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Making Content Sticky

There’s an old piece of business advice: “If you repeat something three times, your audience will remember it.” It’s the reason all those commercials say a telephone number once at the beginning, and then twice at the end of the spot. Your subconscious remembers a sequence of numbers better when it hears them three times through.

That’s what we mean by “sticky content.” Content that’s easy to remember and apply, the kind of learning that changes teams and businesses. Sticky content stays with the learner. The sad fact is, we’re all constantly inundated with information. How do you keep your audience engaged? It’s easy to fall into the jargon trap or to explain things in complex ways for sophisticated audience.

Making content sticky can be hard.

Thought Leadership Leverage has three strategies to help make your content “stickier”:
• Keep it simple, credible, and concrete;
• Craft interactive or “gamified” content; and
• Tell a vivid, well-crafted story.

First, keep your content simple, credible, and concrete.

Make the message crystal-clear. Can you summarize it in one sentence? Do you expect the learner to take a specific action? Why? How does your content deliver that message? When you’re talking about an abstract concept like “innovation,” think of ways to apply that concept and talk about specifics. Use real data and show meaningful results.

The second piece of advice is to craft interactive or “gamified” content.

Our subconscious loves to play games! And we learn better when our minds are engaged with the information. When we use it immediately and apply it to something real. It goes without saying that some of the best content out there is interactive. When we interact with something, we remember it.

Last, use vivid words, metaphors, and stories that ignite your audience’s imagination.

Paint an image, shape a clear picture, and exercise your creative muscles. Tell a story with your content! Use analogies and visual language, especially when it comes to more difficult material. The more abstract the concept, the more crucial this becomes. Humans are hardwired to learn from stories, and sharing your emotions, discoveries, failures, and successes makes you a compelling protagonist—one people will remember.

Remember, the point of your work isn’t just to get people’s attention. It’s to teach them. To educate them with new strategies, insights, and innovations that will revolutionize the way they think, behave, believe and act and will have a tremendous impact on their businesses. And for that to happen, your clients must be able to understand and apply your content—right from the very start. So, make your content “sticky,” and your clients will keep coming back for more.

Peter Winick has deep expertise in helping those with deep expertise. He is the CEO of Thought Leadership Leverage. Visit Peter on Twitter!

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