As Eric Schmidt once announced “now there is more data created in two days than there was from the beginning of human history through to 2003”…as it turns out the quote may or may not be accurate, but one thing we know is that there is no shortage of data…or specifically, content.
So one of the biggest challenges for you as the consumer of this content is sifting through mountains of stuff that is out there. One of the biggest challenges of being a content creator is trying to determine whether your content is going to be attractive to the recipient.
Whether you are an individual or an organisation your view of the world and of adding value is very different than the people that you’re talking to. You genuinely believe that your [insert product or service here] is beneficial to the recipient and the best “product or service” available and you craft your piece of content on this basis. Many of the USPs that you think your product or service has are in fact not USPs at all and are in fact just what the recipient expects of you.
I worked for a large software company, and in fairness to them they did produce some great cloud products. Were they better than the competition though? Well the competition thought not because they were making all the same claims, and they too believed these claims. The problem is that from the customer’s perspective all good products look the same. Are Adidas shoes superior to Nike? is a Ferrari superior to a Lamborghini? Is an iPhone better than a Google Pixel? The answer of course to all of these things is “no” they are both good, different, but good.
However, when we write about our own products we talk about ‘market leading reliability” or “exceptional customer care” or “ outstanding performance” and the reader neither believes it…nor cares. They don’t care that you have 99% uptime (in fact when you say that they might be horrified because the had assumed you would have 100% uptime) or when you say you are a “top 5 ranked provider” they may read that as saying there are 4 providers better than you!
So often the things that we say even when well intentioned are about our product rather than about the recipient – saying “this is how our product overcomes your problems” is not the same as saying “this is how you need to overcome your problems”…there is a big difference.
But above all else, we need to put ourselves ruthlessly in the shoes of our audience. This is hard, but is vital.
Take your next piece of content and replace your product or service with another product or service totally unrelated to yours and ask yourself whether this piece of content resonates with you…
A thermoplastic polyurethane polyester based bush in our trademark orange. These bushes are renowned for their high tensile strength compression memory set and abrasion resistance.
(random product information from the internet)
…if it doesn’t you need to think again about what you’re saying and how you’re saying it.
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