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Jeanne Grunert on How to Create Effective Content

Published: Jul 8, 2013

Find Your Audience’s Motivation

Whether it’s for articles, websites, or social media – writing effective content isn’t always easy. First, you have to understand the dynamics of your audience and then meet their needs with benefit-oriented content.

Why? Your efforts to increase credibility, exposure and traffic will fall short if readers can’t find how you benefit their bottom line.

Getting to the core of your readers’ needs (and therefore effective content) can be difficult when you don’t know where to start.

That’s why Expert Author Jeanne Grunert’s article, “Create Effective Web Page Content by Writing From the Benefits,” applies to not just web page content, but to articles as well. Jeanne’s tips resonate with experts in a variety of niches and help them reach their business objectives.

Let’s explore a few highlights from Jeanne’s article.

“Many companies write their website text as if they’re talking to themselves. This type of writing reads like a paean to the glories of the company or product. You can always spot such writing by the number of times the company refers to itself, and how the text reads as if it is all about them … and not about you.”

Even if your bottom line is all about benefiting you, the road to get there is all about your reader’s bottom line. Think from your audience’s perspective: Why are readers coming to you? What need are you fulfilling? What obstacle are you helping your readers overcome? If they are new to your platform, then it’s not because of your stellar brand and you offer “X,” “Y,” and “Z.” It’s because the reader is able to achieve their bottom line using the information you’ve provided.

Understanding your audience’s motivation is the key to your success.

“Create a List of Features and Benefits”

Jeanne’s next strategy is nothing short of brilliant for developing effective, benefit-oriented content: Coordinate features with motivating benefits.

  • Feature: What are you providing (e.g., products or tips)?
  • Benefit: What does the reader get out of it; why do they care or what is motivating them?

Use this template to help you easily prepare your content with your reader in mind.

“Writing from the benefit statements takes time and practice … you can hone your own writing skills and practice creating benefit statements.”

The sooner you practice your writing, the more invaluable and effective your content will become (and work ten times better for you!). Use methods like journaling to evaluate and then re-evaluate your ideas to discover whether they will benefit your audience. Talk to your audience, both on and off your platform to find out what caught their attention and continues to motivate them. Use this information to refine your message and continue benefiting your audience.