Calling all scanners, calling all scanners! I know you are out there and I know you are guilty of scanning content rather than reading it thoroughly. And you know what…that’s OK! We are busy people (yes I am a scanner as well) and we like to get to the takeaways of the content we read sooner rather than later. Let’s look at some ways to create content that is scanner friendly and still gets your main points across.
Create content that can be broken down into list format. Why the list works:
1. We like to read quick short snippets of information or facts
2. The content looks less threatening when it is
organized in such a simple manner
3. It cuts out all the fluff and get’s straight to the point
4. Marketing something as a “checklist” will catch more attention
5. It’s easy to digest
Did you get my point? Cause I just listed them for you ;)
This is one of my favorites. Let me show you an example of pictorial storytelling with some of my favorite characters from Parks and Recreation.
The scanner really is interested in what you have to say but they want to learn in a way that works for them.
If a scanner can’t navigate through your content quickly they will click away. If the content isn’t concise then we won’t get to your conclusions fast enough to understand them. After all, we are not readers so you only have our attention for a small amount of time.
We like simple and to the point. Don’t be too lavish with us.
That my friends is what I call pictorial storytelling. Pair your talking points with pictures that your audience may find compelling or amuseming. Here I went with a ‘Parks and Rec’ theme because, personally, I happen to think they have the best one liners around and I can relate that to my content.
You can also do this with GIFS. I’ve done this in the past- check out the article here.
Scanners love nothing more than a well organized conclusion. The summary of your content can behave as a ‘key takeaway’ section. Scanners no longer have to read the entire article, we can scroll down to your conclusion and see if we find anything of use to us. And if we do, we tend to scroll back up and read more about it.
Here is an example of ‘The Summary’ they are usually found at the end of articles or ebooks.
My Bottom Line
All things marketing need to serve your business bottom line. In order to serve it properly there needs to be a strategy in place. You should always be working toward a goal and be able to measure what worked and what did not.
- Identify Marketing goals on basic levels- we want 400 more leads each quarter
- Create strategy to reach marketing goals
- Align communications with your boss and sales- Everyone is on the same page
- Implement marketing efforts and measure them against your goals
You can see how it works with the full article here
Short and Sweet
We tend to think we need to create content that follow Google’s rules exactly (and we know how often those rules change). But it’s OK to post an article that only contains a paragraph every once in awhile. Perhaps the paragraph is about a recent update to your industry or general breaking news that affects your audience. You can also create an image with useful stats on it for your audience to share. The scanners will eat that up. Scanners appreciate you keeping them in the know and they will like that you did it in such an effective way. Check out the picture below that was created to share a compelling quote captured from the mouth of our very own Rick Kranz.
Content is flexible. It does not have to be this or that- it can be what you want it to be. Everyone likes to consume their content differently just like how some of us prefer cream in our coffee or 4 packets of splenda. You can’t please everyone that comes across your content but you can plan to format content in specific ways that may expand your audience- yes I’m talking about the scanners. You can capture the attention of scanners if you cast your net smart enough.