Let’s think about bingeable content.
What makes something so good you can’t resist coming back for more?
It’s the allure of the unfinished story, of course.
Strategic writers know the psychological power of holding something back.
They also know we’ll be more committed to returning if we’re emotionally invested in the outcome of the main character, the hero.
So they develop that character, help us really understand her challenges, inner conflicts, and what triggers her actions.
That way, when the current chapter, episode, or season abruptly closes with a new challenge looming in the future, we’ll decide to come along for the ride.
Shouldn’t your newsletter be that way?
Whether it’s a paid newsletter delivering business advice, a free subscription you use as a brand marketing tactic, or something in between, the goal should be to engage your reader in a way that keeps him coming back for more.
Your target audience members are the heroes in the overarching story your newsletter tells.
Write it in a way that develops them the same way a dramatic series writer does. Know what they want, what they’re conflicted about, and what will help.
Then provide some resolution.
Consistently give them information that furthers their journey, but do it in a way that keeps them asking, “What’s next?” and trusting you’ll provide the answer.
This approach is a synthesis of an article I’ve included below (Can Content Marketing Hook People the Way Netflix Does?) and Donald Miller’s StoryBrand methodology.
Let’s apply it to our newsletters and NEVER FINISH THE STORY.
Why Content Marketers Should Act Like Netflix Writers
I’m guessing Mae Rice and Ahmad Daher both tuned in for Carlijn Postma’s session, Binge Marketing: A Practical Guide to Building Your Brand with Serial Content, at Content Marketing World because they each posted articles encouraging Carlijn’s strategies last week.
(See either Can Content Marketing Hook People The Way Netflix Does? by Mae or Your Content Marketing Should Look More Like Netflix, Not Webster’s by Ahmad.)
Both inspired today’s Opt In Weekly Prologue.
Mae’s take nails it with this statement:
“Once you’re into a show, it can keep you up at night.
Marketing campaigns, on the other hand, don’t really keep anyone up at night. Besides marketers.”
Then she clearly explains how content marketing can follow a more dramatic narrative structure so that prospects and customers never run out of relevant content. In other words, use the allure of the unfinished story.
Click through for some actionable steps to start framing your content in this way, and to bring those lessons learned into your email newsletter.
How to be More Without Doing More
Content Marketing Institute General Manager Stephanie Stahl cites experts from Content Marketing World to provide snippets of content marketing advice. The general consensus is that we should focus on creating powerful, purposeful, and memorable messaging. Check out their expert inspiration.
Image: Content Marketing Institute
Don’t Make These Curation Mistakes
Content curation is a powerful way to share quality links and build credibility, but are you doing it the right way?
This Social Spiker article unpacks 10 common content curation mistakes and what to do instead. Perhaps the most important one to pay attention to is failing to give proper attribution.
“Content curation is something that straddles the line of copyright infringement if it isn’t done correctly. Considering you could face thousands of dollars in fines if you are found guilty of infringing on someone else’s copyright, it’s vital to be certain you’re properly attributing all content.”
Key things to avoid:
- Don’t post another’s content in full
- Mention the original source of the content and ideally link to the original article
- Use only thumbnail photos unless you ask for permission and receive approval first
You’ll want to bookmark this one and read through all 10 mistakes to avoid if you’re curating on a regular basis. It delves into some SEO tips, too.
Publishers See Success with Paid Digital Events
“‘By charging, you provide really high quality leads to sponsors,’ said James. And while it may be a couple hundred top-tier leads, those leads are exponentially more likely to make a purchase from a sponsor than 2,000 regular leads that trickle in and out during an event, or don’t tune in at all.”
Related: Check out “We’re trying to reiterate the value we provide”: How publishers are wooing new readers through innovative ad campaigns.
Will a Spotify Model Work for News Publishers?
Dominic Ponsford makes the case for bundled news subscriptions.
New Social Links in Footers
Hey, Curated users.
We just released the option to add social icon links to your footers, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and an RSS feed.
You can add those and enable a feed by going to Settings > Header and Footer > Social Links.
Opt In Challenge
Perfect Your Micro Content
The legendary Gary V. offers some tips in this article for making your micro content sing.
What’s micro content?
It’s the short-form content you write for different social sites and (surprise!) sometimes in your newsletter. My Prologue section is the result of what I’m finding works well for LinkedIn and Twitter: very easy to read conversational content that compels you to read to the end to see what point I’m trying to make.
Your Opt In Challenge this week is to take Gary’s advice and draft your content with your reader’s attention span and goals in mind, PLUS figure out how to make it enough of a cliffhanger so that the next time you publish your audience is ravenous for more.
Like this newsletter?
Let me know. Reply, email me at Ashley[at]optinweekly.com, or find me on LinkedIn to hit me with some feedback. I’d love to know what you think.
Also, I’d appreciate it if you shared it with fellow email newsletter creators. All archived issues will be available on OptInWeekly.com, so you can send them the link to check it out.
Have a great week sending, y’all.
Thanks for reading,