There’s only 1 secret to building your social media presence…

January 6, 2010

…and it’s incredibly simple.

The dying newspapers. The faltering magazines. The waning blogs. The unfollowed tweeters. What are they all in need of?

Effective content. Killer copywriting. Blisteringly-attractive writing. Compelling words. This is what attracts an audience and keeps them coming back. This is what advertisers see when they are impressed by readership numbers and decide to part with cash.

And delivering it to your audiences isn’t rocket science, either. In fact, there is 1 secret to effective content production.

Ready? Here it is: Hook & Hold.

Short, simple and sweet. What exactly does ‘hook & hold’ mean though?

Returning to the main exponents of effective content, the journalists, helps us to understand the impact and reasoning for ‘hook & hold’ in contemporary content production.

Back in the days when journalists were paid per word, hook & hold had real meaning.  To get paid and earn a living, the journalist had to master the art of hook & hold. In essence, draw the reader in – and keep them there.

Let’s face it, if you start reading a newspaper article, online news item, magazine advertising copy, billboard poster on a tube station elevator wall, or anything which contains words designed to engage and convince or deliver a call to action, if the words aren’t effective, engaging with the ability to hook (and hold) the reader, they have lost the very reason they’re placed there. Game over.

Engaging the reader.

Engaging the reader meant hooking them in, holding their attention, and ensuring they stayed on board until the end of the copy.  Job done.

Moving forward, and in modern times, the plethora of content avenues available to consumers, readers and ‘buying’ audiences means that your content has less and less time to be engaging, appealing, and to deliver the actual call to action. If you don’t engage them, you’ve lost the sale opportunity.

Cynical? Not really – words are used to sell products, services, ideas and for want of a better word, ‘stuff’ from companies, associations, institutions and governments. When the reader buys into it, the copy has been effective.

Simple strategy.

So, if you’re looking to deliver truly effective content in any medium – online or offline, remember this one simple strategy: make sure you obey the ‘hook & hold’ rule.

Your hit rates for online copy will surge, your call to action responses will increase, your content will lead to bigger and better campaigns across more mediums and – most importantly – your sales will rise. I don’t care what the sales departments say – without compelling content, there is in reality nothing to sell. No audience attraction. No advertiser interest. Game over.

Are you obeying the ‘hook & hold’ rule for effective audience attraction? Try it today and see.

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