Content writing: Respect your audience’s intellect

Ludovic Forget

“Unparalleled work experience, read our thought-provoking blog…” These are some of the self-awarded adjectives I’ve seen in some social media posts recently. In an age where content is king some companies are tempted to apply the rules of “blowing your own trumpet” to content creation. As a social media user, I feel that such abuse of superlatives is an insult to my intellect especially when such statements are not supported in anyway by facts or third-party validation.

Your brand’s content lives in the audiences’ news feed in between travel vlogs, memes, HBR articles and videos of the latest #OnlineChallenge. The users are there to consume content that satisfy their needs. It shouldn’t feel like you are trying to push something down their throat. Therefore, the words that you choose in your social media message should indicate how the content you are offering is going to serve their needs. This is what will get them to watch the video or click on the link to your blog or site.

Your content (video, blog, info-graphic, report, white paper…) might have various objectives but the bottom line will be about making your brand (can be an organisation or a person) being credible, likable or top of mind, etc. To achieve that, you need to think about creating/projecting an image rather than claiming one, that is:

  • Don’t say that you are simple, be simple.
  • Don’t say you offer an unparalleled work place, show them the workplace and what your employees say.
  • Don’t say that your CEO’s blog is thought-provoking, share it with other opinion leaders and if the blog is thought-provoking they will say it.

Keep in mind that audiences, that is consumers, are more informed or at least have access to information more than ever before. Brands cannot make unfounded claims anymore without running the risk of being totally discredited by a tweet or a user’s comment. Consumers rely on third-party reviews and feedback to inform their decision-making.

Therefore to create an impactful piece of content, provide data and references to support your assertions. Use quotes from your spokespersons but also statements from third parties such as subject matter experts, opinion leaders, employees or customers. The content that you produce needs to be as good as a piece of content produced by a media house, which by the way explains why we see journalist being employed now as content creators in the corporate world.

This post can also be read on Ludovic’s LinkedIn profile

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