What’s the point of content marketing if no one reads your articles? The whole point is to build an audience and get them to engage with your content, product or brand. This means that your articles need to be enticing; they need to capture an audience and either help them solve a problem or convince them to take further action.
Enticing content starts with the headline. Like a sales pitch, the headline needs to be brief, succinct, accurate and attention-grabbing. It should immediately intrigue your readers but also let them know what to expect when they read the article.
Once you’ve lured in an audience with a juicy headline, the challenge lies in keeping them interested while they start to read the article. Your words need to be impactful enough to get the audience to keep reading until the end, and then you need to have convinced them to stay on your site and take further action.
How do you make your content enticing enough to captivate the readers? It needs to be well-written, obviously, and provide some benefit to the reader at the end. Here are a few tips for writing enticing content.
Don’t bury the lead
The first tip is rule one of journalism – never bury the lead. After the skillfully-crafted headline, the first couple of sentences need to tell the reader what the point of the article is. This is the lead; it’s the gist, the reason why they should care, the crux of the matter.
The lead should always appear in the first paragraph and should tell the reader why they should read on. If the audience loses interest and clicks off the page after reading the first two paragraphs, they should still have an understanding of what the entire article was about.
Time is not on your side as readers have incredibly short attention spans on the internet, so it’s important that you put the lead out there immediately. Burying the lead means that the crux of the article only appears in the middle, or at the end of the article (like all stories and novels). You need to understand that your audience is likely to skim-read your article, so you need to immediately convince them why they should care and carry on reading.
Be very clear with your content
Being clear is key to getting your point across. You cannot persuade an audience if they don’t know what you’re writing about and if your content is confusing. You need to state facts clearly and let your audience make up their own minds.
No one wants to read an article about how amazing your company or product is, but you can present the readers with facts and useful content that will let them deduce this on their own. Keep your articles grounded, be honest and natural – these are qualities of good content, just as they are in real people.
By using a natural tone with your content, it will be clear to the audience. Refrain from using jargon or alienating language that will immediately lose the interest of your readers. You need to write so that the audience can understand easily.
The best way to do this is to focus on the reader’s needs; understand their problems and say how your product or brand can provide an easy solution. This will convey value to the audience, making it a more memorable piece of content.
Stay true to your angle
Once you decide on an angle to take, stick to it. This will help with consistency and clarity. The best angles are those that tell the audience why something happens, how it happens and who it affects. These key points allow you to build a narrative around your article and create a story to which the readers can relate.
Your audience will stay interested in your content if you tell a story, rather than regurgitating boring facts and figures with no apparent purpose. Paint the bigger picture for your readers. A clear angle will guide the audience and help them to understand why the content is important.
Your angle will allow the audience to insert themselves into the narrative and understand the challenge presented, as well as welcome the solution. It will allow the audience to take something away after they’ve finished reading. For shorter articles, such as blog posts, you can start by immediately addressing a problem faced by the reader. Present a clear solution by sticking to the angle of the article.
Be an authoritative voice
Anyone can write an article and post it online. The difference between you and everyone else is that you need to have credibility. Why should readers trust what you say? Why should they care about your advice? You need to present yourself as an authoritative voice on a certain subject (or at least include other prominent voices if not).
The key to being perceived as trustworthy is to be an expert, a source of knowledge or an experienced individual. If you’re not an expert in the field, then you can use quotes from those who are. Talk to professionals in the industry, include them in your content. Speak to the consumers, use their honest feedback in your articles.
Your audience is far more likely to trust your content if it is honest and includes information from other customers or industry experts. Make use of testimonials, reviews, quotes and social media feedback. It will also solidify the arguments in your article if they come from various sources rather than just the writer’s perspective. User-generated content can be an even better way of including your audience’s own voice in your content.
These tips should help you to write more enticing content for your business or website. They will allow the audience to invest their time in your articles and walk away with a benefit of some sort.
Sorted Design Agency is a creative company that constantly looks for solutions to other people’s problems. These problems come mostly in the visual format, such as graphic design, logo and illustration, but we’re experts in brand development, website design, and digital SEO campaigns as well.
Based in Pretoria and Cape Town, Sorted has been in the content marketing industry since 2006. We assist your company with its corporate identity by communicating core values through content and articles written for your website, blog and news area. This content is supported by AdWords and social advertising, which facilitates wider reach and audience growth. Turn your website into a business tool.
Sorted also owns two other businesses; InkFish Print Studio – a printing company that handles a range of promotional materials for businesses and other services for individual customers, and Pampiri + Kie – a gifts and stationery store selling online and in-store. Both of these companies operate from Cape Town and Pretoria.
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