Should you write for your audience or write content that is favoured by the platforms’ algorithms?

Writing any piece of content can be a challenge. As a marketer it is even harder, you are constantly trying to balance writing for your audience while writing good enough content that is likely to be served to your audience frequently. However, this sounds like the best way to go about it, but how true is this?

Today we are going to focus on how you should write content for your business, either be it a blog post, social media content or website content, the logic is more or less the same.

We write content for very specific reasons; this means you need to understand clearly what your content is intended for. If you have not mastered it, you cannot replicate it. This simply means research, research and research. If you do not know why your content performs well one day and the next it does not, then you likely have not understood what the data says and why your audience is reacting the way they are.

Every good marketer must understand what their data is telling them and respond appropriately. You would not want to compromise your performance but removing the actual “sauce” the people are interested in. Understand what the “sauce” is and offer the customer what they want.

So back to our original question – Should you write for your audience or write content that is favoured by the platform it is to be published on? Well, yes and no. It may sound like the best cause of action but this type of thinking completely keeps the audience out of the picture. And if the content is written for the people, then the tastes and preferences of the actual consumer of the content should be considered.

Before any type of writing can commence, you need to understand the customer because the content is targeted at them. If the content is of quality for your audience and they engage with it, the platforms’ algorithms will serve/rank your content higher in the bunch, however, this does not make understanding algorithms obsolete. Understanding how algorithms work for any platform gives you an idea of how to write on that platform. You would not share memes on LinkedIn the way you would on Facebook.

Learn more about how social media algorithms work

Let’s use Google as our exhibit. Google’s algorithms are getting more complex each day because Google understands that people are forever switching between the type of content they prefer. Ranking higher on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) may seem to be the number one goal, but what use is it for your brand to rank higher on topics that are not even related to your content. This means your content must be relevant to your service offerings and the actual intention of the content. The users that visit your website must find what they are looking for quickly and efficiently. This means pumping out large amounts of content will not do your brand any good, it will achieve the actual opposite of what you intended it for. Users will visit your website just to realise that the content that they are being served does not answer their questions. Therefore, your pages’ bounce rate will rise.

With this knowledge, we can then safely assume that before you write any piece of content, the consumer of the content must be the focus. If they find what you have written to add value or answer their questions, then they are likely to engage with it. Business depends on customers, so you must understand the people you intend to communicate with. You would not offer a banana to a customer that wants an apple – you cannot offer your customer content that they do not resonate with. The fewer engagements you receive on posts determine how many more people will be served the piece of content. Platforms will not continue to show content that people are not engaging with, this is because they intend to keep the user on the platform for as long as possible so that they can offer the customer ads.

So now we understand that when writing any piece of content, we must first research the topic, understand our customers and understand the platforms algorism to better serve our audience quality content.

Sakkie Ngobeni