Great content and the Walking Dead

Photo credit: Moviepilot.com

Spoiler Alert: If you aren’t caught up to the current season of TWD, you might want to save this post for when you are.

It might surprise you, but struggling to survive a zombie apocalypse and striving to craft great content have striking similarities. Not sure what writing and The Walking Dead have in common? Here are five examples.

1. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Remember Terminus? It made Woodbury look like Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood. Sanctuary for all? Yeah, we know how that turned out. The same can be said for your website content. Don’t make claims you can’t back up with facts. Spouting your list of accolades (and little else) is a great prospect repellant. Reliable data boosts credibility and promotes reader confidence. Facts and statistics, client reviews or testimonials, and case studies are all excellent ways to sell yourself without sounding like a low budget car commercial. Oh, and let’s dispense with all the exclamation points, shall we?

Spouting your list of accolades (and little else) is a great prospect repellant. Reliable data… Click To Tweet

2. Use the sword. Michonne uses her sword to hack her way through masses of stinky walkers. Your “word sword” cuts through the extra crap you don’t need. Be concise and clear. Short sentences read better than long ones. You want people to read and respond, not scan and leave.

3. Seize their attention and hold it. When I began watching The Walking Dead, three seasons were already on Netflix. It was almost impossible for me to watch less than three episodes a night. Riveting story lines grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. Use that tactic for your website content, and create a picture that pulls your reader in quickly. Spice up descriptions without being too wordy. Lure your audience with vivid words and “you absolutely have to stay at our hotel (or visit this destination) or your life will suck” copy.

4. Surprise them. I know there are no guarantees my favorite characters will live to see the next episode (though I will orchestrate a revolt if Daryl dies). However, those clever writers always manage to shock me when it happens. Craft your copy in an unexpected way or share a surprising statistic. It disrupts the reader’s internal processor that decides what to skip and what to read. Dare to be bold, creative, enthusiastic, or even dramatic – just don’t lie (see number 1).

Craft your copy in an unexpected way or share a surprising statistic. Click To Tweet

5. Don’t leave them in limbo. What happens when someone on The Walking Dead dies without that vital brain-piercing step? They’re left to wander aimlessly – clueless to everything except the scent of live meat. Give clear direction to your reader. Don’t leave them wondering what to do next. Do you want them to book a room, schedule a tour, or maybe download a free whitepaper? Tell them! It’s the most important aspect of successful copywriting. Make it easy for your reader to act on your marketing message.

If the thought of writing copy for your website, brochures, or other promotional materials turns you into a zombie, let me help! Click here to see my list of services. Or just give me a call or email me and we can get started! Can’t wait to chat with you!

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