Write to your audience

It is fascinating to watch the hubbub around content development, content strategy, and so on that is shared within the social media sphere. I often find over and over again that most of what is shared is around connecting with customers and how to talk directly to the people that are reading the content. What is interesting though is that the context of these articles that I read from Buffer and other sources are targeted at the small to medium sized businesses. I rarely see an article that talks about true enterprise metrics that can be used to connect with customers. I’m talking about large scale systems with millions and millions of customers. What are content developers and growth hackers to do when they need to continue to innovate under these circumstances? What metrics are truly meaningful when we’re talking about content for all of the Android customers, all of Netflix customers, or in my personal case all of Office 365 customers? There are very little conversations happening about this space – yet this is where the bulk of the content development happens.

I’ve been digging into this more recently and found that there are very few reliable metrics that we can use as enterprise growth hackers to measure our content and make a difference. Nonetheless here are a few things we can do to prevent systems from getting in the way…

  1. Iterate often – many corporate environments make this incredibly difficult with a focus on # of words written over quality of words written.
  2. Write personal content – This is hard because if I personally am writing to you, can someone else fill in while I am on a long vacation and still make the content sound like it is from the same author? Is my personal content too personal to the point that it is a blog post or a personal email posted as “official content”?
  3. Don’t be afraid of images and infographics – these can help explain things – a picture is worth a thousand words is an understatement
  4. Keep your customer goals in mind – too often writers in large organizations get wrapped up in the “what we want you to do” mindset and forget the nuances that exist in customer environments. This often leads to content that is impractical to use and frustrates customers. All content should be written with the goals of the customer in mind first – even if it means that the content sounds below the customer’s level – if it speaks to their goals the level of the language doesn’t really matter.
  5. You’re still not the only game in town – don’t forget that customers can truly leave you without cause or warning. Content should be friendly, welcoming, and encouraging engagement with the platform. If you aren’t feeling it on Monday… write it on Tuesday.

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