Without knowing your audience, you often don´t make any sales which can be very frustrating. It’s like shooting without aiming. This is why it is a good idea to learn what targeted audiences and buyer personas are. How to identify and create an audience and why it is necessary for any online business.
The difference between a targeted audience and a buyer persona
Targeted audiences are a more particular group of consumers that a product or service is aimed at. Indifference a buyer persona is a more semi-fictional description of your ideal customer.
The audience of consumers within your market that will care about your offer the most. A targeted audience describes the attitudes and behaviors of a specific group of people and their purchasing decisions. The focus is on demographics and physical information. It includes geography, gender, age, marital status, and other information about consumer lifestyles.
Targeted audiences are quite popular for Business to consumer (B2C) companies. So if you directly sell products and services to consumers, you should create a targeted audience. It is more for induvial consumers when your business is the only involved decision-maker.
For a buyer persona, you need to identify the types of people within other companies that will be most appealing to your solution.
Creating an ideal customer profile is mostly used by Business to Business (B2B) transactions. Which means anything operates between companies that involves something like manufactures, wholesaler and retailers. There are usually multiple people involved in a sale so you need to maintain relationships between those people, the buying power of each, and how that information travels through their companies.
Similar to a targeted audience to create a buyer persona, you also need demographic, psychographic, and behavioral information. However, it tends to be more in-depth about the influence and role the person has within their company and what are their goals and motivations. A buyer persona often includes company-related information like job titles, industry, annual revenue, and the number of employees.
Why do you need to identify your audience?
If your customer is everybody, it will be difficult to find people who can identify with your business. It is better to present your brand to match specific people’s interests because then they will become customers.
You should know who the people are and how you can reach them. What they think and how they describe your offer. This will help you to find the right words on your site to make your brand appealing to the right audience. You need to understand what is popular and how they compare and choose your product so that you can structure and prioritize content on your website.
When you see what they want, you can make your whole business relevant to a targeted audience. Indifference it will be also helpful to know what they don´t care about. You can identify how you can solve their problems with your product or service to communicate and provide the best experience for your customers.
How to create a targeted audience?
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in your online business is thinking about your product is for everyone. If you want to succeed with your business, you have to define your ideal customer the more detail the better.
Target Audience for Business to consumer (B2C) companies
If you don´t already have data for your customers, start with assumptions and guesses on your first-hand experience and evidence. To define a targeted audience traditionally, you have to know their age, gender, geographic locations, and their needs. But online the location matters much less and often age isn´t that relevant than it used to be. This is why you should look more at their lifestyle.
These questions you need to have an answer:
- Who are your targeted customers? How would you describe their life and business situation?
- What are their needs and wants? And what needs and wants aren´t being met?
It can be a good idea to talk to customers and meet them and observe them in their natural habitat.
Survey your customers
The best thing you can do with paying customers is to survey them. It can be beneficial to know why and how they buy. Both Typeform and Surveymonkey offer powerful tools to make surveys with useful analytics and features.
Best focus on between 20-100 customers that recently purchased your product or service and still remember it.
What you can ask:
Who are you? Get Demographics like age location gender… that is relevant to your business to see if there any similarities of the asked customers.
What do you use (Your Product) for? Start by asking what problem they have and how your offer will help to solve it for them. You need to understand their problem and you may discover unintended uses.
How it makes your life better, and what do you like the most? What improvements the product made in your life or business? It will be useful to find out the end-benefit your offer has, in your customer’s words. These thoughts of customers are helpful because you can mention some of them on your website and product page.
Did you research any alternatives to your product before purchasing ours? When you know what your competitors offer, you can make a comparison to your product and show the advantages you have indifference to your competition.
What convinced them to buy your product and why do you think it was a good decision? You get an idea of what’s working for your website and you may discover what you should lay your focus more on.
Did you have doubts and hesitated before buying? You learn what you can improve on your product and provide the missing information your customers want on your website.
Is there anything else you want to purchase from us? It gives new ideas of products or services that customers want.
Anything else you want to tell us? When a customer has any other feedback, you didn´t ask for it.
If you chose your question, it is important that you know what you are going to do with the information when you have it. Every question should be unique and necessary. Adjust the wording to make it neutral so it is easy to understand and aren´t questions where yes and no could be the only answer.
Don´t use multiple choice questions as you want that your customers can express themselves without constraints.
Pay attention to how they word things you can integrate some answers into your website. It will help to find a common language that your audience would like
A good idea is to set a time limit, something like, please fill this survey out in the next 3 days. Make sure to give a reward; it can be a free product or service, a gift card, or give away something that motivates customers to take the time to give you feedback.
Targeted audience research methods
Sometimes you don´t have an existing or large enough customer base, But you still need to find your targeted audience to make sales and grow your business.
A good idea is to use the Google Analytics insights of your website and look into the data what type of people visit your website and buy from you.
Another method is to research social media with your niche in mind. Find people by either searching in groups or for profiles similar to your business. You can discover a lot of the pain points, interests, and demographics these people have. Tools like Keyhole can help you research social media pages.
