Whether you are writing content for your website, an email, advertisement, or press release the focus should be on your customer, your target market.
To make it easier to digest I am going to compare writing good customer centric content to having a good conversation. Just like a good conversation, writing good content for your customer is a two way street, it can’t be one sided to be focused on you. This is hard because most people like talking about how great their services or products are. It’s all well and good that you know, but isn’t the point of content to convince your customer how good your products and services are?
Walk a mile in their shoes – for a while
Good content addresses a need your customers have, but awesome content proves you understand their situation, you’ve been there too, and you know how to help. Be empathetic. Sometimes you are so focused on your product, and you know why its great, but you forget why people buy from you. Huge problem. Do you research to get to know your customer, be empathetic. In a conversation you would expect the other party to get to know you, to understand you, and know how to help. Show your customer why you are the best solution to their need, they’ll stick around longer.
I’ll say it again; it’s not all about you.
I get it, you’re great according to you, but how does that help me. It’s one thing to say you are better than a competitor, but it is a different story if you tell me why you are my best option. Speak directly to the reader addressing them as “you”, not “our customers.” Remember, humans respond to empathy and it’s their point of view that matters, not your company’s. Read the next sentence you write about your company or products, if it is full of “we’s” and “I’s” try it again. It’s hard not to talk about yourself when you are so entrenched in your company’s benefits, believe me, I deal with it every day. Your content sells more when you speak to the reader, about the reader. Like a conversation you must consider your customers wants, needs, and opinions. Not just your own. If you talked about you all night you would find the other party making secret hand signal at their friends to get them out of there. (Not like I’ve ever done that or anything)
Speak my language please.
Have you ever spoken to someone for an extended period of time and left the conversation going “uh what?”. Don’t leave your customers with that feeling. Speak in their language. If you’re an industry that has insider terms, try to avoid them. Just because you know what they mean doesn’t mean your customer will. You don’t want to sound too insider, because then the outsiders (potentially your customers) will be left on the outside and not understand why they should buy from you. Sure, many of them may know what the terms mean, but you are better off speaking in plain old English so that everyone understands. If you were out to dinner and you using words your date didn’t understand, you can bet you won’t be having a second date.
Not everyone is buying what you are selling, so don’t sell to everyone
Remember the 80/20 rule. Get to know the 20% of the market who is interested in buying from you now. Are they the decision makers, does your product benefit them, do they have other people to convince ( a significant other, mom, dad, etc.) It’s not how well you know your product that is going to determine the level of your sales and your success; it’s how well you know your customer. Sometimes the conversation is going to go no where, and that’s ok, not everyone hits it off. Make sure you are prepared for that conversation that will mean something, and results in a success.
Writing for customers is not easy, and writing content can be very time consuming. It is important to do your research and make sure you know who your target market is before you spend the time to write. Every time you write a sentence make sure it is customer centric and answers the question “so what”- basically make sure every sentence