How to use personas in blogging

Mannequins

Putting a face on your readers with personas can improve your blog and content marketing efforts. (Source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/499007)

Many marketers use personas to help them better understand their customers and design products and marketing campaigns that will be attractive to those customers. You can use them to improve your blog or other content marketing efforts — podcasts, videos, white papers and so forth.

What is a persona?

A persona is a fictional character used to better understand the desires, goals and motivations of some set of potential customers.

If you’re running a blog about weight loss, you might use personas to understand the differences between a 19-year-old woman and a 47-year-old man when it comes to losing weight. Chances are they have different motivations, different values and different circumstances in their day-to-day lives. Rather than treating those two sets of customers the same, personas allow you to clearly fix in your mind how each group is distinctive and will likely seek different information as they explore weight loss solutions.

Properly constructed personas are built off extensive research, which could include interviews, spending time with people in their day-to-day lives and collecting statistics about a target group of customers. If you have the resources for that sort of research, then you have a huge advantage compared to your competitors. But even if you don’t, you can still use personas to rough out some basic ideas about different audiences.

You can still consider all the people you know in real life who are representative of potential readers. That can help you define personas based on interactions and communication you’ve had with real people.

Also note that you can have multiple personas for a single brand, product or service. Different groups of people may purchase the same product for different reasons. Effective marketing communications will still take into account the needs, aspirations and values of these different personas in creating an overall marketing plan.

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