Rules of engagement Part 2 – The content

So, we’ve already covered the first part, which was the headline, but what comes next?

Content.

If you have been successful with grabbing the reader’s attention, you now have access to the 20% or so of people who read on past the headline. For them to get to this stage then the interest is already there and your job now is to convince them of the worthiness of your product and keep them engaged.. The first step in this stage is identifying your audience. To do this, let’s ask ourselves a few questions to narrow this down.

  • What is the average age of the target audience?
  • Are they likely to be male or female?
  • Are they based in the same country?
  • What feature of your product attracts them?
  • What questions would they ask about your product?
  • What do they actually want from your product? (not need, but WANT!)

If you can answer these questions, you start to build up an idea of the type of person who is your ideal target customer. Then, try to visualize this idea as a person and word the content as if you are talking to this person. Target the wording towards the features and the benefits that this person wants and then emphasize the best points. For example, if you were selling a car to a man, your sales pitch would be angled towards the type of man. If it is a single older male, you might emphasize the powerful engine and elevation of status. For a younger male you might emphasize a low insurance group and dynamic styling. For a man with children, you would want to emphasize safety, economy and spaciousness. Essentially you sell the benefits that suit your target customer. You get the idea? We talked earlier about the 4 “U”s. With the content, we need to talk about the 4 “C”’s:

Clear – emphasize any points clearly and accurately.
Concise – keep it short. Remember people only have a limited attention span.
Compelling – make it interesting enough to make them continue reading.
Convincing – make the reader feel what you are telling them.

So there you have it. Headline and content. Both should work together in perfect harmony to make up your ideal blog, post, advert or sales pitch. If you are interested in learning more, there are literally hundreds of sites dedicated to this subject online. Each one will have a different focus, a different technique, a different story. Some people are naturally good at this, some people have to work at it. Whichever you are, I hope that this has been helpful to you. If you want to keep on following (and I hope you will!), please sign up for my e-mail newsletter or enter your details below in the comments section and tick the “Notify me of new posts by e-mail” box. 

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you all soon! Gaz.

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