3 Ways To Write Content To Captivate A Bored Audience (even if you’re not a copywriter)
Think of converting your content from grainy black and white to sparkling color.
“I want to give my audience solid information. After all, that’s why they’re in my audience, right? They want to get something from what I send them.
“But let’s face it. Every audience these days is jaded, bored, exhausted, and overwhelmed. So everybody’s advising me to entertain, captivate and engage.”
Many business owners feel they’re being asked to taking an old-fashioned black and white television and demand, “Show up in color!”
The television just doesn’t have the tubes to do it. It’s hard-wired at the factory. Black and white is that television’s destiny.
But your copy doesn’t get built the same way. You aren’t hard-wired to write dull, boring prose. You can open the back, move things around, and — there it is! Your ideas just came alive in Living Color.
The three techniques I use and recommend to my own clients are:
Stories keep listeners hooked because they want to hear how everything turned out. They allow you to promote yourself without bragging. Every online business owner should have a portfolio of 3 stories and an awareness of what makes storytelling work.
Metaphors are stories in capsule form. When you’re trying to explain what you do, who you are, or how you help people, it’s often useful to come up with a metaphor. For instance, I like to say that web development is like football, where the copywriter is the quarterback and the design team is the offensive line. (I say this a lot, so it’s probably not new to you.)
The problem with metaphors? You can overdo it. Or you can let the metaphor drive the strategy: I’ve done this myself, more than once.
Instead of saying, “I organize your home so you can find everything,” you can say, “Imagine … you’ll never spend a minute or an hour looking for that document you need to sign right now.”
Invoke all 5 of your reader’s senses. Bring your reader into the scene.
Believe it or not, word pictures will be more effective when someone is reading than when someone is watching a video.
We have higher involvement in print and audio media because we have to use our imagination. We can be more passive when we’re watching a movie.
The old “Mad Men” advertisers knew this. Stan Freberg created an iconic 60-second commercial to illustrate the power of radio — i.e., audio only.
“Imagine Lake Michigan is drained and filled with hot chocolate. Then a helicopter drops a giant maraschino cherry…
“Now try and do this with video!”
You can listen to the original commercial at https://youtu.be/USotnlORBZ0 starting at 3:13. (The other commercials are fun too.)
Which of these strategies can you use in your own content?
Cathy Goodwin is a storyteller, copywriter, and strategist. She helps small businesses who want to solve their toughest marketing problems by telling stories. Read her book, Grow Your Business One Story At A Time, free with Amazon kindle.
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Originally published at https://cathygoodwin.com.