Dull content can cause you to miss out on opportunities you’ll never know about. Here’s how to get and keep the attention of your audience, and get the results you want.
Know your audience
This point cannot be stressed enough! Familiarity keeps readers engaged, and provides clues on how to speak to them.
Don’t just consider obvious demographics like age, race, gender or geography. Put on your thinking cap and get into their heads.
What unique traits do they have? Do your homework and find out what product brands, television shows and other available data have been linked to your audience. Connect the dots.
Use this data to develop a keyword list which can be used for content. Use the same words your audience uses, and keep it simple. Don’t overload your content with too many adjectives. This can dilute your message. Limit your headline to one or two adjectives, and don’t use more than three in one sentence.
Your keyword list can also be used to put together one or two catch phrases about your product or service, which can be used for your website and marketing materials.
Before you can get results, your content has to stand out. You can do this by:
- Identifying an aspect of your message and relating it to a hot news topic
- Relating your product or service to a celebrity in a press release
- Retweeting someone famous and tying the tweet in with what you’re selling
- Replying to a celebrity tweet with a link to your blog
- Positioning the content so it looks visually appealing (like I just did with these bullet points)
Getting your press release published in a newspaper or magazine is not as hard as you may think. First, make sure you send your piece to the right department. Is your press release more relevant to business start-ups, real estate or technology? Find the name of the editor for that section and call or email them.
Put together a pitch letter that highlights key points that make your press release newsworthy, and keep it brief. Again, tying your story in with a celebrity or current event can add leverage to your submission.
Some editors still pick up their phones. Take a chance and call them. A human voice will make you more memorable and keep your release from getting lost in a sea of emails. Let the editor know you will be emailing the release (tell them what the subject line will say) and tell them you will follow up in a day or two.
Getting others to endorse you is a powerful way to showcase your content. I have developed a technique for my clients called Crowdreferring®, which has achieved some amazing results. Begin by developing a list of “influencers.” This is a list of people you know (or know of) who are well connected.
Endorsers should be active networkers with loads of followers who fit your niche market. See if they would mention your brand in a blog post, Facebook or LinkedIn page, retweet your post, put their testimonial on your website, allow you to be a guest blogger or their site, or send your flyer or letter to their email list.
Of course, a little incentive always helps. Show your love by offering tickets to your event, printing their logo on your site or brochure as a “sponsor,” or giving them a free sample of your product or service.
You can also set yourself apart by establishing yourself as an expert. Use statistics, surveys, and testimonials to show you know what you’re talking about. Don’t be too verbose or hung up on your “years of experience in the industry.” People don’t care about that as much as they care about what you can do for them. Inspire confidence in your work and you will get the response you want.
Keep it going
Entrepreneurs fail to get the results they want simply because they don’t follow up. No follow up means no money.
To stay connected to your audience, you need compelling content which arrives quickly and consistently.
Use your keyword list and catch phrases to develop 4-5 messages, each designed to lead your audience to take action. Spend some time developing the subject line of your email. This is what will get readers to click.
Your campaign may include: an introductory/welcome/thank you letter, free gift offer (with links to your “top ten” list, video or ebook), offer for a premium product or service. Your newsletters, relevant RSS feeds and tweets should be ongoing.
Hootsuite allows you to write and schedule tweets and posts in advance. Subscribe to a reliable autoresponder service to keep you connected to your audience 24/7. Don’t be afraid to send multiple emails within a short time. Remember the slogan, “Nothing sells like repetition.”
5-Star writer Veronica M‘s business writing services include content for websites, blogs, social media, brochures, product descriptions, news articles, media campaigns, grants, and business plans.