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17 Tips for Crafting Authentic and Personalized Content

Tips for Crafting Authentic and Personalized Content

17 Tips for Crafting Authentic and Personalized Content

To help you create content that resonates with your audience, we asked eighteen industry experts, including CEOs and Content Marketers, to share their best tips. From using buyer personas and real-life experiences to maintaining a distinct voice in your content, these leaders provide invaluable insights on how to boost authenticity in content creation.

  • Use Buyer Personas and Real-Life Experiences

  • Block Friends and Family

  • Tell Stories and Share Personal Experiences

  • Leverage User-Generated Content

  • Infuse Content with a Human Aspect

  • Perform Audience Research for Personalization

  • Adopt a Conversational Writing Style

  • Align Writers with Audience Type

  • Provide Actionable Intel and Fresh Takes

  • Design Content for a Specific Audience

  • Encourage Employee Contributions

  • Leverage Keyword Research Tools

  • Integrate Personal Narratives

  • Immerse in Your Audience's World

  • Include Relevant References and Feedback

  • Implement a One-to-One Connection Approach

  • Maintain a Distinct Voice in Content

Use Buyer Personas and Real-Life Experiences

Creating a buyer persona helps businesses understand and target their audience effectively. By outlining the typical interests, problems, preferences, and demographics of potential customers, a buyer persona guides content creation to address specific needs. This ensures that messages resonate, and marketing efforts are aligned, making content more engaging and relevant.

For authenticity in content creation, focusing on genuine customer feedback and real-life experiences can make a difference. Share real stories, reviews, or user-generated content. Reflecting the actual voice and needs of your audience in your content, rather than using generic marketing language, boosts trust and connection. This human touch makes your brand more relatable and authentic.

Kshitij Gulati, Senior Digital Marketing Executive, Broadcast2World

Block Friends and Family

One tip to stay authentic and targeted to your ideal client or customer is to forget your high school friends! That's right—those friends you haven't seen in 10 years, but you know they follow your account. They're lurking but never engage. These are not your people. Knowing your content is popping up on their feeds will not serve you. It will only take you back to feelings of imposter syndrome and will skew the way you create.

The advice? Block these people. Or put them on a list and exclude them from your content. That way, you won't worry about what Rachel from 10th grade might think of your next reel. You'll be creating genuine, authentic content that speaks to your target audience and ultimately drives them to you!

Tell Stories and Share Personal Experiences

Running a small, niche website about SEO writing and actively writing about SEO on Medium has provided valuable insights. Roughly 200 Medium articles were needed to figure out how to encourage the target audience to open and read the content.

The following will help content stand out:

1. Write to your younger self.

Imagine creating an article to help your younger self learn faster and understand the topic better. How would it be done? Readers are likely one step behind.

2. Tell stories.

Creating authentic content involves sharing success or failure stories. Make readers feel what was felt at some point in life. They will most likely relate to the words.

Stories stick, help understand the topic faster, and memorize the author.

3. Share personal experience.

Experience differentiates experts from novices. If readers are to be believed and come back for more content, educate them by sharing personal experience.

Victoria Kurichenko, SEO Expert and Content Writer, Self Made Millennials

Leverage User-Generated Content

To ensure authenticity and personalization in my content, I start by deeply understanding my target audience. I create detailed buyer-personas, researching their demographics, interests, pain points, and preferences. This helps me tailor content to their specific needs.

One tip I'd recommend is leveraging user-generated content (UGC). Encourage your audience to share their experiences, reviews, and stories related to your product or industry. Incorporate UGC into your content strategy. It adds a genuine touch, fosters community engagement, and builds trust. It shows your audience that you value their input and perspectives, making your content feel more authentic and relatable.

Karan Tiwari, Content Marketer, Wiretroop

Infuse Content with a Human Aspect

The most important thing to understand is that the customer is a human, not merely a wallet with money. Even if you work in the B2B segment, it is the human who stands behind the decision-making.

They have feelings and problems, and most likely, they want to find something in your content that they have never read before. Original pieces, infused with informal language, memes, and jokes—that is what is currently effective for us.

Maya Kirianova, Content Manager, Hiveage

Perform Audience Research for Personalization

Ensure your content is personalized to the target audience by performing audience research through surveys, feedback, online reviews, and frequently asked questions on the web. This includes understanding what problems and challenges your audience have related to your business offerings.

Studying online reviews of similar products and creating a list of relevant questions asked on Quora or Reddit will help you know what points to cover. Understanding your audience’s concerns will help you create content that resonates with them and makes it more personalized.

Even better, if you include the actual words used by your potential customers—which makes your content personalized for their needs.

Neil Napier, CEO and Founder of Email Marketing Platform, Mailvio

Adopt a Conversational Writing Style

To keep our content authentic and personal for our target audience, we always make sure the content is written conversationally. We ask questions, make jokes, are sassy, and stay on brand when we write. Our team of writers and content creators know that fun and open-mindedness are our core values, and that our readers need to feel that when reading content on our website. No boring content from us.

The biggest tip is to find out what kind of writing style is preferred by your audience and make that style your specialty. Make sure your writers know how to write in this style, create a company-wide tone of voice that your readers will recognize, and stick to it.

