How to Write Stories that Engage the Reader

As a writer, there are certain guidelines that you should follow to ensure your content holds the attention of your readers, and that they remember what they’ve read. Marketing content, whether it’s a story, a blog, or a tagline, has to be engaging and memorable. It’s easy to capture people’s attention, but making a lasting impact is the tricky part.

The most impressive marketing content does not work unless you communicate value (Olenski, 2018). Start asking yourself questions like “how can I make this more valuable?” or, “does this content balance insights and accessibility?” (Neil Patel). You need to clearly communicate exactly what value you’re offering. This is especially true when considering the competitive landscape – What’s going to make your audience want to read your content over your competitors? Learning how to market your online content through a story is a great way to create a connection with your readers. Your marketing content provides a gateway into your brand, and can lead the reader into your sales pitch, but only if you’re offering value.

Defining the intent of your content will help you add value. Is to generate brand awareness? Convert prospects? For entertainment? This will determine your writing style. Understanding your audience, what you need from your audience, and what they need from you, will ensure your writing style is consistent and impactful. Every piece of content is created for a specific target market that you want to reach. If you don’t know which channels to use to reach them, or understand their interests, then your content will not reach / engage them.

You’ve probably heard of the term; fortune favours the bold. And for brands, this is no exception. How many times, do you see a brand play safe and just fall into the category of boring? If you want your brand to thrive in today’s competitive, digital space, which has now become a minefield of ads and noise, you need to stand out. Think about your offering, or your value, and how you can exaggerate it online. Make sure it’s aligned with your brand values though, and extra points if it’s funny. Humour sells.

Keep it simple. It may be tempting to include long-winded dialogue and professional jargon, but try to limit this practice. The reader doesn’t have time to lose, trying to figure out what you’re trying to say. They just want the information you are providing to them in short order and with clear and concise writing. Obviously, this depends on your audience, and sometimes in which simplicity may not be the best option to engage your audience, such as when your target audience is industry professionals, however, if you’re marketing to the public or consumers, it’s best to keep things as simple as possible for it to make an impact.

Speaking of simplicity, be blunt. Waffle is waffle even when it’s great waffle. Scrap the waffle and focus on the intent. Share your stories, or your messages, honestly and authentically, in a way that the reader can relate to. Think about how the story, or the character, relates to the audience that you are trying to reach. This will even make it easier to write the content.

Make it visual. 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed in the brain at 60,000 times the speed of text (Visual Teaching Alliance). Illustrations, infographics, and even photography, are great ways to add extra verbiage in marketing pieces that allow the reader to digest the information, and remember it more clearly. The average person’s attention span is 12 seconds, so you’ve got 12 seconds to captivate them. Whether this is achieved with words, or with visuals, If you are trying to get your foot within the advertising circle, you can’t afford to create content that doesn’t hold the readers’ interest. A lot of time, effort, and money will be poured into your marketing content, so it’s important that it does what you want it to; holds the readers’ interest from start to finish. Visual information is a great way to do this.

Lastly, never underestimate the power of passion in any business venture. If you care—or don’t care, it will show (Olenski, 2018). 

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Joe Allen

Joe has vast experience and knowledge accumulated and honed as a New Business Development Manager and Relationship Manager. Presently the Director at Belu Media.

Responsible for generating new business clients, looking after existing clients, sourcing new ventures and managing the company.

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