How To Keep Your Readership Engaged
Whether we are aware of it or not, we edit nearly everything we produce. During the workday or in our endeavors at home and particularly on social media, we are constantly fixing errors, checking grammar and condensing our thoughts. In the marketing world, it can often appear that excess verbiage is the way to go, with filler words taking up space within content and copy. In a time where attention spans and opportunities for influence can be measured in seconds and not even minutes, it is important to remember the old adage; less is more. Our messages can get lost in the mix if we aren’t focused and concise.
Here are some steps you can take to maximize the power of your content:
Take your content through the editing process by assessing it in stages. Compiling content in one place is the first step. Then, cut the content down based on what is most relevant for the target audience. With the audience top of mind, go back and review the copy. Cut any filler words or descriptions that do not add to the overall message.
Take a look at your quality of content while reviewing a deliverable. Is it strategic and imaginative? Copy that is poorly developed can often be lengthier than copy that has been edited well. Ensuring that your content is creatively composed yet still on message can help lessen the extraneous sentences that are likely to lose a potential reader.
Prioritize important pieces of information. It can be useful to think like a journalist while editing. Ask this question and answer it up front – what is the lede? If you bury the lede you’ve lost the point of the story. Similarly, if you bury the most important content you’ve missed the mark for your client.
Develop a style guide for your agency or marketing department. Maintaining consistency within your writing is crucial to developing well-received content. If your writing style changes based on who is writing the copy, the client or the audience could be easily confused. A style guide gives every contributor the expectations and tools needed to maintain the intended level of writing and convey the right message.
We all take the time to edit emails and text messages before sending them, so greater care should be taken to thoroughly edit marketing content. Not only will it benefit the end reader, but it also proves that your marketing content is hitting the mark for the target audience.