Reading Time: About 8 minutes
This is part 2 of my post on “Keeping Your Audience Engaged With Your Copy”.
As always, I’m going to pack a lot of info onto this page for you (while still keeping a reasonable time limit). So make yourself comfortable, and prepare yourself for a few minutes of education and entertainment (I guess we can call it “edu-tainment”?)
In Keeping Your Audience Engaged – Part 1 we talked about staying focused on your audience, and staying focused on 1 main idea per piece. In this lesson we’re going to talk about structure, word usage, and flow of our copy.
Note: We’re going to primarily talk about online copy throughout this lesson, but aside from a few structural differences most of the concepts apply to offline as well. And with some minor adjustments much of it applies to audio and video scripts too.
So let’s just dive right in and I’ll do my best to make the next few minutes of your time as edu-taining as possible…
Rule #3 – Making it easy to absorb your message
When it comes to keeping our audience engaged with our copy, there’s a few key concepts we need to remember about our average reader… This isn’t meant to be derogatory, and it doesn’t apply to everyone, but these things are nearly universal for the mass of our average audience…
To begin with, the attention span of your average reader is short, and getting shorter all the time. Thanks in no small part to the sheer amount of distractions, and information overload available to us on the internet, there seems to be an exploding trend of what I refer to as “electronically induced ADHD”.
So in order to counteract this trend we not only need to make our copy interesting, but we also need to make it as easy as possible to absorb.
Of course, if our product is vitally important to our audience, like the last bottle of water in the desert, then their own self interest will do wonders to keep their attention focused on what we have to say.
But in our busy society, when a curious or only partially interested reader first sees your copy, one thing that goes through their mind is whether or not they have time to sift through your message.
Assuming your headline brings people into your copy (because if it doesn’t then the rest of this doesn’t matter anyway), and your lede gains some interest…
… As your average reader, I’m going to quickly skim or scan the entire page before deciding how much time to give you.
Your audience is looking for two main things at this point…