Across different content types – from presentations, to articles, to social posts – there is one thing companies can easily do better. And that is to make a YOU-turn. The challenge: too much content uses what I’ve always jokingly referred to as a ‘Beaches’ marketing approach. It’s easy to fall into this trap.
Stop ME-Focused Marketing
Remember the movie Beaches, where Bette Midler’s character says to her dying best friend, played by Barbara Hershey, after dominating the conversation: “That’s enough of me. Well, what do YOU think of me?”
Yeah. You get the point. Yes, there is a “ME” in Marketing, and way too much marketing focuses on ME – the company, the company products, company brand. Blah, blah, blah! Your content isn’t for you. So here’s one thing to do right now to improve your content and results: improve your YOU to ME ratio.
Increase Your YOU to ME Ratio
In any piece of content (and this works for websites, presentations, copy – anything!), count up all the times you use “You, your, yours, theirs, you’re…” Then, add up all the references to yourself and your company, products, whatever: “Our, we, us, my, me…”
A high YOU/ME ratio means you should have more references to your audience (YOU) than to your own products / services/ brand/ company (the ‘ME’). If it’s the inverse, with a few edits and adjustments, you can put the focus back where it belongs: from ME-Ville to You-Town.
Invite Your Audience (YOU) to the Conversation
When you include your audience in the conversation, you are inviting them in. It’s amazing how many websites, articles, presentations, posts focus on the ‘we’ or ‘our.’ It matters. I sat through a presentation recently where the speaker referred to himself and his business and his clients a total of 29 times. He used the word you 3 times. Yes, I counted! The audience noticed it and it wasn’t good. His social media was just as bad. He really put the ME in media.
The most important thing for content is to connect with and create meaning for an audience. If you are talking about yourself, why should your audience care?
It’s easy to fix. When you have more references to yourself than to your audience, shift the focus to your audience. What about your experience and your services can make life better, easier and solve your audience’s challenges? Is your story your audience’s story? How? Make that connection. Change those references to ‘your challenge,’ ‘your results,’ ‘your experiences.’ When you bring in ‘YOU,’ you talk with your audience, not ‘at’ them.
So go head. Make that YOU-turn in your content this year. You’ll see results.
How do you make sure your content stays focused on your audience? Let me know. Got an easy fix? Let’s hear it.