Recently a client approached me with a challenge: when producing content for their target audience (small to medium size business owners), how do they produce information pitched at various levels of knowledge without alienating one or all of those ability levels?
They were afraid that if they produced, for an example, an ‘advanced guide to X’, those businesses who were still at the basic level of understanding of X would not only skip over it, but potentially unfollow and disengage with future content. Vice versa, if the content produced was more ‘X 101’, and tackling the subject at absolute beginner level, would more advanced followers feel like their needs are being met with educational material?
The solution comes down to one of the basic constructs of marketing: the use of language.
The language we use in presenting our content – whether that be in the form of blogs, reports, video, infographics and so on – can be adapted to make our target audience feel more comfortable engaging with that content, or skipping it but still knowing there is a reason to stay engaged. Good marketers probably do this subconsciously but I’ve produced some examples below of how we might take this approach.
Let’s use Search Engine Optimisation as an example.
Original Content Titles
A: What is a keyword?
B: Local citations and their effectiveness to your ranking.
Now, A is very much a starter’s guide to SEO. If I saw that, I’d be skipping it right away. But if I saw B, content focusing on local citations, I’d dive right in. Local citations, whilst simple, aren’t always the first cab off the rank when people learn about SEO and they’re a more advanced part of SEO (in my opinion, anyway).
But the first title is something the advanced learner is going to skip over, and the second title is something a beginner might struggle to want to engage with. This is, of course, entirely subjective but hopefully you get my point.
A: SEO Beginners Lesson One: What Is A Keyword?
B: SEO Advanced Lesson One: Local Citations
Our new titles make it very clear which piece of content is appropriate to you. You can assess your ability levels and dive in with confidence. By using the terms ‘beginners’ and ‘advanced’ you’re not alienating anyone, but giving them a clear path to appropriate content.
The correct language in an article is a powerful way to engage with your audience, but the correct language in an article title is more important to encourage and reassure them to engage with it in the first place.