Want to know the secret to create captivating content? Hint: it’s not about wit, creativity, or your writing skills.
The secret to writing captivating, engaging content consists of two initial steps.
1) You need to really understand your brand
2) You need to know your audience and what problems they have.
The first step of brand clarity does take a lot of intentional work and energy. The second step of knowing your audience also takes a lot of intentional work and energy.
In my experience, most businesses don’t take the time to understand their brand and audience and that’s why their content falls flat.
But wait! There’s also a third step…and it’s a bit harder to quantify and measure.
The third, CRUCIAL step: you have to bring your personality into your content.
You’re no longer in high school where you have to write an essay about The Great Gatsby (although I did love that book). Now, as a business owner, your writing is meant to create an emotional connection and bond between your brand and your audience so that you can get more sales! You no longer have to please your AP English teacher to get an A+.
If you’re able to understand your brand, know your audience, and bring your personality into your stories – you will be creating content that shines in no time.
Step 1: Clarify Your Brand
This may sound simple but trust me, take the time to write out the following: your mission, your promise to your customer, the problems you solve, what makes you stand out from competitors. Get to know your super-powers and your brand’s secret sauce through this reflection exercise.
Then, for each piece of content you write, establish the purpose and see how it aligns with the overall mission of your brand. This will not only help set expectations with your audience, but it will also give you more clarity on what you should create.
Step 2: Know Thy Audience
If you don’t have a clear understanding of your target audience, you’ll find that it’s easy to get lost in the noise.
Social media makes it so seamless to conduct on-going market research so there’s no reason not to embed it in your overall content creation process. Ask a few open-ended questions, conduct polls online, interact with your audience in your DMs.
You can take it a step further by hopping on 15-30 minute phone calls with your ideal clients to get really deep into their pain-points and desires.
As a former market researcher, I truly believe in the power of taking a walk in your audience’s shoes. I personally became a much more effective content creator through research.
Step 3: Let your personality shine!
If you want to create content that resonates with your audience, put your content to the coffee chat test. Are you writing/speaking the same way you would be talking about this topic with a friend over coffee? Are you are evoking the same kind of emotions, are you hitting the same sort of vulnerability, and are you conveying the same level of honesty? The grammar, punctuation, and style will clearly vary between the two scenarios the core message should stay consistent.
You can use this framework over and over again as you continue to grow and evolve as a business. You’ll want to rinse and repeat and continue to create so you can develop an intuitive feel of what will land with your audience, and what will fall flat.
At the end of the day, there are only so many tools, resources, and blog posts you can read before you get out there yourself and try it out. At some point, you just have to get out there and create!