In my last Bacon Podcast Interview, episode 469, I had the pleasure to interview Jane Atkinson. Now, Jane is a speaking coach, and a very successful one at that. If you haven't listened to it, I strongly suggest you do so, whether you plan to speak or not. In the middle of the interview, we were talking about what the perfect speech would be and she had a formula. She said basically, “Tell a story, keep it to three points and then tell another story to close it.” That is her keynote formula. I said to her, “Jane, that's what I consider to be also the Perfect Content Strategy, especially when it comes to blogs.”
Perfect Content Strategy
Today, I want to talk about how to make your content marketing messages more memorable. The way I suggest doing that when you're creating your content is to do exactly what Jane said. Start with a story, just like I did earlier. Then you want to add some points, some key things that you want to get across. Don't overdo it, keep it simple, three to five points. Then finally, at the end, you want to make sure you close with something that summarizes and has a call-to-action. During the process, you really want to think through what action you want your audience to take and what the takeaways are.
Get To The Points
Most of the time, your content is going to be short and to-the-point, unless you're writing a really long educational article. Short and to-the-point means maybe 500 to 1,000 words. An educational article could be anywhere upwards of 2,000 to 2,500 words, like something from Neil Patel, who's an SEO guy, or Andy Crestodina, who's a Google analytics and content marketing guy. They write very long articles and add a lot of research information in there, but it's not something that's easy to remember. It takes a few reads to absorb all the details.
In the case of most blog posts, and the attention span of your average audience member, it's best to keep it short and to-the-point. When I say to-the-point, I mean no more than three to five main concepts. Also, make sure the sentences and the paragraphs are short and very digestible. You don't want it to be this big, long-winded thing, so segmenting really helps get your message across. Let's look at the structure of what I consider to be the perfect content strategy for most businesses.
Draw A Memorable Image
The first part is start with a story. Do something that has an emotional connection to your audience, something that they can relate to, something that maybe they can act upon, but something that draws them in and makes them want to read more. That's the whole purpose of the story, is to get them engaged with the content. If you start right off the bat with all the core bullet points, a lot of times people will get zoned out, so give them something to feel first.
The next thing that you want to do is lay out those five bullet points or three bullet points, whichever you feel is the right amount for what you're doing. Everybody loves lists. The top 10 list, the top seven list, five, whatever it is. Those are the things that people can easily digest by reading the headlines above each one of the paragraphs or the bullet points or the numbers in the list.
There are also some interesting things that you can do to help people remember what it is that you said. One of the things I like to do is something called rhyme time.
Rhyme time means try to do something that is going to be memorable, that's easy to remember. Song lyrics, think of a good song. Think of the chorus and just how easy it is to remember what that chorus is, and usually it has to do with rhymes. Here are a couple of examples:
- Think of “Funny Money.” Okay, there's really nothing funny about money, but if it is funny, maybe you'll make more money. Who knows? Good for comedians.
- When you're writing an article and you give them too many links, they say “If you make them choose, they get confused.” So there's an example of a good rhyme.
- Another one is “You are who you are when you're driving in your car.” Think about that.
Another tool in my arsenal is an acronym, which is basically taking letters, turning it into a word and then expanding it out into a phrase. I'm sure at this point you're well aware my brand is all about BACON.
- B.A.C.O.N. Is an acronym. It stands for Building Authentic Connections Online Networking. BACON.
- Another one is T.R.Y. Time to Reinvent Yourself. TRY.
- Another one is K.E.Y. knowledge Empowers You. KEY
Using an acronym is key to getting people to understand the knowledge you're trying to get across.
Play With Your Words
Another tool that I like to use is a play on words. Again, it's something that's easy to remember.
- One of the things I talk about in my presentations is the “Social Media Sandbox.“
Of course, it brings you back to the days of being a kid with a pail and a shovel and sand in a box, and that's what social media is. You can play in there, but, unfortunately, you can't take the sand out. In other words, when you post things in Facebook or LinkedIn or anything else, the only way you're going to see it or be able to play with it is inside their sandbox.
- Another one that I talk about is the “Short-Attention-Span Theater.”
When people are scrolling through a feed or a newsfeed on any social media platform, one of the things you want to do is make your content scroll-stopping. In the Short Attention Span Theater, you need to stand out.
- Another one is, “Normal is just a setting on the dryer.”
This saying describes how everything changes fast, especially in the social media world.
Those are some examples of play on word type phrases.
Please Do Something?
The final thing that you want to do is make sure that you close with an exclamation point! What's the point of this whole thing? What's going to get people excited? You really want to leave your audience with some mental takeaways. Things that are going to latch into their brains.
The major bonus is having a call-to-action. Get them to do something. Sign up for your list, visit another website, attend one of your webinars or seminars. Some way for you to continue the conversation with them. And that's it. Remember, what I said before? If you make them choose, they get confused. Have one call-to-action. You can literally put that three times throughout the entire post, but don't over-ask. It's okay to have one task with multiple-asks.
When I posted that interview with Jane Atkinson on my social media, I started it out with this, “In an unscientific poll, the top three fears are fear of death, fear of loneliness, and social phobia. Fear of public speaking. In this podcast, we help you with number three.”
I'm glad it wasn't number two… because people really can't deal with THAT crap (joke intended).
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas or questions about showing the concepts presented. Have you had to overcome any of the presented concepts? What worked and what did not live up to expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?
To learn more about this and other topics on Internet Marketing, visit our podcast website at http://www.baconpodcast.com/podcasts/