The Power of Personas: Why Are Marketing Personas Important?

Markeing personas help make your audience real.
Most industry insiders agree that good marketing is all about figuring out not just what to say to your audience, but also when and how to say it. In order to craft that perfect message and communicate it effectively, you have to understand your audience.

So what exactly does that mean, and how do marketers accomplish it? One important way is through marketing personas. Sometimes called buyer personas, marketing personas create clear portraits of potential customers, literally putting a name – if not a face – to the often nebulous concept of your “target audience.”

Below, we’ll define marketing personas, explain why marketing personas are important, and provide tips for developing personas for your own company.

What Are Marketing Personas?

A marketing persona is a fictional “sketch” of a key segment of your target audience. This sketch helps you create a marketing strategy that is more relevant and valuable to the customers who matter most to your business. Once again, good marketing is all about figuring out what to say, and how and when to say it. By bringing faceless consumers to life with concrete identifiers, marketing personas address that very challenge.

A marketing persona should include specific details about the fictional customer, including at a minimum:

  • Demographics, such as age, gender, salary, education, and family
  • Occupation/career details
  • Personal goals and values

One final piece of the puzzle that many marketers may want to consider is the customer’s stage in the buyer’s journey. HubSpot has famously defined the buyer’s journey as the process through which all customers go when moving from discovery of your product/service to conversion. This process includes three stages: Awareness (the customer becomes aware of a particular need), Consideration (the customer researches solutions – i.e. products and services), and Decision (the customer purchases your product or service – i.e. converts).

Let’s say your company sells high-end hiking boots. A persona for one ideal customer might describe Jessica, a 30-year-old single Los Angeles resident. Jessica works as an executive assistant in the entertainment industry making $60,000 per year. She has recently started hiking for recreation and is interested in purchasing her first pair of hiking boots. She likes her job, which requires her to present herself well and keep up with trends, so she values both quality and style in her purchase.

Your message to Jessica should communicate these values in a way that targets beginners who are still in the consideration phase of their shopping. Save the discussions of complex boot comparisons and updated features, on the other hand, for Tim, a loyal customer, seasoned backpacker, and retiree looking to upgrade his go-to boots as he prepares to hike the Pacific Crest Trail.

Why Are Marketing Personas Important?

Marketing is about meeting audiences’ needs profitably. As you can see in the examples above, marketing personas help you meet customer needs by more fully defining who those customers are or could be. When you can put a name, age, and range of interests and experience to a customer, you can better illuminate their values and get a clearer picture of what that person needs from your product, service, or marketing strategy.

So personas help you define and understand your audience… but why is that so important? In short, if you don’t understand who your audience is, you can’t understand their needs. If you don’t understand their needs, you can’t meet them – let alone profitably.

By defining your ideal customers’ needs, marketing personas help marketers use time and energy more efficiently and, ultimately, create better products and services. Marketing personas are important in all of the following tasks:

  • Refining ad campaigns
  • Content creation (including email campaigns and blog posts)
  • Social media marketing (such as on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn)
  • General marketing problem-solving
  • Efficient and well-aligned product development

Tips for Harnessing the Power of Personas in Your Marketing Strategy

Be as detailed as possible. The more details you include, the clearer the picture of your ideal customer will be. A clearer sketch helps you both define and solve more problems for this customer, and refine your message to communicate how you can do so.

Consider the customer’s stage in the buyer’s journey. As we mentioned above, you should tailor your message to the buyer’s stage in engaging with your product or service. Someone who is still researching solutions needs a different message than someone who has already converted, or even someone who is just well-versed in industry terms and concepts.

Use templates. While each buyer persona is a unique sketch, you should standardize your process for developing personas by using or creating persona templates. This helps ensure you always include the same level of detail across campaigns, products, and departments, ensuring a more profitable use of time and resources.

