When it comes down to marketing, everyone knows that content is key. However, not many know the difference between 1st person and 3rd person narratives and which perspective can work better for content marketing efforts. 

Understanding the differences between these two perspectives can help your business make an informed decision about which one to use.

What’s 1st Person?

In 1st person narratives, the writer tells the story. It’s often viewed as the easiest style to implement. This writer-centric format allows you to draw on your own experiences and emotions to connect with readers. This Point Of View (POV) uses “I” and “we” in copy.

Example: I love cantaloupe, keep reading to see how my three-week fruit journey turned out. 

What’s 3rd Person?

3rd-person narration is when the narrator is outside the story, describing the plot and antics of other characters. This POV is generally the most common content marketing style, but marketers shouldn’t assume it’s any more effective than the others. “He”, “she”, “it” or “they” are used in copy.

Example: If you love cantaloupe, keep reading to see how a three-week fruit journey can help your diet. 

The primary difference between 1st and 3rd person narration is the perspective from which the reader experiences the characters and story. This will then impact how they interact with your content, links, and overall products and services. 

Writer’s note: A good rule to keep in mind when working in content marketing is that the closer readers are to the author, the more engaged they will be. 

Case Study + Results 

In order to enhance our clients’ content, we took a deep dive into all things narrative and collected data from our verticals over a 9-month period — January 1st – September 30th, 2022. 

We compared the average CORs for all 1st-person and 3rd-person content.

Once we sat down to examine the results, we found that 1st-person narratives outperform 3rd-person content in the majority of our verticals. Like always, there are a few exceptions. For instance, anything scientific — like the Health & Wellness vertical — required less authenticity and more education, which can easily be achieved through 3rd-person content.

We also noticed that for 1st-person narratives, performed better 3rd-person articles across most of our verticals. This lends an authenticity that can be tough to achieve with 3rd-person content. Plus, it’s ideal for products where personal experiences say a lot, like the Food & Beverage vertical.

Though CORs for 3rd-person narratives were higher, those who did click through our 1st-person narratives ended up converting, which is still a win!

GeistM Can Help

Creating authentic and profitable 3rd-party content is what GeistM does best. It’s how we help our clients make money and attract, educate, and retain target audiences for each business we work with. 

Optimize and enrich your products and services by using relatable content to reach and connect with global audiences. You can remain competitive and successful with GeistM’s help. Contact Contact us today to learn more!