Let’s face it. You create amazing and interesting content. You have a foolproof content marketing calendar. Yet, why aren’t people reading your content?
Writers get motivated to pour their thoughts when people read and appreciate their content.
So, how then can you get people to finish reading your masterpiece?
Content marketing is one of the most challenging marketing strategies, especially if you are trying to reach the younger generation. Admit it, the attention span has been diminished to a few seconds. Most people would prefer to watch videos, too, than read text. Unless you are giving them a really juicy story that keeps them glued.
So how do you get them to read and stay interested? Here are some tips straight out of the reader’s mouth:
Short and Sweet
We get impatient. We don’t like long strings of sentences. Keep it short and simple. 3 to 4 sentences per paragraph will do. We can’t handle too many ideas at once, one idea per paragraph works best.
Break it Down, Yo!
Too many lines of text makes us think, “Oh no, that’s too much!” Help us skim through your article with catchy subheadings. Subheadings that summarize the whole information get us to read more.
Bullets and Numbers Do the Trick
Bullet points and numbered lists help us process multiple information. It’s also easier on the eye when we read by sections. It’s like having a mental image of a list that our brains easily absorb.
What’s In it for Me?
When I read something, the first paragraph always gets me asking, “What’s in it for me? What benefits do I get if I read?” It’s better to write from general to specific. Share your conclusion and then break it down into why you feel that way. It’s like explaining to us why you believe in what you say.
Pictures Capture our Interest
When I visit a blog or article, the first thing that catches my attention is the image. When I look at the title and it somehow connects with the photo but not in a direct way — it piques my curiosity. Captions on photos also make me wonder, “What is this all about?”
Sometimes, Choppy is Good
When I see a text with uniformly spaced paragraphs, I space out. I find it more amusing to read short and then long paragraphs. If the first paragraph is short, I get to finish it. If the next one is longer, I feel tired reading it. But when I see that the next is shorter, I get to it right away. Some trick, huh?
Highlight phrases that are highly important. It’s like emphasizing that you should read this. But, don’t overdo it or I’ll feel like you’re shouting at me or imposing too much. It also loses its value if you overemphasize.
White spaces give us a feeling of cleanliness and order. It also breaks the content making it appear shorter. Sort of a subliminal trick making you think that the text is short, but it’s not. Ha! I got you to read up to this point, right?
Final Words of Wisdom
Content marketing need not be long and winding. We don’t want you to shower us with flowery words that make us pick up the dictionary. Say it right out – no beating around the bush. We want to ponder on your thoughts AFTER we read the article. Make it easy for us to understand and not get lost in words. What do you think?
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“Make your customers the hero of your stories.”~ Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs