5 Tips to Start a Conversation with Your Audience
Friends, Marketers, Countrymen lend me your ears. We move into the another year witnessing our mechanical cousins picking up some impressive skills. From drones delivering mails to an Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool predicting the winner of US presidential elections. From Augmented and Virtual Reality Apps gaining ground too.
Technological innovations never imagined are now gaining traction with tremendous opportunities. But the fundamental building block to ‘establish a human connection’ with our audience, remains the same.
When we initiate a conversation with someone, we get to know about their interests and eventually establish a connection. As content marketing is about attracting a specific set of audience via creating compelling content, getting to know about their likes and dislikes creates an opportunity to target them and market successfully.
Creating bland and boring content which doesn’t help you achieve a business goal is meaningless.
Establish a mutual connection
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
― Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People
In his book, Dale Carnegie explained the way of building relationships with people and being successful by being interested in them. For establishing an instant rapport with your audience in today’s world, you can rely on these few tips:
1) Write like you speak
Imagine if you were to share a story with your friends regarding a recent a football match you saw. How might the version be different? While writing for someone known, the formality can be done away with. With the help of this approach, a relaxed tone can be adopted to find a unique writing style.
Finding a style to convey as in speech, can help to put forward the story and message. While an academic writing style might sound boring, considering the audience as a someone known can help to fight off the pressure of communicating easily.
“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” ― Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums
Jon Acuff uses the conversational style approach to putting his message across easily. To make your content for more audience friendly, try to cut down long jargon-ish sentences and stick to ones easily readable. Telling a story to communicate a something further ensures that you are not dull and lifeless just like any other present on the web. Be on the lookout for real stories and combine it with your content to weave magic.
2) Simple and to the point
Instead of over-explanation leading to a message being hidden somewhere in the dust, keep the message direct. The best writing focuses on putting across a concept in the simplest of way, making the readers understand what is being said and put together the pieces of the puzzle.
Don’t behave like a graduate student trying to complete project work with fluff writing. Fluff refers to making something look fuller which add much value. Fluffing will cause your readers to lose interest and worse, never come back to you. Rather than writing five extra lines without offering something useful, providing examples is useful.
A simple and concise content piece can be equally powerful. Use of fancy words, when something can be put across easily will cause the readers to lose interest. Identify the boring words and replace them to bring in more creativity in your content.
3) Make your audience think
Do you ask any questions in a content piece? Does your audience agree or disagree with you? Do they understand the topic being talked about?
One of the ways to boost your persuasiveness is by asking questions, leading to making your audience think.
“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” ― Voltaire
Asking a question makes:
- Your writing look more conversational
- Your readers put on their thinking cap
- Your message more convincing
- Your writing look created for humans
Questioning is a powerful technique to keep readers immersed in your content and find out their opinion. Once you’ve identified their stance, list down what they already know and work on what they need to know and how you can create an interesting piece of information on it.
4) Time to Unlearn
Instead of adopting a plain one-dimension approach, think about injecting a personality in your content. It is what makes the difference to stand out in the world of overloaded information and is key to positioning your brand.
Your personality will help you create that trust factor and likeability among people. Be it blog posts, Emailers, Facebook posts or web pages, show off some distinct characteristics to create your style.
Share your personal story, the mistakes you’ve done to establish your identity. None of your competitors can copy you, once you create that unique identity as no one can be the same as you!
5) Avoid writing click bait material
Shortcuts sure seem attractive, but don’t lose sight of the fact that you’re writing for humans. Creating content which your readers like will automatically get shared on social networks.
Sensational headlines like ‘Companies Hate Him’ or ‘Number three is my favourite’ might make some people click but isn’t the right way to strive for more audience.
It is due to the craft of writing; Hemingway remains unforgettable. J.K Rowling crafted the magical world of Harry Potter filled with witchcraft and wizardry using the power of words. Avoid writing clickbait content and write for a real person instead. Though it might seem a faster route to get more traffic, it certainly won’t be the best of your writing and will undermine your credibility as a trusted source.
Inspire with your words
A remarkable example of establishing a connection with the audience is the speech by General Mark Welsh, Commander of US Air Forces in Europe at the US Air Force Academy in 2011. He addressed the Air Force Academy cadets in an informal manner with a ‘Yo’, which instantly drew everyone’s attention.
His speech about life, war and death combined with personal humour is incredibly persuasive and acts as a catalyst for motivating the cadets.
In a similar manner, readers should feel inspired for taking action after reading your content.
So, the next time you start writing consider the words which resonate with your audience.