How to develop your target audience persona
Last month, we gave a quick overview of a target audience persona and how it can help your brand. As a reminder, a target audience persona can guide your marketing by helping you understand your customer/client base. With the right persona(s), you’ll know exactly who’s buying your products or services. In turn, you’ll know how to market your products or services. Here are the key steps to creating a persona.
Name your persona and give them a face
The first thing to do when creating a target audience persona is to give this “person” a name. It might seem silly, but naming the persona has a few benefits. For one, it helps keep you organized if you decide to create more than one persona — we’ll get to that later.
A name also adds some realism so that you can better visualize the persona as if they were a real customer/client. People often use a name and some sort of descriptor, such as “Soccer Mom Sally.”
Define your persona’s characteristics
Once your persona has a name and a face, you can flesh out their character. Describe their demographics, like age range, gender, job status, location, etc. Decide if they’re a parent (to how many kids and what ages they are), their hobbies, and what they do for work.
Do they work from home? Have a local office? Take a long commute? How do they get around? The more detail you provide, the better. These details will help you with the next step, which is…
Focus on the ‘why’
Your main goal is to answer “why” your product or service will be helpful to your target audience persona. With the persona’s characteristics in mind, come up with some challenges they might have in their fictional day-to-day life. Then, figure out how your product or service can help.
For example, let’s say your business is selling crockpots. And let’s say Soccer Mom Sally works 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and then takes her two kids to soccer practice. The family won’t be home until about 6 p.m. By that point, Sally doesn’t have time to make dinner. So, she’s looking for a crockpot that she can use to start dinner in the morning and have an easy meal when she gets home.
With this story, you’ll know that your business should cater its marketing to customers just like Soccer Mom Sally. Remember to build your persona(s) and their stories based on the customers/clients you currently have as well as the customers/clients you want to have.
Can you have more than one target audience persona?
Yes, you can! You don’t want to have too many target audience personas because your marketing will get a little too broad and out of control. However, it’s perfectly reasonable to have two or three. This is especially true if your business has more than one audience.
You should create one persona for each audience. For example, in addition to Soccer Mom Sally, you might have Weightlifter Wade, who frequents the gym and wants a crockpot to make chicken for healthy meal prep. These personas are very different, but they represent the people that make up your customer/client base.
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