7 Content Marketing Tips: Your Audience Attention Cheat Sheet | South Salem NY Realtor

I won’t lie: content marketing is hard. But  most of us make it harder than it needs to be. We  pour energy and resources into minute gains, instead of focusing our attention  on the simple changes that make a huge difference.

Today, I’d like to talk about 7 content marketing tips that will get you so  much more with so much less. It’s about working smarter, not harder.

Let’s get going.

#1. Start with the headline

Most content marketers and bloggers start with a post idea, write it up, and  then try to come up with a viral headline that will blow people away. This is  all backward.

Think about it:

  • People don’t read blog posts because they know the blog post is going to be  good. They read blog posts because the title catches their attention.
  • Blog posts don’t go viral, headlines do. It’s the headline that people share  on Facebook. It’s the headline that people talk about at the water cooler.  Complex ideas do not go viral. Viral ideas are simple, yet impactful.
  • Headlines set the expectation for the rest of the article. If you put the  blog post first, only to realize that the idea can’t be summed up into a viral  headline, you either settle for a crummy headline, or you write up a misleading  one.

The secret to writing headlines

The importance of a headline for content marketing

What’s the secret to writing headlines that people just can’t ignore? Well,  there are two ways to approach this:

  1. Copy headline structures that work
  2. Use the basic principles of viral attention

I would advise doing both.

That first one can mess people up, so let me explain. How many times have you  seen a title that went something like: “[X] Things Your [Trusted Person] Will  Never Tell You” or “[X] [Subject] Mistakes You Never Realized You Were  Making?”

Those look familiar, don’t they?

Headline hacks

Well, pick up a copy of Jon Morrow’s Headline Hacks (it’s free) and prepare to be  amazed. Pretty much every viral headline you’ve seen has been in circulation for  at least half a century, with a little bit of updated language and a healthy  dose of mad libs to keep things current.

I strongly advise you to take a look at the most viral headlines on the web.  Just copy the headline, and swap out a few words to make it relevant to your  industry. If there is only one thing you do to improve your headlines, (not to  mention your entire content marketing strategy) do this.

Trust me, those very headlines have been written thousands of times before.  Nobody is going to care.

6 principles of content that goes viral

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I’d like to address a few basic  principles of viral attention that are going to keep coming up throughout this  post. First, Dr. Jonah Berger’s 6 principles of viral sharing:

  1. Social Currency – People only share things because it helps them improve or  maintain their social standing. It doesn’t matter how much we love a piece of  content. We won’t share it if doing so doesn’t help our relationships or help us  define who we are to other people.
  2. Triggers – Context and associations shape how likely we are to share  something. Votes held in churches are more likely to be for conservative  politicians. Think of peanut butter and you’ll probably think of jelly. Play  French music in a grocery store and people will be more likely to buy French  wine.
  3. Emotions – Intense emotions like fear, anger, humor, and awe beg to be  shared. Disaffecting emotions, like sadness, do not. Of all emotions, awe is the  most powerful. When we learn something new, or learn to see it in a different  way, we are compelled to share the experience more than anything else. Humor  takes the silver medal, which is of course closely related to surprise, which  is closely related to awe.
  4. Public – This is about our inherent trust in the wisdom of the crowd. If  others have taken an action, we are more likely to follow them, especially if it  seems to be a crowd of like-minded people. In other words, it takes a seed of  sharing activity for something to go viral.
  5. Practical – Content marketers already know this one. Actionable content begs  to be shared.
  6. Stories – Humans are hard-wired to listen to and tell stories. Stories are  about facing struggles and solving problems. They are purposeful, not merely  descriptive. There is a reason why most people will say “what was the point?” to  a Cohen brothers’ film. When we listen to stories, we expect people to struggle  with problems and either succeed or fail tragically. We don’t expect a series of  purposeless events.



Read more at http://www.jeffbullas.com/2013/10/11/7-content-marketing-tips-your-audience-attention-cheat-sheet/#3IHq282PmgLXoCFP.99

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