Engaging content is talk of the marketing industry right now. Why? Because it works! The hard part is that it’s hard to produce. Engaging content means different things for different audiences, but essentially you want to make a connection with the customer. One mistake a lot of marketers make in creating content is only talking about ‘themselves’ (i.e., the company). Have you ever had a conversation with someone who couldn’t seem bothered to pause and ask anything about you, but would drone on about their life. Annoying, right? You check out of the conversation because it’s one-sided and does not apply to you at all.
If you marketing content talks about your company too much, constantly flaunting its successes and employees, do you think the customer will want to engage? Or will they simply check out of the conversation?
So what are some ways to create content that keeps the customer engaged and interested?
Oddly enough, the process to figuring out good content is very similar for meeting a new person for the first time. Let’s take a look:
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
How can you make the conversation engaging if you don’t know who you’re talking to? When meeting someone for the first time, a good conversationalist will start asking questions to establish a base knowledge of who that person is. What are their likes, dislikes? What are they interested in, what topics get them excited? In marketing, what are their needs? Getting to know your audience will help you better create an engaging conversation that they feel interested in. Before creating your ad content or building your website, you should have a solid foundation of who your ‘ideal’ customer is, and what demographic you want to reach. Get specific! It will help.
KNOW YOUR INTENT
While it’s good to get to know the person you’re talking to, you should also know why you are talking to them. This will help steer the conversation and make it more natural. If you don’t know your intent, the conversation may lag, get stagnant, and become disengaging quickly.
When producing good content it is equally important to know your intent with each marketing piece. What are you trying to accomplish with this specific content? Do you want to entertain, be sympathetic, pull on the heartstrings, etc. There are many ways in which you can connect with the customer. You will find the right method by understanding your intent and your audience.
KNOW YOUR VOICE
Once you have the structure and purpose of your content, it is important that you figure out your voice. Voice is what makes your content unique and sets you apart from the competition. When you know a person well, you can distinctly find them in a crowd by their voice. Your voice should be as clear and consistent as that, so that customers can find you through the crowd and recognize your content when they come across it.
Knowing your voice promotes your company in an almost invisible way. Meaning, you don’t have to push logos or your brand because people already know it’s you by your voice. This will allow more time for you to focus on connecting with the customer since you won’t need to talk about yourself – they will already know who is talking.
TALK TO THEM, NOT AT THEM
Going back to that conversation we mentioned above, where one person talks solely about themselves and asks nothing of their listener; were they really talking to that person? Or were they talking at them? I would argue the latter. To make a conversation engaging you need to make sure not to talk at the customer. Don’t explain why they need your product or service, tell them how you would be a good fit, etc. Don’t just talk about your company. Instead, talk to the customer. Engage them, ask them questions, make them feel included.
Ultimately, if you do the work to know your audience, know your intent, find your voice, and use all of that to talk to the customer through content, you will be highly engaging. The key in all of this is to stop talking about yourself! Shift your focus to the customer, make them the hero of your story. Make them feel a part of the conversation.
But that’s our opinion… What do you think?