How to Manage Audience Expectations With Your Content


Marketing is supposed to surprise and delight, so why does so much of it fail to meet audience expectations? Consumers have reported that as much as 45% of brands rarely live up to their promises. Everyone knows that feeling of disappointment when something doesn’t live up to the hype. And sometimes overpromising can feel deceptive. But it doesn’t have to be this way. With a few key considerations, content marketers can keep audiences engaged and informed without underdelivering.

Publish Consistently

One of the best ways to meet audience expectations is deliver content consistently. Publishing on the fly may be a way to keep audiences guessing, but most people are busy and have limited time to consume content outside of their work and family lives. Audiences want predictability to carve out time to read, watch or listen to your content. If you’re sending an e-newsletter, tell people how often they will receive it. If you’re creating weekly blog posts, tell your audience a date to check back for updates. If you’re planning on creating content infrequently, let your audience know that, too.

Commit to a Realistic Content Plan

Before you create and promote content, determine what is reasonable for your organization. What resources are ready and available? Do you have experts on call to lend their time? Promising content to your audience that you don’t have the ability to create regularly can create issues with fulfillment. Audit your team’s abilities and knowledge on the topics around which you’re planning to create content.

Use Clear and Concise CTAs

Honesty is incredibly important in marketing, and you should always be upfront with your audience to build brand integrity. Savvy marketers frown upon bait-and-switch tactics because they will discourage your audience from engaging with your content in the future. Explain clearly to your audience the format and goal of the content you’re producing, ensuring there are no surprises when consumers read an article or click play. Clickbait-style titles and descriptions may bring an audience in once—but don’t bet that they’ll fall for that play again. Check out our blog on compelling CTAs for ideas.

Adjust Your Content Plan as Needed

It may take time to determine how your audience reacts to your content. Once the metrics are in, you may not see the results you wanted. If this happens, don’t force-feed your audience content that is clearly not working. Take these critiques in stride and adjust your strategy to better fit your audience’s needs. Consider conducting a survey or poll before you begin planning your next initiative to find out what your audience is expecting. With that knowledge, you can plan a better strategy.

Do you know what your audience thinks of your content? Use a reader survey to find out. Fill out the form below to download our FREE reader survey template.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.