Content gives you a great way to connect with your audience. It can help you increase your audience, provide value, create engagement, and earn other benefits. But it has to be content that works. If your content is failing to attract or engage visitors, it’s possible you have a problem with content promotion to make it visible. Maybe you have top-notch content, but no one is seeing it.

Yet it’s also possible that the problem is with the content itself. While your goal is to connect with your audience through content, you may actually be alienating them. Let’s look at some elements that can alienate an audience and what you should do instead.

Who Are You Focused On?

Image via Flickr by slimefarmer

Content that connects usually sounds like a good conversation. This can refer to the style of the writing, but it goes beyond that. In this case, we’re talking about the perspective of your content.

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Are you talking to your readers and having a good conversation with them? Are you listening to them? Or are you being the person people avoid because you’re always talking about yourself and barely notice their existence?

It’s easy to get stuck on how to present yourself when you’re creating text and images on a computer, but you have to think of the people interacting with your content. Effective content should be focused on providing value to your audience. This means helping them, entertaining them, or benefiting them in some way. You should be focused on who your audience is, what they’re interested in, and what they’re looking for from you.

Your topics and your language should be focused on the audience. Other types of writing, such as press releases, require a different focus, but content that’s intended to connect with an audience should include more second-person references (you, you, you) rather than being filled with first-person pronouns (me, me, me).

This is true of blog posts and social media content, but it can also extend to web pages and sales copy. Rather than focusing on your company and its products or services too much, you should be telling your audience what your offering can do for them and how they’ll benefit from working with you.

You shouldn’t entirely take yourself out of the conversation, but make sure your focus is on how your business will benefit your audience rather than always talking about your business. When you find the right people to talk to and tailor your content to them, many will turn their attention to you and want to know more. That’s how a good conversation works.

Are You Using These Techniques?

Don’t push your visitors away with your content and your user experience. Draw them in and keep them engaged with simple methods.

  • Be informal. A good conversation is relaxed and comfortable. It’s easy to follow and never condescending. Instead of being overly professional or formal, use the kind of language people would use when they’re having normal conversations. With most people, this means you’ll use contractions and skip formal grammar rules when it benefits the conversation. For example, no one but strict grammarians uses words like “whom” when they’re talking to a friend. By presenting yourself more like a friend than an authority figure, you can help your audience relate to you and want to engage with you.
  • Speak their language. By learning more about your audience and observing them, you can engage with them better. This can mean using lingo that’s specific to your audience.
  • Know your whole audience. You might be speaking to some of your audience without realizing that other groups are following you. Do audience research to better understand the spectrum of your audience and avoid leaving anyone out. You may also want to create buyer personas to help you better understand and speak to each group. Perform some market research to see if there are people out there your brand should be scooping up but isn’t.
  • Keep it simple. You might be losing your audience by making your content too complex. Break it down and simplify it so it’s more enjoyable and easier to understand.
  • Seem approachable. Some brands seem distant and disconnected. For example, a brand may frequently share updates without ever giving its audience a way to contact the company. Make yourself more approachable by creating unique content that speaks to your audience’s needs and wants and by offering many points of contact. Connect your website to other forms of content that reaches out to your audience and gets you ready for them to reach out to you. This could include emails, social media, live chat, and contact forms. Then when your audience contacts you, make sure you respond.
  • Create a meaningful connection. The way your customer feels about your brand can make a major difference. If your content doesn’t get your visitors to feel a certain way about your brand, they might move on to a company that reaches them better. Try to tap into your visitors’ emotions and get them to feel something when they think about your company. Depending on your brand, you might want them to feel happy, inspired, sentimental, relaxed, or some other emotion.
  • Show your humanity. People don’t want to feel like they’re interacting with a robot or a faceless entity. They want to have human interactions. Show the human side of your brand through your content and interactions. Also, this is the way you can talk about your company. Show a deeper human side by sharing what you care about and who is working for your company. Help your audience relate to the human faces behind your company. Images and video can help you achieve this goal.

Have you thought about what your company might be doing that could alienate your audience? Consider your content and user experience from your audience’s point of view to find areas for improvement. Overall, focus on putting your company’s messages into the context of how to relate to and benefit your audience.

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Blog: Content Writing

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