Every piece of content you create tells a story about your brand. But what many businesses fail to realise is that their story isn’t about them – it’s about their customer. And the better you know your customer, the better you will be able to craft their journey.
Creating a customer avatar is central to this process. Without one, you’re telling a story without a main character. What you’re saying essentially, is that your brand isn’t about anyone in particular and, as a result, about nothing in particular.
So why would anyone buy into you?
But isn’t this avatar business just the buzzword of the moment? What does it actually do? In short – this is what a customer avatar is all about:
1. It defines your ideal customer
Not only does it help you clarify who exactly your customer is (or could be), it also helps you personalise their journey, which makes their experience of your brand more memorable.
The more information you have about your ideal customer, the better you’ll be able to gauge their needs. The result: focused content that makes them feel like they belong with you (and not the other guy).
2. It’s the first step to creating your customer journey
The journey in question? Your brand narrative. Every piece of content you put out there tells your existing and potential customers a story about what they stand to gain from you. In other words, you’re marketing your products and services through their eyes.
Gone are the days where the giants of the corporate world simply had to show up. People want to know that you’re taking them seriously. Only then will they take you seriously.
Whether you buy into the new status quo or not – they’re getting personalised engagement from other brands, so why should they stick around if they’re not getting it from you?
3. It’s almost exactly like creating a character for a movie
It’s no secret that copywriters often draw on Hollywood scriptwriting techniques to craft a brand’s story. And for good reason. Personal taste aside, it’s an industry that grosses about $38 billion a year.
And what do most successful Hollywood films have in common? A strong central character with a very obvious problem that needs to be resolved. How they solve that problem is where you come in. Whether you’re the Robin Williams to their Matt Damon or the Meryl Streep to their Anne Hathaway (OK, bad example, but you get the drift) – your job in their story is to nudge them to make the right choice.
What does that have to do with content marketing? You’re still convincing them to buy your product, aren’t you?
4. It helps you make your brand more human
The one thing that most Hollywood films have in common is a mythic story structure (often referred to as The Hero’s Journey) that echoes basic universal truths. It makes everything relatable – from teenage spring break movies to space operas.
But central to every good story is a well-imagined protagonist. The better you develop this character – or avatar – the more detailed and nuanced your brand’s story will be and the more satisfying your customer’s journey will become.
In the end, they need to feel like it was their choice to buy into you – no matter how much you influenced that decision.
5. It helps you get specific
The most commonly used customer avatar is Agency Eric, a persona that includes everything from a basic demographic and psychographic profile to the books and blogs he reads and what his career challenges and fears are.
Many marketers will see the development of such a detailed avatar as a waste of time – at their peril. It’s usually these marketers who can’t figure out why their content isn’t delivering results or why their social media engagement is dropping.
The more details you have about your customer’s life, the easier it will be to identify what content they want to read and what will lead them to your brand. After all, no one wants to be reminded of the fact that they’re “Valued Customer #254673”.
Want to develop a customer avatar of your own? Get in touch and I’ll send you a fillable PDF to get you started.