We Can Help You Help Your Audience

At Bloom Ads, we’ve made it our life’s work to help clients craft the right messages for the right audience. Have questions about buyer personas, why marketing personas are important, or just how to get started on a successful marketing campaign? Explore our advertising services today.

Tips for Measuring Your Advertising Results

Reaping the best ROI on your ads means monitoring their success (or failure).

Measuring advertising results from media campaigns can be challenging. Fortunately, there are a few ways to go about measuring advertising results to determine your return on investment. In this article, we will list a few tips that will help ease the challenges of running an effective marketing campaign. Let’s get started!

Analyzing Campaign Performance  

Some variables are harder to control than others. However, collecting sales data before, during, and after the campaign can go a long way with regard to determining return on investment.

Timing is everything! Target a specific date range to see if there was any lift during the time period in which an ad campaign was running.

For a basic formula, ROI = gain from investment – cost of investment divided by the cost of investment.

Tone of voice is also an important variable to consider. If you know you ran a variety of ads, examine the results of each to determine which ones resonated the most with a target audience. Did messaging and tone change from one ad to the other? Was music played? What did the imagery look like when you ran the ad? In TV or radio broadcasts, for example, tone of voice can vary greatly depending on the time of day and audience segment.

Measuring Digital Advertising  

Measuring digital advertising is more straightforward so long as you have access to reliable data. For example, if your brand has an online presence, you can measure the amount of website traffic during a campaign period to determine the effectiveness of an ad.

Taking it a step further, one can specify unique URL parameters to identify the traffic source of a campaign to tie results back to specific copy, CTAs, imagery, and layout.

The key to success with digital measurement is having access to reliable analytics, so it’s best to sync with other members on your marketing team who may have access to better data.

Business Outcomes and Customer Experience    

A recent study conducted by the CMO Council found that marketers are now shifting their focus away from ad metrics towards measuring business outcomes. Ad personalization, for example, has become a great variable when measuring advertising results using the following metrics:

  • Retention rate
  • Lifetime value
  • Acquisition rate
  • Upsell/Cross-sell engagement
  • Revenue Per Transaction

Examining broader metrics allows marketers to zoom out and better understand the buyer journey, which can be a more effective marketing approach to tailoring messaging to the right time and place.

Defining Objectives, and Measurement

Defining objectives and measurement is of the utmost importance. Is your end goal to drive sales? Brand awareness? Retention? Having a clear set of objectives mapped out will pave the way to more measurable and actionable ad campaigns. The goal of this process is to drill down to the truth. What about a user’s behavior are we examining? Are key performance indicators (KPIs) actually representative of campaign success?

If the answer is yes, then you are on the right track. From there, you can begin to audit, analyze and tweak ad campaigns accordingly. The bottom line: Without a north star, it’s hard to determine a path to your specific goals. You can use data all day long, but reaching new or potential customers requires a more holistic approach. Measuring advertising results begins with defining your objectives and KPIs beforehand.

It’s important to remember never to settle. Continually analyze which platforms, publishers, or partners are performing best to identify gaps as well as what needs to be done in order to improve return on investment. As long as you work towards improving the value proposition of the brand, the easier it will be to measure the impact of your work.

Bloom Ads is Here to Help

Is your team looking to outsource its media buying and planning? Bloom Ads has a team of professionals standing by to help your brand create, administer, and measure effective media campaigns that truly deliver! Give us a call today at (818) 703-0218.

How Does Social Media Affect Advertising?

Social media is the perfect tool for making sure your message reaches the right audience.
Whether you like it or not, social media is here to stay – and it’s definitely made its mark in the world of digital advertising. While traditional avenues like TV, radio, and print ads are still vital tools, companies that fail to adapt to the role of social media in advertising put themselves at a disadvantage.

This doesn’t have to be bad news. It may take some research and a little advice from the pros, but with the right tools and strategies, even technophobes can make concrete changes to their online presence that take advantage of the benefits social media offers.

