As Halloween approaches, there is a scramble to prepare for costumed characters rapping on our doors. This is not dissimilar to characters that visit your website — only they aren’t make believe.
These characters, referred to as temperaments or personality types, are the underlining reason some content appeals to some in your audience and not others.
Like the neighborhood kids knocking on your door searching for sweet treats, each of these temperaments has a preference as to which treats (content) they prefer.
No matter how narrow your target audience might be, chances are each temperament will be represented. That means you need offer something for all four types.
So, who are these mysterious personas and how can you appeal to them?
The entertainer is playful, friendly, extroverted and enthusiastic.
They don’t want to feel like things are difficult, complicated or boring.
This personality type wants to be involved with whatever content they are viewing. That means interactive content is a must. This can be as simple as asking for their feedback at the bottom of a blog post, or as complicated as an app.
Entertainers love to have their thoughts heard, they will thrive in social spaces, making them great candidates for filling out online reviews.
Visual content works like a charm for these types. Long, in-depth content is not appealing to these types. Infographics are a good fit.
The guardian is one of the most common temperaments. This type wants to feel that they belong. They are focused on responsibility and duty.
Basically, they need to feel that everything is stable and in order. Departure from this will scare them away.
When designing content for these types, careful to avoid overly salesy tactics. Trying to push this temperament into a sale too soon might scare them away.
This personality type benefits from educational content, it soothes them. They don’t like making decisions, so you need to make sure that the choice – following your content, maybe even buying the product – obvious.
Avoid urgency when crafting content for this type. Having to make a decision under a time constraint will scare this procrastinating type away.
The leader wants to feel in control, appreciated, and like they are making an impact.
This type carries the weight of the world on their shoulders, so make sure to not make them feel insignificant or inefficient. They will take it personally and will not continue to be a potential buyer.
Content for this type should convey a serious tone, making them feel intelligent and sophisticated.
This results-focused type wants content that they can snap up quickly, then use to make an impact.
If you can, give them a few content options. You’ll find that the sense of control they get from this will make them more loyal to your brand.
This introverted type is intelligent, competent and often suspicious. They need to feel safe and won’t buy from you without feeling secure.
This is another good candidate for educational content. Avoiders want facts and numbers and will typically do massive amounts of research before they ever even consider purchasing.
Give them facts, testimonials and guarantees to soothe this personality’s fear of making a mistake.
This type is harder to draw through the pipeline by their very nature. They are so skeptical it might be difficult to get them to fill out a form. Make sure your content is low friction and without surprises. If an avoider has to combat a popup asking for their email, it might drive them away from the website entirely.
How do we apply this knowledge of temperaments in our marketing? After all, different characters have different candy preferences.
Like the metaphorical bowl of Halloween candy, if you want to make everyone happy, you need to have a wide variety of content that appeals to the different types.
You may find that types of content are performing better than others. Perhaps that means your industry draws more guardians than leaders. Look at the numbers and tweak your strategy accordingly.
Never completely get rid of one type of content or another, though. There will likely always be some combination of these four types looking at your content. Even if you only have a little content to cater to an entertainer, it’s better than having no content that appeals to them.
Does some of your content do better than others? What types see the most engagement? Let us know in the comments section.
Acadia Otlowski is the editor and copywriter at HiP. She handles writing subject lines and email copy as well as contributing weekly to the blog. Acadia is a journalism major turned marketing enthusiast with a heavy background in research and writing. Outside of work, she is an avid reader and storyteller, as well as a fire performer.