Essential Tips for Producing Effective Digital Content
By Joaquín Enríquez, Communications Specialist
Whether a seasoned writer or an aspiring blogger, crafting noteworthy digital content requires more than technique: it requires a unique mixture of the right tools with a strategy that is unique to your personality or brand. Web copy is scanned or glanced at. Not read. So using the appropriate writing techniques can make the difference between your story being a hit or total flop. Consider adding the following digital tools to your toolkit, they will act as the cornerstone of your digital media strategy:
WRITE CATCHY HEADLINES
You’re busy, we’re all busy. When you write your headline, think about writing for people who are in a hurry. To grab optimal audience interest, it’s imperative to write a compelling headline. Consider incorporating the following attention grabbing techniques to better engage the reader:
- Give the reader a reason to read/click
- Create emotion in the reader (tug on their heartstrings)
- Make an audacious promise
- Use numbers (Readers don’t want to be kept guessing, so why not set expectations for your content?)
- Include trending text
You should also avoid using complicated jargon, keep your headline short, and most importantly, write it last–you want to be able to ensure your content is living up to your headline’s promise.
The following example is brief, concise, uses a number, avoids using complicated words, and promises to help improve reader productivity:
5 ways to stop procrastinating and start writing http://t.co/eHFBdNK9SR
— Mark Ragan (@MarkRaganCEO) April 17, 2015
WANT YOUR MESSAGE TO STICK?
Now that you’ve grabbed the attention of the audience, interaction and engagement are the keys to maintaining it. Effective interaction asks questions of the reader, uses lists, uses all available resources including hyperlinks and uses the chunking method where the story is broken into parts. To assist your storytelling efforts:
- Use images: When it comes to visual story telling in new age media, the old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words,” still rings true, as is powerfully demonstrated in the following image:
- Have a point: NPR’s Scott Simon reminds journalists of something that is easy to overlook- every story must have a point. People should be able to walk away from a story and tell it to others, as he explains in the following video:
SQUEEZE EVERY OUNCE OF VALUE OUT OF THOSE 140 CHARACTERS
Twitter has created a quick and easy way to share information, but with its 140 character limit, it can be tricky to be heard above the crowd. To maximize your tweet’s potential and increase brand visibility, you must be current, use strategic and timely hashtags, add images and not be afraid to share links.
This tweet by Real Madrid Club de Fútbol, is both current and relevant, uses an eye-catching image, includes a hyperlink and encourages fan interaction with the use of hashtags:
— Real Madrid C. F. (@realmadrid) April 17, 2015
“Video of the 20-man squad list for the match against Málaga.”
These essentials should help writers of all levels build a solid understanding of the ways that the Internet has introduced new opportunities for dynamic storytelling. Does your tool box have the power of persuasion, visibility, navigability, objectivity and the focus of writing for a specific web audience? If not, adding these tools should lead to a more flourishing digital career.