The ability to stand out from the crowd has always been a big part of success.
The world’s most accomplished business leaders, professionals, politicians, academics, social activists, and celebrities know how to distinguish themselves from their competitors.
But standing out from the crowd has taken on new meaning – and requires a new set of skills – in today’s digital world.
The digital and social media arenas are overrun with endless streams of information and postings from every conceivable source.
Getting Noticed Requires a New Set of Online Skills
With so much of the world clamouring to be seen and heard online, a new state of nonstop noise has been generated along with ridiculously stiff 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 in the crowded online universe.
But creating fascinating content that cuts through today’s digital landscape is no easy feat.
Here are 10 ways successful communicators get noticed in today’s crowded online world:
1, Be Ruthlessly Succinct
Less is more; this has always been the bedrock of effective communicating.
With attention spans at all-time lows, brevity has never been more crucial to engaging any online audience.
In terms of online postings, 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 online 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.
2, Know What your Audience Wants
Knowing your audience is the price of admission for any successful online communication initiative.
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 and platforms – both online and off – they are likely to turn to for content.
3, Master the Art of Compelling Online Headlines
Your audience needs to be irresistibly drawn into your postings when they have so many other things to click on and look at.
You could have amazing content, but without the right grabber your audience will probably never see it.
With so much information being cascaded online, grabbing attention is not easy.
Providing compelling headlines and titles that are newsworthy, unusual and even shocking encourages audiences to dig deeper into what you have to say.
4, Communicate in Threes
One of the tactics used by leading communicators is to express content in threes; this is a particularly powerful communication approach.
It means deciding on three core messages or ideas you want an audience to take away from your postings.
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.
5, Use Fascinating Facts
We are living in the era of data and big data.
With so much information available at our finger tips, audiences today crave new and fresh facts.
Fascinating facts that are not widely known can add a great deal of punch to online postings and keep an audience engaged.
6, Tell a Story
While fascinating facts matter, people ultimately respond to and remember stories, not simply stand-alone data.
While it’s important to have compelling facts, the body of what you are communicating should tell a story that your online audience finds intriguing, entertaining and memorable.
7, Leverage your Expertise
Create online postings around topics you know.
People who are online today crave specialized knowledge, wisdom and thought leadership.
By zeroing in on the topics you are intimate with, you can develop postings that provide audiences with the sense they are getting wisdom and knowledge from a subject-matter expert.
This becomes self-perpetuating value because the more you communicate within you knowledge zone, the more you shore up individual credibility and position yourself as a leader in your field.
8, 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 by taking 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 generally 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, the core message of your postings.
9, Pull on the Heartstrings
The right dose of emotion is almost a guaranteed way to make an online posting 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 animals almost always tap audience emotions in a big way.
10, Tap into Topics of the Moment
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 postings to what’s going on in the world gives your communication a relevancy that attracts attention.
Beyond this, taking a stand on trending topics can trigger significant interest and even dialogue about your postings.
This increases the likelihood of your content being widely shared across diverse online channels.
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