Who's your villain?
2 min read

Who's your villain?

Yesterday I did an exercise with my social media team at Gong.

The focus?

Talking about our villain.

You might be wondering what the hell villains and content creation have to do with each other.

But villains aren’t just for Marvel movies.

You need a villain to guide your point of view (AKA your POV – how you see the world and envision what it could be).

Because identifying and attacking your villain will help guide your content focus and build trust with your audience.

Let’s break that down real quick:

You villain is the thing that prevents your audience from being successful.

It’s typically the thing your company solves.

Drift’s enemy is website forms because they prohibit meaningful buyer-sellers conversations.

Gong’s enemy is lack of visibility because it hinders revenue growth.

The Reeder’s enemy is ineffective content because it prevents strategic growth.

This is important because you need a problem (villain) to justify your solution.

Why this works: Studies have shown that people are more likely to bond over a shared dislike – rather than a shared fondness – of a third party.

In other words, you can build trust with your audience by sharing a common enemy.

Your villain will also guide the content you create, helping you stay focused on a single topic that aligns with the product/service you sell.

The problem is that most B2B marketers think that their product is therefore the hero because it defeats their villain. Hooray! Go product!


Your audience is ALWAYS the hero.

Because when it comes to your narrative, readers will only identify with your story if they see themselves in your narrative.

When they see a hero is like them – for example, a fellow marketer who also struggles with web conversions (negative outcome brought on by the villain) – they naturally identify with them.

They aren’t going to relate to your story if the hero is a product or service they don’t know, haven’t used, and don’t understand.

(Read that again.)

Drift’s heroes are marketers.

Gong’s heroes are sales professionals.

The Reeder’s heroes are content creators (you!).

But here’s the thing: The most common mistake is making the audience the villain.

When you attack your audience (even if unintentionally) you distance yourself from them – pushing them away from you and towards your competitors.

That makes your product/service the sidekick. Your job is to help the hero defeat the villain.

So ask yourself: Who is my villain?

Identify your villain. Uplift your hero. Win together.

Holler at you next week,