D&D – The Perfect Content Strategy Trainer

 In Content Strategy

A lunch with the Divvy co-founders took a more discomforting turn for me. As we discussed an upcoming event that someone was attending, we joked about the potential conversations. The event would be attended by many individuals that would probably lean geek. We laughed about how the conversation would gradually shift from development speak to plugins, and then fantasy and sci fi. When someone jokingly suggested Dungeons & Dragons [D&D] as a possible topic of conversation, things got real.

Before thinking about it I spoke out, “I played D&D.” There was silence, then laughter. Then curiosity. For me, there was a smidgen of embarrassment.

Setting Up the Content Game Board

So to help me get over the embarrassment I decided to embrace it, and put it out in the open. I played D&D.

D&D is a very loosely scripted ‘board game’ with outcomes based on a series of dice rolls. You can create your own characters, stories, plots, lands, etc. The game is usually played in groups of four or more and each person controls their own character, with their own special abilities and backstory (typically player created). Leading the game is the Game Master, who gently glides the adventurers through a series of encounters, while controlling any foes or bystanders they may interact with – and divvying out experience and rewards (like special items or gold). The goal with each encounter is to finish the adventure and increase your character’s ‘level’ and abilities, to better prepare him or her for their next adventure!


Character Persona = Buyer Persona

Each player is encouraged to take on the role of their hero, and react to situations based off that characters personality and persona – even speak like him. Yes, it’s that nerdy but it’s also content strategy at its core; you are building personas just like you would for your own company or client.

If you’ve ever got into creating character sheets (a D&D character creation process) then building buyer personas should be a piece of elven cake to you. When I hear questions like, “Who are your three main buyers?” and, “What are their triggers?” I instantly think about these character sheets and how creating them also created their persona.


Ring of +1 Social Reach

In D&D you usually have to find a creative way to defeat a foe or unlock a puzzle. This experience (know as XP to D&D players) transfers itself over to one of content creations greatest hurdles, originality. To ‘level up’ with a piece of content means to create something new, to do something different. Having at least one idea that is original within your content is like giving it a unique item that has magical powers (Ring of +1 Social Reach). Applying this to content creation is as easy as fooling a Moonrat on a sunny day.  Writing about something that has been written about thousands of times before? That’s alright, take a step back and look at it through a Dungeon Master’s eyes.

So I’ve exposed myself for the nerd I truly am. So those of you, with a high enough Charisma score, please add comments about early childhood, and young adult :-), hobbies/games that helped you hone your content creation skills.  Or cower in the corner like an insignificant worm!

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