Engage!7 Strategies for DrivingRelevance & Resonancein Written Content
Good writing does not succeed orfail on the strength of its ability topersuade. It succeeds or fails onthe strength of its ability toengage you, to make you think, togive you a glimpse into someoneelses head.~Malcolm Gladwell
This is the outside of Malcolm Gladwell’s head.
When our content doesn’t address theaudience’s needs right from the start,they move on to content that does.An inconvenient truth
1. Be the AudienceWhat gets and keeps you interested?Investigate your own experience as acontent consumer to learn whatcompels engagement.
2. Define Your Audience(s)Who, specifically, are you trying toreach?Develop persona(e), not labels, tounderstand your audience better.
PeopleHow you describe your audience in termsof traits, values, needs/concerns and theexperience/feeling they want to have.Busy parents seeking safe, educational after-schoolcare for their kids.orTenants who need off-hours repairs.
3. Focus on PurposeWhat do you want the audience tothink, feel and/or do?Guide content & improve results witha clear purpose & call to action.
Purpose | Call to ActionPurpose | Call to ActionWhat you want theaudience to think/feelWhat you want theaudience to doTAC is a good steward ofmy donation/I trust TACThe people I like toassociate with supportTACI’m proud of myinvolvement with TACCome to TAC eventsContinue to supportTAC/increase supportEncourage others tosupport TAC
3. Increase Relevance w/QuestionsWhat are the questions andobjections the audience may have?Anticipate & address audiencequestions, push-back & concerns.
QuestionsWhat questions/objections might youraudience have?What’s in it for me?Why should I care?Is this relevant to me?What do you need me to do?I can’t afford it/I don’t have time.
5. Increase Relevance w/DetailsWhat evidence, explanations &/orexamples address needs, supportideas?Use details to expand on keyconcepts, answer questions &enhance relevance.
ContentContentMain Idea Key DetailsThe one most importantthing you want theaudience to knowThe big idea or take-awayEvidenceExamplesExplanation
3 Kinds of DetailsEvidence: facts, data; helpful todecision-makersExamples: anecdotes, stories;useful for re-affirming or showingExplanations: definitions,descriptions; critical for curious,uninformed or new people
Choose a voice that sounds likesomeone your audience trusts andwants to hear from.Connect audience and writerpersonae.How-to tips: http://bit.ly/MUrgqNVoice establishes credibility,relatability and trust
Yet another inconvenient truth94% of reading decisions happenbefore the prospect has even read aword of your content.- Heidi Cohen
7. Design to Entice & InformHow can we make the content moreaccessible and interactive?Formatting, design, links,videos,images and social sharing helpreaders engage by consuming,interacting with and sharing content.