There’s this piece of advice that you may already know on some deep level to be true. It’s one of the big reasons behind why top blog posts, landing pages, ads, and other content marketing pieces are so remarkably successful. Time and time again, you see this advice actively used to create engaging content, but it’s rarely spoken about outright.
The truth in creating content
In terms of content, this is the truth: It’s all about your audience. It’s not about you. Your audience actually prefers that. (Before you start worrying – I promise, we’ll unpack this idea below. Trust me, you’re important! We’ll come back to where you come in.)
Your content could be missing the mark, without you being aware of it. This can mean the difference between capturing the attention of your audience, or them looking elsewhere for solutions and content that directly speak to them.
If your existing content or copy features an awful lot of you or what works for you – it might not be working in your favor. Overall, it may not be effective and engaging your target audience.
How to create engaging content
The extremely simple advice?
Change “I” and “my” to “you” and “your”.
When writing and creating your content, this edit is monumental. Shifting the focus from you – to the audience – is one of the most key and basic ways to engage the user in a narrative that makes them feel involved and engaged. It’s a way for you, as a marketer, entrepreneur, blogger, subject matter expert, or business leader, to take your product, services, blog, or piece of advice – and then translate it into a vision of success and reality that can be attained by your audience. It translates usefulness and benefit directly to your audience. In that way, your content better hits its mark.
Here’s why that is.
Your experiences don’t necessarily equate to a viable and repeatable experience for your audience. If you hone in on your experience, there’s no focus on how your offering solves your audience’s problems. They think “Great! But will I get the same results?” Meaning, if you don’t overcome their obstacles, it can only be seen that your promoted item or content is geared to solve a problem in one single case – you! Is your experience, product, or advice repeatable? Can others succeed or benefit from what you’re offering or discussing?
To answer that, you need to review your content. Going forward, you have to paint the portrait of your user and their experience throughout your content to help them see the benefit and success on their terms. Does your content communicate this clearly?
If you’re writing content, or even ad copy that’s geared for your target audience, it has to come out directly focused on them. (Sounds obvious, but sometimes this may be easier said than done.)
How to use “you” to create engaging content
Since you’re on Camille Outside The Box, we’re going to apply this advice right away.
While it might be tempting to assert your narrative in building out the solution that has helped X users, X number of times in X number of industries, you really want to strengthen your content using “you” inspired statements and questions.
You might use opportunities like the following:
- Ask questions that define your audience’s problems
- Replace “I” with “you” in email subject lines and post headlines (Greg Luther Coaching has some powerful article headlines we’re itching to click)
- Include clear benefit statements so your audience knows how your content is helpful for them (just look at these blue sub-headings in Smart Marketer)
- Craft your newsletter signup so that your user knows not just what they will get in their inbox, but why it’s beneficial for them (Sticky Notes is the golden standard here)
- Start your paid ads with wording that feels like a conversation focused on your audience
Have you ever found yourself on a landing page for an online course or a product page where the content really spoke to you in making a purchase decision? Did you feel like they were reading your mind? Did they share points like the above areas and resources?
If the answer is “yes”, you’re on track with seeing how the use of “you” can be powerfully engaging.
How to include “I”
This is the part where we come back to add your two cents. (You’re an important piece of the equation!) Your expertise lends immense credibility in marketing your offerings. After all, your business, blog, newsletter, product, or service would be nothing without you spearheading things.
If you have a strong background in your subject matter, product, or service – share it!
If you’re featured on X website, or have X amount of sales, include that!
However, don’t wax on without an end in sight. (This is where you start to lose people who came for the helpful content.) Weave your narrative throughout your content to strengthen your offerings, and provide your insight, connecting your story with how it relates to your audience.
Here are some other ideas to tie in your narrative, to create engaging content:
- Speak to challenges that you have overcome that you can instruct others on how to overcome or save time in solving, before they’ve reached them
- Speak to your story in ways that directly parallel your audience’s journey right now
- Provide your unique, personal recommendations in a dedicated website area or post on your platform
- Create an about page that includes your full story and link within your content for your audience to “Read More”
- Create and promote content as directly “breaking down the success” you’ve had into bite-sized pieces for your audience
- Have an “as featured in” tab for collaborations and press articles to share your story further
Your takeaway in creating content to directly involve your audience.
Use “you” and “your” more often in crafting engaging content to involve users with what you’re sharing, wherever your content may be. Turn “I” and “my” statements in your headlines, content marketing, and ad copy, into “you” as frequently as it makes sense. Write content that will catch the eye of your audience and make them feel as though your words, products, and services are directly speaking to their needs. By doing so, you’ve cracked the code!