Last time, we spoke about creating a killer content strategy, today we will be highlighting one key sub-process in the validation stage of a Content Strategy.(kindly see our previous post on how to Create a Killer Content Strategy).
Now, an important consideration to make when developing a content strategy is conceptualizing a User Persona for your content.
User Personas (or buyer persona as it is popularly called in traditional marketing & sales) is a fictional, generalized representation of your ideal audience. Think of it as an avatar that perfectly describes the one person most likely to absolutely love your content.
Now when making a buyer persona, note that it doesn’t have to be 100% accurate and a school of thought even suggests that the journey towards arriving at a persona is more important than the persona itself, so no pressure.
Another important thing to note is that a User Persona is different from a target audience. A common misconception is that both are the same, and while they both can sometimes equate to each other, the concepts behind both are somewhat different (more on this later).
Also, the examples and the case study that will be referenced here will be blogs (because they easily help communicate the concept), but you can also create a User Persona for your social media pages and any online business really, regardless of the niche, the processes involved in Creating a User Persona can be applied to any online service.
Now without further ado, let’s get into it.
Questions To Ask When Creating A User Persona
Your user persona is essentially the personification of answers to some questions about consumer behavior. What you’re trying to do is narrow your thousands or hundreds of users to one ultimate person, hence the assumptions you make for this person should apply for a vast majority of your users. Once again, no pressure.
The first set of questions you want to ask are the famous Ws and the H. The What, Where, Why, Who, When and How.
- How do your users find your content?
- Why do they read your content?
- What do they read on your page?/ Which type of content gets the most traction?
- When are they most active on your platform?
- Where is the majority of your traffic coming from?
After pondering on these, then you can ask deeper questions like, What are the interests of the people on your page? How much time do they spend on your page? What search queries bring people to your page the most?
It is best you get the answers to these questions from already existing data on your platform. If this is a website, google analytics is a great place where you can find all the information you need. For your social media platforms, you can always check your page insights (provided you own a business profile). The answers to these questions set you off to discover who your ideal user is.
Now while a user persona is usually recommended after testing the waters a little, so you at least have some data to work with, there is a category of people who may not have started creating content and want to understand their User Persona before they start.
If you fall into this category what I recommend is you look up some research that has been done in your field/content niche. Also, review similar platforms to yours and infer the answers to these questions if you can.
When you start creating content, you typically have a rough idea of the people you want to reach with this content. An idea of the demographic and interests of this prospective audience. This may be the people that are most likely to share your content, buy what you’re selling or take that critical action you need to scale. These are your Target Audience. Now when you answer the questions above and create a User Persona, it is important that you evaluate both and see if they equate.
Attempt creating a User Persona by using the processes we listed above. In the concluding part of this article, we’ll do a walkthrough of a sample User Persona and give more insights. Goodluck!
. . . to be continued
If you need any help with creating Buyer Persona or any other content marketing headaches, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for tips and insights . . . and yes, it’s completely free.