Are you shooting yourself in the foot?

When it comes to producing content for the internet, whether websites, social media or otherwise, it is easy to notice a huge disparity between communication that is customer focused and that which is not.

The more niche or esoteric the company particularly present in every area of technology, but also in traditional industries like engineering, the more often we see it is written for the wrong reader. The writer is so often at pains to demonstrate their cleverness or in-depth knowledge of their topic, to assert their skills and experience by being ever more complex. But in doing so they are speaking to their peers, asserting their authority on a topic. Failing to communicate effectively to their potential customer who often does not have the vocabulary or background knowledge to even be able to understand the sentences, let alone be prompted to engage or buy.

In the self-service environment of the internet, where even if help is offered it is rarely taken up, the moment a reader meets a term, or commonly an acronym or initialisation that they are not familiar with, then as a writer you have lost them. They might continue on their digital journey for a while longer but will almost certainly lose interest or confidence. The more often this occurs the more likely you are to set them on the path to the exit.

Even the topic or subject can be a problem. I notice often that a company will blog or comment about their industry, the latest findings or trends, something that the people in the industry care about. They miss that they are supposed to be talking to their customers, not showing their competitors how up to date they are.

Furthermore, this can demonstrate or confirm to the potential customer that this company is not going to be easy to deal with, and so they move on to the next in the list of Google search results.

Other examples include where the communication might be full of beautiful photographs and tempting offers, but consists mainly of marketing-speak and fail to provide the most basic information such as what they can actually buy whether a product or service, how much it will be, how to begin the process or even offer a phone number.

Before you produce content for any digital media first think about your customers. Who are they, what do they want to know, what are their interests or information needs? What is their vocabulary likely to be, will they be familiar with industry terms and abbreviations, or are explanations required in the context of the article or maybe provided as a footnote or glossary entry? Otherwise, you may inadvertently be setting barriers to your customers smooth journey and basically shooting yourself in the foot.

Blog submitted by Pela Tis Online

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