How to Find The Right… Buyer Persona for Your Small Business

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St. Valentines Day is almost here so you probably already have plans about it: be it drinking wine and watching love-themed movies or having a romantic dinner with your special someone.

Ok, maybe you are not terribly excited about most romantic movies, but I dare you to play a game: find the marketing lesson in the movie you will be watching.

Here is an example from The Bridges of Madison County: Francesca asks Robert “You really don’t need anyone?” and he answers “l think l need everyone.” And you realize how lonely he is. “l love people. l’d love to meet them all.”

madison

Where is the lesson here?

Yes, people are lovely. Yes, just like Robert, you want to meet everyone. Or at least have them meet your business website or social media profile. But trying to meet everyone will leave you lonely.

By the way, I am done writing about the movie and love. Now it’s all business. Small business.

So who do you want to meet?

Even small businesses need to identify their buyer persona(s). You probably hear that phrase thrown around a lot, just like storytelling and authentic story. But this is not just another trendy SMB marketing buzzword.

It doesn’t matter whether you own a barber shop or selling jewelry you’ve crafted: you need to know who you are selling to. Everything you create and design should be done with the buyer personas in mind.

That special someone should be fictional but in the same time as realistic as possible (kind of like when you are looking for prince/princess Charming). You need to be able to tell their stories, to predict their behaviors – the “why,” not the “what” – and know their demographic information. You need to know where they spend their time online (no, dating sites are not helpful here).

So, are you ready? Now you know who you are looking for so you can actually go online and…

Check out how your real followers and customers are describing themselves

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Start by doing your homework: take notes how your followers are describing themselves and what they are tweeting about. We have already advised you to use Followerwonk since it is of great help in the pursuit of reality-over-fiction. Check out your follower’s bios: in those 200 characters you can find all the valuable insights you need for your buyer personas. Use the information as real market research.

The bio word cloud in the report gives you insights on how your audience describes itself. Use this resource of information to adjust your marketing tactics and customize your content.

If the bio word cloud has any surprising words or it didn’t show anything you could relate to, maybe it’s time to change your strategy. The word cloud should be a reflection of your target audience. If it’s not, it might be a good idea to spend more time curating content or following back and retweeting the right people.

When do you go out…online…to meet your audience?

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With love and posts, timing is everything. We all know how ephemeral posts are in our newsfeeds. It doesn’t  matter which is your prefered social media channel, posts have really short lives. So you need to make them count. Facebook is kind enough to provide their own statistics. Use them.

In order to deliver the right content, you need to know the right time. There are quite a lot of free tools that can help you out. But if you are already logged in Followerwonk, you can use its reports when it comes to Twitter.

You need a proper introduction

Why should your desired buyer persona trust you?

To earn the trust quickly, find out who matters. Finding the influencers that matter to your buyer persona will save you time to reach them.

Here comes the good news: they are not fictional. They are real people and you can use tools like BuzzSumo to find influencers (bloggers, journalists, regular users) on Twitter and check what type of content they are sharing.

buzzsumo

By the way, Tony Zambito is the one with the neat definition: “Buyer personas are research-based archetypal (modeled) representations of who buyers are, what they are trying to accomplish, what goals drive their behavior, how they think, how they buy, and why they make buying decisions.” Later he adds to this definition where buyers buy and when they decide to buy.

Which brings us to our last question…Yeah, you know which one is left…We are bringing in the M word to the conversation..

How do you Manage content?

What content do your buyer personas want and where they want it?

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Finding the social sites your buyer personas are most engaged with can give you useful insights not only about their interests and how they spend their time online, but also what type of content they would be interested in. Tell me which is your favorite social media channel and I’ll tell you what content you would be interested in.

You don’t have to be present everywhere, especially not if you plan on using the same content.

If your small business is all about products, focus on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram: everything visual. Make sure you post not only pictures of the products itself, but also fan pics. Encourage people to share their pictures with you.

If you offer a service, focus on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. These channels are very useful when people are actively looking for help or advice.

You want to make real people love you for who you truly are?

Create authentic content that would engage your fictional buyer persona. You don’t need everyone to love you.. You just need the right one.

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Mila Staneva
Find me here

Mila Staneva

Social Media Princess turned guest blogger . Don't panic.
Mila Staneva
Find me here

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