Content creation: Why you should make your audience the star

From aesthetically pleasing graphics on Instagram to incredibly addictive videos on TikTok to podcast advertisements during a morning commute – it’s nearly impossible to avoid content. And with the volume of captivating content swirling around these days, it can be especially difficult to create content that catches and keeps your audience’s attention.

If you, like me, are writing multiple content calendars a month, it can be easy to forget that the goal isn’t just to create content that supports your clients’ key messages, it’s to get your target audience to click, read and engage.

To help freshen my perspective, I recently attended a PRSA webinar on how to think like a friend, fan or follower when writing content. The main takeaway? It’s all about your reader.

Here are some tips to get your reader to click and stick!

Write more how-to blogs

Readers are looking for information they can use to make their lives better. Position your organization or client as an expert and draw your reader in with news that they can use to make their lives better. Make them sick, then make them well.

But writer beware. While incorporating how-to blogs is great for an ongoing content marketing strategy because you’re leveraging longtail keywords that a reader may be searching for, you don’t want every post you write to be how-to. Weave it into your editorial calendar and pick and choose which topics are best for the how-to approach.

Use the most-retweeted word in the English language

You guessed it – it’s you!

Research has shown that using the word you increases readership, while using first-person pronouns such as me, we, us, reduces it. By using the word you, YOU can speak directly to your reader.

Write about the reader

While it may be instinctive, don’t just write about your own news, services or insights. Write about the challenges, opportunities and barriers a reader may be going through and help provide them answers to the questions they’re asking themselves. Use this as an opportunity to tell them how they can benefit from your organization, ideas and products. You should be storytelling first, with just a pinch of selling.

There may be times when it feels hard to center your reader, or unrealistic to use the word you. But that’s where you can step into the shoes of a friend, fan or follower. Consider what pulls you in as a reader, then roll up your sleeves and get to work!

Michaela Mishoe

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