Compelling content and stories have never been more important to successful communicating.
This is because there has never been so much competition for the eyes and ears of the world.
The digital and social media arenas have been overrun with endless streams of information from every conceivable source.
Intense Competition for Audience Attention
With so much of the world clamouring to get their messages seen and heard, a new state of nonstop noise has been generated along with ridiculously intense competition for audience attention.
The noise is so loud that entire industries have developed around the concept of inbound marketing and the creation of content so compelling it can grab attention amidst the 24/7 buzz.
But creating fascinating content that cuts through today’s communication landscape is no easy feat.
Here are 10 ways to create the type of enticing content and stories necessary to cut through our boisterous world:
1, Know What Your Audience Wants
Knowing your audience is the starting point for any successful communication.
Understanding their demographics and characteristics determines what kind of information they are interested in receiving.
It also determines how they like to receive information and which channels – both online and off – they are likely to turn to for content.
2, Leverage Your Expertise
Create content around topics you know.
People today crave specialized knowledge, wisdom and thought leadership.
By zeroing in on the topics you are intimate with you can develop content that provides audiences with a sense they are benefiting from the wisdom and knowledge of a subject-matter expert.
This becomes self-perpetuating value because the more you communicate within you knowledge zone, the more you shore up credibility and position yourself as a leader in your field.
3, Be Ruthlessly Succinct
Less is more. This has always been the bedrock of strong content.
With attention spans at all-time lows, brevity has never been more crucial to engaging an audience.
In terms of copy, the key is to develop what you want to say and then be ruthless about editing it down to its bare minimum – and then editing it down again.
Putting no more than three lines in a paragraph makes your copy pleasing to the eye and easy for audiences to scan.
You want your audience to get the gist of what you are communicating quickly and easily without having to wade through a complex web of material.
4, Include Compelling Visuals
We are entrenched in the visual era.
Whether in the form of pictures, graphics or videos, visuals bring content to life.
The key is to embrace the adage that a picture paints a thousand words. Take the time to curate or create arresting visuals.
The best visuals draw audiences into your content. Vibrant colours, unusual shapes, and anything depicting motion are arresting to the human eye.
But like copy, visuals should be simple for an audience to absorb. The audience should understand in a matter of seconds what the visual is communicating and how it fits with your overall message.
Despite the appeal of bright colours, black and white visuals can also punctuate content particularly if the images are sharp and distinct.
Videos, of course, have become part of the standard content mix. But they too should be well thought out, to the point, and should illuminate, not take over, your overall message.
5, Grab Your Audience With Riveting Headlines and Titles
Your audience needs to be irresistibly drawn into your content when they have so many other things to look at.
You could have amazing content, but without the right grabber your audience may never find it.
With so much information being cascaded across traditional and social media channels, grabbing attention is not easy.
Compelling headlines and titles that are newsworthy, unusual and even shocking make audiences want to look further at what you have to say.
6, Communicate in Threes
One of the tactics used by leading communicators is to express content in threes.
This means deciding on three core messages or ideas you want an audience to take away from your content.
Three is generally a digestible amount of information for the human mind to absorb and remember.
Less than three main ideas tends to be seen as too sparse to be considered substantial content; more than three broad ideas can overwhelm short attention spans and leave a blurry perception of your overall message.
7, Pull on the Heartstrings
Triggering audience emotions is a guaranteed way to make content compelling.
Infusing content with references that are amusing, sentimental, and even frightening can go a long way to engaging an audience.
For instance visuals of adorable animals almost always tap audience emotions.
8, Use Fascinating Facts
We are living in the era of data and big data.
With so much information available at our finger tips, we crave new facts.
Fascinating facts and statistics that are not well known can add a great deal of punch to content and keep an audience engaged.
9, Tap Into Current Topics of the Day
We are living in the trending era.
Audiences are captivated by world trends that shift daily and sometimes hourly.
Tapping into these topics by linking your content to what’s going on in the world around you gives your communication a relevancy that attracts attention.
Beyond this, taking a stand on trending topics triggers interest and even dialogue about your content.
This increases the likelihood of your content being widely shared across diverse channels.
10, Tell a Story
People respond to and remember stories, not stand-alone data.
While it’s important to have compelling facts, the body of what you are communicating should tell a story that your audience finds intriguing, entertaining and relatable.
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