We all know content is king, but who do you really write for: yourself or your audience? It seems like a simple, no-brainer question but I’ve read a ton of online content over the years that focused more on why the company thought they were so great versus what would actually pique my personal interest.
While professional writing is all well and good, if it doesn’t connect with your audience’s interests, you’re going to lose the fight for their attention.
The more user-focused you are when creating any kind of content, the better you’ll be able to hit the mark with what your audience is looking for and this is how you keep them coming back for more.
Creating content with users at the forefront has been a hot topic in the news recently with the announcement that Mozilla, maker of Firefox, is looking to bridge the gap between user and publisher with a new project, Voices. Adweek reported Feb. 12 that Voices will produce videos and blogs about topics that are valuable to their audience. Mozilla already has a lot of content out there talking about their mission and projects, but they recognized that their audience’s voice needed a boost.
What this tells me about the future of online content is that when your audience comes first, before robots or selling your awesomeness, there is huge opportunity for growth. Mozilla has always been deeply involved with their audience, so much so they wanted to give them a better way to share their voice, their story, about creating an open, global community online.
“When the user is at the center everyone benefits, including content creators whether they are publishers or marketers,” Darren Herman, Mozilla’s VP of Content Services, recently posted on the company’s blog. “Digital has already disrupted all kinds of industries, thanks in large part to its ability to deliver more choice and personalization for users. The challenge for digital media is that it is a rapidly-changing environment, and what worked yesterday might not work tomorrow.”
In my opinion, what will work today and tomorrow is to put yourself in the shoes of your audience when creating any kind of content.
In fact, Nielsen Norman Group did a study on what makes viewers stop scanning and actually read something online. The results: people do stop and read content, sometimes a lot, but it has to be worth their attention.
Chances are, you know about information or stories that your target audience is looking for. Whether you write about it yourself or hire a cutting-edge PR company like Lorrie Walker’s to help, this is an amazing time to make content creation a priority.
Voices got my attention because it relates to something I’m passionate about: connecting with your audience through amazing content. What Mozilla is looking to achieve with user-focused videos and blogs reveals a simple truth about the future of online content. The way to your audience’s heart is through relevant, valuable content that puts their interests right in the middle.
Katie Manry is a freelance writer and editor in Tampa Bay, FL. Connect with Katie on Google+.