Content Marketing is largely about growing and maintaining healthy customer relationships using websites, articles, social posts, emails and other branded content. Its aim is to build trust, nurture audiences and drive business goals (especially sales).
However, personality myopia limits the potential of a content asset to do exactly this. When you speak only from the standpoint of the business owner, your content only appeals to people like him / her. This is a significant limiting factor for a business’ growth.
Here’s our article that explains the platinum rule of content marketing.
Let’s explore some ways we can apply the platinum rule in our content marketing strategy and development.
1. Define & Target Buyer Personas by Personality
Like most marketing agencies, we recommend a business understand its buyers with more specificity in terms of:
- context / problem – what gap does the brand’s product / service fill for the buyer
- needs / wants – what does the buyer really want
- pain points / competition – what issue does the buyer have with similar products
- journey – what does the typical sales and customer support process look like for the buyer (FAQ, triggers, etc.)
But after landing with clarity on all the above, communicating in a single voice / style will still limit the appeal of the product. The reason for this will make more sense in the next two sections.
To start, we recommend businesses go a step further by identifying the buyer’s dominant personality type. We are inspired by the Process Communication Model’s breakdown:
“Intellectuals / Planners” love data and facts.
“Moralists / Protectors” prioritise values and principles.
“Unifiers / Caregivers” seek to create harmony and please others.
“Rebels / Funsters” look for the fun in things and need to have a play.
“Imaginers / Dreamers” explore ideas more intuitively.
“Promoters / Doers” focus on the tangible actions they can adopt.
The maligned Cambridge Analytica had a brilliant approach of hiding personality tests under the cloak of Facebook quizzes. This may not be practical for a smaller business. But if actual CRM contact records include their personality types, power social and email targeting opportunities open up.
A simpler way for small businesses is to have someone who understands a personality model empower you with the skills to make good guesstimates, perhaps with the help of A/B Testing. We recommend identifying the top 2-3 dominant personality types that you want to focus on.
Fundamentally, knowing your audience will allow you to more effectively use content to meet their needs. This key act of identifying dominant personalities within buyer personas empowers us to execute on steps 2 and 3 below.
2. Varying Messaging to Deeper Motivations
Buyers have options and want to make the best choices. A good product differentiation strategy demonstrates that an otherwise similar product has all the features of competing choices but with additional exclusive benefits no one else offers.
This is where appealing to deeper motivations can come in. Once you have identified the priority personalities of your buyers, companies can project a greater product-buyer fit by appealing to deeper motivations in their positioning messages.
For example, a bookkeeper may pitch themselves in the following ways depending on the motivations of those they are targeting:
- I’m efficient and will save you time and money
- I’m going to take care of you, my service will take your troubles away
- I’m ethical and look towards long term relationships with my clients
- I’ll empower you to DIY internally and automate the rest
Most accountants are all of the above. But if you could only send 1 strong message to your audience, knowing what message will most likely resonate with them makes a huge difference to your chances of conversion.
3. Consciously Speaking the Languages of Trust
Articulating “why” to buy is just the first step. Buyers are also looking for signs that they can trust a brand / product.
The best marketers use content to address the trust gap. Here’s some ways to assure your buyers that they are safe with you and that you can be counted on.
Using the right arguments that match the perceptual framework of an audience. For example, giving facts to intellectuals, demonstrating loyalty to the bigger picture for moralists, or talking about the social approval that will come from the product.
Offering the right affirmations and reassurances that match the different personalities. For example, “you are a person of action” vs “it’s okay to take some time to think about this” vs “you’re creative and we can work this out along the way” can make a big difference to how safe and comfortable your lead feels with your brand. Critically, signposting reassurances along the way keeps them in the conversation.
Deploying the right language to better match the listening preferences of an audience. For example, a question and answer type exchange for Intellectuals vs a nurturing empathetic tone for Unifiers vs a playful exchange for Rebels.
Adopting the right Call To Actions that best match the engagement preferences of your buyers. For example, a requestive vs a directive phrase. “Do you have any questions” vs “Tell me what’s on your mind” will have a different level of efficacy depending on the dominant personality of your buyer.
What you can do right now
If you are a small business owner that has been creating content on the fly in your own voice, we recommend you do the hard miles. Work out your buyer personas’ personalities and ensure your copywriter is briefed to adapt to their different needs. If your contact list is greater than 2,000 people, A/B Testing of email campaigns can be a great (though imperfect) way to slowly work out what personalities, arguments, appeals and language works best for whom. This inference method can lead to segmentation decisions around personality types.
If you have a marketing department in your organisation, ensure that you are using a personality modelling framework – there are many to choose from. Work out how you are going to identify the personalities, tag the contacts in your CRM tool and deploy the right targeting strategies in your content development. These include tailored landing pages and Google Ads to attract and appeal to the priority audiences.