How many times have you started to read an email or blog and struggled to get through the first sentence due to the lacking “wow!” factor? Probably more times than you can remember. Better yet, when was the last time that you read a piece of content that literally made you laugh out loud or compelled you to tweet about it? If you’re drawing a blank or simply can’t think back that far, you’re not alone. As a marketer, there’s nothing more frustrating than watching brands struggle with creating relevant and engaging content.
Whether your message needs to be delivered in a single paragraph or a 90 second stop-motion video, you should ask yourself the following questions before diving in to content development:
- Who is my target audience? Determine who will be consuming your content and speak specifically to their needs and pain points. Creating content that provides a solution to the problem is the key to an engaged audience.
- How does my audience consume content? Based on what you know about your target audience, determine how they will be accessing your content (email, blog, etc.) and outline a coherent content strategy from that angle.
- What is the purpose of my content or results that I need to see? In order to measure how engaging your content is, you need to define what “engaged” actually means to you and for your specific initiative.
Regardless of how you’re measuring engagement, the goal of your content should be to trigger an emotional response from your audience. When appealing to a positive or negative emotion, the aim is to disrupt your reader’s train of thought and find the balance between broadening their perspective without giving them a headache. Try to think of how you can creatively keep your reader’s attention long enough for them to absorb your message without making the experience feel forced. Here are a few more considerations for your content development strategy:
- Take a risk. Try delivering your content in an unexpected method or writing in a tone that you haven’t before. Instead of a traditional email, direct your audience to a short video or infographic that delivers your message in a unique way.
- Respect the exclamation point. Punctuation is important, but it shouldn’t be used as a crutch to make your content more exciting!!! Adding excessive and unnecessary punctuation to your content doesn’t make your message more interesting, it just makes you look like a chump.
- Check your ego at the door. Before you craft your content, take a moment to clear your head and put yourself in the shoes of the reader. You’re the expert in a specific focus, but others might be newer to the space, so it’s important keep the message simple and clear.
Now that you’re equipped with the tools to easily create content that your audience will want to read, what are you waiting for?
Meet Justin Gray
Justin is a serial entrepreneur and the CEO and founder of LeadMD, the world’s largest revenue operations agency having implemented over half of the Marketo user base. Justin has made a career of launching successful companies and scaling them, with successful exits of over 200MM+ in the last decade. Justin’s latest endeavor launched in 2016 when he co-founded Six Bricks an online learning startup designed to combat employee and customer churn through experience-based education. Over the past 10 years, Justin has emerged as a strong voice for entrepreneurship, marketing and culture. As a recognized speaker, Justin has been published over 350 times in industry publications and holds his own column, Tribal Knowledge in Inc., while writing for Entrepreneur, Tech Crunch and others. Justin and his wife Jennifer met over marketing and three years later welcomed their son, Grayson, into the world in April of 2017.