If you’re going to have a successful digital campaign—organic or paid social, PPC, paid ads, search campaign, or even an email campaign—then one of the single most important elements to have defined is your Target Audience, followed closely by a specific Buyer Persona for your campaign.
In other words, you need to be sure that you’re showing your campaign content to the right people in order to improve the likelihood those viewers will convert and become buyers. Otherwise, you’re shouting into the wind (remember: the Internet is a big place).
When you properly profile your buyer, you can create better content, search, and advertising campaigns which will ultimately result in more sales. So, how do you build a Customer Profile?
A Customer Profile, sometimes used interchangeably with Consumer Profile or Buyer Persona, is a more detailed breakdown of your ideal buyer (or target customer) based on your market research, informed hypotheses, and data.
A Customer Profile typically includes an example of someone who fits all the criteria of your target customer, as well as data from your existing customer base.
The idea is to match a product or service (rather than your entire offering) to a Chris or Cassie Customer who needs to buy exactly that to meet a need or overcome a pain point.
Start by considering the most fundamental factors that make up your customer demographics: categorize your potential buyers in terms of identifiers like age, sex/gender, and location.
Consider your existing customer base (if you have one):
These answers will largely be obvious. For example, if you make and sell couture wedding gowns, then you might generally assume your target demographic is female or femme with a high income.
In other cases though, the demographics might fit multiple categories or might not be so easily defined. If you sell custom initialed items like tote bags, mugs, or robes, your potential customers could include engaged couples looking for wedding party gifts, businesses looking for employee or client gifts, and any human looking for a gift which says, “I put some thought and foresight into this present”—or who is simply trying to keep Jerry in accounting from swiping their mug clearly emblazoned with “Clarissa.”
So, what can you do in this case to make sure you’re targeting the right person?
One way to do this is with a little market research. You can look at the data you have on customers who’ve already bought from you, for example, or you can simply survey your social media followers and website visitors.
Likewise, you can scope out information about other products or brands that are similar to yours in a simple form of competitive analysis.
You’re trying to answer two questions:
You can also ascertain a fair amount simply by looking at your own web traffic data. Assuming you have Google Analytics connected to your site (if not, please do ASAP!), or you have a web stats plugin or dashboard elsewhere, then you can see what people are searching for, as well as their location, device (desktop, laptop, mobile), how long visitors stay on your site, and on which pages they spend the most time.
Of course, this does not establish your full Customer Profile (aka “buyer persona”). That’s because a persona is more than a collection of statistics: a persona is an entire fictional biography based on what a person likes, what their hobbies are and more. You need to try and get inside the mind of that person in order to better understand how they might want to spend their money, where they will be at any given time and for what they are likely to search.
To do this, it helps to have an idea of the “Why” behind what you do. Make sure your brand has a mission statement and—if you haven’t already—brainstorm with your core team to think about what it is you want to achieve as a brand.
When you have a clear picture of why you do and sell what you do, you’ll then be able to find people who believe what you believe and who are like-minded. In other words, you’ll identify your target market overall and target audience specifically based on your shared values.
The customers who share your values are going to be your long-term customers with longer and higher lifetime customer value (LTV). These are the people to whom you want to tailor your content and campaigns to in order to get the very best ROI in the long-term!