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How to Utilize Buyer Personas to Craft Targeted Messaging

In a world where our customers are constantly bombarded with ads and other online content, finding the right message that can break through the noise is tough. This makes understanding your target audience vital.  To do this, the best place to start is by developing buyer personas.

What is a Buyer Persona?

A buyer persona is a profile of your typical customer that includes basic demographic information, behaviors, goals, and pain points.

Buyer personas can help you understand the “why” behind a customer’s needs and wants. With this knowledge, you can craft effective and targeted messaging that speaks directly to those who fit within that customer group.

It is not uncommon to have multiple personas. In fact, you should build out personas to represent each segment of your customer base. These will then act as a guide when developing every aspect of your marketing strategy.

How to Use a Buyer Persona?

Understanding a buyer’s intent is vital when producing marketing content, whether it is a website blog, Facebook post, or Google Ad copy.  By creating a persona, you will find it easier to think of that customer as an actual person and put yourself in their shoes.  In the mindset of that persona, you can then ask yourself questions like:

  • What problems might I be facing?
  • What obstacles do I have to overcome to solve those problems?
  • What could make my life easier?

For example, let’s say you are a flooring company that wants to run a Facebook Ad for discounted laminate flooring.  Your persona is “Jill”, and she is a single mom with two kids under the age of 10.  Thinking of these questions, “Jill” may answer:

  • I struggle to keep my floors clean because my kids love playing outside and are constantly tracking mud and grass into the house.
  • The flooring in our home is old and doesn’t wear well. Plus, it shows every spec of dirt! I’d love to replace it; however, I don’t have the money to do it right now.
  • Having a floor that doesn’t show dirt easily and is easy to clean would help me save a lot of time throughout the week.

With this information, you can then tailor your ad messaging to address her specific pain points.

Tailored Ad Messaging

3 Quick Tips for Creating Useful Personas

1. Do the Research

The most important thing to keep in mind when creating a buyer persona is that it should be built based on real data. You need to look at those who have recently purchased and not just focus on who you wish was buying from you.

To gather this data, a great place to start is your current customer base. Utilize surveys, focus groups, and interviews with existing customers to help you gain a better understanding of why they bought from you. You can also analyze demographic information pulled from social media insights and Google Analytics.

2. Refresh When Needed

It is important to go back and adjust your personas from time to time. These changes can be based on what you see is or isn’t working, or simply because the needs and wants of that persona has shifted with time.

Make it an annual practice to revisit your personas to revitalize them and give them new life with each coming year.

3. Negative Personas

Personas don’t always have to be those who want to do business with you. Fully understanding who you don’t want as a customer can be just as helpful. It will enable you to refine your marketing message and save your company time and money in the long run.

By taking the time to zero in on your target audience, you can ensure you are reaching the right people at the right time with the right message. Need help getting started? Download our free buyer persona worksheet!

Source: Resources – Vivial

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How Humanizing Your Brand Through Social Transparency Can Boost Brand Loyalty

The demand for transparency is on the rise. In fact, 86% of Americans believe transparency from businesses is more important than ever. Therefore, brands who fulfill this request are better positioned to gain the trust and loyalty of their target audience. One of the easiest ways for brands to improve their transparency is by leveraging social media.

What is Social Transparency?

Social Transparency is the use of social media channels by businesses, organizations, administrations, and communities to establish unfiltered communication with their followers about actions and accountability.

How-Consumers-Define-Transparency

The big question for most businesses is where to start?

Humanizing Your Brand

It’s simple – people respond best to other people. Use your social media presence to show there is someone behind the scenes that cares about them and their experience with your brand. A study done by Sprout Social, has shown the two bests ways to demonstrate transparency are admitting when mistakes are made and being honest when answering customer questions.

Topics-That-Demonstrate-a-Brand's-Transperancy-on-Social-Media

Admitting to Mistakes

61% of people say that admitting mistakes is the number one thing businesses can do to show transparency. It humanizes the brand because consumers can relate to the idea that people make mistakes. They, in turn, are more tolerable when an issue arises and will appreciate the business for being upfront about it.

