Is your audience in love with your content? Or do they read it only when there’s nothing more pressing to do. If your readers aren’t hooked on your content, you may be setting the bar too low. On today’s content-saturated Web, people ignore average content. They need more from you. They need your best. They need content that grabs them by the throat.
Your audience probably doesn’t need more raw information from you. The sheer quantity of data already on the Web is inconceivable. And search engines are getting better and better at indexing it.
Nor do they need you to entertain them. C’mon, you’re competing with awkward wedding photos, adorable pet tricks, and Gangnam Style.
Here’s your only hope:
Write something that could change their lives.
Not completely. Maybe not even in big ways. But change something inside them.
How? Well, it’s different for everybody and for every industry. This list will show you where to start your search. Along the way, I’ll provide examples from the world’s favorite hi-tech company. No, not Apple — GetResponse.
1. Appeal to immediate gratification.
One definition of content marketing is: “advertising that’s too good to throw away.” By that standard, offers are content too. At GetResponse, we think carefully about the needs of our market. Then we create a solution, package it in an irresistible offer, and craft a call the action. We think it’s the right thing to do for our company and for our customers.
People come to you, not because you’re so wonderful, but because they yearn for something. Maybe it’s to satisfy their appetite for food, to increase their knowledge, or to learn how to make more money. So make them an offer that satisfies an immediate, pressing need.
2. Help them feel secure.
You don’t have to sell burglar alarms to provide security. GetResponse uses this idea in several ways. We make sure your email gets delivered at least 99.5 percent of the time. We improve your company’s future by helping increase your profitability. And we take the hassle of software maintenance off your shoulders. For business people, that’s true security — and it’s worth writing about.
People feel more secure when they take care of their health, make their business stronger, help their kids. How could you position your product or service in a way that promotes feelings of security.
3. Create a sense of community.
What kinds of people are in the GetResponse community? We attract entrepreneurial types (like you) whether they work as sole proprietors, heads of marketing departments, or in large companies. The love to stay in touch with their audience using content that is personal, creative, and automated. We keep tabs on what our community likes and provide content that appeals to them.
It’s not easy to build a community. But companies that pull it off generate customer loyalty, repeat business, and word-of-mouth advertising. So think deeply about your best customers. Then produce content to appeal just to them. You’ll soon be a rallying point for your special kind of people.
4. Make them feel better about themselves.
Many businesses struggle with missed opportunities. Our business model involves creating tools and content that help you seize those opportunities. When our customers launch a successful campaign, they send testimonials to express their pride, new-found confidence, and sense of accomplishment. We love it.
Your audience members are wrestling with problems within your area of expertise. They need to know you’re working hard for them. That you understand what they’re going through. That you believe in them. So let ‘em know.
5. Give them a sense of mastery.
Our loyal readers are devoted to mastering the art and science of marketing. So we publish great ideas for mastering your online communication skills, marketing chops, and money-making skills.
You probably take your knowledge for granted. That’s because you’ve mastered it. Your audience lacks that same sense of mastery. They may never reach your level, but your content can increase their understanding, help them develop skills, and provide valuable insights.
6. Provide a beautiful environment.
GetResponse doesn’t redecorate homes or sell artwork. But we do provide professional email design tools as part of our email marketing platform. And we provide content that shows our customers how to use them to create their own beautiful online environment.
Certain businesses can shine in this area: home improvement contractors, landscapers, interior decorators, artists. Other types of businesses may need to use their creativity. But imagine how you could stand out with this one.
7. Encourage them to play a bigger game.
Since the beginning, GetResponse has focused on a mission: providing cutting-edge technologies that enable companies of any size to compete with even the largest players in their industry.
Your audience may be trying to cope — and that’s great. But you may be able to take them beyond coping to a new way of life, one where they play their biggest game. What a great thing that would be.
Hierarchy of needs
Where did these 7 topics come from? I’d love to take credit. But I admit I adapted them from one of the pioneers of psychology — Abraham Maslow. They are based on Maslow’s pyramid of needs.
His list included only five, but other writers have used his thought process to add useful steps. The hierarchy is adaptable for all kinds of industries and audiences.
How the hierarchy work
Items that are low on the list are basic: things needed in order to stay alive and be secure. Those higher on the list are about self-actualization: living a beautiful life and being all you can be. Those in the middle are… well, in the middle.
A person struggling with the basic necessities may not be open to messages about self-actualization. Conversely, those with self-mastery and a nice environment may not be enticed by immediate gratification or security.
Broadening your appeal.
But that’s the beauty of content marketing: you don’t have to tell your entire story at once. You can focus on each item in turn — nuggets of hierarchical content, each designed to appeal to a narrow slice of your audience.
This keeps you focused on your niche and makes your overall message attractive to a wider cross-section of people.
Where’re your audience?
Are some of your readers struggling to keep their business alive? Seeking security?
Do they need closer relationships? Want to feel better about the future?
Do they want to master a skill? Live a beautiful life? Or play a bigger game?
And as a member of the GetResponse community, where are you on this hierarchy?
No matter where you are, we’re with you. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to changes your life — maybe a little, maybe a lot, always for the better.