A tuning fork vibrates at a particular pitch when you strike it against a hard surface. It emits a pure tone that musicians can use to tune their instruments (like violins and guitars).
One job you have as a content marketer is to think of your reader as a tuning fork. You need to publish great content in order to create resonance with that reader — to get that person to emit a particular tone that gets them to know, like, and trust you.
But creating posts that resonate with your readers is an often-overlooked part of what we do. It’s one of those touchy-feely things no one talks about. But it’s incredibly important — and it can be difficult to do.
Content that resonates with readers makes them nod their heads and say, “Yes!” When your prospect agrees with you, it builds their loyalty and passion for you and your material, and creates a perfect buying environment when you’re ready to make an offer.
Let’s look at some tips on resonance, and how to build harmony with your readers.
How Seth Godin benefits from resonance
Seth Godin is a master at creating that “in tune” feeling with his readers. His posts makes his readers virtually vibrate with harmony — they strike a chord. As readers, we believe what Seth is saying is correct, and that makes us want to read more and buy his products.
When Seth writes a post about the first thing we should do when we sit down at the computer, his readers lean in — they’re really interested in his perspective on this important topic.
When he says we should start something new first thing in the morning (instead of checking our email so we can read more about what happened yesterday) we know that’s he’s right. We can feel it in our core.
Godin posts every day, and many of his articles create great harmony with his readers. He creates a long-term relationship with his audience by building up all those “yes” reactions during the year.
When Godin announces that he’s written a new book, his readers are already primed. He’s created harmony with them by creating consistently brilliant blog posts.
Seth’s fans buy his books and share his ideas because they like what he has to say. They want to continue their positive, engaging experience with him. They want more nods, more insights, more agreement. So they buy the book — and that buying decision is a very easy one.
Ways to create harmony
Don’t assume that a post has to be about a positive topic in order to create harmony.
You don’t need to talk about unicorns and rainbows in every piece that you write. Sometimes you can get people to agree with you by giving a piece of difficult-to-hear (but crucially important) advice. Or blowing a common assumption to smithereens.
- Specific — Each article should be simple and direct, no matter what length it is. You should be able to sum up in one concise sentence what the piece is about. If you can’t summarize in one sentence, edit the post until you can.
- Useful — Useful stuff is memorable, and it resonates with your audience. A few months ago, I saw a post on FoodBeast on how to use ketchup cups in a more efficient way, and it literally made me smack my forehead and say, “Yes! Why didn’t I think of that?” I’ve been a huge FoodBeast fan ever since.
- Brave — Don’t be afraid to say the things no one else is saying. if you’re out in front of the rest of the pack, you could be talking about something everyone else is afraid to talk about. Have courage, friends. Take big risks in order to get big agreement from your audience.
- Emotional — Good content gets us worked up. It stirs up emotion, whether that feeling is wonder, awe, happiness, sadness or anger. Don’t be afraid to make your writing personal and emotional, and you’ll be on your way to creating harmony with your readers.
Examples of harmony are everywhere
Television programs, radio shows, and movies create harmony by highlighting characters and stories that resonate with the audience.
I personally love the themes of the television show Firefly, National Public Radio’s This American Life, and the movie Good Will Hunting. After I experience them, I not only feel lit up inside, but I want to recommend them to other people — and I often do. I agree with the messages the writers are putting out in the world, and it makes me love their material.
Maria Popova, Chris Brogan, and Neil Patel are writers who are masters at creating resonance and harmony with their readers. Check out their work, and see how many times you find yourself nodding along in agreement with them.
Creating resonance with your readers
Whether you’re aware of it or not, your favorite bloggers are creating harmony with you every time they write a great post. It’s one of the main reasons you love them.
They are listening to your needs and desires, and they are agile.
In order to be successful with content marketing, we’ve got to remember the tuning fork — and use that visual image to reach out to our readers, so that they’ll resonate with our message.
What’s your favorite example of a piece of writing that really resonates with you? Let us know in the comments …
About the Author: Beth Hayden is an author, speaker, and content marketing expert who specializes in working with small businesses. To find out how to get more traffic to your site by writing wildly popular blog posts, grab your free copy of Beth's report, How to Write Blog Posts That Go Viral.
Beth will also be attending the 2015 Authority Rainmaker event this May -- so make sure to come over and say hi when you arrive!