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Is Your Content Speaking the Wrong Language to an Empty Arena?

Content marketing is revolutionizing the way brands connect with customers through two-way conversations in social media channels, on websites, podcasts, and short informative videos. Writing quality impactful content can elevate a brand’s authority, promote increased customer interactions, and generate increased conversions if done well, but creating quality messaging that resonates with a targeted audience can be a challenge, particularly in a crowded and noisy environment. So, what are some fundamental elements of creating effective quality content?

Silence comes first! Listening to your intended audience is the first step to creating a message and identifying some important attributes about who the listener is and where they are listening. It is vital if the message is to avoid the “falling tree in an empty forest” scenario. Research the intended audience to discover wants and needs and tailor the content to address them. Today’s consumers are keenly adept at using the latest technology to communicate but have a plethora of media options to choose from, which can lead them to demonstrate a heightened lack of patience for long-winded prose. It is not a time to impress the listener with your ability to construct a comprehensive diatribe and your command of the totality of the English language. Resolve to be clear and concise but strong.

Writing clearly and concisely means deliberately selecting words that precisely describe the solution the listener was seeking. Eliminate words that could clutter the message and create misunderstanding. Be sure to use proper grammar. Use short, to-the-point, sentences and avoid the use of vague phrases, flip-flopping verb tenses, and spelling or grammar errors. Proofread, edit, and re-edit the effort where necessary. Don’t make the mistake of relying only on the software “spell check” function. One careless composition mistake in the final text can damage your credibility and result in the listener ending the conversation early.

It is extremely important to impress the reader with your knowledge of the subject matter, so spend whatever time necessary to become an expert. Chances are good that the audience has already performed some research prior to reading your content, so don’t fudge the facts or embellish the truth. We all should be aware of how a picture can say a thousand words. Written communications are enhanced when accompanied by supporting visual images and short videos. A well-drawn image or illustration will create a visual representation of the message in the listener’s mind-eye, break up the text and add appeal to the experience.

Strong writing will entice readers to consume all of the content offered and will enhance the understanding of the messages’ details. Strong verbiage and an active voice play well with readers and encourages them to act. A passive voice often results in readers’ complacency and inaction. Digital audiences are increasingly mobile and are consuming information on numerous digital devices. Construct the content so that it is easily consumed regardless of the size and type of device.

New digital communication technologies have created audiences that are evolutionary. Consumers are increasingly dynamic when it comes to how and where they listen. Continually monitor each content campaign and adjust the content to optimize future conversations and avoid getting caught speaking the wrong language in an empty arena.