Proving Honest Answers

Another great step towards building trust and loyalty among your audience is by being forthright in your answers. Consumers don’t want the run-around. Instead, they want straight answers to their questions so they can make informed decisions whether that is regarding a purchase or how they can use a product.

How can you apply these learnings to your social media strategy?

The first would be to respond to reviews, both positive and negative. Reviews are a great way in showcasing transparency with your customers. In fact, when you address and handle a negative situation, this tells more about your customer service than a positive review.

Another strategy is to consider the types of content you are posting on social media. People think video, especially when done live, is the most transparent type of content a business can post. It puts a face to the name and mimics in-person contact.

By taking steps to humanize your brand, you can build a strong loyal customer base that keeps coming back for more. Need assistance figuring out ways to build brand trust through social media? Contact us to learn how our social experts can help.

Source: Resources – Vivial

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Easy Guide to Incorporating Social Holidays into Your Campaign Strategy

There are hundreds of social holidays celebrated each year. As a small business, utilizing them in your social calendar can be a great way to increase engagement with your online following. But what is the best way to do it? We’ve put together a quick guide to help you navigate incorporating these fun days into your social media campaign strategy.

Choosing the Right Social Holidays

It is not unusual to see businesses trying to incorporate every social holiday into their posting strategy. However, less is more in this situation. It is important to find social holidays that can add value to your brand and further your goals.

When determining which holidays to use, first think about what you want to accomplish. Are you looking to bring more awareness to your company culture, show involvement in the community, brand awareness, or simply just get more customers through the front door? Here are a few examples of how you can accomplish each:

  • Company Culture: Not only is it a great way to show your team you care but also your social following by showcasing high-performing employees for #EmployeeAppreciationDay. Another option is to share pictures of a family-friendly company event on #FamilyDay to highlight that your company appreciates family time.
  • Community Involvement: People want to see companies that give back to their local area. Support a local non-profit by giving proceeds from sales to a local non-profit for #CharityDay.
  • Brand Awareness: People stand behind businesses that they have a connection to. Highlight the fact that you are a woman-owned business by sharing a profile of the owner for #AmericanBusinessWomensDay.
  • Store Foot Traffic: Entice people to come by your burger restaurant by offering a buy one get one free hamburger special on #NationalHamburgerDay or give a free treat with purchase for #DessertDay.

3 Fun Ways to Incorporate Social Holidays Into Your Marketing Plan

With new hashtag holidays popping up left and right, it is easy to find ones that you can take advantage of in one way or another. Once you narrow down the list, it is time to figure out how you want to celebrate it. We’ve created a list of a few of our favorite activities:

1. Involve Your Employees

Get your whole team in on the action. Plan a fun event for them to participate in during lunch, an afternoon break, or after work that ties to a specific theme. For example, National Pizza Day is in February. Share a live video and post pictures of the team devouring pizza from a favorite local spot. Bonus points if you tag the restaurant and get them to engage in your post.

2. Host an Event

Use a hashtag holiday to invite people to your business. A great example of this is celebrating the hard work of our educators by having a #ThankAteacherDay event on May 7th. This could be as simple as offering them a gift when they visit the store or holding an appreciation lunch.

3. Create a Special Offer

Who doesn’t like something for free or a good discount and what better way to promote it than to link it to a fun social holiday. Whether it’s a free donut on #NationalDonutDay or a 20% discount on #NationalSunglassesDay, the opportunities are endless. The key is to have fun with it!

Posting for Social Holidays

Once you have chosen the activity, next, you must get the word out.

Using the Social Holiday Hashtag

While the obvious thing to do is utilize the hashtag in every post across all networks, that is not always the case. Make sure you apply best practices for hashtag use on each platform. An example of this is that there is no added benefit to adding hashtags on Google My Business. Instead, use the name of the holiday on its own – National Candy Day vs. #NationalCandyDay.

