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Create Compelling Content: Seven Ways to Draw Readers In

posted by Michael Epps Utley Michael Epps Utley
Create Compelling Content Seven Ways to Draw Readers In

Do you want prospective customers to check out your content over and over and over again? Who doesn’t?

Doing so keeps your business top of mind, making it more likely people will think of it when it comes time to buy.

This guide explains how to write compelling content readers will look forward to checking out.

State the Opposite…Sometimes

Are there commonly held beliefs or precepts in your industry? One way to make your business stand out is to take them on. Challenging something everyone thinks is true is an excellent way to get attention and encourage people to find out why you’re doing it.

For instance, if you work in fitness, a commonly held belief is that aerobics is the best way to burn calories and lose weight. You could get a lot of attention if you challenge the assumption by stating that weight training can be equally or more effective. People will become addicted to your content because they will want to find out all the ways lifting weights could benefit them. This could help transform what would otherwise be a single article into a series readers can’t get enough of. It could also be an opportunity to differentiate your brand from ones that present themselves more conventionally.

Be careful with this contrarian approach, however. If you’re going to make a bold claim, you have to be able to back it up. Brands that go against the grain simply to make a splash without providing the goods quickly lose credibility and get sent to the spam folder with the rest.

Be Original (Get Weird)

Using unique positioning in your content is a great way to garner attention and get people to want to see what you will do next.

For instance, going back to the fitness business, there are countless pieces of content like “10 Common Exercise Mistakes,” and people are unlikely to want to read another one. However, a piece entitled “10 Things You Can Learn About Exercise From Cats” will get attention and engagement because of its unique positioning. It will also encourage readers to come back for more to see what other exciting ideas you have.

Use Analogies

Analogies are simple comparisons that make complex concepts easy to understand.

For instance, durian is a challenging fruit to describe to people who’ve never tried it. One way to do so is to describe it as having a sweet, custardy flavor with a texture similar to creamy cheesecake.

The above analogy — comparing durian to custard and cheesecake — makes it possible to understand what durian tastes like by evoking familiar flavors. When you find simple ways for people to understand new ideas, your content will become their go-to for learning new things.

Leverage Storytelling

Basic copy does little to engage our brains. However, when storytelling Is employed, our brains release chemicals like dopamine and oxytocin, which make people feel more happy, engaged, and interested. This makes storytelling a great way to get — and keep — people interested in your content. Consumers will want to come back repeatedly to experience the high reading your copy gives them.

Be Specific

Vague copy won’t earn the levels of engagement and repeat readership you desire. By contrast, clear, concise, and specific copy gets — and keeps — people interested.

Here are some ways to make your copy more specific:

  • Write as you would talk to a friend

  • Ensure content responds to consumer intent

  • Avoid using abstract language and jargon

  • Avoid weak verbs

  • Keep terminology simple and easy to understand

  • Make claims tangible and concrete

Write Copy Like a Movie Script

By their nature, movie scripts must be descriptive and paint a clear picture.

Writing "he was angry" does not provide adequate detail for a movie director to film a scene. However, if the scene is described as "he enters the lobby, throws water in Mary’s face, and tells her to stay away from him," a director can better visualize and realize the scene.

To ensure your copy reads like a movie, your writing should make it easy for readers to use their imaginations to visualize what you're describing. This approach combines the methods of storytelling and specificity mentioned earlier.

Use Hooks

A hook is the opening section of your copy. It grabs the reader's attention and draws them into the rest of the content.

A hook can take many forms, including:

  • Short story

  • Analogy

  • Arresting statistics or facts

  • Misconception

  • True or false statement

  • Vivid description of a problem or struggle

People will be more likely to return to websites, blogs, and other content sources that they know will hook them at the get go.

Making Your Content a Habit

Having a single successful piece of content is excellent. However, having people check out your content regularly is even better. Habitual engagement keeps your brand front and center, which typically results in more sales and higher revenue. Leverage the tips drawn out here to make your content and brand more engaging.

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