Crafting Captivating Content 101
You’ve done your keyword searches, researched topics and finally settled on what you are going to write about for your next blog or post, but how do you make it interesting enough that people will actually want to read it and share it?
Welcome to Crafting Captivating Content 101; please take your seats. I will be your instructor today, here to provide you with a quick down and dirty guide to help you turn so-so content into something your audience is fascinated by.
Content is King
No matter how much time goes by, the old adage still rings true. Content is still king and Long Live the King! Regardless of where you are posting or who your audience is, people nowadays crave fantastic content. Whether it educates, informs, or provides levity to their day, the bottom line is that great content drives marketing efforts and the ability to craft said content is extremely valuable in today’s digital world.
By creating great content you can build a link to someone. That link can then foster a connection that strengthens and builds trust as they come back again and again while at the same time spreading your brand to their circle as they recommend your content to those around them.
That is a very powerful tool.
Crafting Content 101
It is important to understand that everyone who writes has a different process. While many writers might use similar concepts or ideas within the framework of their writing, there is no perfect system that has to be followed.
A good comparison would be brewing a great craft beer or making an award-winning wine; there are a lot of ways to get from Point A to Point B that involves a variety of techniques, order of operation and style.
With that being said, what we are looking to provide you with are concepts and ideas that you can incorporate into your process to help the end result taste better.
Nail the Intro – You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Your intro is your first impression so make sure you give it the detail it needs. You need to explain why they need to waste valuable time reading or watching anything else you have to say.
Empathy – Empathy is one of the most powerful tools in any writer’s bag. It is through empathy that some of the best writers connect to an audience because it creates an instant connect to those being empathized with. To use empathy when writing for an audience requires that you not only put yourself in their shoes, but also try and view the world from their eyes so that you understand them emotionally. What are their problems, fears and insecurities? What is it that they need most from you that you can then provide them? Learn to become empathetic and speak to a customer’s needs.
Answer Pressing Questions – In Journalism this is called, “Don’t bury the lead.” In essence you are writing the most important thing first, or in the case of content answering the most important questions first. Why do you need to read this article at all? Because content is king, that’s why!
SDI Method – The SDI method stands for surprise, delight and inform. The concept is to use specific neurological responses along with emotional responses from users to create a stronger connection. People like positive surprises and they also like to be informed. The use of delight then creates a positive association. This method is especially powerful for small spaces such as captions or Twitter and allows a writer to creatively make something impactful. This method complements a good image extremely well and has been utilized in everything from billboard ads to create 404 Error pages to keep a connection with a user.
Tell a Story – Storytelling is very powerful. We can use it in web design, for commercials, in books and also in our carefully crafted content. People love stories of all types which offer an excellent opportunity to give them what they love! Whether as a first person storyteller, a diary approach to looking back, visual storytelling or even an interview-style conversation with industry leaders; all of these methods are ways to convey information that will connect strongly with your audience.
Avoid Jargon – Clear, concise language is a much better choice that jargon that only some people will understand. One of the best ways to lose a person’s attention is to make them feel alienated because they don’t know the jargon and feel like the content is not meant for them.
Include Quotes – When you can, add quotes. Quotes are power because they provide authority. Even if most people don’t know who is giving the quote, the fact that it is a quote adds power to that person’s thought. However, always make sure to fact check who they are and what they said.
Proofread! – This cannot be stressed enough. In an ideal world you will have one person write and revise content with another person acting as an editor. Why? People have a hard time spotting their own mistakes.
Finish Strong – A strong conclusion is the perfect end to your content. By taking the time to briefly wrap up your point, you help reinforce what is being conveyed to an audience.
For those businesses looking to build a great connection with your customers and users, take the time to create some truly great content. No matter what your current process is, our Crafting Captivating Content 101 ideas can easily be incorporated to help good become great and make sure that you are doing your best to build trust and push your brand to new heights.