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The Startup Journey: The Importance Of Buyer Personas

Heidi Moore

Photo courtesy of “The Startup Journey” blog

This article 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 an 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 at “The Startup Journey” know all of Susie’s wants and needs, so writing a blog post like this 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.

Why Susie (and 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, sometimes even weeks to complete.

The return on investment, however, from this process clearly proves its worth.

Writing a blog and social content to a developed persona cuts down on time and cost, and 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? Knowing exactly who you’re writing to.

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

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.

At “The Startup Journey,” our content is mainly meant for entrepreneurs and people in the startup space.

Breaking that down further, 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 such as:

  • Who they are
  • How they think
  • Where they are
  • 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

  • What’s the mission of the industry?
  • What’s the 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 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:

Source No. 1
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.

Source No. 2
Using tools such as Google Analytics and Facebook Insights can show you who is already surfing your page and provide some information about them.

Source No. 3
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.

Startup JourneyBlog

Codelation.com/Blog

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Written by Heidi Moore

Heidi Moore is a contributor to "The Startup Journey" blog.

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