Know Your Advocates! How to Identify Your Advocate Buying Personas

 

On a scale of 1 – 10, how well do you know your advocates? Be honest.

Most companies have a general idea of who’s part of their advocacy marketing program. They know the general demographics - age/gender/location - but that’s the end of it. With general knowledge comes general content and, through that, general results.

Now obliviously you can’t know every single advocate - though you can take the time to organize your advocates into buying personas based on quiz and poll responses. Once you get to know the type of people that make up your advocacy marketing program, you can create content that resonates with those personas, lifting engagement and sales along the way.

 

What Are Buyer Personas?

If you’re not familiar with the term buyer personas, a buyer persona is a simple way to characterize or generalize of one your key marketing segments. Most marketers use broad demographics when they think about their target customer. For example, a CPG company might say their primary demo are moms age 30 – 55 who are into trail mix.

This is a huge swath of people. Millions. How are you going to effectively communicate to all of them with the same voice? The answer: you aren’t.

This is where buying personas come in. You can split this large group into more manageable groups; for example, you could have separate personas that touch on key stress points of key groups of people:

  • Single moms looking for quick snack options
  • Green moms looking for healthy options vs. sugary snacks
  • Active moms looking to power through morning goat-aided yoga sessions

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Using buying personas to help segment your content creation and marketing strategy has huge benefits:

 As you can see, by personifying your advocates, you are given better insight into their motivations. Not every message you create is going to resonate with every person in your target demographic. Don’t be afraid to specialize.

 

What to Ask Your Advocates to Start Building Buying Personas?

There’s a lot of literature out there on what questions to ask, so we won’t rehash them here; the key point is, ask questions that truly matter. Don’t waste your advocates’ time by asking fluff questions like what their favorite color is, or what they’re most likely to stream on HBO Go! While fun, these fluff insights aren’t going to translate to noticeable, bottom line impact. You’re not going to move the needle because you know that the business contact you’re trying to close watches Game of Thrones (Spoiler Alert: WE ALL WATCH GAME OF THRONES!!!).

You need to focus on asking buying-oriented questions. Get the gender and general age on lock, but then focus the rest of your questions on the struggles, pain points, and purchasing habits of your personas. Once you start asking your advocates these types of questions, you’ll start to see general trends emerge. Those trends are your personas.

Here are a couple question archetypes to get you started:

  • Questions that establish gender and age
  • Questions that establish personal and/or household income levels
  • Questions that establish purchasing preferences
  • Questions that establish hobbies and interests (and how they relate to your product)
  • Questions that establish their stress points (and how your product solves them)

Want to earn some bonus points? As you identify your personas, take a good look at the purchase history of those aligned with these personas. Some personas are going to be worth more to you than others. Be sure to adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.

 

How to Ask Your Advocates These Questions?

If you’re a SocialToaster client, our built-in survey and quiz functionality makes it easy to create questionnaires for your advocates. If you’re managing your advocacy marketing program through a different tool (hey, no judgement here!), you might need to house your survey and survey results on a third-party platform.

Regardless of the platform, you want to make sure you’re asking the right questions at the right time. Simply bombarding your advocates with a hundred-question survey isn’t going to accomplish anything.

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Instead, start by creating an initial survey that only has one to three questions on it. Start to stratify your advocates based on answers to these questions. Once you have your initial personas, create a follow up quiz (unique to each) that asks two follow up questions and further stratifies your advocates. Repeat as needed to fully flesh out your personas.

What you’re looking for with each stratification are the large, general segments of people within each group. If you’re seeing a clear majority of your advocates self-selecting into certain buckets, congratulations! Those are your personas! Your advocates are all over the board? You might not be asking the right questions and need to revise your strategy.

Most brands only have a couple solid buying personas. If you’re walking out of this exercise with 20 different potential audiences, you’re doing it wrong.

Super Important Tip: When a survey is completed, be sure to thank - and potentially reward - your advocates. After all, you’re asking them to give up their time and their personal information.

 

Remember, your advocates are already big fans of your brand, or they wouldn’t be a part of your advocacy marketing program. Take the time to get to know the personas that make up your core advocacy group. Then, create and share content that resonates with those personas.

Want to learn more about how SocialToaster can help you build out your buying personas? Reach out today!