Ask yourself, who exactly is my target audience? How can you speak to them about your products in way that will attract them as both leads and customers?
When it comes to content marketing, it's important that you know and understand exactly who your buyers are in order to maximize your ROI and content effectiveness.
What are buyer personas?
Buyer personas are fictional, generalized characters that build a picture of your ideal and largest markets. These personas help you better understand your core customers, so you can better market to them.
What are they based on?
They usually encompass not only demographic information like age, location, and income, but also psychographic information like their interests, pain points, reasons for buying, and concerns.
Let's take a look at how to effectively build buyer personas for your online business. The following examples will help you laser target your ads and create more compelling content that will engage your ideal customers.
How to create buyer personas for your online retail business
Let's face it. The Internet is crowded and businesses need a better way to market to consumers, especially online retail companies. The first place to start? Building effective buyer personas.
Creating buyer personas has become increasingly useful for smaller online retailers. But where do you begin?
Identify your group of buyers
Start broad and then you can drill down into more specifics. Let's use a fictitious online business that manufactures and sells graphic t-shirts for women and call it Taylor’s Tees. Because our fictitious t-shirt company manufactures their own shirts, it's easy to spot two potential groups of buyers:
Buyer Group 1
Consumers - These are customers that are purchasing for themselves or as a gift for another person.
Buyer Group 2
Wholesale buyers- This would include wholesale buyers from other businesses that may want to sell graphic t-shirts in their own retail and online stores.
Break down your groups into smaller groups
Now, we can break these broad groups down further. The first group, Consumers, can definitely be broken down into:
- Women purchasing for themselves.
- Men purchasing for their girlfriends/wives as gifts.
Single out key information about your buyer personas
Once these buyer personas are defined, it’s time to identify some key information about them. There’s a lot of possible information you could research, use, and define. However, a great place to start is finding out what information you can use.
Here are some of the major elements to define for each of personas:
- Location - Where do people from this persona live?
- Excluding location - Where do people from this persona not live?
- Age - What is the age range of this persona?
- Gender - Male or female?
- Interests - What interests does this persona have?
- Education level - What is the education level of this persona?
- Job title - What field of work do your customers work in and what types of job titles do they carry?
- Income level - What is the income range of this persona?
- Relationship status - Are they single and living on their own, married, divorced?
- Language - What languages do people in this persona speak?
- Favorite websites - Which websites do people in this persona visit?
- Buying motivation - What are this persona’s reasons for buying your product?
- Buying concerns - What are this persona’s concerns when buying your product?
You need to ask these types of questions so you can better understand your customers. Once you get to know them, you'll be able to effectively communicate to them. And you'll be able to target your ads more precisely. Also, it's important to note products purchased as gifts.
To understand your personas psychographics in depth, your best bet is to talk to your existing customers. The most effective way to do this research is to pick up the phone and call them or by surveying your customers with a tool like Survey Monkey.
The final touch
The last thing to do is to make the persona come alive and humanize it. This is typically done by giving the persona a name and photo. You can use an online name generator and use images on LinkedIn or Google Images as long as your personas are for internal use only.
With all of your buyer personas defined, you should now have a much better idea of who, how, and where you should be marketing to achieve the greatest level of success. From increased engagement on your social media channels to a greater ROI for your online ads, taking the time upfront to define your buyer personas can help your online business succeed by better knowing and understanding your core customers – the people who, essentially, constitute your business.
Keep your buyer personas fresh and alive
Your buyer personas will change as you discover more information about your major types of customers and what motivates them. It’s necessary to keep learning as much as you can about your personas. As you learn more, don't forget to go back and continually re-define your buyer personas to ensure you're targeting your potential customers most effectively.
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