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Customer research you can do yourself

You probably already know that buyer personas are a wickedly effective way for you to learn about who your customers actually are. Creating buyer personas allows you to develop content specifically for your target customer. They also help you guide them through your sales funnels- increasing conversions and gaining happy customers.

It may seem glaringly obvious, but creating a buyer persona without completing detailed customer research is like getting in your car without an end destination in mind. Sure, you may enjoy the sights, but you’re unlikely to be very productive and won’t achieve the things you need to get done that day.

The same is true when you run a content marketing campaign without knowing exactly who your target audience is. You may have the most helpful, creative content online, but without directing it towards your buyer personas, your target audience may never actually see it.


How to DIY your Customer Research

Sure, marketing companies can do all of this research for you. But there are many aspects of customer research that you can also do yourself.

Here are some ways you can research your customers and gain critical insight into who those customers are, and what they want:


Talk to Your Teams
You may be surprised by the amount of customer information your internal teams are sitting on. This is particularly true of your sales, customer service, and marketing teams.

Here are some questions to ask:


  • Who is buying our product or service?
  • What pain points do they have?
  • What type of companies do these people work for?
  • How do they communicate with us?
  • What were their buyer journeys?
  • What are their main objections?

Conduct Surveys and Interviews
Conducting online or offline surveys are critical for understanding your customers’ needs and motivations. But these questions should be open-ended, so you can get to know them as real people.

Of course, these questions will vary depending on your business, but the goal is always to get actionable information about your customers.

Examples include:


  • What hesitations or doubts did you have before you bought our product/service?
  • What problem does it solve for you?
  • What made you realise you needed our product/service?
  • What would make you buy from our company again?

Talking directly to your existing customers is one of the most valuable ways to understand what motivates them, their buying habits, and how they like to communicate with the brands they follow.

Sure, conducting interviews can be labour intensive and expensive. But the answers and insight you’ll gain will be well worth it.

Here are some tips for conducting your interviews:


  • Interview face-to-face whenever possible
  • Ask open-ended questions
  • Avoid being judgemental- either with your body language or the words you use
  • Record your interviews so you can refer back to them later
  • Listen to what they say- don’t try to correct them if they have a mistaken impression of your brand. Instead, find out why they have that impression.

Analyse your Social Media
Social media is an excellent way for you to communicate directly with your customers. It also allows you to analyse your followers to find key demographics.

You can do this by looking into the analytics of your followers. But there are also a few other ways to see what your customers are talking about online:


  • Twitter search- search your niche or topic
  • LinkedIn- use LinkedIn answers to see what people are asking and answer questions yourself
  • Social media analytics tools- these can give you up-to-date insights about your followers
  • Engagement- see what types of content your followers are sharing and liking

How to understand your customers and why this is good for business growth

These are just a few ways you can do some of your customer research yourself. We have plenty of tips and tricks to help you with your content marketing, so take a look at some of our blog posts, or get in touch today.

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