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Weaponize content

October 16, 2016

Amazon Greek frieze

Photo: Carole Raddato (CC)

Stories aren’t meant to be posted and forgotten, dear bloggers. They’re meant to be wielded.

It’s time to weaponize your content.

This goes beyond the usual publish-and-promote routine. You want to maximize the value of your posts after all the time you put into coming up with them. The goal is to connect with readers on multiple levels, so they remember and share your stories.

1. Start with headlines that provoke. No one will read your story if the headline doesn’t pull them in. They can tease, they can bring laughs, they can contradict common sense. But they must compel you to read further.

More headline help.

2. Use images that stir the heart. Stock images rarely register anymore. Social channels have become visual playscapes of captioned videos, memes, animated gifs and cute puppy faces.

Your photo must be relevant, and it must help attract attention to your post.

3. Convert for specific channels. You must understand where your audience finds your content and create alternate forms that meet their expectations. A Pinterest fan may expect to see your story as a vertical pin with a gorgeous image and enticing headline. A Facebook fan may expect to see a Promoted Post which sends them to the Facebook Instant Article version.

The better you work within each channel’s limits, the further your content will go.

4. Give subscribers a real reason to return. Your most loyal readers still need a reason to see your post. That means consistently great stories delivered on time. Bloggers who can’t make good on this basic promise are invisible.

The trick isn’t to get visitors to your site. The trick is to get them back.

Weaponize content, and you can have a real lasting impact on the world.

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