The good news? If you’re hoping to reconnect with your audience, that implies you connected with them at one time. Meaning they know who you are and what you do. You’ve established awareness, and you’re not looking to educate them on the specifics of your business.
The bad news? Something happened along the way to disengage them, and just like a long-lost love, someone new may have taken your place. But all is not lost. There are things you can do to win them over that are way easier than the “grand gesture” in a rom-com.
10 Ways to Engage Your Audience with Great Content
“You had me at hello.”
“He’s just not that into you.”
“As you wish.”
“You make me want to be a better man.”
“If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.”
“I have crossed oceans of time to find you.”
“Nobody puts baby in a corner.”
“My heart is and always will be yours.”
“You have bewitched me.”
Sometimes all it takes is noticing. For instance, if someone hasn’t clicked on your business newsletters or emails recently ask them if they are still interested or what you can do to make it more to their liking. Once your reader knows you’re paying attention to their clicks, they may just pay more attention to you.
When you’re creating content it’s important to know who you’re producing it for and we’ll give you a hint--it shouldn’t be you. Imagine hosting a birthday party for someone and using a chocolate extravaganza theme. Everything is chocolate. Even the dessert plates are edible. It sounds like a fantasy to everyone but the guest of honor who hates chocolate. At that point, it doesn’t matter if you’re serving the most amazing desserts ever created. They don’t like chocolate. Period. Create for the guest of honor, your ideal customer or client, and they’ll be much more impressed and engaged.
Video, white papers, infographics, blog posts, video blogs, podcasts, image memes. There are tons of types of media, and most of us have our preference. Find out what your ideal customer prefers and do that. If they hate video, don’t feel pressured to create a lot of videos. On the other hand, if they hate to read, stop writing the Gone with the Wind-length blog posts. Give them what they want in the form that they want it.
When you’re creating resources for your ideal client, you want to give them what they want. You'll have to do some research, conduct studies, and accumulate knowledge so that you can be a one-stop shop for their needs in your industry. For instance, if you sell garden plants you can create an online library of everything they need to know about selecting a plant, caring for a plant, and reaping the harvest or enjoying the flowers. If they don’t have a need to go elsewhere for their info, they likely won’t.
Customers are looking to do business with people they know, like, and trust. A bias most people have is that they tend to trust people who remind them of themselves. Establish commonalities with your audience. Relate to them. Share things about your life or your struggles that they will understand.
Your customers don’t want to be one of many. They don’t care how many other clients you have. They want to feel like the only one that matters to you. Personalize your approach whenever you can. Turn the spotlight on your customers. Make them feel valued and cared about and share their success stories because you’re proud of them, not because your marketing person told you that you need a testimonial. People can tell the difference.
Content should never be a hard sell that puts someone with their back to the wall. You will have all levels of people in the buying cycle enjoying your content. Instead of adding a hard sell to your pieces, look for ways to be helpful, even if that “helpful” ends up proving they’re not a good fit for what you offer. If you act as a resource for them, they’ll be back, and if they’re not, they will be sure to tell others about the help you provided.
Digital marketing is a long game, in most instances. You can’t expect everyone will visit your blog and immediately open their wallet. Often, they need to get to know you. One of the easiest ways for this to happen is for you to publish consistently. Let them see your content on a regular basis. Get in front of their streams by posting consistently. Use engaging, targeted social media ads that appeal to them (and you know how to do this by creating buyers’ personas). Show them you’re there and providing them with what they need.
While that’s a good line from Pride and Prejudice, it probably won’t work well in business communications. You need to learn the art of creating content that speaks to your audience in the way that you naturally speak. There are two things to consider when creating your tone:
- Your industry/client expectations
- What your customers need from you
If you’re a hip app-designing start-up, write exactly the way your 23-year-old intern speaks. If you’re an investment broker for Boomers, you need to instill confidence through your communications. But any way you look at it, you need to create content that will build a rapport between you and your customers. Never alienate through word choice.
“It’s like in that moment, the whole universe existed to bring us together.”
Everyone loves a story and storytelling is one of the most engaging things you can do in content. Your business story should be encapsulated or flavor all of your communications. With your business story, you want to:
- Let people see a deeper side of you, one they identify strongly with
- Entertain and inspire them
- Showcase your customers as the hero (while you are the sage that helped)
Creating engaging content comes down to a few basics--knowing your ideal customer and what they need. Once you know them and the solutions to their challenges, you can begin bringing them exactly what they’re looking for and start creating a happy ending you’ll both love.
Need some help creating that special spark between you and your client? Download our free Content Creation Checklist.