With Facebook audience insight, you can also look for the right audience.
When it is possible, use a budget on ad campaigns where you target different audiences. Then you can see what people respond best to your offers. These should be your targeted audience.
There are many research methods to find your targeted audience but remember you don´t need to target only one group. It is important to research, improve and define your targeted audiences as your business grows.
How to make a buyer persona?
Understanding your customers with the help of a buyer persona is no small task. But with the three-phase persona development process, you will get to know how a consumer ticks.
You have to make sure everyone from sales to marketing to customer service is on the same page. You can ask your internal team about customer goals, pain points, and common behaviors before you build a buyer persona.
Make a meeting with the sales, service, and marketing team to make them understand what personas are. As well as to get their input on the type of customers that purchase from your company.
For this meeting, you should prepare some interview questions that help to collect valuable insights.
- Sales Team
- Your sales team interacts with customers each day they know the information that influences customers to make a purchase or not
- They will know the commonly asked questions, what objections they frequently face, and the unique selling points that are most meaningful to your targeted customer.
- Marketing Team
- With the help of your marketing team, you get to know how your customers behave from indirect interactions.
- The primary focus is on the way customers can find your company online.
- You get a better understanding of whom you need to reach and how to reach them best.
- Customer Service Team
- Most interactions with customers has the service team; it helps you find out what concerns feedback and problems consumers of your product are facing.
- Here you can find questions you can ask your Sales Marketing and Customer Service Team to understand better what type of customers you have.
The information from your internal team provides the first understanding of your customers and you got a semi-fictional buyer persona. However, to really uncover the best information, you have to interview consumers.
When asking the right questions, you can learn their behavior and the challenges they have. It will help to write better content and marketing messages. You already have an internal hypothesis of who your personas are. But with a customer interview, you learn wherever you can prove or disprove the insights you gathered from your team.
You can use customer interviews to adjust your product and service for different buyer personas.
For the interview, choose a range of different customers from various backgrounds, buying situations, and target markets. Your sales team can help you select candidates from each buyer persona group.
Focus on all customer types no matter if they choose to buy the solution or not or even purchased from your competition. As these consumers recently paid for your offer, they can share insights on why they chose your product or service or why not. And you can find out how they evaluated your solution and the process and resources they used to make a decision.
You should pay close attention to how you asked questions; it is better to use open-ended questions rather than simple yes or no. This will help you to get more valuable information.
The following customer characteristics and behaviors can be applied to build a buyer persona.
- The basic details of a customer are an essential starting point.
- If you are a B2B company and market to other businesses, you should know about the industries you serve and what types of customers you will be interacting with.
- For business-to-consumer companies, a person’s work-life can also influence the overall persona.
- Daily life
- It will help discover how customers spent their days and free time and what frustrates them. And to learn what choices they make daily.
- Consumer habits
- The habits of customers are difficult to predict; it is one reason why developing a persona is important.
- Find out how they make buying decisions to reach them more effectively.
- Get an understanding of what frustrates them and makes them uncomfortable and anxious to develop solutions to remove their pain
- You will be able to predict their needs before they exist.
- It is a good idea to mention these key pain points with the marketing and services team; it creates better connections, trust, and transparency with customers.
- Asking industry-related questions will help you the most with your persona-building process.
- As these customers are may already make a purchase or not, they got a reason to do so.
These are questions you can ask to get the mentioned information from your customers
The data for a buyer persona can be parted into two sets:
1. Internal and customers collected data from interviews
2. Collected data from web tools
With Google Analytics, for example, you find a lot of useful insights from your website visitors by looking for similarities in search traffic. Your teams can group buyers into themes and categories to decide how they present content offers to meet customers’ expectations.
All of your collected data should be presented in a format that is easy to understand for everyone. You can translate both analytics and interview data to story format so your team can learn from this informations and use it to improve your business.
You can part a Persona Profile into four elements:
(a) Name: Where you can use a fictive name like Thrifty Tom or Elegant Annie if you don´t have real names. It helps you when you develop new products and brands and creating marketing campaigns.
(b) Description: Every Person should both included demographics and customer’s behavior. It includes descriptions of daily life, the common challenges, purchasing behaviors, and other factors that are useful for your sales and marketing team that interacts with this type of customer.
(c) Image: For the visual part, it would be a good idea to use a photo of the person if the customer accepts it. But you can also integrate a fitting stock photo.
(d) Identifiers: Make a list of identifiers for each different persona for your team members to quickly select the most appropriate marketing messages to communicate with potential customers.
Build a targeted audience or buyer persona to boost your business to the next level
No matter what you sell with your business, it very important to create a targeted audience or buyer persona. You reach way more conversions when targeted traffic meets relevant offers and fitting messages. As an online business, your mission is to increase your traffic and to make sure your website is relevant for your viewers. Understanding your customers will lead to higher sales and more profit.
Your entire company should be on the same page and willing to optimize the sales process and product development as well as improve customer support. Do this by asking your audience the right questions with a survey and by researching them.
It will help you to solve the problems of your customer which makes them loyal and happy with your offers. This is what makes a business truly successful.