5 Keys to Writing Compelling Content

Compelling Content

How compelling is the content on your business website? If you use your website to inform potential clients about your products and services, you really need to know about compelling content: what it is, why it’s important and how to write it.

In this post, I’ll explain the 5 keys to writing compelling content and show you an example of how to use them so you can make your business writing way more engaging.

What is ‘compelling content’?

You’ve probably had the experience of being so engrossed in a movie that you become oblivious to what’s going on around you and just have to keep watching. Compelling online content is a lot like that. It holds you.

In the simplest of terms, compelling online content is information that catches and holds your readers’  attention so strongly that they read most or all of it. It may include text, video, images and audio (or a combination of these). When you create content that’s effective – or compelling – readers are highly likely to respond to your calls-to-action. And this means they’re closer to becoming one of your clients.

Compelling content has other key characteristics. It’s not ‘salesy’, and may not even refer directly to your business offerings. Instead, it generously provides thoughtful and genuine information that’s valuable for your potential clients.

Compelling content demonstrates:
~ your understanding of clients’ problems;
~ your insights into the impacts of these problems; and
~ your willingness to offer help freely based on your expertise and experience.

Why is it important?

Compelling – or irresistible – content motivates your readers to do something in order to find out more about you or your business. For example, they might sign up to receive your blogs or e-newsletter; complete an online contact form; follow you on social media; or make a phone call.

As a result of your compelling content, they’re genuinely interested in your offerings, have taken action and are beginning to build a relationship with you – which could lead to a business transaction.

How do you write it?

Now that you understand its importance, how do you write compelling content? There are 5 keys to writing compelling copy that any writer – including you – can make sense of and apply to your work.

Compelling content is: accurate, clear, concise, relevant and engaging

1. ACCURATE

If you want readers to take you seriously and begin to develop trust in you and your brand, your copy needs to be accurate. Errors in spelling, punctuation or grammar won’t help you create an impression of quality and trustworthiness.

2. CLEAR

If you want viewers to understand your key message, your copy needs to be organised. Your meaning needs to be simply expressed in short sentences that logically guide readers step by step.

3. CONCISE

If you want viewers to remember your key message, your copy needs to be brief and to the point. Compelling copy is focused rather than detailed so that viewers can remember what they’ve read and summarise it in one sentence when telling others about it.

4. RELEVANT

If you want viewers to respond, your copy needs to be relevant. Compelling copy connects with each reader individually at an emotional level. Connect by using language your readers understand to address actual problems they face and offer real solutions they need. 

5. ENGAGING

If you want viewers to enjoy reading, your copy needs to be visually engaging and readable. Use headings, dot points and paragraphs; choose an easy-to-read font and meaningful colours and images that complement the copy rather than compete with it; and make sure the overall page layout is balanced and aesthetically pleasing.

An example

I recently came across a poorly written web page that’s helpful in showing how not to write compelling copy. Ironically, the page advertises copywriting services – which just goes to show that everyone needs a good editor!

How would you make this web page more compelling, that is: more accurate, clear, concise, relevant and visually engaging? Scroll down for a few of my ideas.

How not to write compelling copy - an example

How not to write compelling copy – an example

 

Some ideas

Here are some of my thoughts on how to improve the example web page.

Accurate

Spelling

compelling content trafic, guarentee, copyrighting

compelling content

 traffic, guarantee, copywriting

Punctuation

compelling content You aren’t just competing for your customers’ money, before that you first; have to win your customers attention.

compelling content You aren’t just competing for your customers’ money; before that you have to win your customers’ attention

Grammar

compelling content We urge to compose copy in all possible way to grab your visitor’s attention.

compelling content

You need to do whatever you can to grab your visitors’ attention. (And numerous other possibilities, of course.)

Clear

The example copy uses no fewer than fifteen phrases (listed below) to describe the benefits of the copywriting service. As a reader, how could you possibly know what you’d be paying for?

  • increased desirability
  • enhanced traffic
  • entertaining website copy
  • stylish web copy
  • epic sales copy
  • SEO key phrases
  • a call-to-action
  • win customers’ attention
  • a sophisticated introduction the business
  • writing for the proper audience
  • targeted copywriting
  • make your brand look professional
  • increase brand awareness
  • encourage brand loyalty
  • smart marketing techniques

Concise

The fifteen phrases highlighted above translate into more than fifteen sentences. It’s most unlikely that a reader could remember the main message after reading this copy.

Relevant

This copy doesn’t show a clear and personalised understanding of a potential client’s needs, but seems to take a scattergun approach in using a range of jargon in the hope that some will stick.

Relevant copy describes how services offered will help a client – this copy states numerous technical outcomes, such as ‘increase your brand awareness with customers’, without saying why this is important and how this will feel for a client.

Engaging

The example page is not visually engaging for (at least) these three reasons:

  • inconsistent placement of headings (sometimes centred and sometimes left-aligned)
  • no overall sense of visual balance or design
  • use of an extremely poor quality image that doesn’t complement the text

AwfulGraphic

 

 

 

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Which of the 5 characteristics of compelling content do you most need to work on: being accurate, clear, concise, relevant or engaging? I look forward to reading your comments, and please share this post with other business owners you know.

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