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How to Create Accurate Customer Personas for Your Business

Thomas Griffin
Thomas Griffin

In order to reach your customers, it is important to know who they are and what motivates them to make a purchase.

  • Customer personas influence virtually every marketing decision you'll make.  
  • Researching consumers on social media is the best way to get the unfiltered personalities of your target audience. 
  • Data analytics offers a wealth of information on the demographics and habits of the people who visit your website. 
  • Harness valuable information about consumer pain points and goals by using forms.

Developing a marketing profile for your audience is one of the most critical steps you should take before and after the launch of your website or product. Email, social media, content marketing and product success pivots on accurate customer personas. There are various ways you can pinpoint your audience, and create profiles for consumers that are accurate and significantly boost conversions and engagement. 

Before we spill the beans on how to build the best customer persona for your business, it is important to first understand what the term means. A customer persona is a fictional character that represents your perfect customer. In other words, these are the people who can obtain the most value from your product or service.

You can create profiles for your target audience by combining market research with analytical data from your website and social media platforms. Additionally, you can reach out to customers directly and ask them for feedback on your product or service. Once you combine all of this data, you'll have an accurate representation of your target audience. 

Marketers and developers use advanced profiles to decide where they should prioritize their resources, how they can improve the website and much more. Another added benefit to creating a detailed customer persona for your business is that you will understand the personalities of the people visiting your site, which helps when building rapport with new subscribers.

Here are three effective ways you can build meaningful connections with your customers. 

Conduct research on social media 

Social platforms are full of consumers ready to engage with your business, so what they think matters. Research shows that 90% of people on social media have used the platform to connect or contact a brand. Before you can create a marketing persona for your business, you have to do some extensive research on your target audience.

There are various ways to approach this process. You should start by looking at your social media statistics. Platforms like Twitter and Facebook provide you with valuable information about your demographics, such as location, gender and age, among others. You can use this information as the framework for your persona sheet. 

For instance, if you analyzed your subscriber data and noticed that 95% of your followers are in the United States, 76% are women, and 62% are between 18 and 25, then you have just established the baseline for your audience. You're generally going to target your marketing material and brand voice for young, U.S.-based women. 

Social media is an excellent resource for learning about what people in your niche are discussing. Consider that there are millions of Facebook groups, and every user can join up to 6,000 groups. Chances are, there are plenty of groups out there talking about your industry, or maybe even your product. When you read what people are saying about your industry, you can learn the general sentiment within the community. 

Use forms to gather data 

Forms on your website are the perfect opportunity to learn more about your visitors. You likely have at least a contact and subscribe form on your home page. Including relevant questions on your forms helps you build your customer persona through first-hand answers. There are patterns hidden throughout the cumulative data, which you can use to flesh out your marketing profiles. 

For example, if you sold marketing software that helped users generate leads, you might want to ask on the contact form where they are struggling. If a majority of consumers have issues with the email marketing aspect, you've identified a pain point. Customer pain points are problems that our product or service solves. You'll want to gather as much information as possible on the pain points of your target audience so you can create products that are catered to their needs. 

Additionally, you can look at positive and negative reviews of your product on-site to learn more about what customers expect from your product. You can reference this data against the pain points you identified in your contact form for a fine-tuned persona sheet. 

Review Google data analytics 

Finally, you should regularly review your onsite Google Analytics data. There's a mountain of information here you can use to create multiple personas for your business. It's possible to look beyond your website traffic and explore individual page traffic. 

Have you noticed more consumers are reading a specific section of your blog? Do those pages have an unusually low bounce rate coupled with a high engagement rate? If you're in this position, you should look at the most popular pages on your website and see if they have any common threads that unite them. Common threads include topics, formatting, release time, and more. 

Let's say you notice that all of your highest-ranking pages are about content marketing, and the best day for engagement is Tuesday. You can use this data to create blog posts on content marketing and release them on days when consumers expect them the most. 

After you start creating new content based on your Google Analytics data, make sure you follow up and see if those pages are performing as well as you hoped. It's possible to A/B test different observable patterns to deepen your understanding of consumer behavior.  

For example, if you notice that people on your website love articles about both email marketing and social media marketing, you could experiment with producing an extra five articles a month on each topic. At the end of the month, look at your results and see what topic produced more views and engagement. This is the content that resonates most with readers, and the content that should be your priority. 

There's no doubt that strong customer personas are linked directly to increased sales, better relationships with consumers and strong engagement. As business owners, it's our responsibility to make products that help people. Before we can start helping our target audience, we have to identify who they are using channels like social media. You can listen to what people are saying in groups, engage with consumers on your profile, or open polls and surveys for targeted feedback. 

Once we learn more about the people we want to see our product, it's time to go to your website, and review your forms and customer feedback. You'll learn about the mindset of your customers and what they expect from your business. Google Analytics is an excellent resource that can explain the behavior behind the mindset of your consumers. Combine all of these resources, and you'll have no problem creating an accurate customer persona for your business. 

Image Credit: Alessandro Biascioli/Getty Images
Thomas Griffin
Thomas Griffin Member
I'm president and CTO of OptinMonster, a powerful lead generation tool that's installed in over 700,000 websites.