Below, we’ll outline the state of social media in advertising and provide some pro tips for making good use of social media in your own marketing campaigns.

How Does Social Media Affect Advertising? A Look at the Data

Even the most cursory glance at the world around you offers plenty of evidence that social media is king. We’re constantly checking our devices for notifications from platform after platform, whether for work or personal reasons – often both. Facebook Ads have become ubiquitous, influencer marketing is a vital part of the industry, and user-generated content continues to gain traction.

It’s also obvious to many of us that users continue to find ways to block or ignore ads. We probably even do this ourselves.
But what do the numbers actually tell us? Let’s look at some statistics.

  • As early as 2006 – before Facebook even took off – it was estimated that the average American saw 5,000 ads a day. That figure is believed to have grown significantly since then.
  • As of 2019, Facebook has 1.69 billion users worldwide.
  • After reaching its 10 billionth tweet just four months prior, Twitter doubled that amount to reach its 20 billionth tweet in August 2010.
  • Companies are continuously developing products specifically to help consumers block ads. Such products have evolved from TiVo to ad-blocking browser plug-ins, many of which can be downloaded for free.

What do these statistics mean for advertisers in a digital landscape? Because social media puts so many people together in one “place,” advertisers have caught on to its amazing potential as a platform to broadcast their messages. But many argue that this has created ad fatigue for users, making it ever more challenging for marketers to cut through the noise.

Let’s break down some of the effects of social media on advertising.

Three Impacts of Social Media on Digital Marketing

1. Social Media Helps Communicate Value by Segmenting Markets

Most advertisers would agree that marketing is about communication and value creation. Well, social media is designed for just that. Social networking functions as a way to connect vast numbers of people from all walks of life and all across the globe – and that means connecting brands and consumers. With a built-in audience, social media provides amazing potential for boosting brand awareness.

But social media does more than just hand advertisers a virtual loudspeaker. In fact, advertisers already know that simply blasting a one-size-fits-all message without targeting the right audiences can actually negatively affect returns on investment.

This is where social media’s true strength comes in. Because of its amazing ability to target specific groups of people using powerful data and algorithms, social media is the perfect tool for segmenting markets so advertisers can actually reach the right people.

2. Social Media Turns Consumers into Message Creators

Because social media gives both brands and individuals a voice and a platform to express it, it has changed the way we send and receive messages. Social networking removes many of the barriers to expression that exist in more traditional advertising models. Companies can spend millions on a TV advertising campaign, but it doesn’t cost anything to create a Facebook post.

More importantly, social media creates the ideal space for word-of-mouth marketing and “buzz” – two things that are becoming more and more crucial in a marketing landscape where consumers value transparency and trust over what they perceive as deceptive or aggressive “sells”. Though it comes with its own pros and cons, companies are increasingly taking advantage of these values by making use of user-generated content and influencer marketing.

3. Social Media Reduces Marketing Costs and Boosts ROI

While it can present a challenge to marketers more versed in traditional mediums like TV or print, social media tends to be much less expensive if used wisely. Between the low cost of posting on social networks and the huge exposure potential of word-of-mouth marketing, social media can drastically increase the profitability of spreading your message.

Not only does social media boost your returns on investment by cutting costs, but it also provides customer insights you can use to further hone in on your target audience with the right products (and messages).

Tips for Reaching the Right People Through Social Media

When potential customers have so many messages competing for their attention on a daily basis, how can marketers cut through the noise and meet customers’ needs profitably? The key is to use social media to your advantage by zoning in on your audience and creating authentic relationships with consumers, proving your service or product speaks to their values and can meet their needs.

