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Using Customer Personas to increase brand engagement 

By Emily Lippens

Using Customer Personas to increase brand engagement 

First things first: what’s a customer persona and why do you need it in your life? 

Customer personas are much more than just simple demographic data. They allow us to dive deeper into our customers’ behaviors and needs, so that we can craft tailored messages that engage them and bring them closer to our brand. The main goal of this article is to help you create customer personas that capture the essence of your target audience. In that way, you can build relationships and grow brand loyalty. But how do you create a customer persona?  

Creating Customer Personas 

1. Keyword research  

A great way to get to know your customers is to look at the keywords they use to find your brand. Using the Google search terms report, gives you valuable insight into what type of customers you attract. For example, if you sell tea online, do people find you by typing in ‘loose-leaf’, or ‘cheap’, or ‘easy’, or ‘teaware’? These search terms can give a great indication of which customers you attract.  

2. Social media  

If you’re using social media, then be aware that most platforms already have a lot of helpful analytics built in. For example, you can quickly gain insight into who’s clicking on your ad by running an ad on Facebook. Gathering this readily available info, makes you one step closer to creating your customer persona!  

3. Your own contact database  

The best way to get to know your customers is to look into your own contact database. How do people find you? Is it mostly online or by walking through your door? Do people come in via ads or by searching for your website directly? Which ads are they clicking? This data can provide valuable insights into their online habits, giving you the information you need to build an accurate customer persona.  

4. Website forms  

We believe that your website is a great tool for gathering information about the people interested in your brand. For example, if you’re hosting an event and people need to register in order to attend: what information will you ask for? Name and email are a given, but are there any details that would be useful and they won’t mind handing out? Like their type of business, industry, or family status? Think it through but be careful not to ask too much! You don’t want to scare away any interested parties by being overly intrusive.  

5. Listen to your sales team  

If you’re wondering what type of leads are interested in your business and why, you can rest assured that your sales team will be able to tell you a lot of in-depth details about who your customer is. Especially in B2B environments, your sales team helps you better understand why one customer is ready to partner, while another requires more convincing.  

6. Surveys and interviews 

Sometimes the best way to gain valuable insights is to ask your customers. Adding quick forms to your website in strategic places is an effective way to do this. Why not add a form that pops up near the checkout, asking customers why they haven’t completed the purchase? By adding quick answers like “I need more info on the product” or “Price is too high”, you’ll gain valuable insights into why someone chooses you (or not). 

Negative Personas 

It’s important not just to identify the customers who are right for your brand, but also to recognize who you don’t want to target. By asking the same questions as before, but in a negative context, you can create a list of customer personas you’d rather not target. This way, you avoid wasting resources and spending your budget on people who are unlikely to convert to your brand. So, get smart about your marketing and make sure you know who your customers should be and who shouldn’t. 

Turn your insights into actions 

You’ve created your customer personas. Awesome! But now what? How do you use this information to reach your goals? How do you tailor your communication to address your customers? Try these simple steps:  

Focus your efforts on where customers spend their time

Now that you have your customer personas, what have you learned about where they spend their time? Are they mostly browsing the web? Do they use social media often? Which platforms hold their preference? Do they like snappy, quick messages or do they have the time to sit down and read lengthy emails? Make sure that wherever you choose to communicate and in what form, it’s simply tailored to the preferences of your customer.

Speak a language your customers understand

Personalizing your communication to match your customers’ interests and intelligence level is key! For example, one of your customer personas is Ben, a middle-aged small business owner who enjoys reading quality newspapers online. It wouldn’t be appropriate to address him with something like “Yo dude, wanna get in one of our new deals this month?” We think it’s logical that Ben won’t feel like your brand is trustworthy if you were to address him like that.

Create specific content for each customer persona

By customizing content to meet your customers’ interests, you can create a more personal and engaging experience. For example, if you offer various IT solutions that vary in energy efficiency and performance, customer persona Steven may prioritize energy efficiency while customer persona Brian values performance. What do you do? You tailor your monthly newsletter through dynamic content that meets each customer’s needs. This way, the newsletters still feature the same products, but your customers feel seen and valued and get personalized communication.

Strengthen your brand image by choosing the right partners

Brand partnerships or endorsements by influencers, authorities, and famous people are great strategies to bolster your brand image and establish a new, exciting connection with customers. But it’s important to consider the individual interests of the customer base. For example, the middle-aged small business owner Ben, will not be interested if your company partners with Britney Spears. Instead, consider partnering with an opinion maker from one of his favorite newspapers. This approach will more likely to capture Ben’s attention and engage him with your brand.

And there you have it: your new-and-improved communication based on your actionable insights into your customer personas. 

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