Why does your content keep missing the mark? Your audience doesn’t love what you’re putting out, but they don’t hate it either. You’re stuck in marketing limbo.
To be an effective marketer, you must know your audience. How do you do this? The simplest way is to create buyer personas.
What is a buyer persona?
A buyer persona is an archetypal, imaginary character that represents your ideal customer. You base these personas off current buyers and leads.
To create these personas and a better picture of your buyers overall, you must be able to answer these questions.
Can you answer all 10?
1. How old are they?
You don’t need an exact date for these, but you will want to narrow age down just a bit past generation. The generational breakdown according to GenHQ is:
- Gen Z, iGen, or Centennials: Born 1996 – TBD
- Millennials or Gen Y: Born 1977 – 1995
- Generation X: Born 1965 – 1976
- Baby Boomers: Born 1946 – 1964
- Traditionalists or Silent Generation: Born 1945 and before
Each generation is broken into around 20-year intervals. That means there is a lot of diversity between a Baby Boomer born in 1946 and another born in 1964. The first is 72 years old, the second is 54. These two individuals are at different points of the same chapter of life.
So, while it’s good to split by generation, you should plan to be a little more granular. Using decades is a little more accurate because at least the individuals in that age range have similar life experiences.
This is important because these groups share a certain commonality. They’ve:
- Communicated and received media through the same forms
- Lived through and participated in the same movements and trends
2. Are they married?
Knowing the approximate legal status of an individual is important. It changes their priorities and their lifestyles. A 25-year-old manager who isn’t married is going to be motivated by different things than a 65-year-old married manager.
3. What do they do for fun outside of the office?
This is a little trickier, but B2B marketing is difficult. In many cases, the work that people do isn’t what engages them personally. You should try to loop in things they’re engaged in
What television shows do they watch? What music do they listen to? Do they exercise? You can find out a lot of this by observing the social media accounts of current customers.
You can also draw a lot of this information through a combination of information gathered about each decade’s commonalities and testing.
Reference a TV show that maybe both Millennials and Gen X generation know. This can be through a meme or video or something else. Test how well it does compared to content that doesn’t make the same references.
4. Do they have children or pets?
If so, you can make specific, stage-of-life related references that your audience will enjoy. Everyone loves cats (and dogs, I guess), especially on the internet. Play to this. Even though you’re in B2B, not everything you post about needs to be about work and business.
In fact, playing to the humanity of your audience might make your marketing efforts that much more effective. People are tired of brands trying to sell them stuff.
Post pictures of your animals (especially if they’re in your office.)
As for children, determine the age and likelihood of your audience being parents. It might be worthwhile to post jokes about having children or babies. The purpose of these questions is to determine where your current customer base currently is, and what other potential buyers might also share.
5. Where are they located?
This is pretty self-explanatory. What is their location? Do you have a ton of local customers? What about a bunch of customers that all live in one state or city?
How can you hyper-personalize content for these location-based commonalities? Think of using familiar landmarks or even (if it’s not too cringey) local slang.
Another question to consider is the timing of content.
6. What time zone are they located in?
Again, this is straightforward. What time zone do most of your customers and audience reside in?
Figure this out and use this to time and target your posts.
7. When do they take lunch? What do they do besides eat?
Lunchtime is downtime, and that’s often a good time to market to your audience. Figure out when they go on lunch and where they go when they go there. What do they do
Maybe a CEO takes clients out to lunch (and doesn’t check his phone because that’s rude) and returns to his desk at 2 pm. He might check his email and social feeds before he dives back into work. A marketing manager might be so busy they take their lunch back to their desk and eat in front of their personal social media feeds.
8. Where do they work? How big is that company? What industry is it under?
Find out the name of the company your customers and leads work for.
You can use that information to create account-based marketing (ABM) strategies to market to other decision makers within companies you are already reaching. This increases the chances of you making a sale or resale.
9. What channels do they use?
Often, social networks are where office workers take their downtime.
Figure out what channels your audience and customers use. This is where you should focus your efforts. It’s tempting to try to be everywhere but focusing on 4-5 key channels will increase your effectiveness.
You don’t want to be shouting your message on a platform where none of your customers are.
10. What (other) software and platforms do they use?
This is an important one. Find out what your customers already use to enhance their work lives.
From here, you can see if there’s a way to integrate your offering with the channels, software, and platforms they already inhabit.
By using this tactic, you make it that much easier for workers to integrate your offering and content into their daily work lives.
Let us know what you think:
- Could you answer all of these questions?
- Which ones do you struggle to answer?
- How can we help you find the answers to them?