Your consumer base's digital footprint
Do you know your customer's social avatar?
In any business venture, knowing who your market is can make or break your business before it even gets off the ground.
Which is why, when creating a marketing plan for your business, it's important to understand your customers and they're "why". This is a fantastic way to deliver products or services that bring the desired value and solutions to their everyday challenges.

And this all sounds amazing! But what is it?

A customer avatar is a detailed profile of your customer base- this persona is crucial in marketing the right content to you're well -targeted growing scale customer network. This ideal customer avatar is molded around your target clientele, based on detailed audience research as well as information from your existing clientele. By crafting the right message for the right consumers to targeting the right social ads, personalization and humanization are simply imperative in the digital marketing space.
According to an April 2018 survey, it found that more than half of consumers expected companies' offers to always be personalized. With millennials changing the norm of business practice, they are the customer base that has disrupted how brands interact with their customers.
They are at the forefront of demanding brands to be more humanized. Yet there are still marketers who find authenticating their messages in campaigns difficult.

Authenticity and being more personal to a potential customer that is going to buy your products, remain loyal to your brand and referrer others to your product and its services and then repeat the buying process is the marketing key to master.

So, where do you start?

Talking! Talking to your existing clients is an excellent way of establishing information from people who are already spending their money on you. It is crucial for your business growth and marketing strategy. Small and medium-sized businesses benefit immensely from having and knowing their customer avatar(s).
Each page is counted, but no folio or page number is expressed, or printed, on either display pages or blank pages.
If you have over 300 clients, we can't expect you to talk to all of them face-to-face, some yes, over a cup of coffee but a large majority can be on the telephone, or setting up a survey using a service such as Survey Monkey (free up to ten questions) or through email marketing to your existing customer base and email subscribers. As any failed business will tell you, one of the major reasons for its failure was not hitting the right notes to the right market; costing them a pretty penny in the end.

With digital marketing at the forefront of any businesses marketing structure, one needs to be mindful of broad targeting. This is when a business tries to be everything to everyone and in turn, become nothing to everyone.

Therefore, knowing and talking to your market is pivotal in seeing the ROI you desire. As a detailed business avatar will streamline the customer avatar you want to attract. But… all of this will come at a small cost.

Alright, so you have an idea of how to get started- let's get cracking.

So now that you know where to look and how to get the information that you need- let's talk about attracting the ideal customer base. This will be a culmination of all the information that you have gathered so far.

Content Marketing: This is a vital strategy for any businesses to have as it allows for the control of the narrative to the intended client. Through content marketing, a business is able to uncover the points of contention for your ideal customer, giving content creators a space to produce content that solves these problems and appeals to their needs. The content generated from blog posts, videos, lead magnets, and content upgrades will attract your ideal customer to your business.

Marketing Channels: Paid Advertising needs a clear customer avatar to have been established to give the envisioned ROI. Knowing where and when to spend money on paid traffic allows for the intended customers to be targeted effectively and creatively-most importantly, this helps you to understand where your advertising budget is best spent.

User Experience: Once an ideal customer has been created, a business can then create the opportune and ideal user experience resulting in guaranteed repeat custom and referrals.

Email Marketing: If you have an existing email subscriber base, this is a great way to interact with them and also understand what their product and service preference.

Now, let's design the ideal customer avatar!

Firstly, think of the customer as a client that has a persona – create a fictional one based on the information that you have gathered about them so far.

Demographics: name, age, gender, occupation, and location - other fields like marital status can be included should your product need all that information. This information will assist you in the type of content that is being shared with your avatar as well as the social platforms you will market your products and services on.

Then consider what your goal is in the intended design of your call-to-action with them.

Remember, your business avatar thrills through understanding and knowing its customer avatar. The research collected from various data about your customer demographics and online behavior along with their pain challenges is what molds your ideal customer avatar. In turn, this allows you to personalize and humanize your marketing to them. Your conducted research and existing clients information will be an excellent way to start designing your ideal customer.

Once an ideal customer avatar has been created, it is best to keep abreast of the changes in data and online behavior of your customer base as to know when and how to adjust accordingly. As the digital market landscape constantly evolves, it's through this evolution that in turn helps business form the right decisions and strategies when it comes to their marketing campaigns which (hopefully) creates new customers.

If you are still having trouble putting together a customer avatar, Hootsuite has free 'how to build a buyer persona' templates that will guide you.
Sixolisiwe Ndawo
Content Marketing Intern
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