So you’ve got a blog and have been writing quality articles. Great, but the work hasn’t stopped rather it’s just begun. Now the goal now should be to attract new readers and convert them into leads. The question remains how do you hit this goal? After all, it’s one thing to get started and it’s another to grow.
The answer lies in defining your buyer personas and target market.
How do I know who I am trying to reach? What characteristics does your audience have that your blog answers? Answers to these questions will be explored below so let’s get started.
First, what is buyer persona or a target market?
A buyer persona is simply a representation of your ideal customer. Your blog will seek to offer answers to questions that your buyer personas have. Keep in mind, these are more than just a quick paragraph on who you think your target is. These are deep dives: answer questions like where they grew up, where they went to school, and what their problems are. Or better yet, what are the problems that you aim to solve.
For example, this might be one for a small business pet service:
Hillary is a mother of two with a Golden Retriever. Her husband, John, works in Insurance in the nearby city, while she works as a marketing executive for a midsized company. She has been married to her husband for eight years, her two children are aged 6 and 4 respectively. Her eldest wanted a dog so she gave in. However, she does not always have the time to care for it. Her position gives her the flexibility to visit home every now and then but due to the time constraints of her work she is not able to care for it 24/7.
The buyer persona is short, sweet, to the point, and accurate without being too specific.
Target markets gather your well-crafted buyer personas together. A target market is inherently a niche section of the entire market. Target marketing does not exclude people from your blog; rather, establishing a target market is meant to make your time and effort easier. For example, we aim to help small businesses which is a subset of business and marketing in general. We’re not excluding potential buyers, rather we’re working for a set of buyers that we’re best suited towards.
With a clear buyer persona and target market in mind, let’s look at how to create a buyer persona so that you know your target market.
Creating a Buyer Persona
Well-crafted buyer personas do not entail extensive amounts of work, but they do require some research. First, look through who currently views your blog to uncover trends among the different demographics. Google analytics is an excellent tool for this as they provide a pretty in-depth demographic analysis on your site. You can get a gender, age, and even location breakdown to see who you are reaching in real time, as well as over a custom time period.
Want to get social? All social networks provide similar stats in terms of follower breakdown and demographic analysis. This way you can see who is engaging with your posts on social media to determine who finds your blog most appealing.
After uncovering these trends, interview some of the people in your target audience. Talking to customers who both enjoy or dislike your product can prove helpful in crafting a buyer persona. You can also reach out to people who have only recently found your blog or referrals through your network of contacts. Nothing substitutes or compares to the data you can get from live customer interviews, so get comfortable and start making some calls.
Once you find a group of 3 to 5 (or more) interviewees, ask questions geared toward demographics, their educational background, their career path, the job field they work in, their biggest challenges and opportunities and more. Really get to know them and their background as it will help you engage them further through your blog and convert visitors into leads.
Taking steps to both research and interview clients will allow you to discover the niche target market and the problems that your blog solves for customers.
Evaluating Buyer Personas and Target Markets
An important note remains to be said and that is gradually your buyer personas could shift as you continue to fine-tune your blog. Buyer personas are not meant to be rigid; they can evolve as you and your brand evolves. I’m sure the first buyers of the model T are very different than the current buyers of a Ford Focus!
Remember to ask whether there are enough people that fit your criteria, whether they will benefit from your services and whether you can reach them with your message. It’s a constant process of going back to the drawing board; if you find yourself re-writing a few personas or shifting your target market don’t be discouraged, this is part of progress! Ultimately though you want to be refining and moving in a steady direction, rather than rewriting and starting from scratch.
In the end, crafting your buyer personas and discovering your niche target market can be difficult, but it is well worth the effort. With a strong set of buyer personas you will be able to fully leverage your branding strategy. Marketing doesn’t have to be blind, you can make smart, educated guesses and have a plan in place as to where to go next. You just need to know what your core message is, and how to frame it.
For more information on buyer personas and target markets, consider checking out this article from Hubspot and download their free buyer persona template today.