How To Find Out What Your Readers Want

Published by Algorithmic Global on

what readers want

What do your readers want… Isn’t this the question on every content producer’s mind?

If you know what they want you can tailor your message to them. A focused message leads to action.

For those who have read the previous articles in this series, this post will dive into the second step in using story structure to create content: desire. Put another way, what does the main character of the story want?

Remember, as we talked about in the first post of the series, the reader of the piece of content is the main character of the story we are trying to tell. 

The second post of the series dove into identifying the problem your readers might deal with. This step helps you paint a picture that involves the reader using your content to solve their current issues.

If you’ve ever struggled with creating a sense of urgency with your words, desire is the missing piece.

When the stakes are high you’ll be able to create a world where your reader sees your solution not just as a good idea, but a necessary one. 

Desire is the piece that takes the rest of your content along for the ride. It’s also where you set your reader up to accept help from you, the writer!

Make it matter

Our goal is to speak to a specific audience. Real humans, with real needs.

It’s tempting to skip mentioning the desire but by doing so you risk taking away the edge, the urgency needed for the reader to take action. 

The method of finding what your reader wants:

  1. Identify the problem. 
  2. Determine the basic human need not met by the problem
  3. Craft your desire. 

This might sound a bit too abstract so let me provide an example. Say you’re an electronics store trying to sell more phone chargers. The problem your clients have is that their phone will die. Painting the picture: “Your phone’s battery is low far too often.” The basic human need not being met in this example could be one of two things: communication with a social group OR providing for your family (if the call is related to work).

Well, we use that information to craft our desire. To make it matter. Let’s use the second need from this example to craft our desire. “You want your phone’s battery to last long enough for you to take the call, close the deal, and make sure you meet your quota for the month.”

This puts real stakes on your problem and gives you a springboard to tell the rest of your reader’s story.

Stick to the plan

It’s tempting to start your content by getting straight to the point. For a plumber, maybe that looks something like, “Do you want your leaking pipes fixed?”

If you do this, you take away the urgency by eliminating the human element. Why would someone want a leaky pipe fixed? 

In the plumbing example, the problem would be the leaking pipes, their basic human need would be to have a safe home, and the desire would be to make sure their house doesn’t flood. A sentence addressing desire might look something like this: You want your leaky pipe fixed so your basement doesn’t flood. This makes the stakes much higher!

Identifying and using a quality desire will help hyper-focused your message and allow you to suck readers into your content. 

Once this happens you will need to address any stumbling blocks they might encounter along the way. This happens to be the next step, opponent, and it’s the topic of the next post in this series!

Categories: Copywriting


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