According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, you have approximately 8.25 seconds to capture a reader’s attention, or you’ll lose them. Throwing out a statistic like that could work, but there’s a better way that will always work:
We as human beings are fueled by what we feel and how experiences affect us. If you can grab your readers’ emotions, then you’ll have their attention. This goes beyond the standard elements of a perfect blog post like headlines, subheaders, and the like.
This is about appealing to their human side and keeping that part of their minds engaged. Today, I’ll show you five tips to help you keep your readers’ emotions tied to your content.
The internet is one giant storm of new content. Standing out from the crowd is harder than ever before, and with attention spans getting smaller each year, you need to bring more than just high-quality content to win over your readers. A visitor doesn’t become a reader until you’ve captured their attention.
Once you have their eyes, you need to keep them reading. That’s where emotions come in, so let’s find out how your content can resonate with readers on a deeper level.
1. Relate to Your Readers
This first one requires a little research. Before you can relate to your readers, you need to understand them. The easiest way to do this is by creating buyer personas that represent the people you’ll typically find in your target audience.
You can do this by collecting information through the following means:
- Look at customer feedback
- Conduct surveys
- Interview buyers
- Engage with your audience on social media
- Look at your analytics to see who is visiting your site and how long they’re staying
These tactics will help you understand the why’s and how’s behind what motivates your customers. This valuable information will empower you to relate to them within those first eight crucial words.
For example, if you know your product or service solves a major problem your readers have, then open with something like don’t you just hate it when…
Put yourself in their shoes and relate to them, and you’ll instantly capture their emotions in the process.
2. Paint a Picture (Both Literally and Figuratively)
Your content should be composed of both words and visual elements. Both of these should paint a clear picture in your reader’s mind. Your word choice will call to mind specific experiences for your readers.
These experiences are associated with, you guessed it, emotions. If you use concrete terms and relatable vocabulary, then you’ll create images which then connect to experiences in your reader’s memory.
Only use abstract terms like “development”, “communication”, and “concepts” when you have to. These words don’t have anything concrete attached to them; therefore they don’t make your readers feel anything.
You can also utilize power words to instantly create an emotional response. Use this sparingly as well, though, because it is easy to overdo them. Here are some examples:
Combine strong and concrete writing with relevant visual elements, and you’ll have recipe for a bunch of different emotions. Remember though, you don’t want to confuse your readers with mixed messages. Always ensure that your written and visual content sends a single and concise message.
3. Use Storytelling
Storytelling is one of the most powerful tools that you’ll have as a blogger. Stories capture reader emotion by design. They can motivate someone to take action, or simply keep their attention for a prolonged period of time. Stories allow us to instantly relate to a situation or person and stimulate our brains in ways that boring old writing could never do.
When seeking to tell a story, remember that you want it to resonate with your readers. You can tell a true story, or you can come up with a scenario that incorporates your product, service, or brand into a story that you create.
Why does this work, you ask? It all has to do with a neurochemical in our brains called oxytocin. This chemical is produced when we feel trusted or someone is kind to us. It’s all tied to a sense of empathy which is how social creatures like us understand the reactions of others in certain situations.
Don’t worry; you don’t need a neurobiology degree to tell a good story. All you need to understand is the way storytelling can be used to trigger that feeling of empathy in our brains. A strong story should be able to capture the reader’s attention, and then make them share the emotions of the characters in it.
When it’s all finished, they are likely to think and feel the same way as the characters in the story, thus motivating them towards a goal. Ultimately, in a business sense, you should always open your posts with a story that answers the big questions your readers will have:
- Why should I care?
- How does this change the world?
- Will this improve my life?
Addressing concerns like these in your storytelling makes your content persuasive and memorable. As Paul J. Zak put it in his article on Harvard Business Review:
“When you want to motivate, persuade, or be remembered, start with a story of human struggle and eventual triumph. It will capture people’s hearts – by first attracting their brains.”
4. Provide Value
The concept of value doesn’t have to be exclusively involving money. You can provide your readers with something valuable in the form of information, tips, strategies, or even just friendly advice. While things like storytelling and relatable concepts are powerful, you can always count on rock-solid information and data-backed claims as well.
Once you’ve captured your readers and their emotions, provide them with a gift in the form of your content. If they came to learn something, then teach them, and give them that information. If they wanted a question answered, then address that question immediately, and provide a satisfying answer.
Give your readers something in return for their time, and you’ll not only forge a relationship, but you’ll also bring them back again and again.
5. Create Memorable Experiences
An extremely powerful way of capturing readers’ emotions is through the use of experiential marketing. When you boil it down, this type of marketing seeks to create a bond between the consumer and the brand by providing them with memorable experiences.
Many big name companies like Red Bull and Adidas have held large live events that allow people to experience the brand both in person and online. These examples of experiential marketing are huge and bombastic, but you can achieve something similar on your blog as well.
Here are some ways to create an experience:
- Offer trials or free samples of your product/service
- Host a live webinar
- Organize Google Hangouts or Q&A sessions on Twitter
- Simply engage your readers in the comments and on social media
Capturing your reader’s attention is only the first step. If you want them to convert and become customers and ambassadors for your brand, then you need to stimulate their emotions. What tactics work best for you and your audience? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!