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What's behind a craze?

Chelsea Phillimore

Author: Chelsea Phillimore

Senior Account Executive

Date posted: 20/05/2022

Understanding your audience is crucial when planning your content strategy. It makes it easier to tailor content so that it acknowledges an audience’s true challenges and needs. It’s a core part of the planning across all marketing sectors, whether that’s B2C, B2B or healthcare.

The marketing world is full of great examples of successful content that started with key audience insight. Wordle is one of the most recent ones.

A ‘wordle’ to the wise

Since the start of 2022, Wordle has been the hottest internet craze. For those who haven’t heard of it, – where have you been? – the aim of the game is simple: to guess the 5-letter word of the day within 6 tries.

I can hear you thinking, ‘This doesn’t sound like a ground-breaking idea, so why has Wordle become so popular?’ Well, for us marketers, the reason is actually quite simple: the creator understood his audience.

Software developer Josh Wardle created the game for his partner during lockdown. He knew she loved word games, so he developed the guessing game as a gift for her. Following a resounding success in the family group chat, he decided to share his creation with the world.

Since then, the game has found similar success in family group chats across the world, with families and friends challenging each other to see who can find the word the fastest. The daily users have grown exponentially over the last few months. On November 1st, just 90 people played, but by today, more than 300,000 people play daily, with awareness being spread through social media users sharing their results.

The success of Wordle is due to its engaging, easy-to-digest content that entices audiences to come back every day for more. It’s a very simple idea that works because the audience is central to the experience. It doesn't require much effort from us either – participating is as easy as loading a web page. All you have to do then is enter your first word, and that’s it: you’ve started playing.

The game was also developed with the understanding that sharing needs to be easy. After you’ve guessed the correct answer (or haven’t), the page gives you the option to share your results with a friend, without revealing your guesses. Then, your friend can simply click through the link to have a try themselves. This makes it accessible and easy to share amongst peers – which is what ultimately made its popularity grow so quickly.

It also targets a very common aspect of our personality: competitiveness. And because it is so simple to share, private competitions between family and friends can get started very quickly and very easily.

The marketing touch

For us marketeers, this is no surprise. A good marketing strategy gets under the skin of brands to understand their audiences’ personas every day. The strategies put forward are based on these personas, so that creative ideas can be delivered in the most efficient way. It’s a key first step in delivering content that works.


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