Sound familiar? A wonderful introductory set-up, lovely materials, leaflets, advertisements, a website, inspirations, photos and then…
…you now somehow have to reach your target audience online. But where can you find them online, what kind of information are they looking for, what will make them click? They won’t just automatically visit your site or your new product or concept. You have to lead them to it. Also, everything online is measurable: you can measure how many visitors come to your website, how many times specific content is clicked on, how often something is downloaded, how many times something is shared, and much more.
So with online campaigns, you always know exactly whether or not it has been successful. And that sometimes reveals some unpleasant information: Doubtless to say, not everything you do online is successful. But what’s the reason behind that?
Let’s take a moment to consider what first step you can take to better understand your success in online marketing.
Think outside-in rather than inside-out
First and foremost, we know that in practice the way the product or service is communicated often does not match the target audience’s problem. What does that mean exactly? You can’t create a successful online campaign if you don’t have a clear idea of who your target audience is and what their needs and interests are. You need to find out what your target audience’s sore points are in order to respond appropriately. In other words: don’t communicate that your product or service is new, but base your message on a sore point. What problem does it solve for your customer? One example is the Coca-Cola powerhouse, which perceived a threat from Pepsi. They thought they would quickly launch a new flavour of Coca-Cola to stay one step ahead of Pepsi, but this was not what the target audience was hoping for at all. That’s just one typical example of coming up with a solution that doesn’t match up with your target audience.
Secondly, content is often created from the point of view of what you want to say rather than what the target audience wants to hear. This includes writing very long texts on your blog. Does your target audience even have time to read it, or do they prefer a briefer, to-the-point explanation with bullet points? Maybe your target audience prefers watching videos? It is a good idea to learn about your target audience before writing content.
The customer journey and touchpoints
Finally, you should also keep an eye on the touchpoints. Where are you going to put the content? At what point in the customer journey will you place the various content? What do you want to achieve with your message and how do you want the target audience to respond? Is your target audience more on Facebook or on Instagram? Or are you putting amazing content on your website, but have very few visitors there. Again, it’s important to dig deeper into your target audience here. You do want to achieve the broadest possible reach, of course.
Greater insight into your target group
Now we’ve asked a lot of questions and you may be thinking to yourself: but how?
Creating and working with buyer personas is the solution to your problem. This is a useful tool that will help you better understand who your customers are and what their needs are.
People do business with other people. It doesn’t make much sense to focus your communication on a segment such as ‘Italian restaurants’. Simply put: restaurants can’t make purchases. But Chefs, F&B managers and buyers can. We will need to try to grab their attention and get them to see the benefits of our solutions so they want to order.
As a successful marketer, you need to dig (even) deeper into the behaviours, patterns, needs and preferences of your target audience, otherwise known as a buyer persona. This helps make a brand, product or service even more relevant in the market.
What is your company’s buyer persona?
A buyer persona is a profile or archetype of your customer. It could be that your customer base is very diverse. Having multiple buyer personas is also not at all uncommon. Clearly mapping out who your buyer personas are will help you respond appropriately to your target audience’s needs and interests.
An example of the perfect marketer for us to work with is shown below:
The elements of a buyer persona
You can see our buyer persona above. We create it from left to right. Under demographic and professional information, we describe personal information, work situations and service responsibilities. This information already gives you a pretty good idea of who your persona is.
Next, we will describe what the persona wants to achieve. We always do this from both a positive and a negative perspective: the persona’s goals and challenges. What influences your persona when making a purchase? Here, you look at what media your persona uses to access information and who their influencers are. Remember that customers are online and offline, meaning that representatives and Facebook could both be relevant.
Help your persona
Lastly, you can also look at how you can truly help and positively influence your persona. We have outlined what you can do as a company to take your persona a step further. Also consider the obstacles your customer may encounter along the way. Maybe your ideal client won’t be able to make every decision independently. Or there might be other obstacles that are important to bear in mind.
What does a buyer persona mean for my organisation?
1. For your brand
When you are building a brand, it is also crucial to understand your target audience. Buyer personas even give your target audience a face. By making your target audience more human, you can get a better feel for your audience. Good brand builders are creative people with strong empathy for their target audience.
2. For product development
Once you know your target audience’s problems, you can also develop better solutions for them. In-depth knowledge of your target audience is extremely important for product managers and developers.
3. For marketing
Creating a persona for your target audience and working with it will improve how effective your marketing is. You will now know exactly what your target audience’s needs and interests are. This will help your marketing campaigns become more relevant. You will now be able to respond to their needs and interests with the right content, written in the right way, and offered through the right channels. A relevant campaign is also more likely to be a successful one!
Start at the right level. You don’t need to explain to a chef how to whisk in a figure eight, and you don’t need to explain to a marketer what a SWOT is. Write to the level of the target audience and don’t underestimate them. But also don’t make it too difficult. Not everyone has the same background as you.
Put the right content in the right places. Next, you’ll need to consider the touchpoints you want to use. It’s important to take a good hard look at where your customer finds their information. This could be through social media, online platforms, trade shows, professional journals, events, you name it! Once you figure out where your persona is looking for their information, you can make sure your content is in the right location.
Increase conversions. Those who implement all of the above points will see better results from their marketing campaigns. “Coincidence is logical”, as Johan Cruijff would say. Luckily there is plenty of evidence for this as well. Research shows that it will increase the effectiveness of your website or campaign 2 to 5 times over (source in link).
4. For sales
If the sales team understands the persona well, it becomes easier for them to help customers. Sales and account managers also need to align their messages and talking points with customers. Different buyer personas can significantly increase your insight into your customers. This in turn will increase the effectiveness of your sales activities. Understanding your persona will help you learn how to properly handle different situations, turning them into positive experiences for your customers.
5. For digital teams
Studying your persona will help you find out how people navigate through your digital platform. This could provide crucial information when it comes to creating user-friendly websites or innovations. One persona may appreciate an uncluttered platform where they can easily find their way around, while other personas may place a higher value on the visual appeal. It’s a good idea to continue developing and improving your digital experience based on the needs of your personas. You will soon begin to see the many benefits.
Take your first step today:
Take your first step towards creating your successful online marketing campaign today. Step 1: Create a buyer persona! If we’ve got you thinking and you have more questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.