It starts with that dry, gritty feeling in our eyes. Blinking does not solve it. In a hypnotic state, our eyes stare at the screen; our minds have the consistency of a wet sponge. Content fatigue! The tiredness that comes from scrolling through too many similar posts.
We have considered the challenge of communicating when there is misinformation and the importance of clarity in our messaging in previous posts. How do we write content that not only engages our customers or clients but sets us apart in a crowded field? Content that combats content fatigue.
It is easy to fall into the temptation of thinking we need to be flashier, posts with more potent special effects. While gimmicks may attract initial attention, if we want to convert into a solid core of loyal clients and have a reputation for professional, helpful information, we come back to the question of how we create content that sets us apart?
What will set us apart is creating authentic, personal connections with our clients and customers. There is no magic to this; it is simply the skills we use in our face-to-face interactions applied to the content we provide online.
When you meet a person and are developing a business relationship or a personal friendship, you show interest in what the other person does, their interests, and commonalities between the two of you. When you are developing content for your clients and customers, the same applies. Do you know their interests, concerns, and issues they are mulling over while scrolling through their online content? When you write, do you write to a particular person, or is it simply to an amorphous group called “the client”?
When you write to a particular person, the difference is, your content will be more specific; it will target that person’s concerns and be relevant to them and hence to others. Tamsen Webster, CEO at Find the Red Thread advises focusing on relevance over remarkableness. To focus on relevance, we need to know our customers.
When writing content for B2B, it is easy to write 101 content; however, this rarely engages clients. It is more helpful to write on niche topics or provide in-depth analysis that assists our clients to make sense of and understand the world around them.
While traffic and page views can be helpful indicators, the danger is over-reliance on these indicators can skew our messaging to high-volume, low-quality content to achieve broad reach when what we are seeking is in-depth, consistent growth.
Consistent, in-depth growth occurs when we begin to engage with our client base by providing opportunities to connect with our brand and our business. Sydni Craig-Hart, CEO of Smart Simple Marketing, believes our clients seek meaningful connections with others, and one of our essential roles as brands is to assist our clients in reaching their goals.
This brings us back to the centrality of clients. Whether we are in the B2B or B2C area, we need to know our clients and how we can add value. An example of this is the Morgan Stanley podcast “Thoughts on the Market”. Each episode is only three to nine minutes long and designed with the busy executive in mind. In three to nine minutes, the podcast adds value.
Another way to engage with clients is to make the content more conversational, ask questions, and go live. While going live may be uncomfortable, it does build personal connection and authenticity. Engaging with clients in this way demonstrates our respect for the fact that clients are no longer willing to be passive consumers of the information we provide. They want to be involved.
In making content more conversational, remember the importance of emotion-based content. It is easy to avoid emotions; however, each of us has an emotional landscape that is important to engage. Emotion-based content allows us to connect with our clients because it demonstrates our humanity. It also shows us solving our problems and challenges in less than perfect ways. This further builds our authenticity and credibility.
We can produce meaningful content for our clients. It takes the discipline to keep listening and getting to know our clients, the willingness to engage in a conversation with them and the courage to be emotionally honest, rather than hiding behind a façade.
Quality content wins over quantity, and while we may be tempted to post something because everyone else is, we need to stop and ask ourselves, Why? Why? Why? We should not post if we cannot come up with a valid reason after asking why three times.
Concentrate instead on authentic, handcrafted, relevant and personal material that meets the needs of your clients.