Creating a target persona for your audience is essential when building a marketing strategy. A target persona is your vision of who your audience is: who they are, what they want, what they don’t want, what they’re passionate about, and how they can be reached. When you have a clear vision of your audience, you can create a highly tailored marketing strategy that produces results.
Building a marketing strategy with no target audience is like creating a job posting with no information about qualifications or necessary skills. Sure, some people might come through. But chances are, they aren’t a good fit, and the people who are a good fit can’t find you.
To create a target persona for your business, start by envisioning your ideal customer. If you already have a customer base, you can research to learn more about them. If you’re just starting out, you’ll have to imagine who your potential audience would be and go from there.
Research and Analysis of Existing Audience
When you already have a customer base, start with research and analysis. This provides insights on how you can grow your audience and better cater to them to create loyalty.
Here are a few questions that could be useful:
- What demographics does your audience fit into (age, gender, income level, career)?
- What do they look for in a product/service (affordability, accessibility, environmental consciousness)?
- Which products/services that they like best? Which are the least popular?
- If you’re a business-to-business company, what are the priorities of the business you’re selling to? What is their mission statement?
- Where can they best be reached? Social media? Email? Phone calls? In-person visits?
This list could go on and on. The point is that it’s not just about the basic facts — their age or gender — and it’s not just one specific person. Your audience is varied, but when you perform research like this, you find the overlapping elements. What drives them, what do they care about most, and what turns them away?
Once you’ve compiled your list of questions, find a way to reach your audience. Request survey responses through emails or social media posts. Call some of your most loyal clients and ask for a moment of their time. Consider offering an incentive, like a percentage off their next purchase, so that you can receive more responses. The more information you have, the better.
Imagining Your Potential Audience
Whether you have an audience already or not, it’s a good idea to envision your potential or ideal audience. Who did you have in mind when you started your business? If you already have a growing customer base, is it the customer base you expected? If not, is it still a good idea to pursue that original audience?
The best way to envision a new audience is to be general at first and narrow things down as you go. Where does your audience live, how old are they, and who would find your product/service useful?
As you chase these questions down further and further, you’ll begin to have a clearer idea of who your audience is. Once you have the basic information, you can go a step deeper. How can you best reach them, which social media platforms do they use, and how can you entice them to choose you over your competitors?
Be sure to revisit this target persona later once your audience has grown. Was your assessment of your audience correct? It may need to be adjusted a few times before you get it right.
Creating target personas takes time, requiring thoughtfulness and thoroughness. It’s a lot of work, but once you have a target persona in mind, you can build a marketing campaign that serves you and your customer.