Hype can be defined as an intensive promotional campaign that rouses emotions and exaggerates the benefits of a product or service.
You’d think that the exaggeration and noise in a typical infomercial creates sales, but most of us turn the TV off when the shouting starts. Why is that? I think it is because we don’t like feeling manipulated, but we don’t mind being convinced.
Convincing Without Manipulation
You can kill the hype in your content by asking one simple question: “What am I trying to do with this?”
Knowing what your goal is for the content you are producing helps you tone down the hype and stick to presenting the facts in a convincing way. You don’t need to shout, but you do need to show why what you are saying is going to benefit the reader. How can you do this without hype?
- Keep it simple: one goal for each piece of content. That means more individual pieces and easier comprehension as well as better SEO juice.
- Define your goal then create your content: be ruthless about editing and keep that goal in mind.
- Understand how your individual pieces of content work together: an entertaining piece creates interest in the rest of the site, an informational piece guides to the opt-in for your newsletter, social media posts create a persona for your brand, etc.
- Remember the question: What am I trying to do with this?
- Know your audience: if you don’t know your customer, how can you communicate to meet their needs?
- Reiterate your goals as needed: does your customer know what your point is?
What Am I Trying To Do With This?
We just celebrated Mother’s Day in the US and I hope you let your Mom know you appreciate all she did over the years. Her advice to you was repeated often, and sometimes it might have been hyped with emotion. Sometimes you might have thought she was nagging and ignored it.
Why do you follow her advice? Most of us don’t follow all of our Mom’s advice, but we do follow some of it. If we are doing something because we have been manipulated into it, we not generally like it.
We’d rather do what we have been convinced is the best thing to do. We take one piece of advice (content) and put it against a background of everything we know. We evaluate things in context of our understanding.
Create your content in context, define the goal in each piece, and kill the hype.