The following could be your problem…
If you are marketing a product or service online and you have not created a marketing persona, stop what you are doing and listen up. Every strategy you implement; every blog post you write; every tweet you craft—all will be a waste of time if you do not know your audience.
A marketing persona is a fictional representation of your target audience. It is the person to whom you speak every time you market your products and services online. Many marketers do not take the time to do this task; some feel it is a waste of time and others procrastinate. After all, why do you need to know if “Sally” likes to cook or ride horses in her leisure time?
Experts advise businesses to create marketing personas for a reason. The more intimately acquainted with your audience you become, the more effective will be your marketing strategies, thereby driving sales.
You must make connections and build trust to sell effectively.
A proper marketing persona will outline what motivates your audience to make a purchase. With this information you can effectively touch those points and dramatically increase your conversions.
As you go through this exercise, you may discover how little you know about your audience.
You should develop 3 separate marketing personas for your business, especially if you are doing this exercise for the first time…
Step 1 – Basic Demographics
Basic demographic information includes sex, location and income level. You will also need to know what role they play in their business/organization. Are they a work-at-home mother? A chef at a high-end restaurant? Another internet marketer?
Step 2 – Goals and Interests
What are your persona’s goals and future aspirations? Imagine the connection you can create with your audience if they feel you can help them facilitate a dream or aspiration or even a valuable goal.
For this step, you should create an age group for your persona and also their interests. Understand their past behaviors and personal goals and what they need to fulfill their future aspirations.
Yes, this is a fictional person but it can be helpful to do some real research to discover some more valuable information on your audience.
Take a look at some Twitter profiles of people who may fit your marketing persona. LinkedIn groups are also effective for market research. Eavesdrop on their conversations to get a better idea of what makes them tick. What are their interests? What are their frustrations? What are they trying to accomplish?
For example, imagine you are selling an ebook to internet marketers about blogging. You already determined that one of your personas is a male who wants to start a blog to make money online. Further research can clue you in on the daily life of this man.
- He is a father who struggles with working long hours as an IT analyst in corporate America but wants to start a blog to make more money.
- He loves to cook and frequents fine restaurants
- He hates his current job because he wants to spend more time with his family.
- He loves to take risks because he tweets about his weekend excursions down Double Diamond ski trails.
Any one of these discoveries will help you in your marketing. Just take the first two and let’s see what a difference it can make.
You can determine a roundabout age because you know he is a father. If he has been working for 10+ years you can safely assess that he is 30+. You will need to dig deeper to get a more specific age. Since he loves fine dining, you can see that you are most likely dealing with someone who has high class taste without the money to show for it. He is putting his children first because he knows they are his priority.
This man is overwhelmed, overworked and needs help sorting it all out. Your marketing message to this man would encompass how blogging can create more of a financially free life for those who are sick and tired of the “9 to 5” daily grind. Your images and advertisements should appear high-quality and solve his deepest needs.
Chances are he is worried about replacing his job right away and he is intelligent enough to know this won’t happen anytime soon. So you can advertise your product as a step by step blogging solution that will not take a lot of time. Your system can be done on a personalized schedule because of how hard it is to raise a family and work long hours at the same time.
Are you starting to see how this works? Speak to the persons’ pain points and solve his problems. Obviously, your product would need to solve those issues in order to make this effective, but the thought process should be the same for every marketing persona you create.
Step 3 – Gain Feedback and Tweak
Once you create a persona, share this information with others and gain their feedback. Sometimes this exercise can lead you to make tweaks in your products and services. You may find that your audience will not fare well with an ebook and they would much rather watch videos. In the above example, you may discover that a step by step approach will get the job done better than a basic blogging ebook. This information will be priceless to you and allow you to make much-needed adjustments to your business.
Step 4 – Talk to Them
Start a campaign targeting this persona and notice how your marketing strategies will change. Find out where your persona hangs out online and start conversing with them. Envelop yourself in the thought process of this person. By following these steps, you will create connections and trust like you have never seen before and your profits will increase as a result.