Content Marketing HellholeEverybody hates tabloid news. It’s fake, slanders people’s names, wastes paper. It’s a burden to society. No normal member of society would ever read that trash.
Oh, who am I kidding? Tabloid news is fantastic. As content marketers, we should look to tabloid news as an example of how to grab people’s attention with little more than a picture and a headline. Tabloid news is entertaining—you can’t stop reading. In a lot of ways it’s like a train wreck – you don’t want to watch but you can’t seem take your eyes off of it.
So, as content marketers, how do we make our material have that same mesmerizing effect?
Here are a few suggestions to help pull your audience in.
1. Turn heads with your headline. Your headline or title should catch the reader’s attention. Tabloids do this well. Words like “desperate,” “nightmare,” and “hellhole” appear often in tabloids, catching the reader’s eye and attention. The purpose of the headline should be to make the reader want more; to catch their attention and captivate them. Tabloids sometimes even stretch the truth. I’m not advocating that you lie, but cleverly wording a headline to make the reader wonder never hurt anyone.
2. Pack a few surprises inside. Nobody wants to read something they already know. That’s boring. But if you’re saying something shocking, something out of the ordinary, people can’t help but read more. If you’re looking at things from a new perspective, making an unusual comparison, or offering a different point of view, you’re likely to have better luck drawing readers in.
3. Take a risk; what have you got to lose, exactly? Playing it safe does not lend itself to good reading. Don’t avoid controversial topics, embrace them. By choosing a side, you’re opening the door for increased conversation and better reader engagement.
4. Give them something to look at. Humans are visual creatures. Adding pictures or graphics increases our interest. Videos are even better. It’s also OK to play with fonts (in moderation). Don’t go crazy, but using font colors can add emphasis to what you’re saying. TYPING IN CAPS can help get your message across. Change alignment, type vertically, try whatever visual methods you can think of to help emphasize your point.
There are a lot of things content marketers can learn from tabloid news. So, next time you’re waiting in line at the grocery store, rather than ignore the fantastic stories seeking to gain your attention, pick up a few copies of the tabloids to take home, study, and improve your content marketing.
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