In content marketing, it’s all about the drive-by. A measly 16 percent of people actually read what you write in its entirety. And that’s why you should obsess over every word.
Seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it? Why should you take the time to carefully craft content when 50 percent of readers jump off your page in less than 10 seconds? Because personalized content delivers — if you do it right.
Personalize the Content
It’s your job to meet your customers on their level, where they feel most comfortable. They cherry-pick sentences, phrases and words when they don’t have time to read. To maximize ROI, custom content needs to be scan-friendly. Here’s how:
- Write concise sentences. No one has the time or patience for you to wax philosophical (even if you think it’s riveting). Aim for sentences with 16 words or less.
- Use bold text and bulletpoints (like the one introducing this sentence) to highlight key takeaways.
- Follow the inverted pyramid guide to journalism so you don’t bury your lead. Begin with your conclusion and build your case.
- Paragraphs should be easily digestible. Big blocks of content are a turn-off, especially if they don’t focus on one idea at a time.
- Provide links to supplemental information throughout your copy. Links empower the reader by giving them the option to learn more.
Personalize the Language
We’ve said it before, and we will say it again: Content marketing is all about your customers. No one cares about you (except your mom; you can probably count on her). If you want to win eyeballs, develop buyer personas. Buyers are 48 percent more likely to consider brands that personalize content they want to consume.
Here’s what they want:
- Be conversational.
You want to build a relationship with your customers and prospects, right? Don’t talk at them, talk to them. Use personal pronouns such as “you” and “us” to show you’re in the trenches with them, that you understand their issues and are focused on solutions.
[aesop_quote type=”block” background=”#374a5c” text=”#ffffff” align=”center” size=”2″ quote=”Words should not require a Google search” parallax=”off” direction=”left”]
- Be simple.
Words should not require a Google search. The ones that impressed your college professor will frustrate your audience. Ditch big words for those that are three syllables or less whenever possible.
- Avoid prepositional phrases and clauses that just add bulk to your copy.
Example: “To be fair to all of our customers and allow time for shipping, Valentine’s Day orders are due by February 10th.” Yawn. Save time by getting right to the point: “Valentine’s orders must be received by February 10th.”
- Be a friend.
If you manage your brand’s Facebook page, you have probably been inspired by behavior-triggered email. When you don’t post for a few days, you receive call-to-action reminders from Facebook that are hard to ignore: “You haven’t posted in 6 days.” “The people who like your page haven’t heard from you in a while.” Use the same tactic on your customers. Personalized content trigger emails have a 152 percent higher open rate compared to traditional emails. You can use them to welcome, cross-sell, up-sell or engage with your customers on their level. Customers overwhelmingly favor tailored reminders over mass emails.
- Be energetic.
Readers prefer an active voice over a passive voice. Verbs generate the most shares on Twitter. Write according to their preferences. Active example: “Who taught you to write content?” Passive example: “By whom were you taught to write content?” Huge difference.
- Be present.
Your audience gives you golden nuggets of information in the form of comments, emails and tweets. Read them! Gather their feedback and give them the content they want.
Do you think personalized contents are important? Why or why not?