Trying to market your brand to everyone results in reaching no one.
It would be nice if everyone in the world would fall in love with your brand, but, unfortunately, that’s not a realistic goal. A marketing campaign that tries to appeal to everyone will be bland and directionless, lacking any real strategy.
In reality, the more targeted and specific your marketing campaign is, the more effective it will be.
But targeting your campaign towards a specific audience requires a deep knowledge of your audience. You have to understand not only who they are, but know where, when, and how to communicate with them.
It might be easy to imagine your ideal customer in your mind, but how accurate is that picture? And even if you have all the data on who your customers are, it can be difficult to consolidate all that data into a useful snapshot of the people you’re marketing to.
When you’re telling your brand’s story, you don’t want to be speaking to a pile of data. The most effective way to personalize your story for your ideal audience is to put a face to the data.
[Tweet “When you’re telling your brand’s story, you don’t want to be speaking to a pile of data”]
That’s where marketing personas come in.
In this post, we’ll go over exactly what personas are and how they can be used, and then we’ll share a few tips on how you can get started building your personas and putting them to work for more effective social media marketing.
How Are Marketing Personas Used in Social Media Marketing?
Marketing personas, also known as buyer personas, are fictional archetypes that are created to represent your typical or ideal customer.
Personas are a powerful tool that enable you to create effective marketing strategies by “[establishing] empathy and understanding of the individuals who use the product,” as Donald A. Norman of the Nielsen Norman Group wrote.
You may already have the raw data on your audience in mind when you’re crafting your social media content: their age, gender, location, and other demographic data.
But using buyer personas can help you to empathize with your audience and more accurately understand them by putting a face to all the data, helping you to relate to them more naturally, and ultimately improve your social media marketing and engagement.
Any time you write a blog post, share a tweet, or post an update on Facebook, you can use buyer personas to picture who it is you’re speaking to, along with their likes and dislikes, interests, and needs and challenges that your business can solve. Instead of taking a shot in the dark when you’re brainstorming how to reach your audience, you’ll know who they are, where they hang out online, and what content they’ll engage with.
How Do You Get Started Creating Marketing Persona for Your Campaigns?
As helpful as buyer personas are, they’re only effective if they’re accurate.
[Tweet “As helpful as buyer personas are, they’re only effective if they’re accurate.”]
It would be easy to play a guessing game and imagine your ideal customer out of the blue, but the result could be way off the mark. Since buyer personas are the linchpin of your entire marketing strategy, you can’t afford glaring inaccuracies; you need to build your personas based on real data.
There are plenty of methods for researching and creating buyer personas, and it’s easy to get bogged down in irrelevant data throughout the process. You might think that the more data you can gather about your target audience, the better — and that’s true, up to a point. But an overload of data can be just as paralyzing as the lack of it.
When getting started, it’s important to keep your ultimate goal in mind: to gather just enough information to create a true picture of your target audience through both qualitative and quantitative data, build an archetype based on that data, and use it to create an effective social media content marketing strategy.
So how do you go about collecting the data you need?
How to Use Analytics to Gather Data for a Marketing Persona
Interviews, focus groups, and questionnaires are common ways to get qualitative data and one-on-one answers from your customers in order to build your buyer personas. These methods, while they allow you to flesh out your buyer personas with great accuracy, can be time-intensive and costly.
A less resource-intensive way to get started with buyer personas is by using website and social media analytics. Analytics can quickly and easily provide a wealth of data that will enable you to understand and more effectively engage your audience.
Using Google Analytics to build a buyer persona is a great place to start before investing a lot of time and money into more detailed methods. Using analytics, you can see how your website visitors are finding your website and what it is they’re searching for — and whether or not they’re finding it. Google Analytics can give you a snapshot of what browsers and devices your audience is using, what links they click on, and how often they visit your site, giving you all the information you need to build a basic buyer persona.
How to Use Twtrland Demographics to Build Better Personas
Your website visitors aren’t the only source of data you can use to quickly create buyer personas, or the only audience you’ll want to target. Your existing social media fans and followers are also a rich source of data not only about your audience, but on the effectiveness of your current marketing efforts.
After building a basic persona from your website analytics, you can use social media analytics software to develop that persona into a more accurate representation of your current existing social media audience.
Unlike website analytics, social media analytics can give you a better idea of what your audience’s interests are and how to engage them online. Instead of making educated guesses about what kinds of content will engage your social media followers, you can get reliable data on exactly how they already interact with other users and brands.
While the native analytics tools of Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms can be somewhat lacking, Twtrland allows you to quickly and easily see at a glance what your existing social media audience looks like and how they behave. You can get graphical representations of your audience demographics including gender, age, and location, your audience’s topics of interest, giving you plenty of information to help you effectively engage their interest.
How To Realign Your Social Media Content to Your Buyer Personas
In researching your social media audience using Twtrland analytics, you might be surprised at how your existing audience aligns with your target audience — or doesn’t. Often when social media content is created without a specific strategy in mind, it can attract followers and fans who aren’t anywhere near your target audience.
Creating an effective content strategy is much easier when you’ve established buyer personas that enable you to understand who you’re targeting, because that understanding allows you to finally match your strategy to your audience, and realign your content to attract exactly the kind of audience you need.
Monitoring Your Buyer Personas to Keep Your Social Media Strategy Relevant
After you’ve established your buyer personas and started using them to guide your content strategy, that doesn’t mean you can rest easy and keep relying on the same tricks to appeal to the same audience.
Over time, your audience will change, their tastes will change, and content trends will change. Your understanding of your audience will also deepen as you get to know them and engage with them.
[Tweet “Over time, your audience will change, their tastes will change, and content trends will change. “]
Your buyer persona needs to keep up with all these changes. An outdated persona can lead your marketing strategy in the wrong direction, defeating the purpose of developing it in the first place.
In order to keep your buyer personas fresh and effectively engage your audience, you’ve got to stay on top of changing trends and how your audience’s tastes are evolving. If you’re not monitoring your network, you could be wasting time creating irrelevent content. Continuous monitoring via social analytics will allow you to analyze and speak the language of your target audience in order to engage effectively.
Buyer personas are an incredibly powerful tool for creating an effective content strategy — but only if they’re based on accurate data and used effectively, and monitored and developed over time.
By using social media analytics tools like Twtrland, you can quickly and easily see the data on your audience at a glance, build accurate and effective buyer personas, and learn how to effectively engage your followers to see real results from your marketing.