How to Build Holiday Buyer Personas

Data-Driven Marketing Marketing Tools & Tips

Believe it or not, the 2017 holiday season has officially arrived.

As you cross items off your marketing checklist, do you know who you’re trying to reach during the holiday season?

Now is a great time to dust off your list of brand buyer personas. We’ve covered this topic before concerning advertising, but today’s tips are about making holiday-centric adjustments to execute your big picture seasonal strategy.

Finalize Your Brand Personas

The cardinal rule of content strategy is to define and directly appeal to your target audiences. Directly appealing to your target audience means not just identifying a broad group you’re hoping to reach, but creating specific key segments that describe who they are and what they like. Doing so helps you attract new customers, connect with existing customers, and develop personalized content to promote your products and services.

The chances are high that you’ve already engaged in this exercise for your annual calendar. If you have, great news! By previously developing these audience profiles, you won’t have to start from scratch. If you haven’t, here is a very helpful guide to get you started.

The first step is to evaluate your current goals and back-end analytics to confirm you’re on the right targeting track.

Take Inventory

Evaluate the Data

Review Past Social Media Post Performance.

Make Strategic Holiday Tweaks

Consider How Customer’s Habits Change

As you put your final tweaks on each persona, brainstorm ways your buyer’s priorities and spending habits may shift during the holiday season. For example, instead of buying practical items, parents in gift-giving mode may be more inclined to buy frivolous items this time of year.

This year, Poo-Pourri seized an opportunity to expand the way they appeal to their customers during the holiday season. In the past, the brand has successfully used humor to sell a solution to a smelly problem. However, they saw a chance to solve a different problem: gift giving, especially when shopping for “strangers you’re forced to love.” Through a hilarious new video ad, the brand is asking consumers to buy Poo-Pourri for others, not themselves, and are excited to see how customers respond.

“We want to reach people who are sick of wasting money and time on gifts people will never use,” says Nicole Story, Poo-Pourri’s vice president of creative, who also directed the spot. “Literally everyone on your Christmas list can use Poo-Pourri every day—sometimes twice a day. And as more and more holiday shopping happens online, digital is the ideal place to catch them in the middle of the burdensome act.”

As you brainstorm your opportunities to market outside the box, ask your team for input instead of creating the profiles by yourself in a vacuum. Just like each buyer persona is unique, every member of your internal team brings new perspectives to the table.

Embrace #Basic

It might seem cliché, but there’s a reason seasonal lattes in to-go cups (PSL anyone?), boots and scarves, holiday scented candles and ugly sweater parties are a favorite this time of year.

Monitoring like-minded people as they gravitate toward the same interests and shared behaviors can help you understand where customers are coming from and how they might respond to your marketing efforts. While it’s easy to be critical of what seems “typical,” embrace the basic and leverage it to give your business a little boost.

Put the Buyer Personas to Work

Now that you have created your buyer personas, it is time to use them. Every piece of content, ranging from a single tweet to a series of email blasts, should have an assigned intended audience.

Before assigning, remember your brand differentiators for this holiday season. Take your list of products and services and create story angles to address unique needs, challenges, and goals of each intended audience.

The scenarios may look something like this:

Keep in mind that your personas might alter slightly from tactic to tactic within your holiday campaign. What works well for your email newsletters might not work for a big Instagram advertising push, so embrace flexibility. No matter what tactics you deploy, brand personas are there as a guide to maximize your brand’s exposure to the right audiences this holiday season.

Katie McCall

Katie McCall is a strategic communications consultant, working with clients to establish trustworthy and engaging reputations, driving authentic communication with fans and influencers. She specializes in branding and positioning, storytelling and online advocacy networking. In addition, Katie is a lifestyle portrait photographer, serving clients in her community in Texas.

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