People only care about you only when you care about them.
Likewise, your customers will care about your product or service, only if your product or service care about their pain-points, desires, and need.
That might sound simple to you.
But most marketers don’t invest so much time and effort to understand their ideal customers.
When I’m talking about understanding your ideal customers, it’s not just about creating a list of details such as age, location, etc.
Before you figure out how to identify your ideal customers, you must have a clear idea about why this is important.
Recently, I did a poll in a group and asked about how well they understand their customers.
This is what I’ve found.
Out of 28 votes, only 15 people were sure about their customers’ behaviors. It’s almost 50%.
That is the reason why people struggle to connect with their audience.
Why do you need to invest lots of time to understand your customers
Let’s see why does it important in terms of content marketing.
1. To identify what content needs to be created
Content marketing is all about dealing with the content part.
But when you go deep into this, you’ll get to know that you just cannot ignore customers’ choices.
Ultimately your primary goal is to create content that solves their problem gives them value and more.
So, how will you create content without knowing what your ideal customers need?
Even if you create content based only on your assumption, you’ll waste so much time, money, and effort.
And identifying your ideal or dream customers will solve this problem.
Studying your target audience will help you in creating content that they’re looking for.
And when you give someone what they need, they will start remembering you.
The more relevant value you provide through your content, the more trust you’ll build with your audience.
The more trust you build, the easier it becomes to have a transaction with them.
Where there is trust, there is a transaction.
2. To create better product-offer
Whether you’re creating content or Ad copy, this will help you in almost every scenario.
Once you consider the demographic and psychological level, you’ll understand how to create content that communicates with your audience.
Then your content will have a one-on-one conversation with your audience.
[I will show you how to perform this study in this article]
Again, you just cannot create sales copy without considering the characteristics and behavior of the target audience.
Here’s another important illustration.
Let’s say you’ve managed to build a 1000k YouTube channel from scratch.
And now, you’re creating an online course on how to become successful on YouTube.
In this case, you’re your ideal customer.
It’s simply because you and your ideal customers are familiar with all the problems and challenges to become successful on YouTube.
You already know what type of problem do YouTube creators faces to grow their channel.
Here you’ve mostly completed your study on customers, Even though you still have to study to understand customers.
When you’re not an expert in your field, then you need to study a lot.
There is no other choice for you.
3. To develop a customer persona
Here’s how Neil Patel describes a customer persona.
A marketing persona is a fictional person that fits centrally into one of your target audiences because they share the most common characteristics of your customers- Neil PatelNeil Patel
It is important not because you get to know your audience better, but you’ll also be able to create a product or make an offer that your audience would love.
Let me cite an example.
Assume that you’re a 9–5 employee and also loves singing in small functions, events.
Now, one day you’re just about to reach the office, and suddenly you saw a poster of a man wearing a formal dress holding a Mic.
Here’s what message you found on the poster.
“Are tired of your 9–5 job and want to make a name in singing? If yes, then join the 5-day online program and write your destiny in the music industry”.
What will be your reaction then? Try to visualize the scenario.
Will, you just avoid the poster and enter the office without thinking anything about what you just witnessed?
If you’ve managed to imagine the scenario, then the answer will be NO.
You’re bound to react or think about it.
Why is it?
It may make you feel like the poster was directly communicating with you.
That is how the customer avatar helps in communicating with your audience.
You, as a marketer, can only do this when you know your customers more than they understand themselves.
In the later part of this article, I’ll show you how to do this exactly.
BUT… Do you also want to commit mistakes that most people are doing regarding customer persona?
Obviously NO. No one wants to make a mistake intentionally.
So, let’s see four mistakes that you shouldn’t do anytime.
4 Mistakes to avoid regarding customer avatar
These four mistakes you just cannot avoid.
If you want to figure out how to understand your customers accurately, then I highly recommend you not to commit these four.
That is how important it is.
1. 100% product, 0% people
It is common for people to say that only a great product is enough to make your business successful.
