Creating buyer personas can help businesses to understand their target audience and produce the right kind of personalised content. We spoke to Salma Ab of BLNDIT – a fast-growing cosmetics startup for makeup lovers – and found out why customer research is so important.
Defining target audience
When creating a brand, it’s absolutely imperative that you have a clearly defined target audience. The rule of thumb is the more defined the audience, the better. Although the term ‘target audience’ is somewhat vague, it can relate to a few different things. For example, at BLNDIT our audience comprises of makeup enthusiasts and those interested in social causes.
Therefore, we made sure our tone of voice, language and branding is consistent with our audience. This is always at the forefront of our minds when we are developing products, packaging and content.
Here are a few things you should take into account when targeting an audience: demographic, size, type, employment and culture. Most businesses develop customer personas by developing in-depth templates. Information such as age, gender, salary, location and education are also often taken into account.
All this information will contribute to customer personas. The more defined these elements are, the better. For example, BLNDIT is a makeup applicator company and therefore requires different persona information than a consulting company.
Importance of customer personas
A buyer persona is a fictional, detailed description of your ideal target consumer. Therefore, personas play a huge role in representing your business. They enable you to understand your customer better and also highlight key elements that can help to successfully target potential customers. This is useful in allowing you to tailor your content, messaging, product development and advertising streams accordingly.
Branding efforts should be consistent throughout your mediums. At some point, however, you should set your company up to address every customer by creating several personas for your business.
For example, BLNDIT works with multiple Instagram gurus that have varied platforms. Some of these specialise in makeup content,while others focus on more lighthearted, entertaining content. We ensure that we tailor our own content to best suit each persona.
Research, research, research! BLNDIT spent a substantial amount of time researching. We used surveys, Facebook makeup groups, industry experts’ opinions and data mined from websites.
At the research stage, potential audiences were asked about what products they currently use and how they can be improved upon, etc.
It’s key that you mix together different types of people from the same or interchangeable industries. This allows you to separate those who distinctly match your ideal persona from the others.
Another examples comes from when we conducted our Facebook surveys. Here, we targeted individuals who were passionate about makeup, as well as those who were interested in contouring and highlighting.
We then collated the information and formed a particular niche within a niche: those who are passionate about makeup applicators, especially highlighting and contouring.
BLNDIT solely used Facebook groups and Facebook analytics when creating our customer personas. However, there are a number of other platforms to collect information from, such as Google Analytics and Instagram.
We also made sure we were keeping up to date with social media trends, which is an effective way of understanding your consumer wants and needs. This also helps you to develop content and, ultimately, marketing campaigns.
Platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram can help businesses to understand a lot about problems that end users face when using services or products. We found that this was a great way to gauge customer personalities, as well as comparing your content and strategies to your competitors.
Directly asking questions to customers via personalised emails is another method. This is a little more time consuming, but if executed well it can yield massive results. This is the best way to collate personal details of potential customers. Bear in mind that the statistics surrounding customers opening company emails is very low, while the chances of customer engagement is even lower. One way this strategy can be executed effectively is by offering incentives.
Speak the right language
At BLNDIT, we clearly defined our niche by understanding what makes our audience tick. We found out the style of language they engage with, which social media accounts they interact with, and what social causes they care about. Once we collated all this information, we implemented our tactics across our website and social media platform.
BLNDIT appeals to young women who are into highlighting and countering, so we used this information to create content that appeals to them. For example, our Instagram page is comprised of cheekbones, highlighters, makeup styles and anything that shimmers. We also identified that our audience holds key ethical and moral values, such as being opposed to animal cruelty. Consequently, we implemented this into our branding and packaging.
We also use a casual, trendy and colloquial tone of voice in our social media posts. Our use of colour if also distinctive, although we did not limit ourselves by using only one colour scheme. Rather, we use an array of colours and themes on our Instagram account. Our website colour scheme, tone of voice and font, however, always stay the same.
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