A lot of new business owners make the mistake of spending a massive amount of time on SEO and other traffic tactics before getting a real understanding of their target market.
This is a huge mistake. If you attract the wrong people they will have no interest in your products or services.
There is simply no point in bringing people to your website if you are not confident that you’re offering exactly what those specific people want.
You’re probably thinking, well I plan to offer my services to a wide range of people. It’s impossible to know what all of them want. And you’re right. This is why you need to create a customer persona – a “persona” of your client.
This is the process of creating a detailed profile of a typical client and it allows you to create specific services, marketing materials and content that will appeal to one person.
This is obviously much easier than speculating about the needs of thousands of different people.
The research that we’re about to discuss relates to individuals but if you want to take a B2B approach then the only difference is that this research should be applied to the individual decision-maker in the business that you will be targeting.
Customer Persona: Demographics
The first step is the easiest – researching the demographics of the customer. This can include any statistic that describes your typical customer.
This is a list of the most common demographics:
Number of children
If you already have traffic coming into your website it’s relatively easy to figure out the demographics.
All you need to do is install Google analytics and it will tell you everything you need.
If you have an active Facebook presence you can also get demographic information from the analytics in Facebook.
If you’re just getting started and need to know how to get demographic information while having no existing customers, you can do your best to predict your customer persona. For our example, you can just Google “demographics of [insert target customer type]”.
Go ahead and repeat this for several related keywords and look for trends.
Customer Persona: Psychographics
Psychographics allow you to add an additional layer of information to your persona by also describing your client’s values, preferences, and attitudes.
You can do this by you considering the following questions:
What are the most common questions that they have about the problem that you can solve?
How knowledgeable are they about the problem you can solve?
How important is the problem you can solve to them? Is it just something they want or need?
Answers to these questions are obviously not found in analytics tools.
You’ll need to get this information by observing and maybe even interacting with your potential customers.
If you already know about forums and social media groups that attract your audience then you need to spend some quality time reading as many questions and answers as possible in order to get a detailed understanding of your customer.
Look for information about what they like and don’t like. Look for common problems where people are struggling to find satisfactory solutions.
Think about how your service would be perceived by these people.
What do you think they would like or not like?
Do you need to add or subtract something in order for your services to appeal to these potential customers?
Do you need to add or subtract content in order to appeal to these potential customers?
If you don’t have any forums or groups in mind you can obviously just Google them but one good place to start is Reddit.
The reason Reddit is useful is that it usually has a very large number of participants and this is obviously important when you’re trying to develop a persona.
You need your persona to reflect the needs of your entire audience rather than a small number of individuals that might dominate the discussion on a small forum.
The other reason that Reddit is useful is that it uses the concept of upvoting. This makes it easy for you to see what your audience likes and doesn’t like because they’re literally voting on what they like and don’t like.