When it comes to content creation, making sure that people can find it is only half the battle. The other half is getting people to read it by writing engaging content. In a world full of short attention spans and the constant sensory overload, this isn’t easy.
But it’s something you have to do if you want your content to produce results. In this blog, we explore how understanding 3 core elements can help you create engaging content.
Understand Who You’re Trying to Talk To
Unless you know who your ideal customer is, you won’t be able to create content that works. Your ideal customer is a stereotyped version of the average characteristics of the people who buy your product/service.
E.g., the ideal customer for a Yoga Instructor may be women in their mid-20s. For an accountant, it may be businesses with a turnover of £150K to £300K.
All businesses will have an ideal customer, sometimes multiple types of ideal customer. Building a profile of your ideal customer is essential in content creation.
Everybody’s different. We have different interests, ways of speaking, and ways of understanding the world. By understanding your customers, you’ll be able to tailor your content to pique their interest and give them something they value.
People engage with things that bring them value. Whether you’re offering entertainment, advice, a product or service, etc., you’re providing value. You need to communicate this in a way they understand.
There are resources to help you understand your customers. One of my favourite resources is the “Insights” section of Instagram. Here’s a link to a good overview of the topic. You can use the data to discover the characteristics and personality of your best customers.
Understand How Your Ideal Customer Gains Value from Your Product
Closely related to the previous section, you need to understand your product and understand how it fits into the lives of your target audience. This allows you to position your product/service in a way that “speaks” to your audience.
Engaging content isn’t just about being fun, informative, and unique. It needs to be meaningful. You need to show your customers the value they’ll get from engaging with your content. Being authentic is vital. Customers need to trust your content if you want them to connect with your brand.
Unless you understand the value of your product, how it relates to your customers, and are able to communicate this, you won’t be able to proposition them in a way that will make them want to engage.
The Queensland Government (Aus.) has written an excellent article that will help you understand how to communicate the value of your product to your customer. The section, “Turn product features in to benefits” will help you create engaging content because it answers your customer’s questions and concerns.
Understand the Language Your Customers Use
When you were still in school, you were probably taught to write in ways that don’t necessarily suit the internet age. Formal English is too stuffy; it turns people off.
I ended that last sentence with a preposition. Somewhere along the way, you’ve probably been told not to end a sentence with a preposition…
…but which sentence sounds better (Oops, I started a sentence with a conjunction)?
- Formal English is too stuffy; off it turns people.
- Formal English is too stuffy; it turns people off.
The first follows the prepositional rule; the second doesn’t. For some of the more grammatically pedantic, the first sentence is correct and the second sentence isn’t. The famous example of this rule is, of course, Winston Churchill’s, “From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.”
This example shows how the rules don’t necessarily work in practice. You should avoid being too rigid or you risk boring people.
When you’re writing, think of grammar as a way to signpost your writing. It’s about helping the reader understand what you’re saying so that the words flow easily in their heads. Grammar is supposed to reflect speech. Speak your work aloud and if it flows well, it’s good.
I’ve talked to many writers and they often complain about the complexity of grammar. There are so many different rules; it becomes confusing. Your writing doesn’t need to be so technical. You don’t need to understand the difference between prepositional phrases and insert complex grammatical rule. The trick is to make your writing easy to understand.
By understanding your ideal customer, you’ll be able to research the way they speak and how they use language. This will help you write in ways that suit the audience. E.g., if you’re writing B2B, formality is somewhat expected but if you’re writing B2C, you’ll need to relax the way you write or risk high bounce rates.
Do you need help creating engaging content? If you do, chat with us today.