Rumor has it that long-form articles and content are way more engaging than the spark notes versions. Seems pretty logical, right?
If you’re thinking of creating dynamic and captivating content for your audience, you may want to start with the basics. Join us for a tour of what it takes to create engaging content, content that is considered the rarest of rare: 10X.
We have such easy access to a plethora of information, thanks to our iPhones, iPads, iMacs, and iWhatever-you-want-it-to-be, that our attention spans have plummeted to 8 seconds. Let me repeat that, 8 seconds.
All this really means for us marketing agencies and attention-grabbers is that we need to write short, concise, and dramatic headlines. No one is going to read your content unless you grab their attention right away with a great hook. People browse through so much content on a daily basis that they need to be picky about what they choose to read.
How they do this, you may ask? By filtering. People filter based on a few things including personal interests, curiosities, and perhaps a title that sticks out. For example, headlines beginning with titles like “You won’t believe this” and “You have to see this” can really grab someone’s attention, and trigger that click – you guessed it, the famous “clickbait” secret.
Now, before you go on and compile a list of clickbaity titles, we must warn you. They’re loved by people like us but hated by those who have fallen for their fake promise. Make sure that your article is at least somewhat as interesting as its dramatic title. Otherwise, your readers will never trust anything else you write. You’ll watch your clicks dry up.
Now that you found a way to deal with people’s 8-second attention span, and trigger a click response from your audience, it’s time to focus on the actual content.
When it comes to putting great content on paper, think about the reader’s perspective as you write. Would you rather read a long, detailed, and tedious article about the “top ways to take care of your skin,” or a more bottom-line and concise version of the subject?
The majority votes for the second option.
This is not only due to our short attention span, courtesy of technological advances, but because longer content means more fluff. We tend to highlight the critical parts when writing short form content. People no longer want the extra details or every piece of information on skin care, they want the conclusion. Yes, I have oily skin, and I know what that means, but what can I do?
We’re not saying don’t fluff things up at all, but keep it to a minimum. You can brag about how a product will enhance the reader’s skin, but don’t highlight a million reasons why their skin will be flawless. They got it the first time.
Don’t Use Words like “Lamentable”
Nobody cares if you know all the words in the dictionary. What people will care about is that you’re making their leisure reading too difficult. Ditch words that you find in the thesaurus, which no one else has ever heard of. We know you want to sound like an intelligent and credible know-it-all but don’t.
People prefer reading relatable and conversational text, not articles written by a robot on steroids. Individuals scanning for content search for value, and want to gain insight. They want to see a face behind the article, and not some repetitive content inspired by a 65% score for plagiarism.
Here’s the secret to success: write your own fresh content, use simple terms, and make valuable points.
Last but not least, pray. Because not everyone cares about your skin care tips.
Let’s All Get Emotional
Okay, let’s not. But seriously, how many times have you clicked on an article because you felt a tinge of emotion or empathy? We’re all guilty.
When you use emotion-provoking content, you’re going straight for the heart. Addressing critical themes such as love, hope, death, and joy are common triggers for an emotional response in your audience.
With that in mind, make sure that what you’re writing about has somewhat of an importance to you. If it doesn’t make you emotional or it’s not significant enough, find a way to make it applicable to your own life.
For example, if you’re writing about a bride’s guide to the perfect wedding, put yourself in the bride’s shoes. This is true for men too, by the way. It doesn’t matter if you’re not even close to getting married. Just use your imagination. The closer you are to applying the relevant topic to yourself, the more genuine and engaging your content will be.
Individuals who are reading about hope and death want to feel, experience and be stimulated by the content that’s in front of them. Make them cry, laugh, clap, twirl around, and do some jumping jacks. Once you’ve mastered this art, you can be sure you’ve got yourself some new and dedicated followers.
Addressing your audience and their micro attention span, using simple words to describe complex topics, and implementing emotional triggers is your breakthrough. Don’t be intimidated by the long content you find on the web. Sooner or later, those writers will also follow your lead. Try to condense as much information as possible, but make sure it’s reader-friendly and that you properly express what you’re trying to say.
We’re going to leave you with one last quote from none other than Benjamin Franklin himself- “Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing.”
Choose one, and good luck.
P.S. If you’re not into the whole writing 10X content scene, we’ve got the very best experts who are. Schedule a consultation at Next Level Marketing today.
This article was written by our SEO Specialist and content writer Sharone Houri.