Hi, it’s Bruce from Lifetime Media, welcome.
As marketing professionals, one of the biggest mistakes we come across all the time is that businesses are so focused on getting leads and selling that they lose sight of the very heart of their business, their customers.
In a digital world where people are constantly being bombarded with sales messages, businesses who approach marketing this way are at risk of becoming lost in the noise or even worse, getting completely ignored.
A better way to market is by truly listening to and empathising with the wants and needs of your customers and driving the value they seek at every stage of the buyer journey by finding ways to be helpful and solving their problems with no strings attached.
Dave McClure, author at 500 Startups, says, “Customers don’t care about your solution. They care about their problems”, while the richest man in the world and Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, states that, “The No.1 thing that has made us successful by far is obsessive compulsive focus on the customer”.
So, how do we go about focussing on and knowing our customer better?
Well, a fantastic place to start empathising with your customers is by developing customer personas.
Today I’m going to chat about what customer personas are, why you should be creating them and how to create them so you can take your marketing to the next level.
We’re also giving away our very own free customer persona template which is linked to below along with other customer persona examples and resources.
So, what are customer personas, also known as customer avatars, buyer personas or marketing personas? I love Hubspot’s definition of it being “a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.”.
For me, it’s a way to truly step into the shoes of your customers and identify with what they are thinking, feeling and doing, what their goals and challenges are and what questions they have.
But why would you want to create them? Well, there are various compelling reasons for this. Here are my top 4:
Firstly, your messaging. Your customers are humans. They want to know that you truly understand their problems and that you’re there to guide their purchasing decisions.
By empathising with your customers, your messaging can be tailored to resonate with your audience and build emotional connections that build trust.
Secondly, content marketing. The insights provided by your customer personas will prove to be invaluable when it comes to creating content on the topics your customers care about. It’s a great way to establish thought leadership in your niche and to be viewed as a trusted and liked go-to resource when they’re looking for answers.
Your customer avatars will also contain information like what types of content your customers consume and on what channels or digital platforms they like to consume it.
Thirdly, SEO. Solving the problems of your audience through content on your website is rewarded by search engines like Google. Search engines understand signals like what content humans find useful and engaging. Content like this will help to boost your search engine rankings and help you enjoy the benefits of free, quality traffic down the line.
Fourthly, your buyer persona will serve as a guide on where and how to focus your marketing efforts, eliminating the wasteful use of resources like time, money and people. Unclear and unfocused, targeting, messaging, and content creation will have negative implications for your return on your marketing investment.
Now you know about why you should create customer personas but the next question is how?
The first step is to segment your audience into different personas. For example, as a web design company we have various types of customers needing our web design services. Business owners, marketing managers and other agencies.
Each of these has their own problems that need solving as well as different goals and challenges. It therefore makes sense to divide each of these into their own customer personas.
Next, gather as much real data on your customers as possible. Figure out why they needed your help in the first place. What were their motivations and frustrations before coming to you? What objections did they have and what answers set their minds at ease before they started to trust you and buy from you?
If you’re intimately involved in your business you may already know some of these answers and although this is valuable data, they can still just be educated guesses. It’s important to leave no stone unturned, so get some more data and validate your assumptions in following ways:
Next, armed with this valuable data, document your findings by clicking on the link below for downloading and populating our free customer persona template. The template contains specific areas for you to type in key information for fleshing out your avatars.
And that’s it! Well, not quite. Your customer persona’s are not meant to be a finished product. Continue to add more insights to them as you track and measure your marketing campaigns. The more you refine them the more valuable your customer personas will become and help to grow your business.
I hope you found this video valuable. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments. We’d love to help.
Until later, stay home, stay safe and God bless.
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