It’s a crazy fast world out there and nobody has time for anything!
This sad, but true, fact makes marketing your products or services one of the most challenging tasks in your business. You need to find that great mix of creativity, problem solving and business acumen just to be moderately successful.
It’s easy right?
All you need is a product or service that solves a problem and then tell everybody why it will make their life better. Okay, maybe a lot easier said than done because like I said before nobody has time for anything.
So, the question isn’t in the ‘what’ but in the ‘how?’ How are you going to ensure your marketing messages truly gets received?
A difficult question in its own right becomes even harder when you consider we live in a world where you’re most likely trying to reach your target audience through a screen. Your now faced with building that deep connection of trust with your prospects through an inanimate object.
It may seem impossible it can be done.
Luckily, there are certain principles that are mainstays of the marketing arsenal. Timeless techniques that help reach your marketing goals by connecting with your audience. These fundamentals, that regardless of the medium you’re working in, will guide your message through the noise and help reach the people you want to.
Finding ways to connect with your audience in today’s world will always be a battle that, with some tact, can be won. With that in mind, keep these 9 principle in mind while working on your marketing messages and you’ll win more often than not.
1) Write Shorter Sentences
Do you want to know what’s annoying as a reader?
Large block of text and long sentences. We have enough problems getting our messages to stick in this ‘shrinking attention-span’ world than to make our audience work for it.
People don’t want there time wasted and long sentences do just that. Make your writing easy to read with short sentences and your readers will love you for it.
Shorter sentences will help get your points across in a timely manner and, since, internet readers are mostly scanners, your writing will be easier to digest.
2) Use Emotional Words
The only concept that transcends every generation, gender and economic background is human emotion.
Everybody feels something, whether that’s laughing, crying or inspired and the written word can tap into whatever emotion you want your audience to feel.
Not only does it spice up your writing, but specific word can emphasize the important parts of your writing. These trigger (internal link to a post about trigger words) words are the key to getting your marketing messages across.
We all make buying decisions based on emotion not logic. Our emotional excitement to what we’ll feel when we own that thing will spring us into action. After we’ve bought it, we rationalize to ourselves with logic but not before.
Emotions always come first, so move your audience with feelings.
3) Tell Stories
Stories make the world go round!
We were raised on them, learned through them and remembered the good ones to pass down.
Since the first caveman carved on rocks, stories have been the universal form of communications.
In the chaos of the daily marketing grind we can easily get overwhelmed by the next new trend or fad. But, there is no sense re-inventing the wheel. Today’s consumers want experience and there is no better way to give them one than to tell them a story.
A story about your business on your website.
A story to introduce a business problem at the beginning of a blog post or video post.
As an entrepreneur there are so many ways you can fit this time and true tactic into your marketing. You can use all the action or emotional words you want but if they are not complimented by a quality crafted story then your writing will be forgotten.
The easiest and best way to turn your writing from just words on a paper to an experience that your audience will remember is through storytelling.
4) Involve Your Audience
Add How to engage an audience | Padraig Hyland | TEDxTallaght
We all know interaction (more on that later) is a popular buzz word in today’s marketing world but it’s really important.
You should always be looking for ways to include your audience in you content.
You’re taking them on a journey with your content and including them in it will keep them engaged longer. Doing this can be as simple as maintaining a 2nd person writing style by including words like ‘you’ and ‘your.’
You could ask a question at the beginning that keeps them on the page looking for the answer or ask them to leave a comment to get them involved. Whatever the case may be, always approach your marketing with a customer first mentality asking yourself how you can make your audience feel apart of your message.
When you look for ways in your content to involve your audience your marketing messages have a lot more empathy.
One of the more difficult tasks today is connecting with your audience and holding their attention long enough for them to be customers. And, you have to do this without being face-to-face.
The reality is as much as we are an always connected world we seem to be increasingly more disconnected. We find ourselves having to build trusting relationships over a screen.
Although it can seem difficult at times, it’s still possible by keeping your audience engaged through involving your audience..
5) Deliver Value
Everybody wants something!
The Internet is full of websites that want something from you. Whether it’s an email address, a follow, a subscribe or a like, sometimes it can feel like everyone is taking and not giving.
The first thing to realize, regardless of the industry you’re in, is that you’re a problem-solver. Your audience came to your website because they think you can solve their pressing issue. Now, it’s time to prove them right.
Your content should always help to solve the problem your prospect has at the time. If you can only remember one thing on this list it’s this point. If you work to always deliver value your audience will appreciate it and turn to you for your solutions.
6) Personalize Your Marketing
About 75% of the content around the web is boring. Sure, there is a lot of information on a lot of topics but it’s still bland. The posts that stand out, however, are the ones that get personal.
Who are you trying to reach with your content?
Do you know them personally? Intimately? Psychologically?
The main purpose of content marketing is to help build your brand’s credibility by showing off your expertise in your chosen professional but that’s not all it has to be. By understanding your customers needs and the common problems they run into you can bring it back to the personal.
Take the time to get to know your customer and your writing will start speaking to them almost automatically.
Tell a story about what inspired you to write this post to begin with. Maybe it’s a common problem you always hear about and it comes with an easy solution. Or maybe, its a change in your industry that you know your audience needs to know.
Whatever the case may be there is always room to add in personal touches to bring the connection between you and your customers closer.
7) Bring It To Life With Color
Content can be boring when it’s just a screen full of plain text and nothing else.
The very thought of a large grouped black text on a white screen with no color probably makes you yawn.
That’s why ever post you publish should, at the very least, have at least two to three images within in. This make it less like intimidating text book your audience dreads reading and more like something they may be interested in.
The use of images can also help give your viewer visual cues to what the various sections of your writing is about.
If you want to get really engaging look for places within your post to add short videos, gifs or slideshares. This will not only give the page more color but add in a sprinkle of interaction for good measure.
Remember, your audience wants the information you’re providing but they don’t want it to feel like work. Spicing up your content with visuals it will instantly give a feeling of ease when they first reach your page.
8) Paint a Picture
Colorful descriptions can be a writers best friend and a reader’s delight.
So much of the internet is instructional with bland writing, sometimes even too much industry jargon that no body really understands. Through in a few buzz words like transparency or disruption and you have the making of most blog posts out there.
We try to make it through a sentence but there’s only so much we can take before our eyes start closing and we’re clicking the back button.
If you want to engage and connect with audience paint a vivid picture in their minds. Make them use their imagination as you guide through your solution to their problem.
This is where you can take them on a journey and leave them wanting to come back for more because not only do you help them but you do it in such a colorful way. NEED EXAMPLE
9) Get Them Out of There Seats
Interaction is your real mission..
Let me ask, what would you rather read:
- A blog post that listed instructions in a preachy kin of way?
- Or, a post that asked you questions, left you with a challenge and provided value?
If you’re like me, you’ll probably pick the latter of the two questions. On average people prefer to be challenged just enough to feel the sense of accomplishment.
As mentioned before, providing value is important with every piece of content you write or record but to get that value to sink in you have to involve your audience.
Ask the reader to leave a comment, run a fun a poll or contest or ask a question that leaves them thinking. When you do this your audience will feel like they’re part of your business and will more likely do business with you when it comes time to purchase.
Let’s face it, content on the web is pretty much all the same. The same information packaged a little differently and most posts that resemble more of the writer telling you what to do instead of taking you on a journey.
But, if you’re continuously looking for ways to connect with your audience and use a few tips from above, you’ll make your content stand out in the masses.
And, in the end, that’s isn’t that what you really want?