Marketing your small business can be tricky. It’s hard to shout about how great you are, and sometimes it can feel like you’re throwing all of your marketing efforts into The Void. It seems like a no-brainer but it’s important to understand who your ideal customer is. And this can massively help you in your marketing plans and efforts.
An ideal customer is the person who is most likely to benefit from your product or service, and is the person you should be focusing your marketing and sales efforts on. It’s also the person you want to work with. If you know who your ideal customer is, marketing your business becomes that much easier. You can find out where they are, where they spend their time, what they like doing; and plonk yourself in front of them every step of the way. Don’t let them forget you!
So how can you start defining who they are?
1. Understand your product or service
The first step in identifying your ideal customer is to understand your product or service. What problem does it solve? Who is it for? What are the benefits? It can help to brainstorm these if you’re not sure where to start. Understanding your product or service will help you identify the type of person who would be most interested in it. If you have multiple service offerings, then you may have more than one ideal customer – and that’s perfectly OK!
2. Identify your target market
Once you understand your product or service, you can start to identify your target market. This is the group of people who are most likely to be interested in your product or service. Consider factors such as age, gender, income, location, and interests when identifying your target market. This information, along with what you’ll define in step three, is incredibly useful when you’re trying to work out where you should be spending your time in networking or marketing events.
3. Create buyer personas
Once you have identified your target market, you can create buyer personas. A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer. It should include information such as demographics, interests, pain points, and goals. Having a clear understanding of your buyer personas will help you tailor your marketing and sales efforts to their needs. You can give your persona a name, if you like. It helps bring them to life and makes them feel real. Again, if you’ve got multiple services which are quite different, you may have more than one persona.
4. Use data and analytics
Look at your website analytics, social media analytics, and customer feedback. This will help you understand where your customers are coming from, what they’re interested in, and what they’re looking for. If you have parts of your site for different services and website visitors always make a beeline for a certain offering you have, then you know that’s an area worth investing more of your time in. Don’t forget, if you’re tracking what people are doing on your site, to check if you need a cookie banner.
If you’re running ads on Facebook, then the Facebook ad metrics will give you granular detail about nearly anything you can think of. We wrote about it previously here.
5. Test and iterate
Once you have a clear understanding of your ideal customer, it’s important to test and iterate. Try different marketing strategies, and see which ones work best. A/B testing can be quite useful here, and luckily we wrote an article about this last year. Use customer feedback to improve your product or service. Continuously testing and iterating will help you stay ahead of the competition.
By understanding and defining each of the five points above, you can start to develop a clear understanding of your ideal customer. This will allow you to tailor your marketing and sales efforts both to their needs and, perhaps more importantly, to where you’ll actually find them. There’s no point investing hours in creating Facebook content if they’re not on Facebook!