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The Importance of Developing Buyer Personas and How to Do It

This post is for Susie.

Susie is short for Susie Startup, and we know that although Susie is wise and knowledgeable, Susie is in the early stages of her path as an entrepreneur. She is seeking out basic information, tips, and tricks about the essential parts of becoming a successful self-starter.

Susie is curious about starting a blog for her business. She’s looking for helpful advice that is easy to understand and lays out the fundamentals for budding entrepreneurs. Susie has a relatively ample amount of time to read content as she is still in her researching phase, but is likely to be drawn toward content that is formatted in a way that is pleasing to the eye and says “hey, I’m easy to read and here to help you. Don’t fret.”

Thankfully, we know all of Susie’s wants and needs, so writing this blog post will be a piece of cake. We have developed a persona for Susie since she is one of our ideal customers. That means that when we sit down to write a piece of content, we can cater our tone, language, and subject matter to exactly what Susie will want to read.

Maybe tomorrow we’ll create a piece for one of the other buyer personas we’ve developed, and it will be just as easy to write.

Why Susie (and Our Other Personas) are so Important

Specifying personas for your ideal audience yields invaluable benefits for your company, starting with time and cost savings and ending with increased traffic and sales.

The biggest reason companies may choose to forgo the development of buyer personas is the upfront cost. Depending on the size of your business and the demographics of your target market, persona research and development can take hours, days, or weeks to complete.

However, the ROI from this process clearly proves its worth.

Writing blog and social content to a developed persona cuts down on time and cost. It allows writers to shorten the editing process because they directed voice, subject matter, and other details toward the correct audience the first time around.

As online content and the ability to access it grows, it becomes increasingly important for companies to target their content toward their specific market. No longer can they write aimlessly and hope it ends up in front of the right people.

If a reader doesn’t feel connected with your content, they’ll have no trouble finding a relatable piece somewhere else. 

A simple way to intentionally and correctly direct your content? By knowing exactly who you’re writing to.

So How Do I Create Personas for my Target Audience?

The easiest way to create personas for your ideal customers is to begin by broadly describing them, and then narrowing down each one as specifically as possible. 

For Codelation, our content is mainly meant for entrepreneurs and people in the startup space.

Breaking that down, we want to cater to a few different, more specific types of people. We have Susie Startup, Wally the Wantrepreneur, and several others. Each of the personas we have created represents a different type of customer we want to attract who still falls under that “entrepreneur” umbrella. In order to attract them, we have analyzed details like who they are, how they think, where they are, and what they want from us.

Here’s a layout of some of the most important characteristics to identify in each persona you develop:

  • Name
  • Job title (What do they do in their role?)
  • Industry (Mission of the industry? Size of their company?)
  • Demographics (Age? Gender? Geographic location? Household income? Education?)
  • Goals and Challenges (Main goals? Secondary goals? Main challenges? Secondary challenges?)
  • Values (Professional values? Personal values?)
  • Other information (Hobbies? How do they read content? How much time do they spend online?)

These characteristics are a solid starting point for most all personas you may create, although some additional aspects may be important to add depending on what industry you’re in or what goals you have for your content.

To gather the information needed to develop these personas, there are a few different sources you can turn to.

First, customer interviews and conversations can be extremely helpful. By digging into the goals, values, and pain points of your customers, you’ll be able to easily determine what kind of content they want to read and how to write it to them.

Second, using tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights can show you who is already surfing your page and some information about them.

If you don’t have an established website or Facebook page for your business, analyzing the traffic on your competitor’s pages can be useful. Dig around to see who is interacting with their posts and commenting on their content. Understanding your competitors’ customers can help you gain an understanding of your own. It may even help give you a competitive edge in your writing by knowing the way these people are reacting to content similar to yours.

Now What?

You’ve gathered information and developed personas for each of your target audience members. Now what?

It’s time to begin writing content.

Step into the shoes of one of your created personas to understand what topics and information are relevant and interesting enough to be published on your site.

As you move through the writing process, evaluating the appeal and impact of your content will become exponentially easier as you refer to a specified target reader.

Don’t be afraid to edit, tweak, and add to your personas as you learn more about each of them. Content creation will continue to become easier as you get to know your audience better, and your audience will, in turn, connect with your content and your brand more closely.

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