As business owners we need to understand who we can help the most. Well-researched user personas of your ideal customers will ensure your marketing messages resonate with them.
As Roger Edwards says, a good marketing strategy doesn’t have to be complicated, it all starts with nailing 3 key questions:
- Who are my ideal customers?
- What are their needs, questions, challenges, pain points and values?
- How can I serve my customers better than anyone else?
Their pain points are especially interesting to us. We need to ask ourselves, what keeps our customers awake at night. What do they struggle with most.
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can create social media and content marketing strategies to build trust and engagement with your target customers.
In this way, you help them discover you, and your products and services as a solution to their unique needs and challenges. And help them to start liking your business.
It’s impossible to achieve all that without creating user personas and defining your niche – you can’t be all things to all people.
How to start creating user personas?
There are many sophisticated technologies and processes on the market to help you create user personas, but it all starts with viewing your ideal customers as real people.
Give them a name, maybe even assign a photo and start adding some details to bring them to life: what do they enjoy doing for fun? What is their job? Which social platforms do they hang out on?
5 steps for kick-starting your user persona research
One: Interrogate your existing customer data, social media insights and Google Analytics
We have access to so much data already, but the key is to interrogate systems in a meaningful way. Ask yourself, what do you already know from your data?
- How old are your audience?
- Do they have a family?
- Where do they live?
- What do they buy the most?
- What times of the day do they interact with your social channels?
- Of your existing content, what do they find most interesting?
- How do they access your blog?
A handy free tool for creating a user persona is offered by Hubspot.
Two: A little bit of social listening is worth a try
To help shape the picture further, visit the LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook profiles of people who are either already your most valued current customers or who you believe resemble your ideal customers.
Look at what posts they share and comment on. This can reveal a lot about which channels they are using most and what topics they are most interested in, as well as what their motivations, goals and frustrations are.
Three: Speak to contacts who resemble your ideal customers
Do you have current customers who also represent your ideal customer? Pick up the phone and find out more about them.
You could also identify people in your network who fit with your target audience and explore what they are interested in.
If you have a sales person or customer service executive in your team, they should be able to share a wealth of information.
Four: Create a online survey
Some companies email questionnaires to their customer base to gather more information about their likes and interests. Most people welcome the opportunity to share some feedback.
If you keep the survey short and offer an attractive incentive, you’re likely to receive helpful feedback. Survey Monkey is a very easy system to use.
Five: Have a strategy for how to keep information ‘alive’
User personas cannot just be owned by the team member responsible for marketing. Make user personas accessible to your whole team, as well as any freelancers and agencies you work with.
Schedule time for updating these personas and have tools in place to record additional information as you learn it.
Need help with creating a user persona for your social media or content marketing strategy? Get in touch.
Last updated: January 2019