Who is Your Content Really Written For?
Home performance people are metrics oriented — face it, we’re data geeks. Are we writing over the heads of our audience? Who chooses the topics that you write about?
Managers in our industry are managers for a reason. They know how to run the business. But that doesn’t mean that they know how content should be written. Many in our industry like to see data-heavy and highly technical pieces or think that something is important to their customers just because it’s important to them — but is that what the customer wants to see as well? What is too technical?
If you are a business that services a high-end, technical audience, then maybe it is. But if you are an HVAC, home performance or solar contractor, chances are that your audience is the everyday Jane or Joe. Working in the industry day in and day out, you may only see value in in-depth content about variable capacity equipment, but in reality not one of your customers will get past the first sentence. It’s important that the content that you use across your site, including your blogs, is written for your customer.
Here is a piece that probably wasn’t written with the company’s audience in mind.
What should you write about?
You should have a strategy around content. Don’t just write to write.
What are your goals? Who do you want to reach? What do you want them to know?
Once a strategy is determined, the content topics should complement the goals.
The number one thing you can write is on topics that answer the questions your customers are asking you. It’s important to note how they are asking the question. If questions are coming in about mini-splits and your site only refers to heat pumps, maybe you should consider adding content to educate customers on commonalities and differences. If they are asking you, they are likely searching for similar things online. Here is a snippet of a great blog for people wondering if a mini-split is right for their home.
This example takes an approach that’s easy to understand — especially for the homeowner audience.
Promotions and specials are also always great pieces to write about since they are things that will get your potential customers to act quickly by creating a sense of urgency.
Ask the team that’s answering your phones the top 10 questions they get asked. Start by answering each of those questions in pieces of content. Make sure it speaks to your customer and includes the type of emotion that will best match your audience.
How do you know what will work?
There is no magic ball to what will work in the world of content. It all comes down to sharing the right message at the right time to the right audience. Knowing what works comes from solid keyword research, quality writing, and truly taking an interest in your audience. If you take the steps to create excellent content consistently and promote it across the right channels, then you’ll find success.
What type of content should I use?
The right type of content will depend on who you want to reach and how you plan to reach them.
Want to reach all your current customers immediately? Email is the way to go. Want to disseminate information across a broad spectrum? Try a blog! Want something interactive that can be used across channels that may be a little fun? Infographics or videographics are a great way to share information in a unique, fun way.
I’ve created the content, now what do I do?
There are a lot of ways to get your content out there. First and foremost, put all your content on your website. For infographics and videos, type out the text that is in the image or said on the video in the content section of the site. This will make it crawlable by search engines.
After you have posted the content on your site, share it on your social networks! You’ve created this great piece of content, so share it with the people who may be potentially asking about it. If you have a few extra bucks — I’m talking like $5 — to spend on reaching your audience, boost the post on Facebook. You can get good reach for not much money, and this will help you become the subject matter expert in the eyes of your audience.
Content is a great way to reach your customers with information that they will find valuable. It’s easy to get in the habit of writing for yourself, what you think or how you interpret something. When writing for an audience, it’s important to figure out what that audience is asking, and how you can best answer those questions through your content. Always make sure that your content matches the strategy and goals that you are looking to accomplish. You may have some great ideas, but how can you tailor those ideas to best meet your audience’s needs?