Content creation isn’t easy. First, you have to come up with an original idea, which is difficult when your competitors are pushing out their own content on a daily basis. Then you have to write, edit, and publish it before choosing the appropriate channel through which to distribute it to your target audience. With so much going into a single article, it’s nice to have a few steps that can help you save time and effort.

That’s where consumer personas come in. Having a persona for your target reader is like building out a profile for them. You can create detailed sketches of your readers by taking their preferences, behaviors, and personalities into account. Keeping these personas in mind while writing can help you tailor your content to their interests. Not only that, but knowing your readers’ preferences can help you distribute your content through the most appropriate channels.

If you’re like most B2B marketers, you’re probably targeting more than one audience with your content. On one hand, there might be the c-level executive — the real decision maker when it comes to purchasing or investing in products and services. On the other hand, you may be talking to the general marketing personnel or marketing managers at other B2B companies. How do you go about developing personas for each of these audiences, and determining what type of content is best for them?

Let’s start with the following categories: job title, work life, limitations and motivations. Two brief sample personas are outlined below using these categories as guides. After coming up with the initial personas, it’s much easier to decide what type of content is appropriate for each person.

Persona #1: James

James is the VP of Marketing at a mid-sized tech company. He’s been in the industry for more than fifteen years and has been at his current job for three. At work, James is committed to enlarging the role of the marketing department within his business. He hopes to use marketing metrics and analytics to improve his current approach to marketing. But with a demanding job and a family of four, James doesn’t have a lot of extra time on his hands. That’s why he’s so interested in content like industry news and quick tips and tricks — anything that’s easy to digest, yet still informative and relevant.

Persona #2: Lily

Lily is a Marketing Coordinator for a small B2B company, and has been working in marketing since she graduated from college five years ago. She’s forward-thinking, tech-savvy and enthusiastic. Although she has a lot of ideas, she’s often limited by her resources and rules put in place by upper management. With a marketing department of only three people, Lily is looking for blog or social media content that can help her work with limited resources and existing content.

Audience personas like the ones above can help content marketers come up with appropriate topics and structures for their writing. Understanding your audiences’ frustrations, limitations and goals can help you decide which type of content they’ll want to receive. In addition, knowing their schedules, time commitments, and level of technical understanding can tell you what mediums or channels to use for content distribution.

Do you use personas when you’re writing your content? Let us know in the comments below!

Jenna Hanington

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