Did you know that there are more than $446 billion of ecommerce sales per year in the US alone?
There are a lot of dollars being spent, but there are also a huge number of competing ecommerce stores in the market. If your WooCommerce store is to get a slice of the pie, then you need to be clever about marketing.
The most successful WooCommerce store owners have a well-developed, thoughtful marketing strategy. The right customers don’t turn up to your store by chance, they get there by design.
This means that the first critical step is to define your ideal audience. When you can clearly articulate this, you can put in place the marketing activities that draw those people in.
Here’s what you should consider when defining your audience:
Why you need to know your audience
It’s a mistake to implement any sort of marketing plan without clearly defining your audience first. You can spend a lot of money on paid advertising and either fail to attract people, or attract a large percentage of people who are not a good fit.
Sometimes people worry about choosing an audience because they don’t want to “leave anyone out.” The risk is that if you try to appeal to everyone, you water down your message and attract no one.
For these reasons, developing “buyer personas” is a tool that many businesses are using to ensure that their marketing activities are on-point. Buyer personas are a representation of your ideal customer that you build up based on a mixture of real data that you know and “educated guesses” about what they look like. Your business probably has more than one buyer persona, although usually there will be one or two prominent types.
The details of your buyer personas help you to target your messages, including the probable channels that those buyers are using online. They will help you to understand the goals of your buyers and the types of messages that resonate with them.
If you don’t target messaging to a defined audience, you risk attracting no one Click To Tweet
How to define your target audience
Taking the time to clearly define buyer personas can pay off in terms of more successful marketing campaigns for your WooCommerce store. Here are some steps you can take to define your audience:
You don’t want to just “make stuff up.” While a buyer persona is often based around a fictional character you create, that character needs to be true to your audience! For this reason, you need to make data-informed decisions in defining your audience.
Here are a few suggestions for finding some concrete data:
- Talk to your current customers. You might randomly choose some to chat with, or survey via email or a form on your website. Find out their preferences.
- Look at any insights from Facebook or other social media sources that you use. These are often useful for demographic information.
- Look for any trends in your database of contacts. You may have some demographic information already, especially if you’re using a good CRM tool.
- Talk to any team members who interact with your customers. Customer service staff tend to have a wealth of information about what customers are asking or suggesting.
- Check in with your site analytics. You can find information like where visitors have come from, how they are browsing, and the pages they spend the most time on.
- Look at your order and WooCommerce data.
The overall point is that you’re not relying on pure guesswork to create buyer personas. Within your research, you may even be able to define who your store is not for too. Sometimes there are clear groups that you can exclude from marketing.
Create your personas
Take that information you have gathered and use it to build your buyer personas. A suggestion here is not to try to create too many – most companies have around three to five clear personas, but only a couple of them are dominant. Too many personas will confuse you when it comes to creating marketing campaigns!
Be disciplined about only focusing on the most relevant data. Depending on what you sell, some things just have no bearing. For example, gender might have no bearing on the persona if you sell something generic like household cleaners.
Each persona should have clear demographic information, geographic information, and the kind of “role” the person has that is relevant to your product. For example, if you sell kids’ clothing, you’re actually selling to their parents, family members, or friends who might buy the clothing as gifts.
Some basic things you might include are:
- The job or role title of the persona
- A description of that role
- Where the person is located and demographic information such as income and age
- Goals the persona has as related to your product. (For example, using kid’s clothing again; “to outfit the kids in durable, easy-care clothing” might be a goal)
- Any problems the persona might have had. (For example, “the clothes I have bought previously tear easily and have complex washing instructions.”)
- Where to find them. (For example, following Scary Mommy on Facebook or reading parenting magazines.)
- Clear description of why they should choose you over other companies they have tried. (For example, “XYZ Kid’s Clothing is created for busy parents of active kids. The clothes are highly durable and can simply be tossed into the washer and dryer.”)
Once you’ve defined your personas, consider how you might prioritize them if you have more than one. It just may be that no one marketing campaign can capture all of them, so you’re better off focusing on the most likely personas.
Keep your personas updated
Once you’ve created your buyer personas, it’s important to revise and modify them as necessary over time. Sometimes you find that you’re attracting a lot of people, but not getting the sales you expected. This can be an indication that you’re not getting the people who make the buying decision to your site, or that you’re simply not targeting the right audience.
Additionally, the world is changing all the time and your buyers often change with it. The buyer personas you use today may not be indicative of your buyers in a few years’ time. If you had sold record players in the 1970s, you’d probably be targeting a regular “joe” who just wanted to listen to music at home. These days, you’re targeting music enthusiasts who are either nostalgic for the days of vinyl, or who simply adore the sound of vinyl. You might also be targeting people who still have a large record collection from back in the prime of the record player!
The idea of clearly defining your audience and creating buyer personas is that you can be very targeted with your marketing messages. There’s no sense in advertising on Facebook if none of your target audience hangs out there!
Once you have personas created, use them to inform your marketing activities, paid and unpaid. For example, if you use content marketing in your business, think about content that appeals to those personas. Your personas are a great way to create ready-made market segments too. This means you can actively seek out conversations with clear groups of people.
The ecommerce industry is booming, but it takes some work to get the right audience to your WooCommerce store. Start by knowing your audience and target your messaging appropriately.