Business users on the web are overloaded with information. So much so, that 90% of professionals admitted to having thrown away important documents without reading them. So how do you get your content to stand out amongst the clutter? How do you present information that rises above the noise? The key is telling a story. Storytelling cuts through the information overload and compels readership.
Here are some tips to creating stories that cut through the noise:
A Picture Says A Thousand Words
Think back to when you were a kid – the best stories are the ones with pictures. The same goes for press releases, blog posts and whitepapers. An audience who isn’t perfectly familiar with your company or product will appreciate having multimedia to help tell the story. In fact, press releases containing multimedia received 77% more responses than text-only releases. The other problem with text-only information is that people don’t have the patience to read anymore. Multi-media provides a much faster and more exciting way for your audience to digest new information.
Keep it Short and Sweet
Your audience is never going to want to read a 200 page whitepaper – even if you’ve put your heart and soul into writing it. The reality is that people simply don’t have time. Only 21% of people read articles on the web word by word. The rest is all scanned. So how do you get people to read your text? It’s important to only give the essentials (keep it short) and to present it in a way that’s easy to navigate (keep it sweet). Using strong titles and bold headlines allows your audience to get hooked and stay interested. Short sections are much easier to digest than page-long paragraphs and having headlines will allow your audience to quickly know whether the information below is relevant to them without skimming. Lists and bullet-points also make your content more focused and engaging.
Make it Memorable
It’s estimated that people see 5,000 marketing messages per day. That’s a pretty scary number when you’re trying to get your message heard. So how to you stand out from the other thousands of messages? Make yours different. It’s not enough to simply plug a bunch of charts and graphs onto a page. Your company is made up of people and you are talking to people, so tell your story. Who are you and what are you offering your audience? Don’t leave your readers to figure out the story for themselves; give it to them in a way that is simple, clear… and memorable!
When you consider all the competition on the web, it may seem impossible to have your voice heard. Effective storytelling is they key to cutting through so develop your narrative and share it. What’s your content strategy and how does it help you stand out? Let us know in the comments below.