What if I told you that one of your brand’s strongest salespeople is a bit wordy, practically lives online and … isn’t a real person?
Yep, that’s right. Your content is one of your best salespeople. It attracts visitors, educates them about your business and convinces them to convert.
Those are some pretty serious sales skills.
But throwing any old content out there isn’t going to get the job done. You’ve got to make sure it has personality – otherwise, you risk giving your visitors boring, uninspiring content that turns them away from your company.
Think about it: You wouldn’t hire a salesperson who is lacking in the personality department, right? Think the same when creating your content.
The price of personality
There’s no tried and true formula for calculating how much money your brand could lose by creating content that falls flat with prospects. But put yourself in your visitors’ shoes. Are you more likely to do business with a brand that has lackluster content, or one that connects with you? Exactly.
This is why marketers can’t afford not to have content with personality.
“I’d say brand personality can be just as important as the substance of your content marketing strategy,” said Brafton Senior Content Specialist Eric Wendt. “If two brands are saying pretty much the same thing, I’m going to naturally be drawn to the one that says it in a way that resonates with me. Whether it’s humor or a friendly tone or a ‘voice’ that exudes competence, brand personality is a chance to differentiate yourself.”
Brand personality can be just as important as the substance of your content marketing strategy.
Additionally, Eric explained that cutting through all of the other content – or noise – out there becomes easier when your personality connects with readers.
“You can type a question into Google and receive thousands of answers, many of them probably saying pretty much the same thing,” he said. “How do you stand out from the crowd? How do you make a connection with consumers? Personality helps your company shine through all of the other noise.”
Your content is one of the first ways in which a user interacts with your brand. This means it’s vital that you connect with them through a winning personality.
Developing that perfect personality
Now that you (hopefully) know just how important content personality is, you’re probably wondering just how you go about creating it.
As Eric said, it all starts with the audience.
“You may start with how you think it should be, but at the end of the day, what you think won’t matter if it doesn’t resonate with users,” he explained. “Businesses are built to make money. Create personas based off sales data and zero in on the kind of voice that will work best with these individuals.”
It also helps to know about the different types of content personalities out there. Are there other companies that have a voice that you admire? What about ones that you know aren’t working? How can you inject a unique aspect from your business? Having an idea of the type of personality you are – or are not – aiming for gives you a great starting point.
Businesses are built to make money. Create personas based off sales data and zero in on the kind of voice that will work best with these individuals.
Search Engine Journal outlined some of the most common personality groups among various brands, including exciting, sophisticated and sincere, among others. From these categories, you can further break down how you want your personality to come through in your content in order to give visitors a one-of-a-kind experience.
Remember, there isn’t one perfect personality type out there that is going to work for every single business. The most successful personality is going to be the one that speaks directly to and connects with your prospects.
Spicing up your personality
Maybe you’re saying to yourself, “My brand already has a content personality. But it’s not bringing in the results we had hoped for.”
In that case, chances are your personality is boring and is not resonating with your audience. Sure, you might be in a technical industry that isn’t looking for content filled with Buzzfeed-esque language, but the key is to focus on the human element. This is what connects with your visitors and keeps them with you.
“If you’re working in a highly technical space, and your audience is engineers who want proof of concept regarding your expertise, you probably shouldn’t be too concerned with creating ‘edgy’ content or having a fun personality,” Eric said. “That said, it’s always important to be approachable. Even if you’re aiming for a professional, more clinical tone, you can turn people off if you don’t try to put them at ease and connect on a human level.”
Don’t be afraid to revise your content personality strategy. While you may have developed one personality that worked years ago, the fact is that things change, including the market and your prospects’ needs, so you’ve got to be ready to go back to the drawing board when you notice something is amiss.
It’s always important to be approachable. Even if you’re aiming for a professional, more clinical tone, you can turn people off if you don’t try to put them at ease and connect on a human level.
At the same time, you’ve also got to make sure you’re not coming across as obnoxious. This can be a struggle for some brands, as they aim to be opinionated in the content but seem off-putting.
Eric explained that it’s all about setting boundaries once you’ve found that personality that resonates with your audience. Creating a set of guidelines will help you maintain the consistency of voice that will keep your content from going overboard and potentially turn people away.
With that said, it’s not a good idea to shy away from having a well-informed opinion, as this can lend itself to developing a stellar personality.
“Don’t be afraid to have opinions – just make sure you can back them up,” Eric said. “An opinion supported by experience and data makes you an authority. An opinion without support just makes you a loudmouth.”
Your content may be chock full of pertinent and valuable information, and it may be formatted in a well-presented way. But if you want to really make your content sparkle, you’ve got to dazzle your audience with its personality.