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  • Writer's pictureKelli Zorn

How to Write Consistent, Compelling Content: There's No Easy Answer



The evergreen content topic - How do you craft compelling content? - is consistently ripe for additional material because nobody actually knows the answer. At least, that’s my working theory.


Some would have you front-load with what’s most important, while others insist on the narrative-style reveal, effectively parking the most important at the end of your content piece. There are arguments for attention over substance and vice-versa. The science of storytelling vs. the art of curating resonance. Specificity vs. wide appeal. And the ongoing battle of how to create compelling content doesn’t stop at the end of the (proverbial) page. Best practices are constantly evolving, as are the channels through which we disseminate the content we create.


The simple truth is that there is merit and results to be gained from every which way and method content is composed. Which then brings us to the overused phrase, “test and learn”.


There’s no secret recipe, no formula, for crafting compelling content reliably and repeatedly. There’s too much change happening at any given time, in the industry, in the world, you name it; thereby necessitating “test and learn”.


The problem with “test and learn” is lack of specificity. It’s become a catch phrase used throughout the MarComm industry, often as a placeholder of sorts. Thrown out in a status call to placate stakeholders, or said internally to keep the peace among teams with different goals, “test and learn” holds less and less learnings.


My suggestion? Introduce some precision to “test and learn”. The following 60-30-10 rule can help provide a framework for genuine action:


  • 60% of content produced should be something you’re fairly certain will land with core audiences. This is the tried and true, home run stuff.

  • 30% of content produced should be something you’re reasonably sure will land with audiences. Maybe you’re testing creative variations or copy versions, a new format or medium, etc.

  • 10% of content should really just be spaghetti thrown at the wall. Take out that magnifying glass and see what sticks.


This approach to content development ensures effort and resources aren’t going into a black hole. You can feel confident that messaging is reaching your core target, while cultivating a less stressful environment for keeping up with the wild west that is creating compelling content.


So how did I do? Did I answer the unanswerable question? Likely not in a way that’s abundantly useful. After all, my working thesis states there is no winning methodology for crafting compelling content. So let’s end on a question - did you find this content compelling?

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