Your message is one thing. But how you say it can be something else altogether; and it’s that gap that can make all of the difference to how effectively you engage your audience.
We spend a lot of time and energy creating content for our customer to reach and connect with them to earn the precious attention - so we need to make sure that when that time comes, we're offering them plenty of value to spark their curiosity and intrigue.
So, how do you do it right?
Prefer to listen, rather than read? Here's the Podcast summary!
Start With The ‘Who’
Too often, organisations begin all of their Marketing campaigns with the ‘what’ and the ‘how’, before considering the ‘who’, and then wonder why brilliant executions fail to interest their audience. It’s because the creative team let their own imaginations run wild to produce videos, blogs, books, podcasts and countless others without taking into account the real needs of their audience first.
The most effective content has the intended audience in mind from the very start. Who are you targeting and why should they care?
Take for example a scenario a few years ago where a medical company was using the LinkedIn Recruiter platform (the ‘how’) to send direct InMails (the ‘what’) to reach Doctors in Australia.
The project seemed flawless, with a strong message and a well-trained sales team, but it ended up failing miserably because the company didn’t first check that their Medical Professionals target (the ‘who’) were actually using the platform or not - and it turns out they weren’t.
Knowing Your Audience Is The Key To Creating Effective Content
The above example demonstrates how subtle the root cause can be between creating material that your audience loves, and others that get ignored.
A common theme in many of my blogs is to remind people never to forget about your audience when writing content.
As businesses, we aim for our target market segment, but do we really know them? If you spend the time to really define their common persona, you are able to tune into the way they view the world. Once you understand this, you can create stories that resonate with their beliefs and opinions, therefore gaining their attention and raising brand awareness with the right audience.
How to: a gymnasium as an example of how to create better content
Take a city gym who is targeting the gym junkie vs a gym targeting the occasional user. What is the difference in ‘the who’?
The gym junkie is disciplined around a daily routine almost to the point of addiction. This person views the gym world very differently to the ‘average joe’ user, who signs up out of guilt to be somewhat active, but with very low motivation.
It’s easy (and all too common) for the gym to produce the same content for both segments and then wonder why each group finds the generic messages annoying or boring. It’s because the customer is not thinking of the gym 24/7, and the gym is!
People live diverse lives, and they only spend a limited amount of time thinking about your industry, product or service. So when their thoughts are directed at you, your brand needs to present content that specifically addresses their needs.
For the Gym Junkie category, simple research will tell you the following facts about their persona.
Now, see how easy it is to focus on the what and how, once you know the basics of the who? The gym focusing on this segment should be producing:
All of these pieces should be united by a single strategy to increase the gym’s brand awareness and positioning, increase inquiries and subscriptions, and increase customer service to breed loyalty and advocacy. After all, we create content to improve customer experience in order to achieve our business goals.
Now consider the Average Joe gym-goer. They:
So, now we know some basics about this ‘who’, we set out to create content like the following:
You get the gist.
Two Birds With One Stone!
See how the different target segments have different personalities and therefore have very different content needs.
If you spend time researching their pain points first, and then producing content to address each one (rather than the other way around), you will find that you are creating material that is getting the Return On Investment you are looking for, while being a Key Opinion Leader for your audience and making them happy.
Now For The “What” and The “How”
Once you are satisfied you know your target segment’s needs, now it’s time to get the how and the what right, which are the executions of the content itself.
Building upon a solid foundation of the “who”, it’s time to tell the story you need to achieve the outcome you want.
How To Create The Effective Story
1. Be Fresh
Your customer’s attention is the essential element for content, and nothing loses it quicker than them believing they’ve seen this all before. The same-same loses their curiosity.
Today, you don’t just need to inform, you need to fascinate and be irresistible.
This is why organisations hire professional copywriters, to utilise their ability to come up with a fresh premise and angle to hook an audience.
2. Be Straight-Forward
Being clear and simple is a fundamental rule. You can create barriers if your ideas are too complicated or intimidating to understand. It’s far better to start with a really sharp message first and establish it in the market (such as Nike’s “Just Do It), and then build upon this in following content.
3. Be Genuine
Your audience hates the sales pitch, especially if you are pitching organic content to them.
Engage them on their level and use an authentic voice to draw their attention and hold it. This means that your message is relevant, meaningful to them and inspires positive action.
4. Be About Their Benefits
Remember, when it comes down to it, your product offering is solely for their value. This concept can get lost in amongst all elements of a business strategy!
Your content not only needs to communicate benefits, but these must be relevant to your audience. Nothing is more disengaging than being sold a message of a product’s benefit that doesn’t interest you in any way.
So, in the gym example above, for the Gym Junkie, the benefits are peak physical fitness and a body with perfect definition, whereas the Average Joe wants to be able to feel more confident about themselves and not be out of breath when they walk from one side of the office to the other.
Instead of saying something pedestrian like, “be the best you” or “get in shape”, show a tangible expression of the benefit, like “Going from your office to the conference room? No sweat. No panting.”
This allows the Average Joe audience to immediately associate the benefit of your gym with their everyday life and immediately connects with them.
5. Be Trustworthy
People naturally use emotion first and then bring in logic after when making a buying decision.
So, if you have your emotional message down pat using the above few steps, you need to be able to back this up with credibility when the logic phase kicks in.
People don’t give dodgy businesses many chances, and if you let them down a few times, you often lose them forever and gain a poor reputation with all of their peers. So, ensure that your content has a credible angle to satisfy all bases.
It’s Time To Get It Out There
Now that you have the who, what and how ready, it’s time to release it to your audience and see what happens.
Fresh ideas and innovative approaches are released every day and as content marketers and copywriters, we never truly know what will resonate. Only our audiences can make that decision, so all you can do is to produce content using the above tips and get it out there to see what works and what doesn’t.
Remember, you learn every time, so don’t be afraid to give it a go. It’s better to attempt than to just avoid it altogether.
How Can Melotti Media Copywriting Help You?
To engage your customer and achieve ongoing business success today, you need quality copywriting and consistent content. However, we understand that this is easier said than done.
You’re time poor and spread thin, and writing isn’t your expertise. So, focus on what really matters, while we take care of all of your copywriting and content marketing needs!
For more information or to speak to a quality copywriter to get the results your business deserves, contact me now at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I can sharpen your words to achieve your goals, today!
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DISCLAIMER: This blog expresses the opinion of Christopher Melotti (Melotti Media) and should be taken as general information only. No responsibility is taken for your actions in response to any content in this blog. See the website's Terms and Conditions for more information.