Identifying your ideal customer is the first step in any marketing campaign and is absolutely vital if your goal is to recruit influencers who resonate with your brand and audience. After all, how can you possibly find the right influencers if you don’t know who you’re trying to influence?
We use the following template to build out detailed Ideal Customer Avatars (ICA's) for all of our clients and it has produced great results time and time again. We’ve chosen to feature an ICA we built for our client R3vitalize: an Australian tattoo-aftercare brand.
This is a basic snapshot of your ideal customer's basic attributes. You're trying to capture their essence here and it shouldn't be completed all at once. You should keep coming back to it and refining it as you go through the rest of the process. Leave the 'Bio' paragraph until last when you have a very clear picture of who your customer is.
Find a real person who represents your ideal customer and use them to inspire your process from a purely aesthetic perspective. Never ascribe real-life attributes to your avatars as they should be made up of the ideal attributes that you have determined in a vacuum.
Goals define what your ideal customer wants to achieve. Start by thinking about your product or service and what it helps people do. What problem does your ideal customer have? Their goal is most likely to overcome this problem. Define the problem and you define the goal.
Values define what your ideal customer is committed to. Think about what your brand represents and stands for. What is your customer most passionate about? Maybe they care deeply for animals and your products are vegan-friendly or they're all about giving to charity and your store donates a dollar to charity with every purchase.
Sources and inspirations define who or what influences your ideal customer. Who do they follow on social media? What magazines do they read? What music do they listen to? Facebook's Audience Insights tool is helpful in identifying things that you wouldn't otherwise have thought of.
A useful question to ask here is: What [book/website/film/game] would my ideal customer enjoy that not many other people would?
Challenges define the daily struggles that your ideal customer faces. These are usually, but not always, linked to his goals. What challenge could your product or service help to overcome? Answer that and ascribe that challenge to your ideal customer.
Pain points define your ideal customer's fears. Once again, keep bringing everything back to your product or service specifically. What fear could your product allay? Maybe the fear of tattoos losing their colour, of products being tested on animals or of global warming destroying the planet.
Objections and responses are where you identify and defend your product or service against common misgivings that customers may have. Be as harsh as possible and think of as many examples as you can. Remember, you're dealing with your ideal customer here so their objections are going to be unique to someone who is in the market for a product like yours.
The more time you spend on this one the better. You'll often find that the responses you come up with make for great marketing angles on their own.
Even if you aren't planning on running influencer marketing; knowing who your ideal customer would respond well to on social media will give you some valuable insights. We usually start by identifying as many influencer avatars as we can before diving into each one and finding specific real-life examples.
If you're planning to use this to recruit influencers: spend a lot of time on this step. Dig deep into each influencer avatar and find as many real-life influencers for each of them. Also pay attention to the people following these real-life influencers. Are some of them similar to your ideal customer? They should be.
This template should provide you with everything you need to develop a comprehensive ideal customer avatar. One thing to bear in mind is that there could be many ideal customers for a single brand and it's always a good idea to build out as many as possible.
Building out an ICA can be a highly valuable exercise for established brands and brand builders alike. It gives you insight into your audience and helps you plot a route forward for your marketing. If influencers are on the cards, it becomes even more important as it's the quickest and easiest way to find out who you should be approaching.