If you’re an online quiz junkie like me, you’ve likely, at some point, taken a psychology test to determine whether you’re right- or left-brained. We all know we lean more to one side than the other, but isn’t it fun to tally up the points and find out for sure?
As a writer, I’m of the mind that being right-brained is critical to the job (I’m not saying this just because my math skills are limited to basic arithmetic, but also because good writing involves a flair for the creativity). As a marketing writer, I’m convinced that it takes both the creative and the logical sides in order to execute an effective content strategy. Why? Because successful content marketing involves striking a certain degree of balance between campaigns that are both inspired and results-oriented.
A couple of years ago, Marketo published an infographic on right- and left-brained marketing, with the assumption being that predominant personality traits guide the type of marketing campaigns you design.
The following quiz is designed to help you determine if your B2B content marketing strategy is right-or left-brained, information that can help you craft an overall strategy that is greater than the sum of its parts and ultimately lead to more effective marketing campaigns. Keep track of your responses to each question, as we’ll tally them all up at the end of the quiz to reveal results. Have fun!
1) How do you develop ideas about the type of content you want to produce?
b) We consider what types of content will have the biggest visual impact to generate social shares
c) We look at what’s already been written (competitive analysis) and think about how we could do it better
d) All of the above
2) How do you keep your content process organized/streamlined?
b) We go old school (trusty notepad, yo!)
c) We meet weekly to discuss ongoing client initiatives across teams (content, SEO, social, PR, etc.) and uncover collaboration opportunities
3) Which of the following best describes the type of content you primarily create?
b) Visual: Blog posts (video/image collections), infographics, video content
c) Curated: Interviews, list posts across various sources
d) All of the above
4) Do you believe it’s a high priority for your content to tell a story?
b) Of course! But make sure to follow Ann Handley‘s advice: “Make the customer the hero of your story”
5) How important do you feel it is for content marketing initiatives to be aligned with PR teams (internal or external)?
b) Important but difficult to stay organized/on the same page with other teams
6) Does your keyword strategy drive the content marketing assets you produce?
b) Sometimes: Keyword research is a component of our content strategy, but we also create assets to drive awareness via social and reach key individuals
7) “Marketing without design is lifeless and design without marketing is mute” – Von R. Glitchska
8) Which best describes your content promotion strategy?
b) We publish content via WordPress and tweet it out as well
9) What sort of measurement criteria do you use to evaluate content marketing effectiveness?
b) We leverage social media tools such as BuzzSumo and Google Ripples to see who has shared the content and gain a better understanding of which influencers are likely to share future content
c) We search on Google for the target keyword to see if it ranks on the first page
d) All of the above
10) What does content marketing success look like?
b) Social shares/engagement metrics
c) Website traffic
d) All of the above
Left-Brained (Mostly A’s): First of all, if you don’t have all A’s and you’re already calculating the percentage of how many A’s you have (versus B’s, C’s, and D’s), you can pretty much count yourself in the left-brained category without needing to read any further. Left-brainers rely on value-based marketing and typically approach content marketing in a planned and orderly fashion (i.e., using data-driven insights to drive content strategy and direction). Analytical and detail-oriented, left-brained marketers focus on the practical side to content marketing – what do you need, why do you need it, and how can you get it? – and work to implement and execute a content strategy that drives measurable results.
Right-Brained (Mostly B’s): If you self-identify as a right-brainer like me, you probably glossed right over the left-brained results because you already knew that wasn’t you. Logical? Math and science-minded? Not so much. Right-brained marketers tend to focus on art and creativity, and place emphasis on creative storytelling and visually appealing content assets. This is not to say, however, that right-brained marketers aren’t also focused on driving results via content campaigns, just that they may go about it in a different way than left-brained marketers. Marketo, for instance, cites the example of right-brained marketers focusing on building robust and personality-rich social media campaigns to generate brand awareness.
Left- and Right-Brained (C’s and D’s): Okay, so remember those people back in high school who were math geeks AND book nerds? Yeah, that’s you. As a marketer, you’re keyed into both the analytical and creative sides of thinking, and you’ve managed to find that “sweet spot” of skills that allows you to create content plans that are both emotionally-inspired and results-oriented. SEO Savvy sums you up like this: “Marketing is no longer the domain of freethinking creative types who rattle off ideas and sit back to watch the campaign flourish. Likewise, a good marketer knows that a purely data based plan will lack that intangible “it” factor that allows a good campaign to become truly great.”
So congratulations! You’re awesome (and probably really good at what you do).
If you haven’t already guessed, the above quiz isn’t meant to be taken too seriously. As we all know, every content marketing campaign’s goals, strategy, and execution are entirely different (and therefore results of this quiz are likely subjective, depending the specific client/program/strategy you had in mind when you took the quiz).
That said, effective content marketing takes all types of thinkers. Ideally, your content approach maintains a healthy balance between the left and right sides of the brain so that you’re ultimately able to create and execute a wide variety of campaigns.
How does your company strike a balance between left- and right-brained content marketing? Do you find you favor one side of the brain hemisphere over the other? We’d love to hear your thoughts and perspective in the comments below.