Avatar Exercise | Shelley Rostlund

Avatars – Know Them, Create For Them

Mar 19, 2022 | Customers
Small businesses, in general, have a much closer relationship to their customers than larger corporations do. This puts you in the unique position to create incredibly relevant and moving content and messaging. The kind that:
  1. attracts the right people to your brand, and
  2. automatically dismisses  (or filters out) those are not right for you.

The word “avatars” is a useful word for you to use that encapsulates ‘target audience’, and also gives you the embedded command of thinking of a character. (Giving them a face and a personality).

By being able to almost visualise the avatar down to personality traits and wants/needs – will help direct you to creating the kind of content that will attract exactly the right customer (or audience you are aiming for).

I’m going to give you my top tips to understanding avatars.

TIP 1: Avoid generalisms, embrace personality

Does this sound familiar: “My customers are anyone between 18 and 50, who have money to spend.” (Or something of that ilk). In other words…”EVERYONE wants what I have to sell”.

Once you focus on your avatars and do a proper avatar exercise – it becomes glaringly obvious why a ‘spray and pray’ marketing philosophy does not work with content marketing today.

The more you can hone your message towards specific avatars…the better interaction and therefore longer term conversion (and retention) rates you will achieve.

TIP 2: Recognise your 4 types of Avatars

When you do your avatar exercise to uncover who they are, what their traits are, how they make decisions, what their pains / challenges are, or how you can solve their issues – remember there are five types of avatars in your business:

Type 1 – Customers

This is the most obvious type and is all about the best / perfect customer that you want to attract more of. It is possible that you can have multiple customer avatars, but its best to start with your ideal one, then work from there. You could also define the same avatar – but at different points in the buying journey. (This affects different usage of copy, content or promotional messaging).

Type 2 – Partners

This avatar relates to who you may want to find to partner with you in your business to help you grow. They could be business partners, joint venture partners or investors.

Type 3 – Advocates

These are specific people who are big fans of your work, your products, your brand and they want to help you to promote your business. They could be recruited for varying types of agreements with you – so you could be looking at (a) Brand Ambassadors, (b) Brand Advocates and or (c) Influencers. (These relationships have varying degrees of contractual obligations, remuneration and will also be managed by terms of agreement).

Type 4 – Team

This could be your own team in the business or looking for suppliers to work with.

TIP 3: Review “Ideal”…over time

Once you have done your avatar exercise – do not sit on your laurels. You need to review your avatar detail each year and double check that they are up-to-date.

Buying behaviours and touch points change over time. You need to stay on top of this to stay competitive and also to make sure you are ‘hanging out’ (marketing and comms wise) where your customers expect you to be – for them.

I suggest reviewing avatars once a year – when you do your annual review of your strategic digital (web, social, comms) objectives.

TIP 4: Match Avatar to Offer

When you are looking at your value ladder, ensure that you are matching your avatar work to your ladder. This way you are ensuring that your services or products are indeed catering to your customer avatars (and vice versa). Also – when you are stating or setting your business objectives for your marketing strategy – make sure you focus on which avatars are the ones that you should be focussing on to achieve your objectives.

TIP 5: Archetypal Marketing to Avatars

A bonus tip here. If you fancy it, I would look at archetyping your avatars (if that’s a phrase!) I have written an article on Brand Archetypes, which may be handy to read for this. Similarly as you would identify your own archetype to establish your brand personality, you could use the archetype framework to see if your ideal customers (or other avatars) fit one or more of the archetypes.

If they do, them the framework could help you to know how to market to them and create the kind of messaging that will subliminally attract them to you. (Use of words imagery, call to actions, etc).

Undertaking an avatar exercise is a key part to creating the right content as well as ensuring that your brand strategy is in line with your vision.

The people you want to attract to work with you – either as partners or as customers – are very important to your business. They are crucial to your business’ longevity and success.

In my Brand Compass Programme, we spend a good amount of time working on your 4 types of avatars. Its like a mini-course with the programme. We dig deep on their personality traits, their buying signals, their aches and pains, how you solve them, and then create a content marketing roadmap for you.

The map helps you to create content that is focussed, on-topic and preplanned (includes top level themes, topics and titles).

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