Today we are constantly bombarded by content – and it’s only increasing. In fact, 70% of today’s marketers plan to increase their use of original visual content in 2015. This is no surprise, as visuals are not only more engaging and digestible, but 86% of buyers actually express desire to access interactive/visual content on demand.
Good content always leads with a strong story that’s relevant to your audience and provides actionable insight. When shaping stories for our clients, I tend to follow the pattern that asks four questions:
Readers are busy and don’t have time to spare. Grab their attention and let them know what your piece of content is promising to deliver right away. Is your infographic a guide on how to better target millennials on mobile? Perhaps it is a Slideshare on environmental issues and how technology can help reduce your footprint? Whatever it is, get to the point and optimize your title with keywords to help accomplish this.
Now that you have your reader’s attention, you must keep it. Why should they care about your topic? Why is it important in the bigger picture? Why is this a problem? This is the ideal place to include meaningful data to back up your point. Help the reader connect the dots with other related topics to fully illustrate the extent of its impact. Be sure to include data that is not only meaningful but also current and accurate.
How can your reader use your expertise to better help them? A brand’s communication is no longer a one-way stream, and readers now expect to get something out of their engagements. If your piece is about the subscription economy targeted for product managers, give them actionable tips on how they can improve and achieve their goals. Remember to make it about the reader and not about you. This should not be a list of all the reasons your product or service is the best, but how the information you deliver is helpful to your audience.
- NOW WHAT?
What action do you want the reader to take once they’ve successfully engaged with your content? Do you want them to follow your social channels? Do you want them to share your content using a special hashtag? Should they visit a landing page to get more information about your product or solution? Let them know and make it easy for them to do so.
At the end of the day, we’re all consumers too so follow your intuition and produce content that is truly engaging and helpful. Look through your audience’s lens and ask – what would be generous to offer them? If you wouldn’t want to spend time with your own content, chances are no one else will either.
Lead with a great story, back it up with interesting data, package it in a visually pleasing way, and get ready to impress your readers with great visual content!