Superheroes Teach the Art of Storytelling

Bryan Eisenberg of ClickZ recently attended Comic Con, and interviewed  Shane Gibson, chief social officer for Wizard World and Comic Con to discuss the power of these iconic brands and to discuss social media marketing with these audiences. The takeaway, according to Bryan, is the level of engagement people have with the characters.

Great content marketing planning follows the structure of a powerful story; using an inciting incident that compels you into the narrative arc, strong characters including a hero (protagonist) and an enemy (antagonist), and a sense of conflict and resolution.

Brand Persona As a Superhero

People relate to comics in very personal ways. They represent a form of wish fulfillment. Through them, we can safely explore our own hidden aspirations and desires – reflections of our values and beliefs. For instance, teenagers can relate to Spider Man as an insecure teen with problems just like them. Batman gives voice to our inner frustrations and deep seated need to prevail over what oppresses us. Superman or Wonder Woman express the strength of character within. During times of national trial, as in World War II, comics reflected our inner need for patriotic heros. Through the Hulk, Wolverine, and Daredevil we can come to terms with and prevail over our flaws.

We are likely to identify with certain heros more than others, since we see ourselves, our values and beliefs personified in them. A brand persona that can capture these feelings is highly successful. In Apple, we see ourselves empowered by technology and on the cutting edge of change. An automobile brand or brand of perfume magnifies our sense of what we long to be and feel ourselves to be deep within.

What is a Content Marketing  Persona?

A Content Marketing Persona is a related, but slightly different concept. These are a means through which we can better understand the customer’s perspective. If we know what our customers need in order to achieve their goals, we can better understand about their journey through the buying process.

While a Brand Persona is an image that our customers can identify with, a Content Marketing Persona is a reconstruction of our customer’s inner voice – the whole person that our customer is – how the customers see themselves now, what they aspire to become, and what they face as they make their way through life. In short, the Brand Persona, as opposed to a static, if evocative image, is a full and complex story.

Content and social media marketing should be focused around the conversations we are having with your customers, and the only way to deepen the conversation is to mirror the customer, just as we do when we have a meaningful conversation with a friend. As Bryan puts it:

Too many companies and their agencies are so wrapped up in their own sales processes they forget that customers have a different angle of approach to the problem or need that they could solve if they took the right perspective.

To truly communicate with your visitors, you must put yourself in their shoes…There are many segments and your personas can represent these segments…Personas will allow you to evaluate your content and identify the gaps in your content strategy to meet your potential customer’s needs.

Expected Result: More Relevant Conversations and Interactions

Once you begin to develop customer personas and write from these perspectives, we can begin the process of planning content marketing scenarios that will draw people to participate in the conversions and experiences that are critical to the success of our business.