Whether you are looking to create compelling content or convert more of your visitors into customers, ideal customer profiles can be the secret ingredient to your success. Just as you relate to a character in a movie, you can better relate to your customers by creating customer profiles.
As models of hypothetical individuals, profiles can help you connect to your target market on a personal level. Through profiles, you have the chance to root for your prospects and customers, assisting them in overcoming struggles and in reaching goals.
Discovering Your Ideal Customer
If you’re an existing business that has an established customer base you can identify your ideal customer by finding the common characteristics found in your most successful accounts. Your best customers or most successful accounts have the following two key characteristics: they are profitable and also talk about your business.
Think about whom your 10 best customers are and what you need to do to attract 10 more just like them!
The key here is to understand if there is a certain product, service, program, package, offer or even a problem that is the most profitable.
Demographics explain “who” your buyer is. Demographic information includes gender, age, income, marital status – the dry facts.
- Business2Business (B2B) demographics could be the type of industry, the job title of that individual, the years that a company has been in business, and/or revenue levels.
- Business2Consumer (B2C) the demographics could be age, sex, illness, income, and a particular area of town.
Psychographics explain “why” they buy. Psychographic information might be their habits, hobbies, spending habits and values.
Understand where do they hang out, what do they read, what do they listen to, what do they search online, what makes them tick, what triggers them to go looking for a solution? It’s also useful to identify any triggers caused by some type of life cycle change, calendar event, budget refresh, office relocation, etc. (Hint: focusing on identifying what these triggers are with your current customers is the best way to immediately grow brand awareness.)
Dive Deeper for Timing or Buying Triggers
The secret to attracting customers, as opposed to hunting customers, is to get a better understanding of what triggers them to go looking for a service or product like yours?
In every business something happens that makes buying your product or service a priority on a clients to-do list. Here are some great examples of buying/timing triggers:
Business2Consumer (B2C) Timing Triggers
- car breaks down,
- going on a date
- birth of a child,
- purchase of new house
- moving to another state
- the doctor says to lose weight,
- attending a big event that requires a new outfit,
- someone or something interrupted you and made this product or service a necessity right now (e.g. impulse buy at the cash register or price sensitive deadline).
Business2Business (B2B) Timing Triggers
- hiring first employee
- moving to new office space
- expansion or acquisition
- open new business
- funding (loan, grant, investor, etc.)
- product or service launch
- fire and loss of files
- updated website
- revenue goal
- damaged or malfunctioning equipment/technology
- buying advertising services
I believe any business that seeks real growth will devote time or resources to developing a list of buying/timing triggers that, if heard by employees, vendors, suppliers, referral sources or strategic partners, signal it’s time to talk.
Create Content for Each Stage of The Customer Lifecycle
Besides catering for profiles, your content strategy should try to address each stage of the customer’s journey.
At some point, you must accept that they’ll need to view its production from a strategic point of view. See, the secret to getting more leads and sales with content isn’t quantity but intention. If you create content with the intention of it to address business objectives—create awareness, build trust, educate and convert—you’ll likely create an asset that provides a return.
In other words, you need content for each stage of the customer life-cycle and the best way to employ this is to match different kinds of content with the customer life cycle.
So, your content-customer-life-cycle might look something like this:
Suspect Content – Generates awareness with everyone in your target market
When your target market is not aware or have top-of-mind awareness of your company, product, service or the benefit it offers, then the first two objectives of content is to create awareness and build trust. Awareness and trust can be built through:
- Customer Reviews
At the heart of every transaction is TRUST and in general, trust is what’s in short supply. If more people trust you, everything else will fall into place.
There’s a really big gap between someone being aware of you (which is really hard) and someone trusting you, enough to invest in you or buy from you.
Prospect Content – Anyone who has taken action to solve a problem that you can assist them with
There’s an huge difference between awareness and action. Putting something in the world for awareness is useless if it doesn’t lead to taking action.
As the market begins to trust you and competition increasing in that market. Prospects will take action to compare you on price unless you give them a differentiation….your unique process, your solution, your message and/or your approach. At this stage you need to you need to educate those prospects that want to learn more about your differentiation:
- Special Reports
- Information Packed Guide
- Marketing Kit
People want to be educated not sold. They will sell themselves if you just commit to educating.
Customer Content – A person or organization that has bought products or services from you
You’ve done all this work attracting and educating now show your customers how to get the most out of what they just bought. This builds loyalty and community.
- How-to Information
- New Customer Guide
- Q&A Sessions
This is were most organizations stop their content marketing but you should continue it if you want keep customers and create repeat sales.
Advocate Content – A person or organization that tells others and basically sells for you
The last stage of content that creates and keeps a customer is one that’s often overlooked. Ultimately, great content has the ability to help your raving fans spread the word, increase awareness, generate leads and convert prospects .
- Referral certificate or coupon
- Access to “behind the scenes” content
- Customer appreciation events
- Referable emails
Content creation is the hardest job these days, but when you plan your content with your customer life cycle in mind it pays off more often than not.