Digital Marketing allows you to segment and target your audience in a way that was never possible in traditional marketing. In the past, with television ads, billboards, flyers and posters, the target audience was harder to reach and marketers would need to rely more on general exposure in the hopes their target demographics would notice.
You can now target users based on their age, gender, location, online behaviour and interests. This means that, unlike before, your ads are being delivered to the right audiences and therefore you will see better results and probably spend less money too. One of the best ways to segment and properly target the right people is to create buyer personas.
A buyer persona is a fictional avatar or character, who represents your target market. They will serve as a template for you when you are creating ad campaigns, email campaigns or other marketing material. You can have as many personas as you want, to suit all of the segments you wish to target. You should think of your personas as a fundamental part of your marketing output and digital strategy.
When you create a buyer persona, you will have a far clearer idea of what kinds of behaviours, interests, demographics and locations you need to incorporate for your marketing strategy.
A well-designed buyer persona will provide you with key information, including:
understanding who they are
A buyer persona will give you the background of a person you are potentially going to reach with your message. For instance, where do they work? If you have two levels of services or two areas of service in your company, then Persona 1, ‘Michelle’, might be someone who works in the financial sector and persona 2, Robert, may work in engineering. If this is the case, you will need at least two personas in order to properly get your message out there. What sort of family background might they have? Are they single professionals? Where do they live? A buyer persona will answer all of these questions and provide a consistent basis for your strategy. With a buyer persona, you will have a list of interests listed for Michelle and Paul, which influence their online behaviour, such as; if they regularly click on links and engage with posts that feature content relating to the chosen areas of interest. When you advertise online, you will get far better results when you have this information on hand.
knowing their buyer journey
Whether you want to sell a one-off product or an ongoing service, you need to understand your potential customer’s needs as well as their purchasing decisions. Why would Michelle want to avail of your services? You know where she works and what she does in her spare time, as well as her online behaviour. A buyer persona will help you to now understand what your customer needs and in what way they are most likely to undergo a transaction or conversion. When you know your audience’s goals and behaviour, you can sync up your message with their buyer journey.
targeting your message and seeing results
When you’re marketing to a fictional buyer persona, you already have a general idea of what your non-fictional customers want, as well as how they behave online, who they are, and where they are. This means that you begin the race with a head-start. Instead of waiting months to gather useful data from scratch in order to better segment and optimise your marketing output, you’re hitting the ground running. However, you’re not always going to get everything right and this is when the real magic happens. Once you have gotten some time to see the results of your marketing output with your segmented persona approach, you get nuggets of digital wisdom which would be otherwise quite difficult to come across. Maybe it turns out that Michelle is less likely to pay for a product online, but she’s actually far more likely to make an inquiry on your website, and she’s likely to do it between 7pm and 9pm on a weekday. This is the ultimate benefit of using buyer personas in the long run for your digital marketing.
where do i start?
So, it’s time to start making some notes. Play around with some ideas and brainstorm your potential market. Ask yourself what kind of personas you might need for your services and how you’re going to segment your audience.
If you’re thinking that this all sounds good but you’re not sure where to start, our advice is that you first perform a digital audit of your existing website and social media profiles before you go creating buyer personas. We also strongly recommend that you create a digital strategy. Without a strategy in place, the buyer personas won’t work properly and you’re doomed to repeat the same mistakes again and again.
If this is all a bit much to take in, don’t worry. If you need help with digital audits, creating a digital strategy, setting up ads campaigns, preparing social media posts, writing content, branding, organic SEO or mentoring, ITM Digital covers it all! If you, or someone you know, needs assistance in these areas, then contact us today!