How well do you know your customer??? Why this information is your own gold mine.
The crux of creating a marketing buyer persona is to effectively targets the right prospective customers.
This post will teach you how to research buyer personas to reveal preferences and behaviours that will help you deliver successfully, targeted social media campaigns.
What is Buyer Persona?
A buyer persona is a research-based representation of the ideal buyer for a company, created in the form of a fictional person. They embody the behavioural characteristics of someone who needs your brand’s product or service.
Marketing buyer personas incorporate information on a buyer’s demographics, location, interests, etc. They also outline the consumer behaviour of a company’s ideal buyer. Personas look at who a company’s typical buyers are, what those buyers want to buy, and how those buyers think. They help marketers understand their current and prospective customers better by examining why consumers make buying decisions that they do.
Why are Buyer Personas Important to Marketing?
Having an established buyer persona is an integral part of an effective marketing campaign. It defines the type of customer a brand is targeting, by looking at their needs, wants, and concerns, as well as their purchasing behaviour. Marketers use buyer personas to narrow their focus on attracting customers who meet their buyer criteria.
Companies that know their ideal customers have a huge marketing advantage, because, for one, they can tailor content to their customers’ specific interests. Having relevant, useful content personalised for an ideal consumer also helps companies with search engine rankings. A well-researched and defined buyer persona strengthens a brand’s content marketing campaigns and its overall marketing strategy.
How Researching Buyer Personas Improves Marketing Campaigns
You can use the findings on consumer conversations on social media about the affinities of specific audiences (such as influencers they follow and sentiment around specific topics) to inform your campaigns and content planning. The key is understanding your audience before you start planning your campaigns.
Insights gained from audience intelligence tools can serve as a foundation to connect with your audience at the right time and with the right visuals and copy.
Below are tips to better understand the behaviours, perceptions, and moments of a specific audience segment to better your marketing campaign
1. Narrow Audience Segment Research by Clearly Describing Buyer Personas
Create a buyer persona around what you already know about an audience’s behaviours. Use brand monitoring tools to help understand relevance, growth, and topics associated with your industry. Then apply your own suppositions of how your audience will react to a piece of information.
Clear buyer personas let you immediately narrow any search and save you from shuffling through heaps of irrelevant data for each campaign.
For example, suppose your gin brand wants to market a new gin product, something themed, affordable, and yet trendy. Because you are very well aware that the general audience for gin is broad, and you are keen to isolate and segment your audience so you can tailor your marketing campaigns accordingly, you create the following hypothetical buyer persona:
Millennial, between the ages of 21 and 28, who works in the city, enjoys a recreational lifestyle, and frequently visits the most popular, trendy, and stylish local bars with friends and work colleagues over the weekend
You will find that the hypothesis for your desired audience segment highlights age (21 – 28), location (city), time (weekend), preference, and behaviour (trendy, stylish bars with friends and work colleagues).
This then enables you to focus your attention on researching the social behaviours, attitudes, and preferences of this particular audience segment to confirm whether the new gin product will go down well with them or not. Based on your findings, you will either adjust the absolute characteristics of their persona or create additional personas.
2. Unravel Audience Segment Behaviors and Preferences through Social Media
Social media analytics, especially those of Facebook and Twitter, have become much more powerful. They offer a decent amount of information about the audience you are engaging on the channel.
Still using the gin brand, let us illustrate how you can use Twitter Analytics to discover demographics, lifestyle, and consumer behaviour of any audience segment.
• To open Twitter Analytics, click your profile photo and select Twitter Analytics from the drop-down menu. Then click the Audiences tab at the top of the page and select All Twitter Users from the Followers menu.
• Next is to filter the audience data. Click on the Add More Filters field and select Millennials from the pop-up menu.
• Now browse the demographics, lifestyle, and consumer behaviour of Millennials to decide whether this audience has the characteristics of your buyer persona.
• Click the Lifestyle tab to see information on interests and preferred TV genres. Because a more significant percentage of this audience segment shows a preference for televised sports, it is good news for a sports-themed gin cocktail.
• Click the Consumer Behavior tab to ensure your audience segment brand preference. Premium brand preference is good for our gin brand.
When you’re satisfied with the social data you have gathered, the next step is to combine it with data from other sources.
3. Inform Campaign Planning With Trending Search Data
Analyse activity around specific trends and see how your social media findings stack up, using free tools like Google Trends.
For our example, a search for gin and cocktail in Google Trends over a 7-day period reveals a consistent spike for the term ‘gin’ as the weekend begins, with Friday and Saturday showing the highest volume. You see that this data tells you the time of day at which “gin” and “cocktails” are popular search terms based on web search data, and can inform ad delivery and social posts.
Google Trends also shows you where gin has been searched for the most — thus offering you further insight into the location of a primary target audience.
You can take action with this.
4. Assess and Apply the Data
Looking at the data snippets provided as an example, you can see that your buyer persona is valid: Millennials are fans of sports and drama on TV, and they also have a preference for premium brands.
Web search data shows that gin and cocktails are popular terms on Fridays and weekends, and reveals sub-regions in which gin is searched for the most. You can use this research to inform social media marketing campaign decisions.
Based on this data, your gin brand can be confident Millennials in the U.S., and it will engage with your sports-themed cocktail.
Use Studies, Stats, or Surveys to Correlate and Contextualize Findings. You can choose to test whether your evaluations are fair. For example, say your gin brand wants to contextualise some data you collected on demographics. You believe, based on a dataset, that gin is consumed more often in Europe.
A quick search on Statista will reveal to you relevant industry stats that support your belief that Europeans drink more gin than Americans.
Are you having trouble locating statistics to contextualise your research? Conduct your own surveys with tools like SurveyMonkey or Google Surveys.
These suggestions on researching buyer personas for more successful marketing campaigns are not exclusive to the example (gin brand) given. Try it for your brand and remember that a well-researched and defined buyer persona strengthens a brand’s content marketing campaigns and its overall marketing strategy.