It is estimated that 65% of people are predominantly visual learners. Meaning that they pick up information with their eyes, more easily than through listening or experiencing. Visual learning uses the part of the brain that is emotional and creative. It organises and processes information such as numbers and words in a pictorial format. Using visual props like photographs, videos and graphics help your audience experience your content visually. This in turn helps them engage with the message. The use of photographs, graphs, video and other visual content is a really important way to bring your content to life and to encourage your audience to share.
Easy reading is damn hard writing” Nathaniel Hawthorne
The easier your content is to read, the easier it is to understand and the easier it is to share. But simple doesn’t mean dumbed down - you need to assume the reader knows nothing on the subject, not that he or she is stupid. Keeping it simple is vital for B2B content, where often topics are technical in nature.
It is all well and good asking your readers to make a commitment to do something as a consequence of reading your content, it is another to follow up and check whether they can or have. Closing the loop is often forgotten, but it is a great way to ensure your content has really clicked with your audience. It also gives you the opportunity to start a conversation or re-visit a conversation that has gone quiet. But most of all it demonstrates to your readers that you actually care about whether they have found your content useful. This suggests you are authentic and someone they can trust. The absence of any follow up, or a delay in getting back to readers who have started a dialogue with you, suggests you are not interested in your audience or their opinion. How do you think your audience feels in this situation? Loved? Probably not.
Despite the dominance of digital communications in business, people still value interaction. Written content such as blogs, white papers and reports are great ways to enable a dialogue with colleagues, stakeholders or clients. But great content is not the end in itself, it is the means to an end - more leads, better relationships, happier clients. The job doesn't end once the content is completed - it has just begun. Now you need to leverage the content to open up a dialogue with your audience.