http://www.digitaljournal.com/business/marketing/online-marketers-urged-to-think-of-the-audience/article/414266

Online marketers urged to think of the audience

Posted Nov 11, 2014 by Sam Wright
“We’re all capable of writing more effectively, more efficiently, with more focus on the person we’re trying to reach,” said marketer Ann Handley, speaking at the Mesh Marketing 14 conference in Toronto last Thursday.
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Mike Traboe on Flickr
The conference focused on digital marketing, with guest speakers discussing strategies, tools, and ideas for enhancing online presence. There were over 50 presenters at Mesh Marketing 14, including SEO and analytics consultant Annie Cushing, marketing expert Renée Warren and wearable-tech enthusiast Tom Emrich, among other industry professionals.
“One of the tenets from my journalism school days is this: no one has to read this,” Handley told an interviewer. “My professors were always telling me, yes, you technically get a paycheck from the newspaper, magazine, or publication. But ultimately, you are serving the reader.”
Handley shared her “Utility x Inspiration x Empathy” formula for creating quality content. The formula is described in depth in her Wall Street Journal bestseller, Everybody Writes, which was published in September this year. Handley explains that each factor in the equation must be properly addressed in order for content to have its desired impact.
Her talk also reminded marketers to keep content short and sweet, and to shift the focus from their brand to their readers.
“We’re all fighting to get the attention of our customers,” Handley told attendees. And with such a high volume of content being distributed for free, online audiences can afford to be extremely picky about what they spend their time reading. While Handley’s notion is by no means a new one, it still serves as a welcome reminder to marketers that quality is more important than quantity.