Despite what you may believe, the copy on your marketing material including your website, flyers and newsletters is equal to, if not more important than the design itself. A beautiful design with no copy is just that, beautiful. However, don’t try to write content that appeals to everyone. If you do, you will be writing content that appeals to no-one.
If you want to get the best return on your marketing dollars, you don’t want to rely on luck. You need to know exactly who your target customer is. You want to know enough about your ideal customer so that you can write copy which speaks directly to them. To understand a core customer group, it has become a standard for many businesses to create a buyer persona. This is a fictional, generalized character that builds a picture of your ideal market. A buyer persona may include the following details as a starting point:
- What does your target customer do for a living and where are they in their career?
- Expand their background into a quick review of their persona’s hobbies, educational background, likes and dislikes.
- Are they married?
- What’s their annual household income?
- Where do they live?
- Are they male or female?
- How old are they?
- Do they have children?
- What are their goals?
- What do they want and/or need in order to reach these goals?
- What job challenges are they facing?
- What work-related problem/s do they have that needs solving today?
- How have they solved their problems and achieved their goals in the past?
- Who do they turn to for advice or information?
- How much time do they spend on the internet?
- During what hours do they most commonly use the internet?
- Do they use social media and if so, which networks?
An example – Morgan, Founder and Director of ABC Family Dentists
Morgan is the founder and director of a dental surgery in one of Melbourne’s eastern suburbs only a few kilometers away from where he lives. He is in his late 30s to early 40s and is married with two primary school aged children. After completing his Bachelor of Dental Science at Melbourne University, he worked for a few years in a large dental practice in Moonee Ponds before moving on to create his own practice. He is aiming to build a “family” practice so is targeting young parents. He plans to do this by involving himself in the community i.e. sporting groups and local schools.
A day in the life
Morgan’s day is very dynamic, usually moving from one thing to the next – overseeing the various business needs, keeping on top of his patients and managing his few employees. He enjoys helping people achieve a confident smile and a healthy mouth and educating them on how to maintain their teeth for life. He often works long hours.
Morgan a realist, so feels excited but insecure about the future and direction of his practice. He is growing a new practice and needs to attract patients to ensure business stability and growth.
Where does he go for information?
Morgan regularly checks his twitter feed on his mobile phone to keep up-to-date and stay in touch with friends and colleagues. He also uses Facebook as it has a dental chat line. Even though he is tech savvy, he attends conferences to network, catch up with colleagues and view new equipment and materials. He is a fast learner and is eager to develop his skills and educate himself about the latest trends in his industry and the small business/entrepreneurial sector.
He looks for concise, reliable advice regarding business practices and is equally interested in reading about the latest dental technology and infection control so he can keep himself well informed. His work keeps him busy and he embraces outsourcing so he can focus his time on what he does best.
Morgan often finds that business websites are aimed towards big business rather than small business or entrepreneurs, so he needs information tailored to small businesses and entrepreneurial startups.
A good buyer’s persona is a composite of all of your core customers and will bring in elements from multiple real customer profiles. Don’t make assumptions about your customer persona’s interests and needs based on their age, gender, or location—do your research and let your customers tell you about themselves. Marketing isn’t about making something pretty and it isn’t about deceiving or tricking people. It is about helping your readers or customers to better understand your message. Generate more leads and convert these into customers by ensuring you understand who you are selling to.