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Personas are used in content marketing to understand our audiences – basically the people we are creating content for. The more we know about the people we are producing relevant content for, the easier that content creation can become. We know how to frame the content and what stories to pursue and publish. Because we know them, their preferences and likes. But there’s a fine line…

I’ve made this joke before on Twitter:

I know everything about you and will use it against you – mostly to get you to buy my stuff.

content inc book helps with audience development - personas help hereUnfortunately, many marketers use knowledge about audiences for only that reason. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for people buying my products and services but connecting with people online through relevant content is about much more than just the sale. In fact we should start with building the audience first and then focus on selling. Joe Pulizzi’s “Content Inc.” book – released in September 2015 – discusses this topic at length. (BUY A COPY HERE.)

Personas can help us understand our audiences better.

Personas often describe the following as it relates to our audience members:

  • Age (ranges)
  • Interests
  • Education levels
  • How they talk to each other and how they likely want to be talked to
  • Technology use
  • Likely social media networks and other media consumption
  • Other relevant information

Personas help content creators and remind them how and where their target audiences can be reached. Most importantly, they help content producers create content that those audience members actually want to consume.

Related stories

Some audiences need different details in stories

I don’t need better content. I need more relevant content.

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Move your content from happening to performing. The 2020 textbook: