Content: Salesman Of The Year
Know Your Audience and Cater to Their Taste
Stepping into 2015, you’ve no doubt read a lot about knowing your audience. In order to produce quality copy that is relevant and valuable to your marketing strategy, you need to understand the following:
- Relevant issues to your audience.
- Their needs and wants.
- Current and potential customer expectations.
How your product or service is relevant and necessary to your audience.
Merely identifying this information isn’t enough. To truly know your audience, you need to get inside their heads and understand HOW and WHY they react. Once you manage this, you’ll be ready and able to apply some of the top strategies for 2015:
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Strategy #1: Tapping Into Basic Emotions
A cake is appealing to the eye. Sometimes its very color triggers an emotional response. For example, people who love chocolate are instantly attracted to a chocolate frosted cake. Content is very similar. Its appearance can elicit an emotional response, and content that triggers an emotional reaction is proven to:
Strategy #2: Wield Logic and Motivation
This strategy can be summed up in one word: persuasion. You can write a beautiful piece of content with incredibly persuasive potential, but will your audience take the time to read it? If you include eye-catching and emotion-provoking headlines, you’re on the right track. The next step is to tap into logic.
Logic through format. One of the most popular formatting options for content is bullet and numbered lists. These short blurbs of information stand out just as much as headlines but did you ever consider whether or not they were ordered correct? Proper order is important because our brain is expecting it. Lists need to be logically ordered; otherwise, the brain will virtually ignore them, dismissing them as nonsense and a waste of time.
Motivation through emotion. Humans share a deeply engrained biological fear of loss. We’re far more fearful of losing something than gaining the same something. As a result, you can appeal to you audience and motivate them by focusing on how not to lose. For example:
- Highlight when something is scarce. Your audience won’t want to miss it.
- Create a sense of urgency and need with a limited time offer.
- Talk about the risks.
- Explain the costs.
- Discuss mistakes and pitfalls.
Another way to motivate your audience is through positive peer pressure. In other words, openly show the audience why your current customers chose you. You can accomplish this in several ways:
- Client reviews and testimonials.
- Product reviews and endorsements.
- A display of media sites that have spotlighted your brand or business.
- Social media widgets that display the size of your following.
- The incorporation of “trust seals,” such as memberships, security certificates and awards.
Strategy #3: Stick to Simple Language
The words we chose directly affect the ability of our audience to comprehend and process their meaning. You might liken language to a cake’s frosting. What’s the secret to a scrumptious frosting? In most cases, the answer is simplicity. A simple recipe stands the test of time and is next to impossible to screw up.
Your choice of content language should be strategic yet simplistic. Here’s the playbook to content readability:
- Don’t use complicated sentence structures.
- Don’t use long words.
- Don’t use a lot of technical jargon.
- Do use common words; the ones that appear in everyday conversation.
- Do create simple sentences.
- Do avoid jargon.
The trick to this strategy is to avoid dumbing down the content (or watering down the frosting), but keeping a lower-literacy user in mind as it is created. Not everyone can read and understand college level material. There’s no shame in this. However, the majority of people can readily read and comprehend an 8th-grade level.
Similarly, not everyone can handle an overly sweet frosting. Therefore, when preparing a cake for a large event, the frosting often stays simple and basic to avoid overloading the folks who dislike a strong sweetness. Likewise, by keeping language simple, you open your content to a much larger audience, thus raising your chances of success.
Strategy #4: Build Relationships with Your Audience
Recently, we published a blog predicting content marketing expectations in 2015. Several of the predictions touched on building, maintaining and using audience relationships. It’s no surprise this is a top strategy for 2015.
Social media is HUGE, and it’s only expected to grow larger. It promotes one-on-one relationships and intelligent conversations. One of the strongest success strategies for effective content marketing is building a relationship with your audience, making them feel involved and important. Building relationships with your audience can be likened to having your cake and eating it too. This is truly the ideal scenario!
Copywriters have been tapping into this strategy when writing copy for years. Audience feedback helps them establish a relationship. They build on this relationship by interacting with their audience. They take suggestions and criticisms and add them to their expanding pool of experience.
Content marketing is starting to jump onboard with this strategy in 2015. Through social media platforms, companies can build relationships with their audience. The audience—a diverse mixture of past, present and potential customers—can offer their two-cents, which in turn helps them feel a closer connection to the company, brand or individual. These new relationships can then be used to further business.
Strategy #5: Seek Professional Services
Just because you can follow instructions and bake a cake doesn’t mean you’ll bake one for any occasion. Let’s be honest; most of us turn to a professional baker for birthday, anniversary, wedding, graduation and other event cakes. We trust the professional over ourselves because they have knowledge and expertise we lack. Not to mention, they know all the latest styles, trends and designs. They can even provide a completely custom experience, if that’s what we want. Seeking a professional content marketer and copywriter—or an agency offering both services—is quite similar.
Search engines are cracking down. Poor-quality content is unacceptable. Successful content marketing is hinging almost entirely on high quality copy—the kind professional copywriters are experienced in providing. In truth, to achieve quality ranking through content, you’re going to need the assistance of an SEO professional. No matter how awesome you are at marketing research, strategies and content writing, it’s no substitute for a true professional; the elitist who is in the trenches every single day and on top of every last update—no matter how minor, major or in between.
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