Content is your way of communicating with your audience. Whether you’re a B2B Or B2C business, the whole point is that content is your medium of communicating with PEOPLE. And people, are emotional beings. They feel fear, love, envy, greed, anger and joy.
Most people think that if you’re writing to a business audience, your content needs to be serious and factual, and if you’re writing to a consumer focussed audience, content needs to be light hearted and non-serious.
But isn’t this approach limiting the potential to experiment and create innovative content? Isn’t it limiting the possibilities of connecting with your audience in new and different ways?
Compare these 2 headlines:
Headline 1: 5 Ways Of Reducing Stress
Headline 2: Don’t Worry, Be Happy. Feel Joy NOW.
Now imagine if your audience comprises people going through a depression, which one are they more likely to click on and read? Do you think they’re in the state of mind to click on Headline 1 to try and rationally arrive at a solution to their problem? Or do you think they’re more likely to click on headline 2 because something about that headline gives them HOPE?
I’d say Headline 2. Why? Because it’s tapping into the emotions of your audience. It’s addressing how your audience is FEELING and is solving a problem for their emotional wellbeing.
Looking at this in the context of business content, which is what I’ve been helping most of my clients with, it’s important to be mindful of both: what your audience is currently feeling, and how you want them to feel after they’ve read your post.
Content is about creating an experience for your audience. While it’s important to not get carried away by your emotions when you’re in business, I’d assertively say that content itself needs to be emotional and connect with your audience emotionally. So if you’re creating business content for your audience, understand that you’re still writing for people at the end of the day!
Business is data driven, content is emotions driven. Business is about how you can sell more, content is about how you can connect more. Business is about cutting costs, content is about cutting boredom. Business is about profits, content is about people. I think it’s absolutely vital to understand this difference, in order to use content marketing for business success.
So how can you create effective and awesome content?
1. Understand that Content May Take Time To Generate An ROI
Understand that while content is definitely going to help you grow your business, it may not yield an ROI until your audience begins to trust you, love you and connect with you at a deeper level. This takes time. The goal of your content is to make your audience fall in love with it, so they look forward to the next piece of content you’re going to publish by becoming email subscribers.
The only way you can do that is by truly understanding your audience’s pains, frustrations, joys, fears and aspirations. Too many times this step is just skipped, only to realise, after spending a few thousand dollars, that your content has been ineffective. Don’t waste your precious time and resources!
2. Make Your Content Emotional
While it’s important to provide actionable advice in your content, don’t forget, while sitting behind your computer screen typing and designing content, that you’re a person creating content for people. With every line you write, think: “How is this going to make my audience feel?”. With every image or video you publish, ask yourself: “What feelings would this visual/video clip bring out in my audience?”. When you ask these deeper questions, not only will you start creating content that’s appealing to your audience, you’ll begin to see purpose in your work. You’ll fuel your spirit to create real value for your audience.
3. Make Your Content Fun. Pump Life Into It!
Add a GIF, an image or video to your content to make it fun & engaging. By mixing up written content with visuals and video, you’re stimulating different parts of your readers brains, which breaks the monotony and converts them from passive readers to active readers. It’s too easy to slip into a ‘lethargic’ mode of reading, where your readers fall prey to procrastination and don’t take any action on your content. The onus is on you to entertain and engage them, to fill them with energy and spur them to take action.
If you’ve ever attended a seminar or talk with a speaker who is really EXCITED about their topic, compared to one who is reading solid and actionable points with no feeling whatsoever, you’re more likely to hear the one with more enthusiasm. Yes? It’s the psychology of influence.
The more energy you put into your content, the higher the chances of that energy flowing into your reader’s minds to take concrete action and become email subscribers. So write from a place of inspiration and positive emotion!
4. Content Isn’t Just Words. It’s Everything.
The word “content” is usually construed as written content by most people in the industry. This doesn’t do justice to the vastness of the topic. Content, basically means information. And information can be presented in many different ways. Taking a comprehensive approach to content involves using a combination of different formats, like Info Graphics, Animated Videos, GIF’s, words and images, with a deep understanding of your audience. Don’t think of search engines when you’re creating content, think about your customers. Because when you think about your customers and they start to love what you produce, SEO will happen organically.
As Maya Angelou said: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” So give your content an interesting twist, a unique angle, or an X-factor by appealing to the emotions of your readers, that’s where the magic lies.