The Magic Ingredient Your Content Needs

I recently learned about a delicious cake made by a local Minneapolis bakery that has an unusual ingredient: beer. It’s so unexpected that you want to know more about it, and you really want to taste it. Immediately.

Content should be the same way. What you write should entice your readers and pull them in, then surprise and delight them, and hopefully make them want more. But what if you’re writing about something that just isn’t enticing, that doesn’t have the tempting qualities of beer and chocolate?

Here are a few ideas for how to add that unexpected element that can make unexciting content more alluring for readers.

1. Make it personal

Let’s say you’re writing about a medical device — not an easy topic to discuss in a way that will engage general readers. This kind of subject matter often gets weighed down by a lot of technical details, regulatory language and medical terms that may be unfamiliar to most.

What can you add to make all this palatable? The human element: a personal story about how someone overcame health issues in his or her life because of a particular device. Bringing in the experience of someone actually using and benefiting from the product will make it much more vivid for readers than all the technical stats in the world. Give your audience someone they can relate to, and your marketing message will be more memorable and effective.

2. Show readers why they should care

For many people, financial topics are unpleasant. The terminology can be intimidating and the complexity of information can be stressful to decipher.

How can you make this topic compelling? Reach your audience where their pain points are. The key is to show them how they could be impacted personally – how their wallets will be affected. For example, a bank promoting its services may want to post information about smart money management: tips that could help readers learn about credit, saving and investment. Readers will pay attention if they think they will learn something about how their problems can be solved or avoided in the future.

3. Let your audience know how they could benefit

Nonprofits have a very difficult job. Most of their communications revolve around asking for money and volunteers. How in the world can you make that message engaging?

Once again, it comes down to focusing on the audience. The best way to pull them in is to let them know how they can benefit. Yes, people want to read about all the good works accomplished by an institution, but what will really hook them is learning about what’s in it for them personally. For example, an organization that needs volunteers should let people know about all the evidence that shows how volunteering is good for you, both physically and mentally. Highlighting the concrete advantages will be of interest to readers, motivating them to learn more and become involved.

What secret ingredient does your content need? For more ideas, check out some of our other posts about blog writing.

And if you want to try that cake, visit Tell them I sent you.

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