By building target personas, your brand can find and reach previously hidden audiences — the ones who will help your brand grow.
When setting out to grow your brand, the first step is establishing your Why You, Why Now? — why is your brand the brand to join, and why is now the time to get on board. Those are the questions you’ll have to answer for every prospect you hope to convert, whether they ask the questions or not.
The next step is figuring out where those prospects are and how to reach them. That’s where target personas come in.
Different from traditional social media audiences, a target persona takes data and insights gathered from the demographics of people who have already shown interest in your brand, segment or even competitors and uses that information to draw a picture of what kind of lifestyle your most likely prospects lead.
This personification of the data you’ve collected will help you determine who you’re selling to and the kind of content that resonates best with them so you can successfully advertise your opportunity.
Too many brands still use a shotgun approach to marketing, putting their messaging in front of as many audiences as possible in hopes of catching a small percentage of potential prospects.
Target personas allow brands to be much more precise with their marketing, crafting messages designed specifically to appeal to likely candidates and disseminating that messaging on the channels those personas are most likely to frequent.
In order to get a solid understanding of what your target persona is, you’re going to need to use your resources.
INTERVIEW YOUR STAKEHOLDERS
To best understand the lifestyle of your target persona, start with your existing network of stakeholders.
Interviewing your existing stakeholders and getting to know their stories will offer some of the strongest insights into what draws someone to your brand. They were likely passionate about the same core values your brand stands for, but beyond that, you’ll want to get to know what makes them tick and what kind of life experiences they’ve had that have led them to you.
Some questions you may ask:
What is your professional history? By gaining an understanding of multiple stakeholder’s careers, you can align similarities and then leverage their personal story to target more people who look like them.
If we were going to market to you, how would we find you? In other words, what do you read/watch/listen to?. This insight can help you identify the most productive use of your media spend.
What college did you go to? Tap into their alumni network for look-a-likes. College alumni networks are an extremely effective tool for reaching a large audience of like-minded thinkers. Alumni like reading about what their peers are doing. If you can show an entire network of people how one of their own found success with your brand, you’re likely to pull in some new inquiries.
UNDERSTAND YOUR BUYERS’ JOURNEY
The end goal of creating this target persona is to make a connection with prospects somewhere along their buying journey, but to better understand what that journey looks like, you’ll need to determine how it started.
Ask questions about where their research process started, where it led them and where they may have veered off course from a brand they were originally excited about. Once you know how your stakeholders are arriving at your brand, you can work on reaching them earlier or putting more effective signposts on their path to your brand.
By accurately modeling a target persona for your brand, you can tailor your messaging to speak directly to their goals and concerns, and you can reach them where they are already spending their time. Doing so will not only save you a bundle of cash that would have been wasted on reaching unlikely candidates, it will also help you establish a more personal, value-aligned relationship with your prospects, which will allow your brand not only to grow, but grow with the right people.