Feel like a baby in content marketing?
Reading online is like attempting to focus with ADD (attention deficit disorder). The screen has so many distractions vying for your attention:
- social media icons
While these work well for attracting attention, they make it hard to stay focused on the copy.
Despite a visit to your website through a search of your services and business, a pop-up or auto-loading video will distract the visitor from the original intention.
- Write for Skimmers
The reality is that less than 17% of your online viewers read word-for-word. Almost 8 out of 10 readers skim your page and just pick out a few words and phrases.
What does that mean for you?
Simply put, that means you must create skimmable content instead of long sentences (less than 16 words). Get rid of big boxes of text. Start with a conclusion and then spend the rest of the time proving it. That way, if someone only reads the beginning, they are getting the gist of what you want to say.
According to the 2016 State of Small Business Report, two-thirds of small businesses invest less than 6% of budget on marketing efforts so losing prospective clients due to poor online content is devastating.
Poor is difficult to skim and hard to understand content.
2. Answer the question “What’s in it for Me?”
Content should be relevant to your visitors and aimed at them.
Use only one idea per paragraph so that it is easy to understand your intention.
3. Write as a conversation
Talk to your audience as though you were actually talking. This will keep you from being boring and rote. Develop a relationship with them.
Be direct and use an active voice. E.G. We write your newsletters instead of Your newsletters are written by us.
4. Check the readability level
Check your content by running it through a readability test for educational level.
Microsoft Word has a built-in readability test under the Review tab’s Spelling and Grammar option. This article came in at a 7.8 grade level:
Consider writing your content for 6-8 grade reading level. Most people are comfortable in this range.
5. Break information up into white space and microcontent
White space prevents the screen from looking crowded and makes it easier for the eye to skim.
Microcontent is the bite-sized content that hooks the reader and helps the eye skim your Web material. It includes…
- Headlines: 4-10-words
- Summary: Gives an overview after the headline.
- Subheads: Short sentences that break up sections of text.
- Bullet points: Use for lists rather than for many lines of text.
Want more tips for content marketing? Check out