“Why waste a sentence saying nothing?” – Seth Godin
The world is creating 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. Around 1400 new blog posts are being created every minute. Do you think people actually have the time to read every blog or article being generated online? Can YOU focus your attention for so long?
Bombarded with words and more words everywhere, people don’t read in detail any longer. They rather prefer skim-reading. According to researchers at the Missouri University of Science and Technology, an average user spends just 5.59 seconds to skim through your web content.
Inspire them to take action within this bout by creating content that stands out. Excellent content positively impacts your ROI by stimulating lead generation and brand loyalty. Either write awesome, or don’t write! Writing fluff will waste your time and money.
Let’s look at the science of reading and how you can craft your words around the 5 key elements that define this science.
Why do people skim? It helps them decide whether it’s worth it or not. So, how do you introduce the element of skimming in your content?
Take one step at a time. Break your content with crisp, catchy, meaningful headings, sub-headings, bullet points, etc. that briefly tell your story and grab the reader’s attention in the first six seconds. By now, 20% of your goal has already been achieved.
If the first impression is good, the next thing they do is look for keywords or jargon that fit their industry and seem to address their pain points. The best way to ensure those keywords in your content is to conduct proper research on the industry you are writing on, and before that, about your target audience.
Incorporate every word that counts while also doing away with any redundant words. Also, include helpful links that could provide them with further information within your enterprise sources. Because showing them that you genuinely respect their time is what you ultimately want.
Once they have skimmed and scanned your content, 50% of the battle is won. Clearly, they are truly interested in what you’ve got to offer. However, your content, in its entirety, should be aligned with the level of knowledge your target audience possesses.
Provide them with enough meat that’s not too hard to chew. Gather relevant information from SMEs and offer them exactly what they’re looking for. Understanding your audience before anything else is the key to adding value to their life. Or else, you simply lose their interest.
Note: Stay a hundred miles away from the marketing point of view here.
Back up your content with facts and statistics from credible sources. Don’t forget to include significant points based on your personal approach. It makes them stop for a while, think, and imbibe your content, thereby rethinking the possibilities that revolve around it.
Once they find it worth pondering on, it is only then that they decide to take action upon it.
Now they are ready to act upon your content. Be specific about what you want them to do; write it plain and simple. Don’t perplex your audience with ambiguous hints. People like to follow a clear direction.
Let them know whether you want them to call you or fill a form or write an email to you.
Offer what they are looking for based on how they like taking it, not how you think they would take it.