In the last blog entry about common digital marketing challenges for small businesses, I talked about the importance of your website and being found online effectively. This week, I’m going to turn to another common issue that I hear from some of my small business clients — understanding their audience. Sure, most often small businesses have a general idea of their customer base (determining who has purchased previously is a no-brainer if you just look at sales history)… but I’m talking about deeper insights that can help your business thrive. What is the persona of the customer that does business with them? What problem or need does the small business solve for that customer? Who is the ideal customer persona and which customers are most profitable? These are all things that small businesses should focus on in order to grow their business and serve their customers to the best of their ability. 

Customer personas are essential in the digital marketing world. A customer persona is simply a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. You can easily use real data and sales history about your existing customers to fully develop a persona.

Don’t get caught up in the fact this process may take a lot of time or money. Yes, detailed research is always important and can be relatively expensive, but a practical and common sense review of your customers and where you have been successful can take you a long way. In addition, you can use free survey tools and regularly conduct surveys to check your customers levels of satisfaction and gather feedback about your products and services. 

Once you have all the information you need, you can build your personas by answering simple questions about your ideal customers.

What do they buy?
• When do they buy?
• How much do they buy?
• What are common demographics of the audience (age, gender, location, interests, family status, household income, etc.)
• How can I grow that audience share or expand our products/services to other audiences?

HubSpot offers a great persona building tool as well here:

Gathering this kind of information helps you better understand who is looking for your services and/or products and how you can position your messaging to create a more effective marketing strategy.

If you want to discuss website development, branding, messaging or any digital marketing ideas for your small business, reach out to us today.