It’s All About Engaging Your Audience

As you reach out to customers and prospects – through direct contact or via your website or social media – it is important that you always keep two things in mind: who is seeing this and how can you best use it to engage, educate, and entertain them.

Content is critical. However you are presenting it to your target audience, you want them to view or read it positively. It must be good quality content, so they know you have put some effort into it. That shows you care about them and their information needs.

Done correctly, it demonstrates a level of thought leadership and involvement that can set your organization apart.

The hard part isn’t determining the audience but what to present to them, and how, for the greatest impact. For some of our clients, the audience is the buyer and potential buyer. For credit unions, it’s the member and potential member.

But what do you want to tell them so that they a) think positively about you and b) read and view it eagerly, whether that means popping open the email newsletter as soon as it arrives or returning again and again to your website?

The content has to matter to them. It should inform them or entertain them without being overly promotional. We see so many instances where the content consists almost entirely of various shades of We’re Great! Buy our Product! Didn’t You Hear Us, We’re Great and You Should Buy Now!

On the other extreme is bland, generic content – some organizations buy this “canned” content and fill space with it, but it tends to be irrelevant to your specific audience, and therefore gets ignored.

Good content connects you with the person seeing it. It guides your audience toward decisions by informing them and treating them like intelligent individuals capable of making up their own minds.

For instance, a credit union might post on its blog a generic article about how to improve your credit rating. Helpful? Maybe, but with a bit more effort, that story could be written locally, with someone from the credit union quoted in it and making the key points. That provides a real connection with the member or potential member and lets them know that there are experts at the credit union that can help them.

This approach conveys your organization’s messages more subtly, but is much more likely to build a loyal following. Most of us are hungry for information, but not so much for thinly veiled advertising.