If you segment your content consumers into appropriate personas, and create a link between those and your content, it is straightforward to be personal. It also works vice versa, that is to identify the persona based on consumed content.
There are a few approaches on how to link your content to personas. Let’s explore them one by one. This section also gives an overview of different relationships between any content types in your content model which are universal.
The simplest approach is to associate all content items with the persona they are intended for. This approach is easy to set up, but ongoing maintenance might be an issue. For example, if the need for recategorization arises, you have to go through the whole content inventory to update your personas.
A variation of the previous setup is to link the related content directly from the persona. This approach is great if you have a low number of content items and you frequently update existing content to keep it relevant. It gives you a lot of control over relationships as well.
The next approach requires another item to create a relationship between the related objects. It’s usually called an association object. This approach is flexible and future-proof. It’s easy to create new relationships within an existing content model. Editors, however, might need some time to learn to work with these semantic relationships.
The last approach listed here is to handle the personalization via so-called loose coupling. This can be achieved via metadata describing both, the persona and the related content. You can create a persona and content types, which will use the same metadata categories. If those overlap, you have your relationship. This approach takes away the control from editors and strategists, though, so you might want to discuss these implications with your stakeholders. This implementation might also be a bit unpredictable depending on the project setup, but it gives you a lot of freedom on the persona configuration side and the tagging of content can even be automated to lessen the workload of your editors.
It doesn’t matter which approach you pick, just have a strategy for personalization in place and be aware of the implications. The first approach will suffice in most of the cases, but isn’t very flexible and might cause issues in the future. The second is a bit more flexible and gives you more control, but has more overhead. The third can be added at any stage. The last approach is great, but be aware that the added workload to the editors may be too high if not complemented with some auto-categorization processes.