The purpose of marketing often is to engage an audience with the intent of directing high traffic to ads selling a product or service. This means placing ads and content in the appropriate context for the most likely consumers. A very important quality of marketers is the ability to create in a variety of styles, and the versatility to apply different styles for a multitude of prospective audiences.
Human beings are driven by emotions (even the rational ones)
Generally speaking, content is mostly appealing to the emotional character of the reader. One wants to feel like they identify with what they read, and to feel like something personal and which applies to their lives is being stated. This is done in different ways, including the use of images, triggering words, lifestyle specific expressions, and phrases, as well as an overall style that speaks to the desires and aspirations of the intended audience. Marketing experts use research data to understand their target market and suit their marketing campaigns to speak more fluently to consumers of their products. This data includes demographic info, income, and education, as well as current macro and subcultural trends. While content writers won’t have access to all the data used by large scale marketing firms, it’s still very useful to take some general rules about different personalities into account when writing and to write suitable content for the blogs or ads you’re creating. As an example, financial markets face troubles at times, and many blogs use this as an opportunity to sell assets and financial products. At times, one could read a hundred blogs a day discussing the need to hedge their portfolios with gold and silver to protect their savings. The word “protect” speaks directly to the emotional insecurity felt during unstable times. Also, the calls to action using industry specific terms gave the readers a sense of personal responsibility and ability. They felt that certain asset classes gave them power over their future.On the other hand, the same writing styles used to promote financial instruments during economic crises would be highly inappropriate in other contexts. Fear and uncertainty would likely not be great motivators in a sports page where competition and strength, even if felt vicariously through professional players, are some of the more important desires of the audience. Here, it would be more beneficial to focus solely on strengths and feats of the team, or team members, to instill a sense of in-group camaraderie and bonding. This is evidenced by the fact that sports fans often refer to themselves as “we.” The fans in the stadium, buying the jerseys and hats want to feel like they are more than spectators, and actually part of the team.Using formal and informal styles are also ways which imply a certain relationship to your audience, and can play a prominent role in how the writing is perceived. Depending on the general characteristics of your prospects, you may find it better to speak from a 3rd person, descriptive viewpoint, or a 1st person, more autobiographical viewpoint.
What personality type are your target?
Many personality types exist, and a number of assessment tools are out there ranging from Myers Briggs, and going back to ancient systems such as Galen’s 4 Temperaments, which are used to categorize human archetypes. While it isn’t necessary to understand any of these systems perfectly, it is of great benefit to writers to consider the personality types they’ll most likely encounter in a particular blog post or an ad and to write with those personality types in mind. For example purposes, we’ll use 4 types, namely assertive, amiable, expressive, and analytic to discuss some basic qualities exhibited by each type. This isn’t intended to be scientific by any means, but more as an outline to begin from when writing for a specific audience. Coupled with a bit of demographic research, one gets a far better chance of capturing the attention of those being targeted. Also keep in mind that though content marketing isn’t normally a form of direct selling, though it is useful to a degree to maintain a salesman’s attitude to create the proper setting and context for the likely readership of the content.
Assertive- Confident and result oriented people
First is the assertive personality. Those with this personality type are most often described as extremely confident, straightforward, results oriented and efficient. To assertive types, facts are important, as is immediacy. They are driven by success, and not so many stories and exploration. Assertive personality types are often managers and business people, and when blogging about business related topics you’ll do best speaking in their language. Power, success, control, results, immediate are trigger words for this personality type.
Amiable- Paint the whole picture for them
Amiable people are the second personality type we’ll use here. Usually, they are warm, friendly and loyal people which make them the perfect friends. They make decisions difficult, always based on their feelings. You have to paint a picture of harmony in their mind in order to urge them to act. It’s not enough to place a few calls to action in your text, but rather to start from afar, and little by little build the picture in their mind. Personal, realistic and touching stories are perfect if you want to reach this type in the best way. Creative types, startup entrepreneurs, and visionaries resonate well with language which touches on the sentiments of the amiable personality type.
The third type most often referred to is the expressive personality. Expressives are the most community centered and humanist type. They tend to see personal bonds not only as a benefit, but as the cornerstone of successful endeavors. To this type, data backed by personal stories is far more persuasive than cold hard facts alone, and it could be argued that their persuasive power is greater than others because of this ability to make connections between the visceral and the logical. Persuading them requires the same. When writing about politics, the arts or other subjects which affect the community at large, expressives tend to be the prominent personality types which will be encountered.
Analytic- They care about data, not stories
And lastly, we come to the analytic type. If there is a personality type whose name alone says it all, it is the analytic. Analysis is what this type does best, and what they respect as well. Emotions, sales pitches and other methods are highly unlikely to sway the opinion or decision making process of an analytic. Their attention is held by data, and empirical knowledge alone as their aim is to achieve effectiveness and efficiency. Technology, marketing and scientific writing replete with empirical data is highly attractive to the analytic mind.
It may require very deep research to gather data and to realize what personality type prevails among your readers. You won’t always need to do your own research. Just keep in mind that people are similar, but not all the same. If you like blue, you can’t expect all people to like blue. Remember, the message you send out is for people, not for yourself.