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Creating Customer Personas To Define Your Target Audience

By October 27, 2017 January 18th, 2018 No Comments

Creating customer personas can be the most effective way to define your target audience for a piece of content, or even an entire campaign. Customer Personas are created to represent different types of end users, with the aim of being able to mold a piece of content to suit a specific reader. Personas are created by collecting raw data and combining said data with educated guesses relating to consumers. By giving a reader a broader background as well as likes and dislikes, a piece of writing can better service their needs.

This technique works well for all types of marketing, no matter your business type. Building personas for your core audience help advertise in the right circles and is a game changer when it comes to social media marketing. It is recommended to create 3-5 potential end-user personas to cover the bases, that being enough to cover all of a company’s different types of consumer and small enough as to be able to direct your campaigns with maximum effectivity.

What Is A Target Audience?

The term ‘target audience’ is a vague one, it can relate to many different practices, for example, the type of person a film, book or piece of art is aimed toward. One thing that stays consistent in all of the practices that take target audience into account is that developing customer personas helps to direct the development of each product or piece of content. But in regards to marketing, the target audience is the driving force of every campaign or advertisement.  

know your audience

Target Audience Demographic

There is basic information that all companies use to develop these customer personas, although some may develop more in-depth templates than others. The common information found in these target audience profile templates are details about their employment e.g. size, type, and culture of the company that they are employed as well as job title, details about their role, goals, challenges, values, and fears. There is also basic demographic information such as age, gender, salary, location, and education. Take the example of a template provided below.

All of the analytics gathered for customer personas will differ depending on the type of business that is developing the end user template. For example, an online media company will require different persona information than a company selling raw materials.  

creating customer personas to define a target audience

Target Marketing Strategies

A marketing strategy is selecting (based on the product offered) which target audience an ad campaign will be aimed towards. An important technique, which allows companies to understand the size, profitability, and competition in the market is MOA (marketing opportunity analysis). The target market will share similar needs, such as fashion enthusiasts that collect rare items of clothing. Once the audience has been recognized, a strategy will be created and developed over time to maximise exposure and grow conversion rates.  

Whether your end goal is to increase sales, grow the visibility of a company or to launch a new product or service, there are different routes one can explore. One example of target audience strategy is market mixing, which is typically made up of the four P’s, Price, Product, Promotion, and Place. Market mixing also includes more in-depth ‘Ps’ such as packaging, positioning, people, and politics. All of these aspects affect each other and when considered could prove to be an extremely successful technique, although a lot of market research is required to ensure positive results.

How To Create Customer Personas  

Imagine that you’re buying a gift for a friend or family member. You can envision what they would like, dislike and what they need. Creating a customer persona allows a company to use a similar method to direct their ad campaigns. By understanding the problems that customers face, a company can mold an ad campaign to suit their needs. Using the insights from your customer persona templates will make it easier to define which audiences are more likely to respond positively to pieces of content.

Once you have established the different backgrounds of your personas you should be able to get a strong grasp on where your customers spend their time online, which pages they usually visit when browsing and which social platforms they use. Understanding this gives an idea as to the places a product or service should be promoted in order to be seen by people that are interested. For example, if one of your personas spends more time on Instagram and another spends more time on Facebook then you know which piece of content to publish where.

learn where your audience lives online

You now know what your personas interests are, and which internet platforms they are most likely to see your content. Another great way of utilizing customer personas is by writing seemingly personalized emails, designed to connect with particular target audiences. By collecting data from email conversion rates, you will be able to further understand which pieces of content are more effective and which customers are more responsive to different strategies.

From a sales perspective, customer personas are also incredibly useful, before developing a sales pitch or even making contact with a potential client, a sales team can prepare for potential questions a client may have and also understand what is important to the client.  

Creating Effective Customer Personas

To create an effective and reliable customer persona is it imperative to define a large source of data, statistics, and analysis. Using various platforms to collect information such as Google analytics, Facebook analytics, and website analysis is the key to a successful customer persona, the more data collected from a wide range of platforms, the more reliable a customer persona becomes. Using web site analytics is important when understanding where your end users come from, the keywords they used to find you, how long they stayed and the pages that they visited. Try to involve all of the departments that deal with customers, especially customer service.  

Keeping up to date with social media trends is also a hugely effective way to understand consumers wants and needs. Listening to customers on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram can help a company to understand a lot about problems that end users face when using a service or product. Social media is a great way to gauge customer personalities as well as comparing your content and strategies to your competitions. Of course, directly asking questions to your customers about their experiences via questionnaires or specially designed emails is the most reliable way to collect data. The best type of customer communication is an interview, as this gives deeper insights into individual customer personalities and allows the interviewer to reveal broader details.  

When you’re happy with the information that you have collected and can focus the collected data to create the recommended 3-5 buyer persona templates you are ready for the next step, filling out the already created template. Take a look at the example shown below.

how to define your target audience by creating customer personas

Giving the persona, a name and a face make him/her feel more real, making it easier to view your products and services from their point of view. Use the persona as if they are part of your team when making decisions that are designed to benefit/change customer experiences.  

When deciding on the persona’s employment, use the information previously collected, customer surveys are the most important for this field as you want to choose similar jobs that most of your customers share that fit into one demographic.

To create basic demographic info such as name, age, gender, salary, location, education and job title. You can use programs such as google analytics and Facebook analytics combined with educated guesses. If you navigate to the audience selection on google analytics, you will be able to find the majority of the important basic demographic information necessary.

Determining your personas goals and challenges is one of the most difficult and important aspects of developing customer templates. This usually shows what is important to a customer and helps a company to understand the customers driving force to use their service or product. Conducting interviews with current and previous customers can give a serious advantage if used correctly when developing goals and challenges. It’s important to be as accurate as possible with this option, handled wrong this can be damaging to the integrity of the persona.

Family life and hobbies are individual and personal details which will vary with customers but can also be one of the easiest options to assign to a particular demographic accurately. Personal details like these will help marketers to direct campaigns and strategies diligently and effectively.

Overview

Customer personas are created to help understand the needs of your audience and to shine a light on the problems that they face. Following the steps provided in this post will help to define specific target audiences to be able to cater pieces of content to different personas. Be sure to keep on top of these personas and update the information when required. Use analytics to constantly check whether the personas are still relevant. Retargeting/remarketing may be necessary if you stop seeing successful results from customer personas.