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How you can start using personality types to create more engaging content! It’s something you should consider if you haven’t.

Ever been at a team offsite and done one of those personality tests to see whether you are red, yellow, white or blue? If you haven’t I’m sure it’s only a matter of time. I think I’ve done one every other year on average. Sometimes they use different colours or names, but the hypothesis is the same.

It’s an interesting exercise to deconstruct how you receive and respond to information. Sometimes it brings to light aspects of yourself that you only realise are true when they are there in living colour.

Lots of managers use the information to better lead teams, but the question I would ask is how conscious are content creators of these distinctions when they produce material? Is it reasonable to assume that different personality types not only consume information differently, but also source it and share it differently?

Using demographics, personas or stage of the buyer’s journey to help shape stories is nothing new, but an important debate looms – just how much value should you attribute to psychological profiling? There are a lot of people today that believe data scientists are the most important additions to a modern communications firm. I won’t argue against this, but I will say data without context means very little and that is where the role of a ‘content psychologist’ makes great sense.

Despite the fact that my every fibre revolts against the idea that people can be neatly placed into one of four boxes, or at least some kind of hybrid blend of four states, there is a lot of evidence that supports using it as a strategic content tool.

Psychology as a content strategy:

Content for the red quadrant: These people are generally powerful, or power hungry. They are assertive so they’re attracted to content which can be used to build their own profile or agenda. Because they have alpha traits it’s important to remember they are likely to be more vocal, so be careful that when you are listening to responses to your content, many of them may be from this group. Don’t alienate the other 75-odd per cent by thinking red is reality.

Content for the blue quadrant: These people thrive in relationship but don’t trust easily. They can be the glue of your community if you give them the right stuff. They are disciplined, precise and therefore respond to objectivity. If you want to reach them, use facts and numbers. Where you can get third-party validation, you will go along way to producing content that matters here.

Content for the yellow quadrant: Effervescent and optimistic, people in the yellow quadrant are enthusiastic and verbally articulate. They will enjoy playful prose. If you have a fun way to gamify your content, they will engage. Paint a vision that they can buy into. Remember they tend to be creative, so visuals and storytelling are critical.

Content for the white quadrant: Often content marketers talk about creating loyalty, but personality profiling suggests some people are inclined to be loyal and others are unlikely to ever get there. In the white quadrant people are thoughtful and considerate – they’re listeners. They don’t necessarily say a lot on discussion boards and in the comments section, but they are loyal. While they resist change, your motivation should be to get them to share their thinking. They can be the key to unlocking the rest.

Perhaps now is the time to better understand your core motive, or try these quizzes to help you figure out what makes your community tick.

– My name is Aaron Crowther. Follow me on Twitter @ascommstweeter

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