April 05, 2017
When it comes to the content game…yes, I’m calling it the content game…engagement is probably the most important aspect of creating high-quality content. You can write about interesting topics, your grammar may be impeccable, you can have great social media coverage, and you might post regularly, but if you fail to capture the reader’s attention and hold it throughout the message, all is lost.
There is a plethora of engagement errors people make when creating content – check out our Rules of Engagement series for more – but one of the biggest and most heinous offences is writing about yourself. That’s right, the business owner, blogger or content writer that takes on an “I”, “Me”, “We” kind of mentality and proceeds to ramble on and on about how wonderful the company or product is, how many awards they have won or why you should choose them.
If you are guilty of this serious content writing transgression, don’t be too hard on yourself, you have a lot of company. The key is to learn the truth and change your ways, so the rest of us don’t have to read that self-righteous babble any longer. Keep reading.
Guess Who Cares About You?
In the larger scheme of life, there are likely scores of people who think you are just wonderful. However, when it comes to your online content, the answer is NOBODY. A tough pill to swallow for many; especially in this age of ultra-sensitivity and being offended by even the most lighthearted comments.
But it’s true. Nobody cares about you…feel free to grab a tissue. The absolute last thing your prospects or customers want to read about when they click through to your website, blog post or landing page, is you.
What Your Prospects Really Care About
In every single situation, no matter what the platform or the goal; your prospects want to know what’s in it for them. This is true 100% of the time, it has always been true, and it always will be true. You are not going to continue reading any type of message if it has no inherent value to you.
Whether you want to purchase a cool product, find a great deal, learn information on how to send money to a charity or find instructions on assembling your kid’s bike, the content must benefit the person reading it. All the prospect wants to know is, “what’s in it for me?”
Getting Out of Your Own Ego
The way you make your content more about your prospects and less about you is to hop out of your own ego and into theirs. As you are writing, imagine what the person reading it would want to see to take the action you want them to take.
This is usually accomplished by outlining the benefits of your product, offer, message, etc. and by writing conversationally, in the 2nd person. A quick word about benefits; it’s easy to mistake them for features, but they aren’t the same thing. Anti-lock brakes are a feature of a car, but being a better parent because you can stop on a dime and save your kids is a benefit. See the difference?
Now, remember what we said above about engagement being the most important aspect of high-quality content?
It is writing conversationally in the 2nd person that enables you to accomplish that, and to quit writing about yourself. We have said this before, and we will probably say it again…imagine you are having a conversation with just one person. Envision the ideal prospect in your mind and speak directly to him as you create your content.
If you can focus on the engagement element, step outside your own head and speak directly to the person you
want to buy your product, sign up for your newsletter or join your blog, you will be reformed, and your content will be forever changed. If you’d like some help sorting it out, or just want an expert to do it all so you can focus on what you do best, contact The Content Company today.
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