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Cards Against Humanity & Content Personalization: Telling Your Story

Photo Credit: Henry Söderlund (License)

In a previous article, Cards Against Humanity & Content Experiences: Know Your Audience, I explored how collecting data and building rich profiles can inform your content strategy, allowing the delivery of increasingly relevant and valuable content experiences.

In an age where relevance is not only desired, but expected, we can’t underestimate the value and opportunity this dance with the customer creates.

What’s interesting and unexpected, is how this dance becomes a conversation in which your response begins to tell your own story, even while you learn your customer’s.

We see a similar arc when playing Cards Against Humanity. Round after round each player gets a chance to build rapport with other players. As they play, they learn just how mirth-inducing or groan-provoking a combination can be. Your audience gets an introduction to you (and your competition).

As you play through the rounds (whether in CAH or via the content experiences you deliver in other channels), you have a chance to create legends or goofs. It’s all how you use the platform to tell your story.

In CAH, players select a card from their hands to complete the phrase or statement on the lone black card played by the Card Czar. For instance, let’s say the black card drawn reads, “What gets better with age?” A round of responses could be anything from, “Generally having no idea what’s going on,” “Hormone injections,” “Whatever a McRib is made of,” and “Silence.”

When the Card Czar picks the winner of the Awesome Point, you learn a lot about your audience and your competition. Based on the information you’ve gathered, you can strategically choose a white card for your own shot at The Awesomeness™.

Tell Them Your Story

And here’s where your story begins. You’ll select a card based on your own sense of humor?—?be that zany or reserved?—?tailored to what you know appeals to the current Card Czar. You’re basically solving a problem?—?finishing the incomplete card?—?but your choice shows how you think about it, and your interpretation of the solution. Every time you play a white card to another player’s black card, you’re telling more of your story.

Translated to your content strategy, every time you write a blog post, comment on someone else’s, or share it with your network on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook, you’re doing the same. Your identity and your story come through in your response.

Tell Your Story by Telling Someone Else’s Story

In a way, CAH is a prime example of content curation and letting someone else's story, tell yours. Let’s look back at our previous, “What gets better with age” example. Let’s say that in your hand, you had the option of playing, “Generally having no idea what’s going on,” “Sean Penn,” “Attitude,” and “BATMAN!!!” Given your options, you choose the first card because you not only know that the current Card Czar has a strange, but deeply held aversion to all but the original Batman comics, and during a round of playing you find out his retro tastes include Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Since you want to create the most relevant pairing for your audience, you strategize that the first card will hit home more than the others, especially if you have a chance to add your best clueless face while primping your greying hair.

A similar strategic thought process goes into content curation. When done well, it’s creating a valuable content experience that delivers a relevant collection of content?—?hand selected specifically for your audience?—?especially when you can add your own angle to it.

And when you do, it helps tell your story.

Good curation presents you as a credible, reliable resource in your industry. Robin Good (Top Tools for Communications Pros) says content curation helps “a brand showcase its competence. When you curate you can’t fake true expertise. It shows through. You can only curate what you really have had the courage to explore, taste, digest and comprehend.”

The analysis and sources boost your credibility, but your presentation will also help tell your story. “When you’re curating content you are telling a story–your story–through the material you curate, the reviews you write, and the voice you bring to your topic.”

We think it’s fair to say there will undoubtedly be a time for courage when playing CAH, but isn’t it also true that when you’re selecting a white card from the cards in your hand to pair with a black card, you’re curating a content experience?

In the process, you’re also telling your story. One white card, one blog post, one comment, one retweet at a time.

(Un)Intelligent Content?

So far, we’ve used Cards Against Humanity as an example of data collection, audience development and telling your story. In my next and final article in this series, I’ll take the liberty of exploring the unique parallel between CAH and Intelligent Content. It’s surprising. And surprisingly simple.

Get Marketers Avoid Calamity   Read the next article

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