How to Develop Content – Who

Content comes in many forms. It can be the text on your website. It can be an article you’re developing. It can be the copy for an ad.

But the first step when developing any content, no matter what it’s for, is to know your audience.

Who are you writing it for? Who do you intend to read it?

You would not write the same way to a young father as you would a teenage girl. You would not write the same way to a business executive as you would to a music festival goer.

The audience will help you define your tone, your writing style, the language and vocabulary you’ll use, the format of your content, and its length.

Knowing who you’re writing for helps you decide what and how to write it. Without that crucial first step, you’ll never develop content that connects with your audience.

How can you expect to connect with your audience if you don’t know who they are?

3 Tips for Better Readability

If you write something, you likely want people to read it.

For marketers, you definitely want people to read it. We spend hours writing copy for web pages, ads, emails, articles, social media posts, etc. All of that copy has a purpose. And it only works if people read it.

But people’s habits have changed. They are blind to advertising because they are blitzed by it. They read less online because they have less time.

So how can you make sure your writing – whether it’s in ads, emails, social media, or your website – gets read?

Here are three tips for better readability:

  1. Learn the art of headline writing. A well-crafted headline can make all the difference. And I don’t mean writing “click-bait” headlines that get people to click on posts only to anger them once they see the full content and are disappointed. Sorry Buzzfeed. I mean headlines that genuinely appeal to your intended reader, that introduce the concept and give them a real reason to continue reading.
  2. Use bullets and numbered lists. If you take less of someone’s time, chances are they will be more likely to pay attention. If someone says, “I need 5 minutes of your time”, you’ll be more agreeable than when someone says, “I need an hour of your time”. So the best way to condense content and make reading easier is with lists. Lists make people feel better about the content they’re reading. It feels faster and more fluid.
  3. Incorporate other media. Are you using the written word for a reason? Could you accomplish the same goal, or get across the same message with an image, diagram, video clip? Mixing in other media forms is a great way to get more people to see or hear your message. Using short form video and imagery can make a page or email less boring, and more likely it will get read or watched.

You want to get your message across. So use these tips to start creating messages that are easier to read.

Social Media Marketing: Feeding the Ego

Social media marketing means different things to different people. Some will tell you that they use social media as a sales and advertising channel. Some will tell you it’s all about brand building. And others will say that it is a place to share content and build an audience.

The truth is, it’s a combination of all those things, and more. But the focus of this post is about “feeding the ego”.

There are different reasons that people use social media. Some are just grazing for content to enjoy themselves. Some use it to connect with people in their lives that they can’t see every day. Others use it to set trends.

The trendsetters, or tastemakers, use social media to discover and share things that they like. These people get joy in being the first person in their network to “discover” something. That’s what drives their social media activity.

Feeding the ego means appealing to these people. It means giving them the kind of content – unique and original and intriguing content – that they will share with their friends.


Because that is the kind of interaction that will truly grow your online presence in the social media age. It’s not about how much content you share. It’s about how other people interact with your content. And if you can get the trendsetters to share your content, you are on to something special.

Feed the ego. Make the trendsetter happy. They will keep coming back for more,  and they will get others interested in what you have to offer.

Best of Content Marketing on

Content marketing has been one of the biggest buzzwords in the marketing space over the last year. For that reason, we cover content marketing often on this blog. But for our newer readers, we thought it about time to recap some of the 8 most popular content marketing posts ever on the Zach Heller Marketing blog.

5 Reasons to Create Content

From our now infamous 5 Reasons blog series, this post focuses on the core values of content marketing and how it can help drive success.

5 Steps to Creating Better Content

Once you identify the need to create content, you need to come up with a way to create it. And not just any content will do, it’s got to be great. Here are some strategies to help you create better content.

3 Stages of Content Marketing

Creating the content is just the beginning. There’s more to it, as the companies who have made content marketing work have shown. Here’s a glimpse of what comes after the content is created.

A Guest Blogging Strategy for Companies

Guest blogging is a popular form of content marketing. It allows you to deliver content to audiences who might not otherwise here from you. This post offers a simple way to get started.

The CREATE Method of Marketing

All marketers need a vision and a strategy. This post shows you a simple way of thinking about your job as a marketer and how to set out a strategy for success.

3 Step Approach to Better Business Blogging

I suggest to you that the most valuable BBB out there is better business blogging. And companies who know how to blog put themselves ahead of the pace in the content marketing game.

Using Webinars to Market Yourself

Content doesn’t have to be written. A great way to develop content for marketing is through webinars. You can host a live event, and have a recording that lives on permanently for all to see or hear.

Is this an Ad?

This isn’t. But that’s the question more and more people are, and will be asking themselves as they interact with content around the web. Ads and content are melding, and it’s important to learn and understand why to set yourself apart.

The War on “The War On”

Have you seen the headlines? Here is a list of them that I jotted down over the last couple of weeks:

  • “The War on Google Search Effectiveness”
  • “The War on Facebook Advertising”
  • “Social’s War on Email Marketing”
  • “Data’s War on Marketing’s Hunches”

In an effort to get attention, and by that I mean clicks, media organizations, bloggers, and self-appointed gurus have evolved to write headlines that shock us. In a world where relevance and effectiveness is defined by eyeballs, and eyeballs are only won by standing out from the immense heap of content available, we default to shock.

And yes, I understand that there are other headline gimmicks that are just as bad as “The War” metaphor. And yes, sometimes I too am guilty of writing a headline for the sole purpose of getting clicks. We all are.

But I would like to protest continued use of the phrase “The War On”, and other variations of the same idea.

Firstly, companies do not wage war against each other. Consumers don’t wage war on each other or the companies that they purchase from. The government doesn’t even wage war on companies or it’s citizens. There are no wars to speak of when it comes to marketing and sales worlds.

Wars are very real, very terrible things. And to use a phrase aimed at getting clicks based on our individual associations with war seems to cross the line.

Agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @zheller.