Key takeaway: Learn about your audience’s paint points. Then use that data to create content that builds a stronger connection in understanding these challenges.
3. Write like your customers talk.
Some content is painful to consume. And if you read this content carefully, you might discover something interesting. People simply don’t talk the way the piece of content was written. It’s dry; has no personality; and doesn’t feel relatable.
Write content that is delightful to read. Write like you speak. As a result, your audience will see themselves in your content and feel a stronger connection. But how can you accomplish this? Here are a few tips.
- Use social listening to find out what words customers are using to describe their challenges.
- Talk to your customer service people and ask how customers are describing their problems. What words do they use?
- Find out what digital publications your audience is reading. Then read comments on popular posts to find out what customers are saying.
Once you have all this valuable information, start writing like you’re speaking with a trusted friend. If you were talking with a trusted friend who fit into your buyer’s persona, what words would you use? What would you say to help them understand the topic? If you approach your content this way, you won’t be able to help but infuse it with personality.
Key takeaway: Jay Baer recently said that “if it sounds like writing, then rewrite it.” Take his advice and make sure that your writing sounds more human – matching the personality of your target audience.
4. Build suspense.
There is a reason that Steven King has sold over 250 million copies of his novels and these stories have been adopted into feature films, television shows and comic books. He knows how to keep readers on the edge of their seats. Check out these tips to create more personality through adding suspense to your content.
- Create an element of mystery. Hit on your audience’s pain points right away, and then develop mystery around the solution. You plan to reveal the answer to their largest problems, but what is it? Keep them hooked.
- Create conflict. Every great suspense story has some element of conflict. For example, in the Dove example above, that conflict is that women are fighting against the fact that their accomplishments are too often overshadowed by physical appearance. Create more suspense by building up the conflict at the beginning of the piece.
- Resist the urge to reveal the end right away. Don’t give up all your secrets in the very first paragraph. Lead your readers through the content and keep them on the edge of their seats until the very end.
Key takeaway: When you create suspense, readers can’t help but continue to stay engaged with your content. Try building some cliffhangers, twists and turns into your content, and then measure the results.
5. Use a “behind the curtains” approach.
Worried that customers aren’t relating to your brand? If so, try the behind-the-curtains approach. With this strategy, you reveal bits of information that customers don’t typically get to see about your brand.
Some brands are using social media apps such as Snapchat to achieve this. CISCO posts coverage of events such as the annual employee Crawfish Boil in Texas, office location tours and other behind-the-scenes footage. When customers feel like they’re getting an inside view of the company, they will naturally feel more engaged with your brand. And you just might attract new employees who are a great fit with your company culture.
Key takeaway: Build rapport with customers by providing them inside access to pieces of your company. When they view raw footage of employees having fun in their day-to-day routines, viewers can’t help but feel that the brand is more human and relatable.
Keeping readers engaged
Marketers are creating content to drive brand awareness, generate leads, and, ultimately, generate results. Achieving those successful results, however, starts by relating to customers in ways that make them feel like you’re a trusted friend. They must feel personality in everything you produce. Before publishing any new piece of content, ask yourself a few quick questions:
- Does this content read like a specific person with a unique voice wrote it?
- If your audience could read anything, would they choose this piece of content?
- Would they sign up to receive more content from you based on this piece alone?
- Does this piece of content relate to the audience and invoke some type of emotion?
Asking these questions before publishing any piece of content will ensure each item you produce has personality. As a result, it won’t end up in your customer’s slush pile, which is what happens to almost 70 percent of the content your competitors produce. Readers will truly be engaged.
How do you infuse personality into your content? Please share your best tips for creating stronger connections with your audience.