Content is King.
How many times have you heard that trope?
It bears repeating because it’s a long-standing truth. If you’re not creating high-quality content that adds value to your readers, you’re failing in your marketing strategy. It’s just that simple.
However, there’s an internet full of content out there begging for someone to check it out. It’s challenging to break through all the noise, especially if SEO is your goal.
It’s tempting to cut corners and produce copy for search engines, not people. Don’t do it! Content written for search engines is B-O-R-I-N-G.
Instead, focus on using these 3 techniques to draw the reader in and achieve your content marketing goals.
1 - Tell a Story
One of the most effective ways to keep your audience engaged is by telling a story. Whether it's a personal anecdote or a fictional tale, storytelling is a powerful tool that captures your reader's attention and keeps them invested in your content.
When you weave a narrative into your writing, it adds an emotional element that can connect with your reader and make your content more memorable.
Emotions = connections. It’s just that simple.
Not sure how to craft a compelling story? Let’s discuss strategy.
Show, Don't Tell
You've probably heard this one a million times but it bears repeating. Combining vivid descriptions and dynamic characters in situations that evoke strong emotions is the key to strong storytelling.
Copywriters often fail at this task when they tick off the reasons why a product or service solves a problem instead of providing actions that serve the same purpose.
For instance, instead of, "These headphones block 99% of external sounds," say something like, "Wrap yourself in a protective cocoon that shields you from the chaos outside."
The cocoon imagery helps me picture the benefits more clearly. If your target audience can imagine themselves in that scenario, they are more likely to emotionally connect with your product or service.
Remember, emotional connection leads to conversion.
Create Conflict and Tension
Conflict and tension create urgency. No one is going to call the fire company unless the house is burning down around them. The same is true for copy that converts.
Say you're writing a social media snippet for a housecleaning company that wants to attract new clients. A common pain point for consumers who need these services is a lack of time to do the job themselves.
A lot of copy addresses this common problem by suggesting something like, "Are the dust bunnies taking over the house again? Give us a call to send them packing." While cute, it hardly creates the kind of conflict that might prompt the person reading it to immediately pick up the phone and call to schedule cleaning services.
Instead, you could try something like this, which creates more urgency:
"Does the sound of your doorbell strike terror into your very soul? Fewer things cause the old heart to thump harder than unexpected guests when your place is drowning in a sea of clutter and dust bunnies. Stop turning out the lights and pretending you're not home. Give us a call instead. Just remember to answer the door when we stop by to tidy up."
This copy is relatable. I mean, who hasn't flipped off the lights and nose-dived out of sight to avoid inviting guests into your untidy home? If you're tired of ducking for cover every time the doorbell rings, then you're going to call this company sooner rather than later.
A picture is worth a thousand words.
Yep, another trope that's used to illustrate a point (pun intended).
Images, infographics, and videos break up text-heavy pieces and keep your readers engaged. Sometimes they’re helpful for driving home complex ideas or adding an extra layer of appeal to your content.
Don’t just toss any graphic into the mix. To get the best results:
2 - Keep it Conversational
Most people dislike content that sounds like a textbook (unless, of course, you're reading a textbook, then it's OK).
Writing overly-analytical content can bore your audience to tears. The last thing you want is for someone to use your content to help them cure a bout with insomnia.
Keep your writing conversational to improve engagement. Your readers want to feel like you’re talking to them, not at them. After all, if they wanted to read content that sounded robotic, they'd plug a prompt into ChatGPT and wait for it to spit out an answer.
Some effective tips for creating conversation include:
3 - Experiment with Formats
Don't be afraid to experiment with different formats. After all, variety is the spice of life. Your readers are less likely to get bored if they experience your content in a variety of ways.
Some types of content to consider include:
By mixing up your formats, you can keep your content fresh and exciting for your readers. Experimenting with formats can also help you determine what resonates best with your audience and adjust your content strategy accordingly.
Bore-Proof Your Content with The Write Reflection
Creating engaging content isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s certainly not for people in a hurry. A strong content marketing strategy requires effort and creativity (and a lot of patience).
Storytelling, creating conflict and urgency, and experimenting with content types bore-proofs your content and keeps readers coming back for more.
If you’re struggling to provide content of value to your target audience, reach out to The Write Reflection today to schedule a no-obligation consultation.
Shari L. Berg is the owner/operator of The Write Reflection, and a writing professional for 25 years.