You don’t have much time to grab the attention of your readers. According to social media planner Buffer, 55% of visitors read your articles for 15 seconds or less. So your first lines have to leave a reader flabbergasted. Otherwise, you’ll lose them.
So, have I got your attention? I think so. The Godfather of advertising David Ogilvy once said, ‘When you have written your headline, you have spent 80 cents out of your dollar.’ This 80/20 rule still applies to content marketing today.
Not everyone has the superpower to write captivating captions, but there are some nifty tricks that can turn a reader into a believer.
1. Value instead of specs
This is one of the basic marketing rules, but easily looked over: make it crystal clear what’s in it for them. Don’t talk about yourself, nor your product. Tell why your product will make their life better. In this post Michiel Steegmans talks about the value of interconnecting digital systems. Oh, and did I mention they sell these solutions too? No. He didn’t either.
2. Share your emotions
You can claim that your product has a 80% success rate. But did your users experience intense happiness, like seeing a double rainbow at a moment they were on the verge of giving up? People make decisions based on their emotions. This is called ‘emotional appeal advertising’ and urges customers to buy products and services by triggering emotions rather than awakening rational thoughts. Emma Freivogel of Radical Recruit uses one of the strongest emotions of all: grief.
3. Make it personal
People love people. They don’t love products in the first place. Human connections are essential in doing business. Alexander Verbist tells a story about how he’s been turned down by a potential customer: a big banking company. And now he claims to write solely for millionaires and the Queen. Funny, recognizable ánd personal.
Keep it short. Okay, maybe don’t remove the vowels. But keeping sentences short increases readability. And that is a fact. No more words needed. Taha Riana gets this. His post is long, but the sentences are short so it’s a pleasure to read.
5. Data does the trick
When you’ve added value, shared emotions and made it personal, you’re probably already there. But dropping a few fat numbers can increase the chance of gaining interest with 80%. I just made that number up, you caught me. But it worked, right? Seth, the Master has a point in this post.
6. Do the unexpected
Nothing wakes a scroller up like a plot twist. People scroll multiple hours a day, so you have to stand out from the crowd. Adam Karpiak, HR-professional, executes a perfect plot twist in this post.