Who are your customers and what do they want?

Marketing jargon is full of buzzwords and many of these leave business owners lost in translation. They realise it’s something they must have, must do, or at least keep an eye on but CTA, SEO, CTR and more of that stuff… what does it mean?

If you’re interested, here’s a quick glossary of some of the lingo marketers use so you can make sense of it.

I’d like to add two extra words to this list: Persona and End-user. The reason I’d like to talk more into these two specifically is because that’s your audience.

In my trade as a copywriter, what your (perceived) audience wants and needs is what matters most. That’s why one of the first questions I will ask you when we start working together is: Who are we writing this for?

The Persona is an imaginary profile of your target customer or ideal client. The End-user is a person who uses your product or service, which is not necessarily the same individual who makes the purchase (for example, when parents buy something for their kids).

You see, many business owners have no clear idea of who their buyers are. Their thinking is often guided by their own goals and perceptions, and that’s where things can clash.

A big mistake I see a lot of businesses make with their copy is that they make it all about themselves. We do this, we do that, and so on. My advice? Stop that right away. Review and reword every line you have on your website that starts with “we”.

Why? Because it is not about you. It’s about them.

To convert, you need copy that speaks to your site visitors on a personal level and connects with them emotionally. That’s why you should focus on what your customers want or need from you, not on what you are or want to be. Think about what challenges they have, the problems you can solve, and the solutions you provide. Explain how your product or service helps them reach their goals. Tell them clearly what the benefits are.

Find the right tone and craft clear messages that resonate with your customers. That’s the only way to move them down the sales funnel (sorry, yet another buzzword). If you don’t know what to say or how to say it, let an experienced copywriter do it for you. Working with a writer who masters the art of creating quality content will make a huge difference to your bottom line.

Understanding your audience

With nothing but assumptions or a vague idea about who your customers are, you won’t get far. For a successful marketing approach, you need to really drill down into who you are marketing your business to. You’ll need to research your audience, divide it into segments, and build accurate, useful buyer personas to drive your strategy.

Your target audience refers to the specific group of consumers that want or need your product or service. It’s the group of people who you want to get in front of, as they are most likely to make a purchase or engage with you.

Your target audience may be determined by age, gender, income level, location, interests, and a variety of other factors. Depending on what you sell, your target audience might be niche or something broader.

Unless you are toilet paper, you can’t be all things to all people. Even toilet paper brands market to different segments of the market (think budget, luxury, eco-friendly etc.) 

If you are a shoe retailer for example, your target audience would be broad because men, women, and children all wear shoes. But if you specialise in high-performance running shoes, your audience is a lot more niche, say athletes between the ages of 20-40 who have an interest in trail running or train for marathons.

Either way, it is important to define and segment your target audience to determine the creative messaging and tone that will resonate with them and identify the channels and platforms they use. That’s where you want to be with your marketing efforts.

Creating the Persona

Personas are research-informed, fictional representations of your ideal clients. They are not specific real people, but avatars that are created based on data, surveys, digital engagement, and any other information that can be pulled to create a comprehensive view of your potential buyers.

A good place to start is to analyse the data you have on your existing customers or most loyal followers. Find out where they live, work, what their family dynamics and income levels are. Discover their pain-points, interests, and challenges, and find out where they like to spend their time online.

Creating personas is a useful way to drill down into the specific segments that make up your target audience. They allow you to determine the general demographics, personalities and needs of your target consumers.

It’s useful to visualise this person and give them a name, too. That way he or she will feel more authentic to you. It’ll make it easier to step into that imaginary person’s shoes and see your business, product or service from their perspective.

Sticking with the example of the high-performance running shoes retailer, the persona of “Frank the First-Time Runner” will speak to different needs than “Susan the Seasoned Pro.”

Attracting the right people

Often, one buyer persona per industry niche is enough. I’d recommend for you to develop no more than three to five personas to avoid a muddled perspective. Start with one core persona and build up from there.

A lifestyle magazine I worked for a few years ago had “Ann the Empty Nester” as their core persona/ideal reader. Ann was 56, worked 20 hours a week as a receptionist at a medical centre, and was married to Bill who worked in real estate.

They owned a spacious 4-bedroom home in Matua, Tauranga, and their two kids – a daughter and a son – were all grown up and had moved away. The girl lived in Australia with her boyfriend and the boy had just graduated from Waikato University and was in the UK on his big OE.

For the holidays, Anna and Bill liked to go away with their caravan and glamping was more Anne’s style than roughing it in the bush. They looked forward every year to attending events such as the Napier Art Deco Festival, Taupo’s Summer Concert, and the Whitianga Oceans Festival and had a busy social life. She loved coffee, fashion, beauty, interior design, and had an interest in yoga and mindfulness.

As a team, we had so much fun creating this lady. By the end of it, we could nearly see her. Every story we wrote from there on we crafted with Ann in mind as we knew that if she would enjoy the content, it would hit the right note with all our readers. 

This could be Ann… but Ann isn’t real

Think about your personas every time you make a decision about your content marketing strategy. It will give you the direction you need because talking directly to them will attract the right people. 

What buyers also want from your brand and your website

  1. A clean, modern, uncluttered design
  2. Content that explains what problems you solve
  3. Jargon and fluff-free, easy to read language
  4. Social proof such as testimonials or reviews
  5. Contact information and clarity on pricing

If creative copywriting is what you need, Sweet Orange can craft messages that resonate with your target audience. Let’s define those personas and inform, entertain, delight and surprise them so they will buy from you and remember your brand. 

Call 021 492 040, email info@sweetorange.co.nz, or flick a message our way!

~ by Martine Pierhagen, businesswoman, copywriter, passionate persona creator, and founder of Sweet Orange Ltd. 

~ with huge thanks to the amazing photographers from around the world that generously upload their work for free sharing on unsplash.com