Remember that ho-hum exposition story we covered in How to Decrease Your Content Bounce Rate? Well, I'm afraid our story hero and heroine have bigger issues, as well: they're not just predictable, they're boring. Their storyline is straightforward and doesn't capture reader interest - no zombies, no lightsaber battles, just run-of-the-mill romance. Content that's uninspired or hampered by bad lead-ins and structure falls prey to the same issues - it's not necessarily bad exactly, but it is uninteresting and liable to cause your readers to wander off.
So how exactly do you get the interest levels of futuristic sword play and undead minions in your own brand story? Great blog phrases, of course! There are 4 types of "bridge phrases" that grab and hold eyes, turning casual browsers into engaged content readers:
1. The Personal Appeal
These are the phrases that assume you and the reader have a certain "understanding" shared between the two of you, but they need coaxing to let their guard down. People like to be appealed to - picture the indulgent smirk when someone hints they have a secret to share that needs to be teased out of them. Think of the relief of unburdening a secret kept, of agreeing with someone that yes, they really do "have your number" as far as a conversational topic goes. Imagine the body language around these words: the shoulders drop, tension leaks out, and honesty comes to the table. People in this mindset are more likely to open up and listen to what you have to say, and that's a great kickoff for delivering a marketing message. The key here is not to overuse these types of phrases, and to try and only place them around copy that reads and feels genuine.
2. The Expository Narrative
Then it hit me.
I suddenly realized something.
Telling a personal story puts the burden of shortcomings on "me" - meaning you as the content provider. You can be self-deprecating without worrying you're alienating a reader, you can take a candid, honest tone without it feeling fake. It's a story, a narrative told at a party or within a group of friends, and that makes it more believable and trustworthy than traditional "marketing speak.
3. The Lead-In Explanation
Okay, let me explain.
Your readers are probably on your page because they need something - that may be a set of designer doorknobs, it may be fact-finding, or even simple entertainment. Aligning your content message with the trigger phrases of a how-to article lends authority and keeps them reading until the end. These simple phrases link your steps - either true steps or merely steps of logic or storytelling - without needing on-the-nose numbering
4. The Excited Advocate
Here's the best part.
This is seriously amazing.
If you've ever listened to a friend or family member talk about something they're truly passionate about, you know how pleased and energetic they can be when you're listening. Even if you didn't have much base interest in the subject matter, their enthusiasm is infectious, and it's easy to get pulled in to share it. These are the conspiratorial stage-whispers of the marketing world - meant to convey excitement and be heard by all while masquerading as a special just-you-and-me type of secret sale or deal.
These 4 phrase types may look small, but make no mistake: they're mighty. Are you using them in your content right now? If not, it's time to start exploring and learning which works best for your business.