By: Wendy Hernandez
Joseph Gordon-Levitt was in town last summer. He came to Montreal to shoot a movie about a French man who walked a tight rope between the World Trade Center towers.
I know this because an acquaintance of mine was his personal trainer while he worked on the movie. My acquaintance invited my husband and I to a party that JGL was expected to attend. Even though I’d admired him since seeing him in 500 Days of Summer (pictured above), I didn’t show. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. What if the reality didn’t match my expectation?
I saved myself the (possible? imagined?) disappointment. Unfortunately, this isn’t something we have the luxury of doing when reading content online.
How many times have you clicked on a link to an article, only to find that of the “9 Tips for Shinier Hair”, only three of them seem do-able? Worse yet, is clicking on a Facebook teaser, only to see that the two lines of text displayed, are pretty much all there is to say.
With content still king, how can we make sure that the expectations we set ourselves and our content consumers are met? Here are 2 tips to get you started:
Tip Number 1
When writing digital content, first ask yourself “why am I writing this?”, is my goal to:
- Motivate to action:
Am I trying to get them to complete an action? If so, what? Be clear.
Do I want to elicit an emotion? Which one?
Does it answer reader questions? Is my research supported? Expand.
Am I trying to get the reader to connect with my story? My brand? Me?
Tip Number 2
Once you have defined the why, the next step is to figure out the best “where”. Carving it out will help you:
- Identify the best media to use:
Should the content be shared on your website, or is it better served on a social media platform?
- Set the tone:
The familiar writing of your blog is not necessarily the best tone for a LinkedIn post.
- Figure out which key words work best:
Buzz words and industry jargon may turn off blog readers, but they may be a big hit on your company’s corporate Facebook page.
Is it working?
Now that the why and the where are covered, and you have identified the remaining who, what, when, and how…how do you know if your content is working?
Denis Pinsky, Digital Marketing Strategy Lead at Forbes believes that it can be measured by the engagement rate. Beyond social media metrics, he believes that “…real resonance only begins when someone engages with your content. That engagement is what you should measure to determine the real impact of every piece of content”.
Clearly identifying the WHY and the WHERE before beginning to write will not only align your message with your readers’ expectations, it will also help you achieve greater engagement if the content resonates with them.
Sadly, it turns out that I missed quite the party that day. To this day I ask myself, why didn’t I just attend? Why?