Do you want to start writing copy that people actually read? It’s easier than you might think. Follow the steps below and you’ll be well on your way to content marketing bliss.
- Step 1: Accept the fact that the majority of today’s online readers are really more of scanners.
- Step 2: Recognize that if you don’t combat the urge to scan, people aren’t going to read your copy or be persuaded by your brilliant marketing message.
- Step 3: Implement scan-busting methods that will entice users to stop idly scrolling and start, well, reading.
You may be thinking that this all seems a little too simple, but that’s the beauty of it. Getting people to read what you write isn’t rocket science. You just need to employ the three S’s: substance, subheads and scannability.
Why Writing with Substance Will Help You Stand out
Let’s start with the first S: substance. If you aren’t providing readers with content that has value, why in the world would they read it? The Internet provides immediate access to an unlimited, overwhelming amount of information. If you want people to notice you in the sea of mundane, superficial stories, you need to give them a real reason to read.
Most people read because they are looking for some kind of benefit. That benefit can come in many forms: general information on a topic, guidance on how to do something, preventative tips, insider secrets, problem-solving ideas…you get the picture.
If you want to stand out, use a benefit-focused approach when you write. Make sure your headline screams to readers “LOOK AT ME! I’M ABOUT TO PROVIDE YOU WITH VALUABLE INFORMATION! DON’T MISS OUT!” Then follow up with pertinent information that will keep your readers’ attention.
Keeping readers interested isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but using subheads to break up the valuable information you’re providing can encourage people to read your copy from beginning to end.
Why Subheads Entice People to Read
Subheads (aka S number two) are great for a variety of reasons. They break up your copy, they present information in manageable chunks and they give people a reason to read a section they may have otherwise skipped.
We all know that a good headline is essential for enticing people to read your copy. Well, subheads are great because they are really just mini headlines that continually encourage people to keep reading. They serve as a brief introduction to each section of your copy, letting readers know in advance how they are going to benefit from the information that’s to come.
For more information on the benefits of subheads, I suggest reading Copyblogger’s post on making your sales page scannable. An while we’re on the subjet of scannability, let’s turn to the last of our three S’s.
How Subheads Increase Your Page’s Scannability
Scannability. It’s what happens when you take valuable, dynamic content and separate it with enticing, expertly written subheads. In other words, it’s what makes a good page of copy great.
And it’s what you need to make sure people actually read what you write, instead of just skimming to the bottom or ignoring the information altogether.
Big blocks of copy are intimidating, boring and overwhelming. However, using subheads to separate information helps guide readers’ eyes down a page while encouraging them to read the information you’re presenting – instead of immediately dismissing it because of its poor formatting. Subheads let people know what they’ll be missing if they don’t take the time to slow down and read.
Why a Scannable Message Gets Read
Scannable messages are synonymous with accessible messages. And when you’re trying to market your product or service, accessibility is the name of the game. Yes, your focus should be on providing valuable information that encourages customers to take action. But that information needs to be formatted in easily digestible chunks that readers actually want to read. Otherwise your marketing message and any subsequent sales pitches will be lost.
Making your message scannable will help make it successful. Start employing the 3 S’s today to see how easy it is to create substantive marketing messages that people will really read.
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*Image provided by Honou on Flickr