If you do nothing else when evaluating the probability that your marketing content will resonate with your prospects and customers, answer this question from their perspective: Why should I care?

And make sure it’s in the first couple of sentences.

Yes, a title that tells them is great, but you have to back it up with the meat for the premise to hold their attention for more than the first paragraph.

It used to be that you had more time – up to about 7 seconds. Now I’m seeing reports that say it’s down to 3 seconds. That means getting the point across quickly is an imperative.

For those people who scan before they read, you need to make sure you’ve got the compelling reason or takeaway they’re interested in reiniforced in your headers and/or bullet points.

Most importantly, you need to make sure that you’re asking and answering the question from the buyer’s perspective – not yours. What you believe is important doesn’t count. The only thing that matters is whether or not they care about the information you’re sharing.

A couple of other things to consider:

  • Specificity counts. High-level generalizations aren’t helpful.
  • Credibility must be earned. Back up your claims to build trust.
  • Focus on the Takeaway. What’s the one thing you want them to “get” from your content?
  • Give them a next step. What’s the one thing you want them to do next?
  • Reinforce the urgency. Trust me, if this is something they think might be valuable in the future, you’ve missed the opportunity.

Developing great content doesn’t need to be complex. If you keep this question in mind while you’re developing it, you’ve greatly improved its chances from the start.