I read...a lot. Mostly on the web, although I'm a Prime member of Amazon and run through a fair number of books, as well. I've been noticing lately that, in order to keep up, I've become a scanner. I've also noticed that people I talk with have become scanners.
You can tell when you're discussing something they've read and they only remember the highlights.It's a self-preservation move. There's simply too much information to keep up with.Start by making your paragraphs short and to the point. Lead with a hook and pull your readers forward quickly with valuable insights. Make it really easy for them to engage.
When you're writing your marketing content, consider the difference between low effort elements and high effort commitments when you make your formatting choices.Low effort elements:These are formatting elements that help your audience scan, see value and decide to read the body of your content because they find meaning fast.sub headsbullets call-outs charts summariesbrevity - make every word count.
High effort commitment: These are formatting choices that cause your audience to re-evaluate their decision because they're now focused on expending energy they didn't count on instead of being engaged easily by the meaning within your words. Walls of content that take too much concentration to plow through complex terminology they have to work too hard to understand too much bold font within paragraphs that tries to tell them what's important - although occasionally it's nice to have as a marker for really important points.
This means points they think are important, not what you think. (customer focus)acronyms that they have to keep scrolling back up to the first use to remind themselves what those terms meanwriting that rambles with no apparent pointIt's very hard to write concisely. Have you noticed when you try you find yourself holding on to every precious word you've written down? Cut ruthlessly and change those 40-word sentences into something easily digestible.
One good tip is to read what you've written out loud. If you can't read your sentences without stumbling or stopping to take a breath, what experience do you think your reader will have? It's really important to consider who your marketing content is designed for. Not only in topic, but in format. In fact, I'd stipulate that it's more appropriate than ever to think about how you construct your content from two reader perspectives-the scanner and the intentional reader.Give people a choice. Let them know up front what they'll get if they choose to continue reading.
To do this effectively, not only do you need to know your audience, but you need to know what's important to them and where the value lies within the context of your marketing content.Today's great marketing content is all about weaving together high value with low effort.
This doesn't mean I'm not going to drop everything to read really well written content that has a valuable takeaway for me. It means I just don't find that kind of content very often.Neither do your prospects and customers. There's a great opportunity out there for marketers who can create compelling content designed just for a targeted audience.
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