We’ve included some tips for how to do this below:

  • Get on multiple platforms. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are pretty much non-negotiable, with LinkedIn not far behind, especially for products or services geared toward a more professional cohort. Coordinate campaigns across platforms so your consumers perceive a cohesive, seamless experience across your brand presence.
  • BUT – Don’t just blast every platform. Tailor your posts to the platform’s strengths. Think visual/video content and hashtags for Instagram, more verbal content for Twitter, and content targeted at industry professionals for LinkedIn.
  • Utilize customer insights through data analytics, and make use of social media’s segmenting potential to target the right audiences with the right messages.
  • Consider user-generated content and influencer marketing – but carefully consider the costs and fit for your brand. When you pursue these campaigns, you’re putting your brand into the hands of outside parties, which comes with its own risks and rewards.

The Pros at Bloom Ads are Here to Help

Want to make the most of social media’s role in advertising but not sure where to start? Don’t worry – the professionals at Bloom Ads have plenty of experience in digital marketing to go around. Contact us to get started today!

Tips for a Creative Marketing & Advertising Strategy

A creative marketing plan and advertising strategy is the key to a successful campaign. Even while using tried-and-true methods like television, radio, and print advertising, thinking outside the box can help your brand stand out and make a memorable, longer-lasting impression on your audience. Then there are all the ways you can branch out of those traditional avenues, such as social media and digital marketing.

Of course, creativity in marketing is often easier said than done. So how can you make sure your marketing strategy puts you ahead of the curve while meshing well with your unique product/service and message? We’ve got you covered with these tips for creative marketing.

Join Trending Hashtags

Social media is beyond valuable as a digital advertising platform. Social media marketing helps you reach vast yet targeted audiences, meet consumers where they are (i.e. on their mobile devices), and distribute brand awareness and conversions across multiple channels. One of our favorite tips for creative marketing on social media is to label your content with trending hashtags.

Well-written hashtags help contextualize your content so that users can find it more easily. By using trending hashtags, you can involve your local business in something that is happening nationwide.  Just remember to look into the trend before you post about it to make sure that it’s appropriate.

Tell a Story

Storytelling is effective on almost every advertising platform. Whether you are creating a new TV advertisement, developing a print ad, or crafting digital content, telling a story has always been the most effective way to grab an audience’s attention and transmit information in a meaningful way.

In today’s fragmented media climate, storytelling in marketing is more important than ever. By crafting a unique, specific brand narrative, you can cut through the noise and reach the consumers who need you most. A well-delivered story helps you connect with audiences on a deeper level, allowing your brand to speak to their specific identities and values. We can’t stress how important this tip for creative marketing truly is.

Hold a Contest

Contests can help generate engagement with your audience. In a marketing climate increasingly dependent on multichannel engagement, you’ll want your consumers to have as many opportunities to interact with your brand as possible. Contests specifically tailored to your product or service can help establish a community around your brand, through which customers can then express their unique selves and values.

Have your social media followers share photos or videos with you in order to win something relevant to your business. If you’re an activewear brand, for example, you may want to ask for skate or surf videos. There are as many kinds of contests as there are businesses. Find the right one for your company, and don’t forget to include a snappy, succinct custom hashtag!

Make an Infographic

People have different learning styles, and presenting the same message in a variety of ways – visually, verbally, in written form – tends to help it sink in best. But in today’s mobile, social-media-dominated climate, the power of imagery is stronger than ever. Just look at the popularity of Instagram if you need hard evidence.

Images can usually grab your audience’s attention more quickly than text. A picture is worth a thousand words, after all. And since some reports show that the average person takes no longer than 50 milliseconds to form a first impression, the speed with which you can get your message across is crucial.

Take advantage of visual marketing with a sleek infographic about your product or service. Whether in a print advertisement or shared as part of your digital strategy, an infographic can not only catch your audience’s eye, but it can also help them retain the information you are sharing in a deeper, more lasting way.

 

Still having a hard time putting these tips for creative marketing to use? Our digital marketing experts are here to help you develop unique content and an effective plan that works for your business’s needs.

Learn more about our media planning and media buying services directly on our website. You can also give our digital marketing experts a call at 818-703-0218 to learn more about the services our digital advertising agency can offer your business.

