What is good writing?
Good content writing is good business. In general, people tend to scan and read selectively. Jakob Nielsen hits the nail on its head.
- Highlight important keywords
- Meaningful sub-headings
- Bulleted lists style writing
- Focussing one idea per paragraph
- Inverted pyramid style: Start with the conclusion or summary and then go into details.
- Half the word count (or less) than conventional writing
Writing for recall makes it better
Unless content is interesting and people don’t read further. If content is interesting people trust it and possibly pay lot of money. AT&T CEO mentioned the following when he was given a demo of iPhone in 2007. He found iPhone very interesting. Courtesy: youtube.com
Perception, judgement and memory.
- People scan through the content.
- These bits of information are processed but soon ready to be forgotten.
- Judgements are made based on preferences and values.
- If it is interesting then humans read more, otherwise quit.
- Now the interesting information is processed and stored for long term.
Positive judgement and effective recall
Focus on good story telling:
- Stories help in remembering information better.
- Steve Jobs was an excellent story teller. While announcing the iPhone in 2007 he narrated stories of how Apple products historically redefined user experience.
Use of rhymes, humour, images and videos:
- Make recalling your product easy, peasy, lemon squeazy
- How can I sell a humorous washing machine?
- Videos and images are better than plain text. Use it wisely.
Create familiarity by repetition:
- Steve Jobs used the word ‘revolutionary UI’ at least 5 times during the presentation of iPhone.
- Repetition creates familiarity and hence comfort.
- It helps reinforcement and memorization
Contextual presentation of information reduces the effort to recall:
- People don’t remember often to wear seat belts.
- When a car is started and seat belts are not worn, the safety alarm beeps.
- Contextual information reduces the effort to recall
Social proofing of content:
- Provide customer reviews or testimonials wherever possible
- Provide external references to substantiate your claims like awards etc.