In a personal conversation we can be straightforward and win our vis-à-vis over not just with words but with body language and eye contact. Getting sympathy, interest and action with the written word is, however, much more challenging.
Those who want their readers to feel addressed and avoid that they continue browsing or simply click away, have to phrase their message accurately. In marketing language we call it response optimization, which in other words mean “sensitivity for the sensitivities of the reader”.
For a high response rate and good performance of a campaign, make sure that you write for the reader, not for yourself. Write with empathy and switch the perspective for achieving that. If the reader needs information or has a problem to solve, presenting the benefits and advantages of your product or service must be the core message. Whether we talk about technical information, a product brochure, a promotion or press release, it is important to focus on the relevant information for the addressed target group. The advantage for the sender is obvious: taking the perspective of the recipient makes the author more more authentic and convincing.
Adjust your choice of words to your readers, to ensure you are understood at all. A coherent approach is based on the terminology used by the target group itself. However, this does not mean that you only need to communicate in their language.
The style of language must of course correspond with the corporate identity of your company as well. In principle, the address should be personalized and the content should be phrased comprehensibly and concisely.
Speaking of conciseness, please consider that entertaining stories are easier to keep in mind and probably bring so much fun that readers even share them. In particular, storytelling has the advantage of making a complex issue more enjoyable and readable. However, don't forget that the content has to well structured, to meet the exact needs of your target group. For example, journalists have a completely different expectation towards the presentation of content and the information structure as for instance visitors of an e-commerce website.
The web is changing our reading habits and our standards regarding information and content. While we read printed text in a linear manner, we read complex hypertexts on the web, which means linked texts on several levels, supplemented by multimedia elements. With cross-references, pop-up windows, pictures, videos, display here and there - often there is a sort of visual overload, so that a user can easily lose the plot and click away. Therefore, do not drown your website in information, but make it reader-friendly with a functional and clear layout, intuitive navigation and the right dose of multimedia applications.
In the end, offering the user valuable content is paramount, it makes a site interesting and attractive with the right balanced mix of news, offers, entertainment, advice, knowledge and interaction. A combination of several different online channels, such as the company website and/or blog, social media, online PR or video portals, is recommended.
And here content marketing comes into play. Especially those who are not already focused on the brand and product, and are looking for information, comparisons, advice or solutions on the web first, need to be provided with useful, highly informative content. This content should be texted wisely, which means that the content itself should be optimized for search engines for easy indexing. Here again, being familiar with the vocabulary of your target group is essential, as the text must include keywords and key phrases which your target group would most likely use for its search to find your message.
For content marketing at it's best, it is probably a good idea to let an interdisciplinary team consisting of content manager, editor, web professional and social media manager take care of your website. Your assigned agency should be capable of forming such an expert team flexibly with the aid of their network of experts.
By Daniela La Marca