Which type of content marketer are you? Columnist Quinn Whissen breaks down five personas to help you better understand — and collaborate with — your marketing peers.
We already all know there are five people you meet in heaven, but seeing as we’re not dead yet, let’s keep it to earthlier realms for the time being — like content marketing, for example!
If you’ve been in the content game for any period of time, you know it’s a mixed bag of people with varied backgrounds, talents, affinities and goals. Seriously, content marketing is the best place for people-watching.
Since content marketers go gaga over personas, let’s talk about the five personas you meet in their corner of the world in the spirit of understanding each other a little better and improving collaboration.
1. The Evangelist
All hail the Evangelists! They have been on this trek longer than anyone else, so they rightfully have claimed their stake at the top of the content marketing mountain.
Most likely, The Big E has seen their share of marketing trends come and go. They even saw content marketing coming way before any of us could say “content is king.”
They are the well-known and respected leaders of the industry, dazzling us all with deep insights and motivational case studies. We all wonder how they got to where they are (and maybe secretly hope we can be as magnanimous as they are one day).
Most of all, the Evangelist is content marketing’s biggest fan girl or boy. They’ve seen content marketing grow up from a strategy on the outskirts of marketing to the most well-known buzz phrase of the day, and they’ve been its cheerleader all along. Their singular hope is that more people understand the principles of content marketing and make it work to transform their business.
Where You’ll Find Them: On a plane, heading to their next conference keynote.
Why You Should Love Evangelists: These are the people who are spreading the content marketing gospel far and wide. While many of us toil in the day-to-day details, Evangelists are helping new people find, understand and love content marketing. They are continually moving our industry forward and bringing new people into the fold.
How To Work With Them: They don’t need praise — they’ve got plenty of well-earned confidence. What they need are “doers” to implement their grand ideas, maybe you (if you’re not already in this persona!). Every interaction can be a learning lesson with Evangelists, so keep a keen eye open for pearls of wisdom.
2. The Data Hound
The Data Hound can be a real party pooper. Just when you had a great new topic idea or content plan, they will come in with their “real-world data” and “insightful thinking” and say your idea won’t move the needle and resources should be used somewhere else. You put up a little fight, but when it comes down to it, you know they’re right. You just can’t beat their superior logic and hard proof.
Data Hounds are often the SEOs of the content marketing world, coming up the ranks from the school of hard knocks (of the digital marketing kind). They’ve seen the sharp 180-degree shift in the landscape of the industry caused by two fuzzy black-and-white animals and one hyper bird. They’ve charted new ways to navigate the changes and carved out a path of least resistance by homing in on the truth inside the data.
Where You’ll Find Them: In front of a monitor looking at graphs from Google Analytics, SEMrush, Moz, or any other tool they can get their hands on.
Why You Should Love Data Hounds: With a sharp intellect and no consideration for fluffy thinking, the Data Hound can always root your content marketing in reality. Your strategy will be stronger, your measurement more precise, and your plans more grounded.
How To Work With Them: Let them do what they do, and help them understand it’s not all about the numbers — sometimes it’s about the whole picture. Find a healthy balance of insight and data to forge ahead with smart and sensitive communication.
3. The Creative Whiz
Oh, the creative whiz! Your favorite friend at the party who always has a joke up their sleeve and a great story to tell. Admit it, you’ve always wanted to be this person — passionate and vibrant, with creativity oozing from every pore.
Maybe they’re a designer who whips up brilliant infographics and sketches in only a week that would take you (approximately) 23.6 years to do on your own. Or they’re that person who always has the best topic ideas or finds the most interesting content opportunities in seemingly random experiences in their day. You know, like that article they wrote based on something random their kid said over the weekend that somehow perfectly ties back to your business and is #writtensowellithurts.
Whatever it is the Creative Whiz does, it’s filled with imagination and ingenuity. You want these people on your team, and you want them at every brainstorming session.
Where You’ll Find Them: Everywhere and anywhere. Whizzes get ideas from seemingly random sources of inspiration.
Why You Should Love The Creative Whiz: These people bring life and energy to your content marketing. They see gaps where others don’t and work to fill them with smart and interesting ideas.
How To Work With Them: The Creative Whiz is to be envied and adored and given as many opportunities to create, as long as their talent can be funneled into strategic outcomes. Provide structure to their chaos with prompts, timelines and clear expectations.
4. The Meticulous Manager
We all love to hate the Meticulous Manager persona. They manage our calendars, tell us what to do and when to do it by, and make sure we stick to the deadline. How annoying!
But these MMs are seriously put together. They probably send thank-you cards within 24 hours of receiving a gift — that’s how organized they are.
They are master planners, foreseeing bumps in the road and creating new pathways to get around them. They manage your content dreams #likeaboss and often have their hand in many projects at once. If the Evangelist is the captain of the ship who mingles with dinner guests, Meticulous Managers are the ones who stand at the wheel keeping the boat on track.
Where You’ll Find Them: In Excel or a project management system, looking at calendars, timelines and assignments. They live and die by checklists.
Why You Should Love The Meticulous Manager: Without these people, your best content marketing intentions will fall apart. They are the glue that holds everything together and propels you forward to achieving what you want.
How To Work With Them: Honor the expectations they have in place, and work your hardest to meet them. They have the whole picture in mind and can move you towards success with the plan they’ve laid out. Make sure to speak up when expectations become a bit unrealistic — they are handling a lot, and it’s important that your voice is heard.
5. The Newb
Darling Newbs are new to content marketing and maybe even new to marketing (or work life) in general. They have a deep passion for learning and are excited to dive right in. They can be true assets to companies that need extra support and willing hands.
Where You’ll Find Them: On the latest articles posted on industry blogs or with their nose in a marketing book. They want to soak up as much as possible!
Why You Should Love The Newb: Newbs are content marketing’s future, and their passion and excitement is contagious to be around.
How To Work With Them: Provide proper training and guidance with an understanding of their skill set. Look for opportunities to provide tasks that will build up their competence, mixed in with projects that will bring out their unique talents.
I could probably think of dozens more content “types,” but I’ll leave the rest up to you! Share your observations of other types you’ve met in the comments.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.
(Some images used under license from Shutterstock.com.)