Try a Branded Hashtag

Another fun option is to create your own hashtag that complements the social holiday. Let’s take the National Candy Day as an example again. Let’s say Vivial is looking to expand our team, and we want to highlight the fun work culture. We could sponsor a candy bar for National Candy Day and ask employees to share fun posts using a branded hashtag like #VivialDoesCandyDay.

No matter which hashtag holiday you decide to incorporate, it can be a fun way to engage your team, customers, and followers on all social channels. Not sure what social holidays are out there? We’ve made it simple and compiled an easy to use calendar for you.

Download Vivial’s Social Holiday Calendar

Want help planning your social calendar for 2020? We’ve got you covered. Learn more about our Social Media Management Program.

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Source: Resources – Vivial

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7 Quick Tips for Growing Brand Awareness in Your Local Market

The movement to buy local is continuing to grow exponentially. Building awareness of your brand in the community will not only drive people in the door now but down the line as well when they need your services in the future.

Ready to start increasing the visibility of your company’s in the local area? Here are seven ideas to get you started.

1. Eye-Catching Design

The best way to gain attention is to brand everything – signs, posters, collateral, apparel. But even more importantly, it is to make sure that the design of those items will catch the attention of people viewing it. While there is no one way to do this, here are a few things to consider:

  • Use color to evoke emotion and grab focus. The colors red, yellow, green, and pink are said to be the four most eye-catching colors.
  • Keep it simple.
  • Use contrast to make it easy to read.

2. Consistency Across All Advertising

To solidify brand recognition, you need to repeatedly expose people with the same message, look, and feel. Consistency will help shape the perception of your brand, build trust and loyalty with your customers, and differentiate your company from your competitors.

3. Accurate and Verified Google My Business Listing

Probably the most important step a business can take these days is to optimize their Google My Business listing. Considering 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information, you want to be sure that you show up right away, and the information provided is correct.

4. Social Media

Out of sight, out of mind goes for social media too.  Using platforms like Facebook and Instagram is a great way to engage with your customers, but it is important to post regularly. Make sure you follow the 80/20 rule. While 20% of your posting can be sales-related, the other 80% should be fun and informational.

5. Get Involved in the Community

Whether you have an employee sports team or a group that volunteers every holiday at the food bank, find ways to stay active in the community. And don’t forget, brand visibility is everything. Have your team members wear branded apparel when they are out and about.

6. Sponsor a Local Charity or Event

buildiong-brand-awareness-in-local-market

Show everyone that your business wants to build up the community around it. Sponsorships can be done in a variety of different ways. The most obvious is contributing financially to a cause or event. Another great idea is to offer your services. For example, partner with an organization like Dress for Success by providing mock interviews for the women they work with.

7. Local Influencers

When you hear the word “influencer,” most people automatically think of celebrities. However, an influencer can be anyone that people listen to and affect people’s choices. Give them a win-win offer.  Take a local fitness enthusiast, for example. She teaches at five different local gyms and has a large local social media following. Give her free samples in exchange for reviews or a discount if she becomes a brand ambassador.

By taking just a few of these ideas, you can begin building brand recognition and as a result, increase sales over time. Need help getting started? From social media management to ensure you have accurate and verified business listings, Vivial has you covered.

Source: Resources – Vivial

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[INFOGRAPHIC] 5 #GivingTuesday Ideas for Small Businesses

The busiest weekend for shopping in the U.S. is almost here – the trifecta of shopping: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. And while this is typically a make or break time for many businesses’ holiday sales, it is still essential to take a step back and remember what the holidays are all about.

Started in 2012,  GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement based on one simple idea – creating a day that encourages people to do good. These acts of kindness and giving can be as simple as making someone smile, helping someone in need or a small business giving back to their local community.

Here are five ways your business can jump in and make a difference:

INFOGRAPHIC_5 Giving Tuesday Ideas for Small Businesses

Source: Resources – Vivial