Tell Them What You’re Going To Tell Them, Tell Them, Then Tell Them What You Told Them

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Photo by Scott Rodgerson on Unsplash

There’s content marketing gold in that tongue twister

One writing technique I don’t see often enough is the use of an abstract or summary at the beginning of marketing content. Repetition is a tried and true way to get a message across, but it has added value in a time when reading attention is changing.

Always review your content on a phone screen

Viewing content on mobile is easy these days. For example, most responsive (mobile-friendly) WordPress editors allow you to see how things will look on various size screens with one click. If you write in long blocks of text, or even long sentences, your stuff will look too dense.

Build a hierarchy into your structure

Let’s look at the example of a landing page hierarchy. Here’s one I wrote for a translation client: https://www.languageintelligence.com/market-research/

Funneling attention with the abstract and the subheads

Each section leads down the page, funneling attention. The three challenges are addressed three times. In this case, the headline serves as the abstract. In the case of an article like the one you’re reading, I’d put a brief paragraph at the top, then I’d use my subheads to sketch the content out, then I’d fill it in.

Wrap it up by telling them what you told them

  • Abstracts give context to a reader seeking a specific piece of information.
  • Repetition reinforces the core message.
  • Skimmable subheads give them an idea of what value lies within.
  • Short text blocks are easier to read on mobile devices.

A final tip:

Revamping old content can often be done by going through and rewriting subheads. I don’t recommend changing titles as you may cause problems with search crawlers and backlinks. Another reason for writing a basic abstract is the way your content appears in search results. Unless you use a plug-in like Yoast that allows you to customize a search snippet (the text the engines shows below your page title), the first sentence or two is what will display.

Written by

Novelist, Tech Marketing Writer, Growth Consultant. I have been a professional writer for over 20 years- 8 non-fiction books and 1 novel, many articles, etc.

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