Personas | Glossary

What Are Personas?

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In marketing, personas are fictional characters that represent segments of your target audience. Creating personas helps content marketers and other professionals empathize with the consumers they want to reach. When you can empathize with audience members, it becomes easier to understand the challenges they face, the types of messages that motivate them, and how your company’s products can solve their problems.

Making Personas That Represent Members of Your Target Audience

You need to collect information about your audience members before you can create effective personas. You can start by gathering data about their:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Profession
  • Level of education
  • Income

These pieces of information take you one step toward understanding your customers.

Ideally, you can collect information directly from your audience members. You might ask them to complete a survey or just answer a few basic questions about themselves.

Unfortunately, that isn’t always possible, especially when you need to create content for a small business that doesn’t have a big budget for research, or you’re facing a tight deadline. In those cases, brainstorm characteristics your audience members might have. Then, you can combine those traits to create unique composites and use them as your personas. It’s not as accurate as talking directly to your audience, but it’s much better than moving forward without a persona in mind.

Turning Personas Into User Stories

Once you’ve constructed some basic user personas, you can get more detail by writing user stories. A user story explains who the person is and what they want to achieve.

For example, you might have a persona you’ve named “Emily.” You know that Emily is a busy professional with one child and a stay-at-home partner. That’s her basic information. Now, you can develop a more insightful story that helps you identify and fill her needs.

Let’s say you manage content marketing for a food delivery app. For you, Emily’s user story might look similar to:

“Emily works long hours and doesn’t usually get home until evening. She’s dedicated to her family’s health, though, so she wants nutritious options for dinner. She’s willing to pay a little more if she can get healthful meals delivered at a convenient time.”

By writing this user story, you gain a clearer idea of who your persona is, what they want to accomplish, the barriers they face, and how you can help. As a result, you might create content that emphasizes the nutrition information your app provides about foods at local restaurants and how it lets consumers choose flexible delivery times that coordinate with their schedules.

Communicating Personas to Content Creators

It’s easy enough to create content based on user personas when you write your own copy. Of course, not every business has the resources necessary to write blog posts, social media posts, landing pages, and other content that moves customers through the sales funnel. Instead, they rely on freelance writers to create meaningful content that gets results.

That raises the question of how you can communicate your target personas to other writers.

Scripted makes it easy for you to give subject matter experts the information they need to target your audience. Scripted’s platform has a form where you can add your organization profile and style guide. Within that form, you’ll find a field for defining your target audience.

When you order content, Scripted automatically adds this information to your content briefs, ensuring that your writer knows how to target the right personas for the job. If you want to emphasize a specific feature of your product or service, you can always include an additional note. That way, the writer can customize your content to engage the audience with the right message.

Scripted also has a free generative AI tool named Scout that can write social media posts, landing pages, emails, blog posts, and other types of content. Scout gives you a simple, fast way to generate effective content directly within Scripted’s platform.

Like all content written by AI, it’s a good idea to have a human review your text before you publish it. Scripted lets you create content with AI and pass the work to a subject matter expert with years of editing and writing experience. This option helps ensure that you target your user personas with engaging content.

Tracking the Success of Your Personas

Over time, you might want to adjust your user personas to meet specific targets. Maybe you learn that you have a broader audience than you first thought. In that case, you might need to add personas to target more consumers.

The opposite can happen, too. You might discover that your messaging doesn’t motivate one or more of your personas. Revisiting the persona might help you find new ways to approach a portion of your target audience. Then again, you might decide to focus your efforts and resources on a different segment.

You won’t know whether your personas and content marketing strategy work as intended until you start tracking KPIs. Scripted’s platform can monitor your content’s performance to keep you informed about your:

  • Organic traffic
  • Click-through rate
  • Conversion rates
  • Bounce rate

Scripted’s Performance & Optimization team can also give you insights into your competitors. Do similar businesses rank higher on search engine result pages? That’s a good indication that you should incorporate different keywords into your content, improve your page speeds, or follow other SEO strategies.

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