When you've been researching or looking for a product or service, we've all downloaded a guide, paper or information sheet from a social media post someone's published.
Have you ever stopped to wonder why you did that? Someone knew exactly what, where and how to target you based on the content you researched our sourced.
The simple answer is the next step in our Strategic Social Strategy steps - understanding your audience and creating buyer personas.
What's a buyer persona? It's simply defining your audience is so you can effectively communicate to them. It's used across all of your marketing. You may have one persona or multiple ones, depending on your product or service. You in effect model what a 'typical' customer looks like and develop a complete picture of that customer.
This allows you to blog, post and even advertise your product or service directly to that look-a-like audience.
Annabel recently wrote a blog "The what, why and how a buyer persona can help capture your audience" - read it here.
This blog is going to focus on how to identify who your customer is and the steps involved in creating a 'persona'.
For the purposes of demonstrating, I'm going to create a fictional persona for a business in the Financial Services industry. Their target is typically people 30 years + who have already bought a home, have a mortgage, either with young children or about to have them and want to focus on paying off debt and creating wealth.
These are the steps I'd undertake:
- Give your pesona a name : let's call this person David
- Define your pesona's age, income, where they live, stage of life etc : David is 34, married with 1 child (planning for a 2nd), lives in suburban Brisbane, has a mortgage, 2 cars, 1 dog, works full-time in middle management as an Accountant, his salary is $120k and he went to university and has a degree.
- What are his/her interests and hobbies : he loves spending his weekends with his family, breakfast out, going to the park, giving his wife a break from being at home with the small child. He goes to the gym 3 times a week, loves bike riding and the Tour de France. He also spends Sunday's going on a cycle ride with a local group of friends and they all meet up at the end of the ride to have a coffee and catch up. He's financially astute and also is interested in dabbling in the share market.
- What are his/her goals and challenges : he wants to pay off his house mortgage asap and build wealth for the future. He and his wife plan on having 3 children, and they'd like to send the kids to a private school. They'd love to buy an investment property, but this is in the medium to long term. He also wants to have financial security and insurance in case something happens to him or his wife. His current challenge is his wife has taken a year off to stay at home with their child, so they are trying to save on one income. They see this as a short-term issue, and his wife plans on returning to work part-time before they try for their 2nd child.
- How would your persona describe themselves? : David considers himself good at his job, is ambitious and wants to get ahead at work. He's passionate about helping clients understand the numbers in their business. He's also driven to ensure he sets his family up for a comfortable future and easy retirement. He loves entertaining his friends and family and enjoys some of the finer things money can buy. He loves being a dad and is excited about the future plans he and his wife have about growing their family.
- What is your persona's values and fears? : David worries about financial security and having enough money to afford their future goals. When it comes to dealing in finance, he's savvy, know's his numbers and wants to deal with someone he can trust, keep him up-to-date with what's happening in the insurance industry and ensure his investment is safe and giving him a strong return. He's looking for a trusted personal relationship with his Financial Advisor and sees this relationship as a long term investment in his financial security. He doesn't want to be 'told' things, but more consulted with.
- Favourite news sources : David's social network keeps him 'in the know'. The majority of them are professionals, like him. He often relies on advice and input from this trusted group. Facebook, LinkedIn and newspapers keep him connected to current news and what's happening in his business world and contacts.