You can now use the internet to find out about anything, literally ANYTHING, you want. Anyone can add content to the web. Everyone can be a copywriter, a reviewer, an editor, an expert.
Google will show you the answer to every conceivable question in an instant. Social networks share everything from the mundane to the miraculous in just moments. News is now omnipresent and available at your fingertips 24 hours a day. Content is consumed in bite-sized chunks by busy people, on the move.
How to get your content to cut-through
I’ll be honest. I find the tidal wave of information rather overwhelming and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Content is certainly king. It drives business by educating, attracting readers and building trust. But in this content-rich world where we’re hungry for more and yet overwhelmed by the sheer volume of content, perhaps it’s time for online copywriters to revisit the basics.
I’m not talking about the art of writing persuasive sales copy, or how you can appeal to your readers’ emotions. I’m talking about the very basic principles of copywriting. I’m talking about making it easier for people to find the information they want quickly, easily and without drowning!
Here are 6 ways in which you can help your content achieve cut through.
If social media has reminded us of anything, it’s the power of a good headline. The ability to say everything you want in just a handful of words – clear and to the point. Like the ultimate share-worthy Tweet, a good headline will get cut-through in a noisy digital world. Those important few words need to scream ‘read me, it will be worth your while’.
#2 Bite-sized chunks
We’re all time poor and media rich these days. We want our information in bite-sized chunks so it can be consumed quickly and viewed easily across different platforms. Long and rambling content just doesn’t scan well, particularly in a digital world. Structure your content into easily digestible paragraphs, with clear sub-headings, bullets or lists. Make it easy to skim read. You want to guide your reader through the content step by step.
#3 Keep it simple
This one stands the test of time and media. Content should be clear, concise and straightforward. Get to the point and don’t dawdle along the way. Your content is being battered from all sides by the reviews, shares, links and likes of other content, all of which threaten to draw your reader away. Use plain, simple, conversational language to get your main message across quickly and readers will stick with it.
#4 Know your audience
Write in a style and language that fits your audience. The more you know about your audience, the better targeted and more effective your content will be. And, the more targeted it is, the more likely you are to achieve cut-through.
#5 What’s in it for me?
Concentrate on making your content relevant and valuable to the reader. Be clear about what they’ll get out of reading it and why it will be worthwhile for them. They’re looking to learn something so make sure your content fulfils on this. Make it useful. Make it interesting.
#6 Clear call to action
Don’t create content for contents sake. There is more than enough pointless content there already. New copy should be created with the aim of eliciting a response of some kind. So, make sure your content includes a really clear call to action. Make it easy for the reader to know what they should do next – whether that’s to share your content, subscribe for more or go on to buy something you’ve just talked about.
In a world where we’re being hit by new content all the time, I’m an advocate of keeping things straightforward and simple. No-one ever complained about something being too easy to understand.