use quantitative data like CRM data, social media, customer databases, purchase history, Google Analytics, etc. Also, more importantly, qualitative data through interviewing and chatting directly with your users and customers is vital to shape your persona and avoid wrong assumptions.
Check out details such as age, gender, language, location, interests, challenges, relationship status, education, the device used, spending patterns and power. It is also important to know which social channels your existing audience uses and where they spend time online.
In addition, it might be helpful to monitor your competition to identify successful patterns in content strategy, post type and hashtags.
Doing some simple keyword research can help you better understand your potential audience’s behaviour. It is also an effective way of learning more about the language they are using when looking for products/services like yours. On the one hand, this can help you focus on relevant content ideas. On the other hand, it will help you optimize your videos for search engines.
Next, do not forget to interview or survey your existing customers periodically. You can do that online, over the phone or in person. This will allow you to monitor dynamics in their typical day-in-the-life, industry, job roles, challenges, learning patterns, etc. Make sure you keep your questions to the minimum and reward people for taking the time to give you information. For instance, you can send a free product or offer a discount on your services.
You want to develop a precise picture of the clients who are attracted to your products and services? No problem. Just ask everyone who enquires a few questions when you first meet them. It is useful to learn how they came across you, what made them reach out and what improvement they hope to make.
If you already have existing customers, consider creating a customer persona for your most valuable two or three clients. Write down all the details that you know about them. It is important to specify what motivated them to take out their payment card and give you their precious information.
Step 2: Define Your Customer Persona
Although audience research is vital for creating the right customer persona, make sure you do not get stuck in details. Gather as much raw data about the questions listed above and start analyzing it. You can always gather more information later on and make adjustments as you gain more and more clarity.
Once you have gathered data about your target customers, move on with articulating their pain points and aspired goals. What are their main hassles and challenges? What do they want to achieve personally and professionally? What is preventing them from getting the results they are striving for?
Your audience’s desired outcomes do not need to be directly related to how you can help them. Even if they don’t relate to what your products do, they can still determine the approach you take in your marketing. Having that in mind, communicate explicitly how your product/service can make your client’s life better or easier. In other words, focus more on the benefits of your products and services than features.
Not everyone in a specific customer group will match the characteristics of the persona you create. However, dare to be as specific as possible about who your ideal client is and who they want to become. Give your ideal client a name and other defining characteristics like age, job title, location, hobbies, family status, challenges, etc. This will make them appear like a real person you can more easily speak to.
Here is an example of how a persona looks and how a business like Google targets it for their Google AdWords service.
Name: Maria Age: 35-40
Language: English Location: United Kingdom
Job: small business owner and actively working in the business
Type of Business: bakery (food and beverage business)
Finances: She recently quit her job and kicked off the bakery business
Family status: single, no kids
Education: Art and History
Hobbies: She likes jogging, yoga, and reading books. Not really into computers and the digital world.
Problem: She is struggling with money and doesn’t make enough sales. No previous experience with business management and digital marketing.
Now watch this Welcome to AdWords video that targets specifically this type of persona:
This testimonial video is focused on a food and beverage small business owner persona who is struggling to grow their business and make it sustainable. It connects with the business owner who wants to grow and make more sales but never heard of digital marketing and tools like Google Ads (solution).
You see how effectful it is to be specific and connect with a particular audience (persona) rather than being generic because you won’t resonate. We recommend creating a few different personas with all the details about them.
Also, Google uses the same persona and created little case studies in order to attract people to their course fundamentals of digital marketing. A free course that aims to engage people with free marketing lessons first and trigger an interest in Google Ads in the future.
Step 3: Review Your Customer Persona Periodically
Life is full of unexpected events and changes. So, keep in mind that your customer persona might evolve with time. Make sure you take the time to revise your customer avatar at least once per year.
How to Use Customer Personas Effectively In Your Business
If you have already created your customer persona, congratulations! This will certainly help you reframe your work from your customer’s perspective, target your social ads more effectively and increase the ROI of your marketing efforts.
For instance, you can share specific pieces of content with just those groups of your customer base who might be most interested in it. On top of that, you can do so by speaking the language and slang that they use.
However, if you want to implement an effective video marketing strategy, also take into consideration the specifics of the sales funnel. The marketing funnel consists of different stages that are associated with different, interrelated goals. So, to ensure your message resonates, you need to adjust it not only to your customer persona but also to the stage of their customer journey.
At the top stage, you should aim at brand positioning. At the middle stage, your marketing efforts should be focused on social engagement. At the bottom stage, it is all about convergence. And once you have managed to turn leads into buyers, you need to put effort into nurturing and retaining them.
We hope that the information in this article will help you create and reap the benefits of customer personas. For optimal results follow the steps listed above, trust the process and let your intuition guide you.