Content marketing may be a very effective form of marketing, but are you showing compassion in your content? Marketers sometimes struggle with the shift away from directly selling their offerings, but it’s vital to show your audience that you really care about their problems.
One way to do this is to stop focusing on the concept of an average person. Not everyone fits into the notion of being average, and a few people on the fringes of society are in situations that are far from typical. You may wonder why you should sacrifice valuable resources to cater for a minority of people, but this can actually make your content more effective for everyone. After all, if you build a house, you don’t just build it for the warm summer days; you also want it to be a cosy home in the harshest winter days.
Here are a few ways you can ensure you’re creating compassionate content:
Get to know your real users
The aim here is to learn about your users as real people rather than as demographics and marketing segments. What challenges do your users face? What are their real needs?
One of the best ways to reveal detailed information like this is through open-ended interviews. Questionnaires and structured interviews give people little or no scope to express their own nuances, but if you show a genuine interest in their real lives, they will generally be happy to talk about what frustrates and motivates them, as well as what makes them most anxious. Once you get a feel for your users, you can create content that’s going to appeal to them.
Respect your users, and avoid company speak
It may be tempting to use passive-aggressive techniques in an attempt to shame people into taking a certain action, but is this really the path you want to take? Wouldn’t it be better if people were actually happy to use your product? Compassionate content should make users more prepared to face the world, not prey on their hang-ups. It’s also not cool to use snarky comments that might make some people grin at the expense of a small minority.
Another common pitfall is to overuse the first person in copy. It’s only natural to talk about what “we” can do, but it can come across as being self-absorbed. To see if your content is balanced, see how much it uses “we” and “our” in comparison to “you” and “your”. Is the first person used more often at the start of sentences? If it sounds a little egotistical, you probably want to adapt your strategy.
Getting compassionate content
If you outsource your content, you may want to stress the importance of compassion in your content marketing strategy. You should also include your research into your users, so the writer can craft news feed articles or other website content that resonates with the target audience.
One advantage of outsourcing your content marketing needs to a content agency is that any content is generally checked by an editor, because even experienced writers can occasionally fall into the traps above.