Using Personas For Improved Content Marketing

Advertising and marketing firms have based campaigns and plans around fake people for decades. Every season, groups of creative people create what’s called ‘personas’ that represent different target markets. These personas are often based on real people — often friends and family — in an attempt to understand consumer buying habits.

This kind of targeting may seem lazy in today’s digitally enhanced world where we have better ways to collect data (think supermarket memberships, Amazon recommendations, online cookies), but numbers will never completely replace the power of personas. Think of it as a blend of art and science.

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There’s no reason any business can’t benefit from this kind of targeted thinking using a persona method, especially those looking to improve their content marketing efforts. We bet the good salespeople in your company are already doing this, so consulting with them may help your understanding of who your company serves.

Now, there are a few things every persona must have, including the following:

Motivation
Most people want to wake up, work out, have breakfast, kiss the family, head to work, come home, have dinner, laugh and then go to sleep. Granted, their needs change daily, but most of the time people are out there looking to do the aforementioned steps. Think realistic when creating a persona.

Resources
Some people have a lot of friends, some aren’t concerned with price; others love the thrill of a deal, still more don’t care what others think. Don’t just think of resources in terms of money, there’s much that makes up a persona’s resources.

Reason
Not everything people do makes sense, but most of what people do makes sense to them. To get a feel for this, we like to hang out in coffee shops and similar places to eavesdrop on what people talk about when they’re away from their primary environments. We bet most people are more alike than they think.

Motivation, resources and reason, coupled with typical demographic data, can help you craft your next event, marketing plan, ad campaign or content creation efforts. Get to it!