Creating compelling content is the first and foremost duty of any content marketing writer. But simply writing one great blog post, article, or white paper doesn’t compel your audience to read the next piece of content you create. Unless you actively work to build a relationship with your audience, each piece of content will be judged independently. While this can be advantageous at times, you will generally benefit more by building and fostering a positive relationship via the content you write.
Leave Them Satisfied
The first step to building a relationship with your audience is getting recognized for the quality of the content you produce. Clients will recognize content that furthers success goals, but your audience will judge you by a different standard.
If a person is reading your content, the vast majority of the time it is because something in your headline sparked their interest. Assuming that is the case, the way you satisfy your audience is by fulfilling the promise of your headline, whether that is answering a question, solving a problem, or explaining a complicated concept. When you fail to fulfill the promise of your headline, you disappoint your audience and damage the relationship you are trying to build.
Leave Them Wanting More
This piece of advice may seem like it directly contradicts the last piece of advice, but it doesn’t. You fail to satisfy your audience if you leave them wanting more in regards to the promise you made in your headline, but that doesn’t mean you can’t leave them wanting more about a related topic.
That is the trick here. When fostering a relationship with your audience, you want to create interest in topics related to that content. By referencing unanswered questions on those topics, you set up the audience to want to learn more. You shouldn’t be obvious about this. You want your audience to leave with a niggling question that itches like the need to sneeze.
Leave a Great Memory
Apple has aired hundreds of commercials over the decades, but there is one that is remembered more than any other:
It is considered as great a classic among commercials as “Gone with the Wind” is considered among movies. The sharply contrasting gray scale of the world and the bright colors of the protagonist make it a visual masterpiece and the direct reference to the novel “1984” tugs on the memories of the viewer.
Content that builds a relationship needs to be similarly memorable. This is best done with a number of tricks:
- Popular references
- Images or words that appeal to emotions
- Shock value
If something in your content leaves a great memory, your audience will return for more great memories.
Leave Them Wanting You
No matter how well you follow the previous advice, the frustrating truth is that their are other writers who can offer a similar experience. That is why it is critical that you foster a relationship where “similar” isn’t good enough.
To do this, you want to plant the seed that your knowledge and content offer unique benefits that the audience can’t get elsewhere. Depending on the content you are creating, this could be because you prove that you are the most knowledgeable writer on a specific topic, you claim to have resources available to you on a topic that other writers don’t have, or just that you are the only writer who has ever asked certain questions.
However you approach this, once your audience is craving your content specifically, you have built a relationship that is beneficial for you, your client, and if you are doing your job right, your audience as well.