Customer personas sometimes referred to as customer avatars, are fictional or imagined personas for your customers. You will likely have more than one customer persona to ensure your entire target market is covered.
Creating fictional profiles for each type of customer that buys from you, or you want to buy from you will help you understand your target market in much greater detail and therefore, meet their needs better.
Customer personas are particularly important in your content marketing strategy and for content creation. In fact, creating customer personas should be one of your first steps if you want to get serious about content marketing.
Detailed customer personas will help you understand what type of content you need to produce, where it sits on the buyer journey, what your content needs to say, and even your tone of voice.
In this post, I’m going to cover how to create customer personas and how to align your content with those personas.
Creating Customer Personas
Customer personas are a necessary part of the content creation journey simply because it would be incredibly difficult to create any content without them! Any type of content (blogs, web copy, social media posts, emails etc) you create needs to have a purpose, and the purpose can vary from a simple sales pitch to providing helpful advice. How, if you don’t know who your customer or potential customer is, can you produce that type of content?
If you don’t know who you’re talking to, it’s difficult to see how you can create genuinely engaging, helpful, or even good content.
Now, that’s the why, let’s get on with the how.
How to Develop Detailed Customer Personas
To create detailed customer personas, you’re going to need to get your hands on data and information about the people that buy from you, or you want to target.
You can do this by:
- Conducting new market research, analysing market trends, and existing market research reports
- Analysing customer data from sources such as your CRM system, Google Analytics or any other web tools you use, and social media tools
- Interviewing and surveying your existing customers, or even holding focus groups
- Speaking to your sales team – they will know your customers the best!
Key Information to Include in Customer Personas:
- This usually includes your customer’s average age, gender, race/ethnicity, income bracket, education level, marital status, and geographical location.
- Goals and Pain Points
- Pain points are problems. What is your customer’s problem and how does your product or service align with that? What does your customer want to achieve and how does your product or service help them reach their goal?
- Behaviour and Preferences
- Customer behaviour and preference refer to their shopping habits, likes, dislikes, what would turn them off from buying, how they prefer to be contacted, and whether they are more likely to buy through social media or a Google search. What type of language do they respond to? What’s their reading style? Are they likely to click on adverts?
- Buying Motivations
- Buying motivations are the psychological reasons your customers are motivated to buy your product or service. Common motivations include pleasure, impulsivity, aspiration, need, and acceptance…even if you sell very solution-focused products or services, your customer will still have a psychological reason for buying.
Sometimes, creating customer personas does involve a little bit of guesswork if you can’t access enough data – don’t worry, try to use knowledge from inside your business to create as much detail as possible and you can always come back to your customer personas and add more information or change it, as you learn more.
Just try to be varied with your sources of information – using a wide range of sources will give you the best possible outcome. Once you have gathered your data together it’s time to create a customer profile – literally, create a document, name your customer, and use an image of what you think they look like!
This document doesn’t have to be fancy, but it can act as a great reference point when it comes to creating content.
Aligning Content with Customer Personas
Now that you know so much about your customer and have a handy profile, you can start to beef up your content strategy and plan what types of content you’re going to need to create.
Firstly, what channels should you use to speak to your customers? Your research should show you where your customers prefer to consume content – are they likely to be on social media? If so, which platforms in particular? Remember different demographics may use different platforms.
Or is your customer a reader? Is it likely they are searching online for articles and blogs? Would they download bigger pieces of content to read such as an e-book? Or would they prefer to watch videos?
An easy way to ensure your content is aligned with what your customers want to know is by addressing their pain points, in whatever format they would prefer. What problem does your customer have and what knowledge, experience, or expertise can you provide using content?
If you have more than one customer persona, which you likely do, consider how different they are and whether you’re going to need to create separate content to properly meet the needs of your market. Remember, the more targeted and personalised content is, the customers are more likely to engage with it or take an action you want them to, such as making a purchase.
Tailoring content for specific personas could look like creating video content for one type of persona, whilst another may prefer articles, and your offering may vary slightly, depending on the customer’s needs.
You can also use your personas in a very practical way when you’re creating content – for example, if your customer persona is a middle-aged man, let’s call him Bob, who is slightly conservative and only engages with social media for work purposes, he’s not going to be interested in memes about the latest Kardashians news…and so forth, you create your content according to what it’s likely your customer is going to appreciate and engage with. This applies even down to your style of writing, whether you use contractions or not, do you inject humour in your content, or should it be serious?
The level of detail and personalisation you can go down to with customer personas and how your content strategy incorporates it all is endless…
GrowTraffic can help with anything mentioned in this blog! From creating data-based customer personas to perfectly aligned content strategies, and top-notch content and social media management.
Contact us if you have any questions or want to get started understanding your audience.