Josien Nation, Co-Founder and Head of SEO, Operation Nation LLC

Align Writers with Audience Type

One way is to ensure you get senior leaders writing content if the target reader is also a senior leader. Having a junior marketing person write content for a senior audience very rarely resonates. If you've sat in the same function as your prospective buyers, you can signal that you know what their challenges are. After all, you are one of them, or you were one of them.

Using real-world examples to further illustrate your point will help ensure your content is authentic and written with a particular reader in mind. Seeking to educate via the content as part of sharing lessons learned helps ensure you are adding value. For example, as a former Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) now targeting CMOs, writing more credibly for this audience is possible and thus, it's important to signal this in the content.

Provide Actionable Intel and Fresh Takes

In a dazzling four-month stint, over one million LinkedIn impressions were garnered. Wondering about the magic formula?

  1. Actionable Intel - The audience craves life hacks, not just chit-chat.

  2. Fresh Takes - Serve them something novel, and their eyes are glued.

  3. The “How” - Solve their problems and explain it as if you're writing a recipe.

Through constant tinkering, a golden list of dos and don'ts has been compiled. Adherence to it ensures success.

A sip-sized version of the elixir for audience success is presented here. Cheers!

Mathew Bojerski, AI and Founder, Lendahire

Design Content for a Specific Audience

In my experience, the key to ensuring content feels authentic and personalized is to make sure that it's actually personalized.

If content is just copied and pasted from a website into an email, it can come across as insincere. That's why it's important to write content that's specifically designed for the intended audience. This way, it's tailored to their needs and will resonate more with them than if it had just been copied from somewhere else.

Including personal anecdotes and examples is also important because it helps connect with the reader on a more human level.

Encourage Employee Contributions

To ensure our content resonates and feels personalized, we encourage employees, whether they work in marketing or not, to provide regular feedback on our social content, do brand-channel takeovers, and create their own content.

When employees contribute their insights, experiences, and perspectives, our content gains a human touch that feels much more authentic and personal. This not only fosters a sense of trust with the audience, but also provides valuable perspectives that connect directly with the interests and needs of our target audience.

Emily Neal, SEO and Content Specialist, DSMN8

Leverage Keyword Research Tools

The secret to creating the best organic, original content that is still tailored for target audiences is to leverage keyword research tools. Tools like Ahrefs and Semrush are used to research which keyword phrases are trending in clients' industries. From there, high-quality content like articles and infographics that directly address searchers' queries from clients' websites can be created.

This strategy banks on the same logic as "give the customer what they want." The literal searches that are popular or relevant to clients' products, services, or industries are taken and turned into lead magnets for that population of searchers. Searchers find the answers they're looking for, authored by a vetted source with authentic credentials, and potentially even selling products that directly address users' pain points.

Integrate Personal Narratives

In the vast content landscape, authenticity emerges as the North Star. An astonishing 91% of consumers gravitate toward authentic brands. Our unique path to resonate with the audience?

Let's delve into Sarah's journey, a fashion blogger who shifted from picture-perfect portrayals to candid stories of outfit experiments. This glimpse into her genuine experiences formed an instant relatability.

Our pro tip: Integrate personal narratives that seamlessly tie to the subject matter. Much like Sarah's fashion escapades humanized her, our real-life encounters enrich content. Authenticity, devoid of polished facades, cultivates trust, forging an unbreakable bridge connecting content with hearts.

Immerse in Your Audience's World

The secret to authentic content at Click Intelligence lies in deep audience immersion. To truly resonate, stepping into the audience's shoes is believed to be essential. Dedicate a day each month to be your "Audience Day."

On this day, consume content, interact with products, or engage in experiences your target audience would. For instance, when targeting a young, tech-savvy demographic, trying gaming platforms and discussing trends on relevant forums can be beneficial. This immersion can bring forth insights into their actual needs and language.

By incorporating these insights into the content, it can be ensured that it feels genuine and directly speaks to their hearts. Authenticity isn't about mirroring; it's about understanding and reflecting true needs and emotions.

Include Relevant References and Feedback

Authenticity can be achieved by including a reference to a recent conversation, event, or industry update that resonates with the audience.

For instance, creating SEO tips from issues faced by clients is an effective method. This allows for a personalized message to the audience while also providing unique insight and value on a niche-relevant topic.

"My client faced issue x. Here's what you need to know."

Often, the best content comes from real interactions with customers or team members. Utilize actual questions, feedback, or testimonials to make the content resonate.

Ben Poulton, SEO Consultant and Founder, Intellar

Implement a One-to-One Connection Approach

To ensure content authenticity and personalization for our target audience, we conduct thorough audience research and implement the "one-to-one connection" approach. We delve into our audience's demographics, preferences, pain points, and aspirations. This enables us to tailor content that speaks directly to their needs.

Moreover, addressing specific pain points and providing solutions showcases a deep understanding of the audience's challenges. Infuse relatable anecdotes or examples to connect emotionally. Keeping the language conversational and avoiding overly promotional tones further boosts authenticity.

Maintain a Distinct Voice in Content

With more and more people using ChatGPT to help out with first drafts, I have taken a different approach. While I will use LLMs for list-building and idea generation, I always like to keep the phrasing distinctly within my own voice. Just as my favorite writers have a style, I am trying to stay true to mine.

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