When speaking to SME and solo business owners, one of the most common concerns about online marketing is the lack of engagement they are getting on social media.
My response is to ask them about their audience – who are they trying to talk to? Without knowing who your audience is, or who you want them to be if you are still establishing your online presence, then it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise when no one is engaging with your content.
A fundamental part of any online marketing strategy is your customer personas. Building a clear vision of your target audience is crucial for success.
Why are customer personas are so important?
Put simply, you need to know what sort of content resonates with them. Whatever you share on social media should be tailored to what is going to make them want to engage with your brand.
Without knowing this, you are “shouting into the void”, wasting precious energy and time. You can’t speak to everyone without saturating the message and ultimately appealing to no one, so who do you want to speak to?
How to create customer personas
Creating customer personas is no easy task, and it varies from business to business how complex it can get. The more data you have on your existing audience, the better.
What can you mine from the information you have already that can tell you about your target customer? That’s your first port of call when establishing your customer personas.
The first area you need to think about when creating a persona is the personal demographics:
- Are they male, or female?
- Are they married, or single?
- What is their household income?
- What is their occupation?
- Whereabouts do they live? In what sort of house?
- Do they have children?
- What does their typical day look like?
You may think at first that not all of these questions are relevant – but the more you can learn about your customer persona, the easier it is to craft content that they want to engage with.
Ultimately, your product or service is there to support your target customer in solving a need.
- What are their pain points? What challenges are they facing that you can help to resolve?
- What do they value most, and what are their goals? How does this relate to your business values and goals?
- Where do they go for information? This is a useful question to ask in order to determine the resources you provide them with.
- What are their common objections to the solution you offer? How can you overcome those?
Their Online Presence
One of the key things you need to know about your audience is where, and how they spend their time online. If they are avid Facebook users, then you need to focus greater attention on Facebook as a platform. It’s no good tweeting up a storm if your audience doesn’t use Twitter!
Aside from social media platform use, you will also want to determine the other sites that they visit.
Perhaps there are industry relevant sites that they read which it would be beneficial for you to contact for advertising or a guest post? Or maybe they hang out in particular forums that you can also join and engage in.
This is arguably one of the hardest parts of building a persona – but it’s worth the effort because you can then adapt your online marketing activity to suit. There’s no point trying to juggle active profiles on every social media platform if that’s not where your audience spends their time.
Get to know your target audience and watch your business grow
Work with an online marketing expert to create your customer personas and develop an online marketing strategy that works. Find out more about my online marketing strategy service.