How to Make Blog Posts More Sharable with Personality Traits
In 2012, 68% of CMOs increased their budget for content marketing, a strategy that continues to grow in small and large businesses alike. Sharable, quality content is beneficial for both you, as a brand, and your readers - it’s informative to users, increases session lengths and generates traffic from shares. Blogs are like brands in the sense people are more likely to connect with content they can relate to. Often, as marketers, we’re only focusing on half of the equation (writing good content), when we should focus on the big picture: the readers. Personality traits are a measurable approach to gauge the likelihood of a specific audience to share content and can help drive more social engagement.
When you read a blog post and learn from it, what makes you more likely to tweet and share it on Facebook? Personality traits. The New York Times Customer Insight Group’s study, "The Psychology of Sharing," identified the main reasons people share content online:
- to bring valuable and entertaining content to others
- to define ourselves to others
- to grow and nourish relationships
- for self-fulfillment
- to market causes or brands
Think about something you’ve seen on the internet and absolutely loved- whether it’s puppy videos, a self-improvement piece or a post that may impress your boss, in every reader lies a set of unique motivations. By understanding the motivations through personality traits, behind the simple act of sharing, content marketing becomes more focused and streamlined towards your brand’s target segment.
Jamy Li and Mark Chignell of the University of Toronto found that readers will look more favorably upon blog posts that are written by authors who share their personality traits, specifically those included in theBig 5 Personality Framework:
- Openness (inventive/curious vs. consistent/cautious)
- Conscientiousness (efficient/organized vs. easy-going/careless)
- Extraversion (outgoing/energetic vs. solitary/reserved)
- Agreeableness (friendly/compassionate vs. cold/unkind)
- Neuroticism (sensitive/nervous vs. secure/confident)
One reason for this phenomenon is the Similarity Attraction Hypothesis, which states the more similar people are to each other, the more attracted they will be to each other. The same can be true with a brand personality and what that brand displays through content marketing on a blog.
As a business, it’s important to relate and engage with your customers. By understanding a customer’s personality, you are much better able to relate to them. First, you need to write in a format that suits your readers. Would they prefer a conversational or more serious tone? Would they rather read bullet points or paragraphs? You also need to figure out the best way to engage with your readers, socially. A blog post obviously lives on your blog, where current readers will see it. What about attracting new readers? You want to target the people interested in what you have to offer, and research if they are more likely to find your content via Twitter, facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+. Maybe they’re social media savvy and use all networks to source information.
Content marketing is about using the right language to convey the right message to your readers, and understanding the key traits and motivations about them. It takes more than writing good content, it’s knowing the people you are looking to reach by understanding the true motivations driving consumer behavior.