Write for your audience, not robots and internal teams

When it comes to ranking highly, the first thing you should define is exactly what does your target audience want to know? This is by no means the same as what do you want to tell them as a company, nor what do the robots and spiders want to crawl.

Sure you want to let the readers (both ongoing and potential customers) know about how great your products or services are. But you shouldn’t be doing this in such a way that it appears as if you’re telling them what you think they want to hear. Rather, you should be focusing your content on what you believe they want to hear, and in turn you will be rewarded with better rankings through greater value in content. This is exactly how effective Content Marketing works. The better the content, the more back links it acquires, the more social shares it gains, the more it contributes towards high search rankings. Here are 4 key tips to make sure your content does exactly that.

Get to know your customers

The most successful way to write content relevant to your audience is by getting to know them. Who is your average customer? What does he likes/dislike, what does he tend to be interested in when it comes to your business, and even beyond? How do they consume media? What keeps them awake at night!? An effective way of determining this is through buyerpersonas.

By understanding who will be reading your content and what will they be hoping to gain from it you should be able to write it and provide messaging in such as way that it will engage and interest them. In other words, what you’re doing is giving them a reason to read it.

Provide helpful advice and information for your reader

Chances are your ongoing or potential customers will be reading your marketing article because you’re telling them something they want to know. For instance, if you’re a company which sells dog collars and accessories you may want to give them advice on how to properly groom their pet.

Make sure they can understand what you’re saying

Write clearly, without the use of jargon, and in a layout that’s easy to understand – with sub headings and nicely-spaced text rather than just a big lump of copy on the page (which will no doubt make them feel tired even just looking at it).

Emphasise what you’re saying with bullet points. Using the previous example you could write on article for pet owners on why it’s important to regularly groom their dog (or other animal).

You might also want to include another list of bullet points on what could happen to their pet if they fail to groom. At the end or during the article you could link to a couple of your products for grooming as reference. But the key is not to write the article as direct promotional material, rather it should be a helpful article which will aid the reader in some way by adding to their knowledge of a subject they’re already interested in (you know this, because they’ve come to your site, or opened your e-newsletter in the first place).

Don’t fret about alienating existing customers

Don’t worry too if the topic is very basic and something you’ve perhaps alluded to or outlined before in a previous text. That’s because often customers like to be reminded of the fundamentals and if they know about the subject matter already it’ll probably provide them with a bit of a boost as the fact they are already familiar with those points show they are already something of a ‘master’ in their particular field. Good valuable information and advice, will always be good valuable information and advice.

Allow them to show off a bit too by posting comments which will provide newer and potential customers with another pet owner like themselves to relate to.

In the end content marketing and messaging is about building a relationship with your audience and the only way you’ll do that is to get to know him or her and give them what they need, not what you want to tell them – otherwise you won’t see them for dust.

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