A dangling thread. A picture hanging crooked. An itch where you can’t scratch. It’s surprising what little things can become an irritation that you just have to deal with.
People have an innate need for order. Even the seemingly more unorganized person among us has their own form of order – even if that person’s way of organizing things makes no sense whatsoever to anyone else.
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You can use that need for order to guide potential customers toward you as a solution provider. They are potential customers is because they have some need that they want to be resolved. They have something more serious than a dangling thread that needs resolution – something that your product or service can help them resolve.
So how do you draw their attention to you? First, make sure you know your audience inside and out. Then craft some dangling threads that draw them into your content and into filling your goals for them.
1. Know your audience
First, get to knowtheir pain, their hopes, their dreams.Talk with them. Listen to them. Find them on forums and social networks and see what they want and need. Peek in on competitors’ forums or Facebook or Google+ pages to see what questions customers raise. Check for revealing hashtags on Twitter.
If you’re selling a product, check out product reviews for similar products on Amazon or other e-commerce sites that feature reviews. The more you know about what bothers your audience, the better you will be able to dangle threads that will grab their attention.
2. Get help
Brainstorm with co-workers if you can. When you work with others to create catchy content, you get two benefits. For one, someone else’s ideas may focus your own ideas more sharply. You can use different tools and services such as Get Academic Help to get impressive ideas. For another, their perspectives may provide ideas that you would never have thought of.
Even if you’re doing all the writing yourself, you can always get feedback from co-workers, friends or relatives. Your goal should never be just to create the content for the sake of content, but to intrigue readers
3. Become a storyteller
Good stories, like a dangling thread,are hard for people to ignore. They intrigue readers and pull them in. That’s because stories activate emotion, and emotion, ultimately, is what triggers a buying decision.
We, by nature, are wired for stories. We seek to find meaning in the world around us; we seek to discover purpose and rational order in our lives. A good story delivers them all.
Think of a classic underdog story, like Star Wars. A group of ragtag rebels, fraught with doubts and overwhelmed by seemingly impossible odds, stand up against an enemy that seems destined to crush them. They fight on and ultimately find a solution that brings them not only victorybut a new outlook on life.
It may seem hard to apply that to your business at first but, trust me, all the elements of the story are there to allow you to insert your business into your customer’s underdog story. Your customer faces a problem that robs them of peace of mind. They struggle to find a solution until they come upon your solution that resolves their pain and brings them peace of mind.
Insert yourself into your customer’s story as the Obi-Wan Kenobi who helps them to heroically overcome their problem. And invite them to let you help them as they seek the final resolution to their quest.
4. Appeal to their desire for simplicity with numbered lists
Numbered list articles, or “listicles” as they have been dubbed,seem almost magical in their ability to grab people’s attention and get them to read an article. What was it about the title of this article that led you to read it? Most likely, it was the words “7 Techniques” coupled with an outcome that you desire: to generate leads and increase sales.
Why did it grab your attention? Because it offered not just one, but seven separate solutions to your need, all wrapped up in one short, manageable article. It offers multiple simple solutions that will be quick and easy for you to digest – a dangling thread that you couldn’t resist.
That’s an irresistible combination for time-crunched people seeking to solve a problem. Make sure, however, that you give them reasons in the solutions that you offer to take the next step toward having your business solve their problem for them even more directly.
5. Offer them a simple “how-to”
Another appeal to simplicity is the venerable how-to content. The words “How to …” in a title suggest a simple set of steps that will offer them a solution without much effort.
Tap into that desire for a simple solution and you will catch the interest of those who need a solution for that problem. And when that how-to leads to further resources that only you can provide, the natural response will be to follow your how-to to the ultimate solution you offer.
6. Appeal to their fear of loss
One of the most powerful human emotions is fear, and one of the most powerful fears is of losing out on something of value that we could have had. Marketers have always found phrases such as “limited edition,” “limited time offer” and “call in the next 10 minutes” to be extremely effective in getting people to make a purchase decision and to make that decision now.
Try framing your title on what they could lose by failing to read your content and you increase the chance of them reading it. Or you can position your unique value proposition as something they will lose if they decide to go with another provider, as well. Telling them what they will lose can be a far more powerful approach than telling them what they will gain if they go with you.
Be sure, though, that your content has a payoff for them, with a solid solution that saves them from loss. This can be where you refer them to your business.
7. Engage their curiosity
Another way to appeal to their fear of loss is if you entice them with an intriguing title, a surprising statement that goes against what they might expect, or a question that the reader will feel a pressing need to have answered.
People want to be in the know. If you challenge them with something that strikes them as useful or important, you trigger their desire to know the answer. You make it hard for them to pass on your content because they don’t want to lose out on that knowledge.
A curiosity-piquing title is often a good way to lead into a story. As with any storytelling content, position your business as their helper to achieve the solution to their need.
Catchy content starts with attention-grabbing titles, but it doesn’t end there. You need to deliver on the insights that your title promises.
It needs, however, to leave the full solution to whatever problem your potential customers have tantalizingly incomplete so that it entices them to take the next step to want to place themselves under your care.
Deliver what you promise in full. If you promise them a story, make it satisfying. If you promise them a list of solutions, make them useful. If you ask an intriguing question, answer it in a satisfying way. But always leave that one loose thread dangling so they want to take things a step further, with you as their guide to their ultimate solution.