Five Tips for an Eco-Friendly Advertising & Marketing Campaign

Our amazing planet has endured a lot, from oil spills to global warming. As Carl Sagan famously said, we need to “preserve and cherish the pale blue dot (the Earth), the only home we’ve ever known.” We celebrate Earth Day every year, but why not try to showcase what makes your brand eco-friendly throughout the entire year? If you have a sustainable product or service — let your audience know!   

What Does It Mean to Be Eco-Friendly?

Eco-friendly advertising or marketing refers to selling products or services based on their environmental benefits. These offerings may be environmentally friendly in themselves, or their production process is somehow ecologically responsible. Eco-friendly advertising campaigns highlight these benefits and share them with your consumers. Here are a few tips that will help you create a successful, eco-friendly advertising and marketing strategy.

Focus on the Benefits

Think about what aspect of your product or service is eco-friendly. Are your materials locally sourced? Are they chemical-free? If your business has a “green” product or service, design your eco-friendly advertising campaigns around that aspect of your product. If your company manufactures sustainably, make sure to highlight that in your eco-friendly ads.

Think Locally

We are all busy, so it can be hard to find extra time to do more than work, spend time with loved ones, and fit in some rest.

While it’s said the more you volunteer, the more you’ll experience its benefits, volunteering doesn’t require a long-term commitment or take a considerable amount of time. Getting involved is an excellent opportunity to support local businesses and reduce your carbon footprint. Plus, you can cross promote your products or services, which is essentially a “free” public relations and eco-friendly advertising campaign in itself.

Support Environmental Initiatives

Donating to environmental organizations and communicating these efforts to your audience can go a long way in showing your belief in ecological causes. Environmental charities work to preserve and protect the environment and to promote ecological research, conservation, and appreciation.

Select charities that your business aligns with and collaborate in such a way to create eco-friendly advertising campaigns that will benefit both your business and the charity that you are looking to help. The charity may even have eco-friendly ads that you can co-brand and help bolster the legitimacy of your marketing efforts.

Always Be Transparent

With the environment being at the forefront of plenty of news stories, businesses are meeting more demand by regulators and consumers (especially millennials!) to be transparent in their environmental governance. It is essential that companies are environmentally transparent about both the good and the bad business practices they employ.

Get out in front of your competition and let your audience know about your green initiatives, but don’t exaggerate or hide negative news. If you are smart and honest with your eco-friendly ads, that transparency will foster consumer trust and recognition for your brand.

Look at Environmental Labels

Eco-labels like Energy Star and USDA’s Certified Organic are a recognizable way to let your audience know that your product is eco-friendly. Energy Star is a trusted symbol backed by the United States government that recognizes products for their energy efficiency, which helps consumers save money and protect the environment. Products that don the Energy Star logo have shown that they reduce pollutants and greenhouse gases caused by the inefficient use of energy.

USDA Certified Organic products have stringent production and labeling requirements. An example requirement is that organic products must not use genetic engineering or ionizing radiation. Organizations must also make products following the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances.

Become an Eco-Friendly Brand Today

As you can see it takes a great deal of work and proof to obtain eco-friendly certifications and recognition. Find an eco-label that exists in your industry and research the certification process. These certifications are a great way to verify the legitimacy of your product or service. Once you’ve gone through the effort of getting them, make sure that they are prominent in your eco-friendly advertising campaigns.

Eco-friendly advertising is a great way to show off your brand’s ethical practices, green products, and environmentally responsible processes. Always be genuine with your claims in your green marketing campaigns. Take the time to educate your customers. Let them know what actions you’re taking and what their ecological impact it will be. Successful eco-friendly advertising campaigns often leave space for your consumers and community take part in the fun. Don’t make it all about you, make it about them and the benefits to them.

If you need help developing a “green” marketing strategy for your brand, contact our professionals here at Bloom Ads. Visit our website to learn more about our advertising services or give us a call directly at 818-703-0218.

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