They just simply think of creating a better product or offer than competitors. People even invest lots of time, effort, and money to make the product better at every single angle.
This is also necessary. BUT…
What about the people who are actually going to purchase it, use it, and give it a try?
Do they really need it?
Are they comfortable using it?
Jut like the above example of a poster; you’ll also need to have a great understanding of your customers’ tastes.
In reality, it doesn’t matter if your product has the latest features or not. If it doesn’t solve their problem, they are not going to buy it at any cost.
The only way to know whether your product or service will solve their problem or help them to achieve their desire is by understanding your customers.
#Mistake 1: Focusing only on creating better product/content/, without understanding customers.
2. The customer avatar is only about age, location, income
Demographics is one of the great ways of knowing more characteristics about the customer avatar.
But, this is not the ultimate scenario.
You need to go deep as much as possible.
And, along with demographics, you also need to consider psychological characteristics.
Let’s quickly understand what the difference between both of them is.
The demographic study gives you a way to understand your customer externally.
On the other hand, a psychological way of study gives you more deep information about their mindset.
Examples of demographics characteristics could be age, location, income, gender, and more.
Likewise, psychological characteristics will allow you to know why do they need your product or what desire they might have, etc.
And when it comes to customer avatar, people just limit themselves to the demographics part.
Apply both of these into your strategy.
So, my advice is to never limit your study to only external study.
Try to go dep as much as possible (Below, I will show how to do it).
#Mistake 2: Thinking customer avatar just as a list of details (age, location, income, etc.)
3. Better product catches more money
Your product could be the best in work for yourself, but not necessarily everyone will also think of this in the same way.
So to validate your assumption or hypothesis, you have to test.
#Mistake 3: Believing that a better product will automatically attract customers.
Now, let’s come to the real point.
Until now, you have understood why it is so much important and what the mistakes are that you need to avoid.
Now, you’re ready to create your customer avatar/customer persona.
Who are your Ideal customers
Your ideal customer is someone whom you know the most. You know what excites your ideal persona. You have to know that persona to the extreme level.
“Become obsessed with your dream customer”- Russel Branson
To understand your dream customers, let’s start with a demographic study.
Demographical study of customers
The more data you collect, the better you understand your dream customers.
There are various ways you can collect information about the customer’s avatar.
Let cover each one by one.
Questions to Ask
That works very well when you already have the following base. Even if you have only 200 people in your group, just ask them questions.
Some of the most common and easy places to get started with the survey are presented.
- Email list
- Paid surveys
- Social media group
- one-on-one communication
- personal message
- Feedback from existing customers
- Feedback from your sales team.
More importantly, you need to know what type of questions to ask to get better insights.
The answer to what type of questions do I need to ask is, “It depends.”
You need to understand what your product or service is all about. And nobody can know it better than you.
Let me cite an example to help you understand how does it work
If I own a Gym and if I have to create a content marketing plan, then I need to ask myself what the features my Gym can offer are?
Any feature of your product or service that deals with your customers can be used for collecting feedback.
In this scenario, the possible questions could be like this.
- What is the most preferred time for exercise?- It deals with the timing of Gym
- How much can you afford to experience the best environment in the Gym? It deals with membership fees.
- What is your fitness goal?- That will help me with positioning your Gym.
- How far would you travel to a Gym?- This will help me in understanding audience size.
Like this, you need to ask questions that will help you to make your product or service more valuable, relevant, and easy to use for your customers.
A Bonus Tip
What about if you have zero followers?
Well, you can still use some of the platforms like paid surveys and personal messages.
But in that case, you’ll completely miss out on a huge opportunity.
And the only way to grab this opportunity is by using online platforms.
Social groups work super.
Let me show you how.
Recently I was confused about choosing the right headline for one of my blog posts. What I did was just asked people on a group about two options.
And guess what I had a clear idea of which sounds better.
Here’s the screenshot of that post.
Likewise, you can also search for the group that your ideal customers might spend their time. You’ll find groups for almost every niche on social media.
