How to fashion your content for your audience

We’ve all tried on clothes only to realise they weren’t designed for our particular size and shape. The designer, it seems, was thinking of someone else wearing their clothes and the same thing can happen with B2B content – if you don’t focus on your audience.

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I’m 5ft 2 (on a good day) which means a lot of clothes are too long. I don’t buy clothes that don’t fit well.

But it’s not the clothing designers fault. They can’t make every garment suit every size and shape. They develop their designs for a brand’s particular target customer base – their size and tastes.

As consumers we find the brands – that target us, we get to know which ones generally offer clothing to our dimensions – and style. We buy from these brands because they offer us what we want and need.

And that’s the space your B2B content needs to occupy. Your content marketing strategy needs to target a specific audience and speak directly to them. One size fits all isn’t going to get you the results you want.

Clarity on your audience

Which means you need to be clear on who your target audience is. And it is likely you will have more than one target audience depending on what you want to achieve.

For example, a house builder or developer might want to target potential investors and joint venture partners. But they will also want to target house buyers or occupiers.

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The language of winning – are we taught to collaborate?

In business (and life) people talk about ‘winning’. Some even use #win on social media and I have too – usually tongue in cheek. But what does winning mean?

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I was listening to a podcast interview recently with Olympic-medal winning rower and diplomat Cath Bishop (link to podcast at the bottom).

She talked about how a change in mindset helped her to achieve more and that change was focusing on the process rather than the end goal which was winning.

Her approach isn’t unusual, I’ve heard other successful sportspeople say they take the same approach.

Winning no doubt gives you a high but it is short-lived and if that is your sole focus then it can be deflating and misses out on a much more enriching experience.

The value in the process

Seeing the value in the process gives you something more sustainable and rewarding than focusing simply on winning or losing. It’s a series of smaller victories: What you learn along the way, how you develop and improve.

If you focus on enjoying the process then success – the win – is the cherry on the cake. And as Cath Bishop found, it ultimately led to far more wins.

It’s the equivalent of enjoying the journey, not just the destination. Or in business really loving what you do and enjoying getting better at it. The results are a happy bi-product.

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Tips for writing crisp and concise B2B content

Do you know how to sharpen your writing, make it crisp, focused and to the point?

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In journalism, we talk about ‘tightening-up copy’ or making it ‘punchy’.

Copy that is ‘wordy’ or ‘flabby’ can quickly lose readers’ interest.

And there are a few easy ways to make sure that your writing is concise.

First is to look for unnecessary words such as ‘actually’ and ‘really’. Or instances when you can use one word instead of three such as ‘in order to’ instead of ‘to’.

I’m working on a big editing project at the moment, it’s several thousand words long and needs cutting back.

The initial sweep through will inevitably pick up a good handful of unnecessary words that can easily be cut out.

They can creep in when you are writing copy from scratch but as long as you know how to spot them when you review your copy it doesn’t matter.

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What is your ideal working environment?

My Friday fun poll over on LinkedIn this week is about your preferred working environment and whether you like background music, talk or silence.

Photo by Alex Kotliarskyi on Unsplash

We don’t have much choice but to work from home at the moment and that may or may not be conducive to getting stuff done.

But putting to one side these strange times, what would be your ideal ‘office’ set up?

It’s such a personal thing, isn’t it? I don’t envy businesses designing office space and trying to navigate the middle ground.

Open-plan offices have made communication and collaboration much easier – but they can also be noisy and distracting.

Idea of office hell

My idea of hell would be an office with music that I had no control over.

I do like music when I work but it has to be classical. Anything else is distracting and can start to stress me out.

If I can’t have music then I want quiet or a very low hubbub of voices.

Back when I used to work in an office I often found it noisy and difficult to zone out of conversations happening around me.

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Before you write your press release ask these questions

There is a lot of ego in press releases. Businesses who insist their PR issue a press release despite being advised to the contrary.

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Here’s the thing, just because you did something doesn’t mean anyone else actually cares.

Just because it’s interesting to you, doesn’t mean anyone else will find it interesting – or useful information.

It might make a nice bit of content for your blog or social media but that doesn’t mean it’s going to set a journalists world on fire and have them holding the front page.

Have realistic expectations

When it comes to press releases, you need to be realistic in your expectations.

A journalist’s job isn’t to do your marketing for you, your press release needs to be helpful to them for the job that they are doing.

Which is giving their readers useful and interesting information.

So how do you decide whether a story is worth the time spent drafting and approving a press release?

Here are some questions to ask:

• Is your story genuinely interesting to the journalist’s audience?

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