Before you can set about targeting your ideal customer you must define who that is. That person is your ideal customer avatar (ICA) and they are a real person, not a company. Even if you’re a B2B business, your ideal customer is still a person.
Why target an individual?
Put simply; individuals make the decision about who to buy from. Companies don’t make the decision as a company, a person makes it. So, that’s who you should be targeting.
Start by defining your ideal customer avatar
Before you can target your ideal customer, you must know who they are. They are not you and they are probably not your followers either. Therefore your first priority is to build a profile of your ideal buyer.
- How old are they?
- What gender?
- Where do they work?
- What department do they work in?
- What’s their job title?
- Where do they go on holiday?
- How do they get to work?
- What do they do in their spare time?
- Who do they associate with?
- What is their level of education?
- Where do they live?
- What is their family structure?
- Where do they shop?
- What social media platforms do they use?
- What websites do they visit?
Those are just some of the questions you should be asking yourself about your ideal customer. For a more in-depth checklist download my free Ideal Customer Profile Cheat Sheet, or alternatively you can work through my Google forms Ideal Customer Worksheet.
It helps if you have some customers already because you can base a lot of your answers on their real-life characteristics and build a more accurate avatar.
If you have a lot of customers (or when you get them), it becomes even easier. You can start to use analytics data and tools like Facebook Pixel to build a lookalike audience of potential new customers you can specifically target.
Putting your customer avatar in the crosshairs
Now you know who your customer is, and where you are likely to find them. The next step is to devise ways of targeting your ideal customer. You need to find ways to put your message in front of them as often as possible. Remember the old adage, prospects don’t buy until they’ve seen your messages at least seven times. So let’s create an example avatar for an upmarket ground coffee vendor.
- How old are they? 45-50
- What gender? Male
- Where do they work? Large software company
- What department do they work in? IT Security
- What’s their job title? Lead security officer
- Where do they go on holiday? Tuscany
- How do they get to work? Train
- What do they do in their spare time? Photography, running and cooking
- Who do they associate with? Other tech types and professionals
- What is their level of education? Bachelors degree
- Where do they live? London
- What is their family structure? Married, no kids
- Where do they shop? Designer boutiques, London, Milan
- What social media platforms do they use? Instagram, Facebook
- What websites do they visit? Running World, BBC Food and Drink and What Camera
Now, let’s target our 45-year-old man who loves to drink a really great coffee before he catches the train to work in the morning.
What to post for your ideal customer?
He’s into photography, so let’s post some really great photos of coffee. Maybe, coffee plantations, cups of coffee, couples drinking coffee, coffee machines, videos of creating a perfect cappuccino or macchiato etc. But don’t specifically hashtag them as coffee.
Tag the posts with photography hashtags and maybe cooking hashtags that our customer is likely to follow. Then, in the comments tell a story about the photo that is likely to resonate with your ideal customer.
You want to build some organic recognition of your coffee brand. So make sure your brand logo is on all the images.
If your ideal customer visits your brand website or interacts with your posts that’s perfect.
If you’ve been smart, you will have previously set up Facebook Pixel on your website. Pixel collects even more data points about your ideal customers and enables you to build a lookalike audience of other Facebook and Instagram users.
You’ve identified your ideal customer, you’ve attracted him to your brand and built some brand recognition.
Now start targeting your ideal customer and his lookalike audience with a hard-to-resist offer. Perhaps a 30% off first purchase coupon code.
Create a custom audience in the Facebook ads platform and target them with your advert to be published on both Facebook and Instagram. So wherever your ideal customer looks there’s your brand enticing them to try your awesome ground coffee.
Retarget and iterate
As you build your customer base and scale your business, you should refine and hone your ideal customer avatar. It’s an iterative process which will enable you to constantly improve your marketing.
When you have more detail you can re-do targeting of your ideal customer with that additional accuracy. Which allows you to create better, more effective audiences of people who are likely to buy rather than browse.