Good Content Planning starts with understanding your target audience – and User Personas are a great tool for this. Personas are profiles of different segments of your target demographic and they’re especially useful for anyone who needs to understand your audience quickly (such as writers).
Taking the time to create proper User Personas before you dive into creating content means you’ll have a much better chance of getting a return on your investment.
You might also hear User Personas called “Buyer Personas” or “Customer Personas” – basically they’re a way of giving a human face to your target audience segments.
User personas answer questions like: what information is this person looking for? Which devices are they most likely to use? And which social networks are they on? With this kind of information compiled you then give each segment a face and a name – so that rather than “user persona #4” you have “Wendy, working mum, mid-30s”, with a nice stock photo of someone we can all pretend is Wendy. Writers in particular tend to respond better to “writing for Wendy” than “writing for user persona #4”.
So for example, let’s say you want entrepreneurs in Western Australia to visit your website. You might create “Nick”, who runs a small tech firm based in Perth. Nick isn’t a real person, he’s just there to represent an important part of your target demographic. By building out Nick’s profile with information about his habits, background, interests and desires you can help everyone involved with your content marketing strategy to better understand who it’s aimed at.
You’ll find User Personas a much more effective guide for your content creation than lists of rules.
First of all, there is no set template for User Personas. The information you include will depend on your business and your needs. That said, here are four good places to look when building your own User Personas:
Once you’ve got some raw information, you need to organise it into a useful format. A good way to do that is to identify some questions your want your User Personas to answer. Here are some suggestions:
Your User Personas should be accessible and easy to understand. While you might start out with a lot of information you’ll need to distill it so that anyone working on your content marketing strategy can quickly get their heads around it. Here are some general pointers: