Essential Questions Your Content Must Answer in Less Than 15 Seconds

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SEPTEMBER 2016

They say it takes seven seconds to make a first impression. Add another 7.5 seconds and that’s how long your content creation marketing maneuver has to reel in readers.

That’s a pretty scary thought, isn’t it? But, you can win at content creation.

Let’s face it, coming up with superstar content is not an easy task, let alone devising an entire digital content strategy. It’s not something that you can rush. And then there’s the digital content management of your work to factor in. That’s all going to take longer than a mere 15 seconds, isn’t it?

Not if you answer HubSpot’s four essential questions when writing.

According to HubSpot, visitors will spend 15 seconds or less on your website. You have to captivate them quickly. To do this, you should address the subconscious questions they contemplate when they click on your site.

When creating your content, consider who you are talking to. What will they get out of your content? How credible do you come across? How easy is your content to read?

Let’s consider these questions so you can apply them to your content creation marketing.

1: Who Are You Talking To?

Any digital content strategy worth its weight would consider who their intended audience is. If you ask yourself “are you talking to me?” and the answer is “maybe,” that’s as good as “NO.” It’s that straightforward.

If your reader figures they’re not your intended audience, they’re going to click away.

Don’t play games; define your audience in the first few minutes of your content and cut everyone else out.

2: What’s in It for the Reader?

If you’re new to content creation marketing, this is a strange question, right? After all, you have created content to address your audience’s needs. The benefit they’ll get from reading it seems obvious, doesn’t it?

Maybe to you. But, consider how you would search for content. If you’re like the rest of us, you head straight over to Google, type in what you need, and click the top couple of links. In that sense, the article tells you what’s in it for you without fail.

When devising your digital content strategy, aim to address the benefits for your reader in the first paragraph or two of your posts.

3: Who Do You Think You Are?

This is all about credibility. Based on the information you reader gets in those first 15 seconds, they make up their mind to trust you or not.

If you have experience with digital content management, you know how important it is to be a human who writes for humans.

Don’t set yourself up for failure by hiding your author byline or burying it at the end of the piece. Readers who see attribution at the top of an article are less likely to assume you’ve created a generic piece of promotional fluff.

Let’s be honest, if you don’t take credit for your content, just how trustworthy are you?

4: Is This Going to Be a Challenging Read?

This is the last question a reader considers before committing to dive into your content. They want to know how much of a commitment it’s going to take and how easy, or hard, it will be for them to read.

I realize how important video, slides, and infographics are in today’s content world, so the question applies to these types of content, too. As for text, ask yourself if your content is optimized for web readability?

In other words, do you have catchy headers? Are you using short paragraphs?  Is there visual interest within the piece?

I have no problem with creating a 2,000-word article, and I know people will read it, but it has to be easy for them.

The same goes for video content. Even a 15-minute video is a long one. Rather aim for a couple of 3 – 5-minute videos that grab your audience’s attention and entice them to complete the series.

“Don’t set yourself up for failure by hiding your author byline or burying it at the end of the piece. Readers who see attribution at the top of an article are less likely to assume you’ve created a generic piece of promotional fluff.”

First Impressions Count – Especially Within 15 Seconds

15 seconds is one mighty scary deadline.

Before you post your next great piece, put your marketing brain to one side, become your reader, and see if your article answers these questions.

The clock starts ticking the second someone clicks on your piece. Make that second count.

If you want to add pizazz, readability, and credibility to your digital content strategy, talk to Iris Content about our content creation marketing tactics and digital content management. Let us take you from un-clickable to not-to-be-missed in just 15 seconds!

Lisa Hack

Copywriting Expert

Lisa has always been a passionate and varied writer. Since the age of 10 she has been writing content that entertains and engages. With 15 year’s professional writing experience and a Bachelor’s degree in English and Linguistics, she has dedicated her writing career to creating creative, relevant content that sells. Lisa is vehemently obsessed with content marketing and SEO.

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