And one last tip to get more engagement is by making the job easier for your group members.
Use the Poll feature in social media, not a normal post asking for comments.
In case of poll voting, you’re making it easier for people to participate in your conversation.
If I had posted the same as a normal post, then I would hardly get five comments.
Let’s move forward to the next part of this article to dive deeply into your customers’ minds.
Identifying your customers’ desire
Why should someone know about customers’ desires?
How will it help you in creating content that easily and quickly connects with your customers?
Well, desire is super important. Everything we buy belongs to one of the three core desires of humans.
Health, relationship, and wealth are the three core desires that everyone deals with.
It’s often said that people buy any kind of product to meet one of those desires.
For instance, someone buying a protein supplement wants to improve health.
Directly or indirectly, all of our buying decision meets one of those or multiple desires.
So the first step you need to perform is to identify which core desire your product or service offers to your customers.
Just take a moment and think of this.
It is only a false belief that your product or service doesn’t fit into any of these desires.
Maybe it is directly or indirectly related. You need to find it.
Once you identify the core desire that you’re offering your buyers, you need to ask yourself some specific questions.
Russel Branson coins the principle that I am going to share in his book Traffic secrets (I highly recommend this book).
You need to figure out two sets of statements that your buyers are having in their mind. The moment you figure out these statements, you’ll be able to connect with your buyers easily.
Here it is.
One is moving away from pain, and another one is moving towards pleasure.
Moving away from pain
Let me just show you the examples of how it looks like.
People either want to move away from pain, or the desire is to move toward pleasure.
So your task is to identify the statements that your customers might be saying.
Remember the singing poster mentioned above?
Let’s apply this same principle to that example and try to identify the desires (moving away from pain) of the 9–5 employee who wants to become a singer.
Desires (Moving away from pain)
I am interested in the 9–5 boring job that doesn’t excite me anymore.
I am worried if I don’t get success in singing.
Each of the desire clearly shows the pain regarding the career.
Next, a set of statements is about the desire to move towards pleasure.
Let’s see the examples first.
The previous one was dealing with the pain, and the present one is about the desires toward pleasure.
The situation of any person could be the same, but desires could be in different forms.
Again, you need to perform this task to understand the desires (towards pleasure) that your buyers might have.
The more desires you identify, the easier it will be for you to understand your customers.
Okay, let’s see what could be the desires of the above example.
Desire towards pleasure
I want to become a popular singer in the city.
I can’t wait to have thousands of fans of my singing.
Here you can see every scenario can have two different forms of desires. One is related to the pain, and another one is related to pleasure.
That is one of the best ways to get connected with your audience at a very deep level.
You’ll get two major benefits.
- First, the next time you make a product offer or service offer to someone, you can connect with your audience deeply.
- Second, as a content marketer, you will be able to create content highly relevant to your audience. Because you’re getting to know about the pain-points that people are dealing with.
Let me remind you how to perform this task from the beginning again.
First, identify what core desire your product or service offers to your buyers.
Next, complete the list of desires (moving away from pain).
And similarly, make a list for the desires of your customers towards pleasure.
The more desires you get to identify, the better you’ll know your consumers.
Now, you might have a clear idea about how does it work. With the increasing number of content and advertisements, the only way to get people’s attention is by playing with context.
Try to be more personalized with every content you make. Please don’t try to create content for everyone.
Read this article to understand why context makes content marketing so effective.
Because once you start creating content and focusing on everyone, you’ll end up having no one.
Everyone may be doing the same thing again and again.
So, you can stand out in this noisy crowd by adding more context to your content.
And, you can only play with context effectively until and unless you know your customers more than they understand themselves.
I hope this article has added value to you. If so, please do share this.
It motivates me.
Sk Rafiqul Islam is a content marketing practitioner with 3+ years of practical experience. He spends most of his time helping businesses to build a loyal audience with content marketing. He is also running a tech career blog called 10Pie and content marketing VIP, a bi-weekly marketing newsletter. In his free time, he loves reading books and playing football.