June 8, 2020 How to make dry content fun and engaging

By Jacinta Koelewyn

woman using her laptop

If you work in an industry that’s known for being a little dry, for example financial services, it’s easy to fall into the trap of creating content that follows suit. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be that way!  

There are plenty of easy and effective strategies to transform your content – on dull or hard-to-grasp subject matter – into engaging copy that connects with your audience and helps build a relationship with your brand. Here are our top tips to get you started.

Make your customer the hero

Your brand is nothing without your customers. While it may feel counterintuitive, your content should not be all about you – it’s about your customer.

Using customer-centric language like ‘you’ and shifting to a customer-focused approach enables better connection to your audiences’ needs, desires, and pain points. It helps answer their question of ‘what can you do for me?’

When your customer takes centre stage, you can begin to dive deeper into considerations such as how and where they interact with your brand, and what problems they need solved.  Armed with this information, you can tailor your content to the solution.

Tell a story

Humans are natural storytellers. Stories help us make sense of the world we live in and  intertwine understanding and memory. They can be entertaining, invoke an emotional response and can even aid memory.

Whether it’s a news report, historical event, or a set of directions, narratives are a simple and powerful way of making it easier to connect with data.

Storytelling can be even more impactful when it’s targeted to your audiences’ thoughts, feelings and needs. It adds a human element and makes it seem more relatable and relevant to the reader.

Rather than simply giving factual information (e.g. A + B = C), you can tell a story that provides this example in context. For example, Jack and Jill saved A, which helped them get B, and they lived happily ever after with C.

Through storytelling you can:

  • Connect with some of the fears, motivators or concerns that your audience has
  • Educate your audience in a way that feels meaningful and relevant to them.

This emotional connection can help transform dull data into animated copy your audience cares about.

Plug the benefits, not just features

You know the ins-and-outs of your product or service, but your customers probably don’t. Instead of confusing readers with technical jargon, champion the real-life benefits, including:

  • How they’ll feel when they use the product/service
  • How they can use it e.g. instructions
  • The outcomes or results i.e. what they get out of using it.

It can be useful to think of the feature – the thing you’re describing – as the ‘what’. And the benefit, what the product can do for the customer and how it can help, as the ‘why’.  This helps paint the picture of why they should care.

Let’s take a look at features vs. benefits in practice:

FeatureBenefit
Ultra-wide, dual-lens camera on the iPhone 11Capture high-quality pet portraits of your beloved dog or cat with the click of a button

Selling the benefit is the hard part. In the case above, there’s an emotional appeal with a practical application to life, which adds a human element to the product.

Use active, engaging language

If you’re already dealing with a dry subject matter, don’t shoot yourself in the foot by also going overboard with passive voice.

Active voice is when the sentence’s subject performs the verb’s action; it uses a clear, direct tone. Passive voice means the subject is the recipient of the verb’s action.

Active voicePassive voice
Dog adore walks.
(subject + verb + object)
Walks are adored by dogs.
(object + past participle + preposition + subject)

In this example, passive voice shifts the focus onto the action (walking) rather than the subject. Using active voice can not only strengthen clarity, it can also make your writing sound more personal and warmer.  

It helps the reader understand the focus of the sentence and helps add a bit of pizazz and excitement. Learn more of our tips for writing in a succinct and engaging way now.

Use visuals

There’s a reason for the cliché ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. Vision trumps all other senses and captures feelings and information in a way than words alone cannot.

It also helps us remember. After people hear or read information, they’re likely to only retain 10% of it after three days. Should the information be accompanied by a picture, that skyrockets to 65%.

Using visuals in your content can:

  • Break up large sections of text
  • Explain complex information or processes with pictures or infographics
  • Cater to skim readers
  • Help people understand with minimal effort.

Speak like a person

Simple, engaging content is all about humanising yourself. Think about how you would want to talk to friends or family about an important or serious topic. You would never use ambiguous technical terms – you’d use everyday language and phrases that help the person understand.  

By simplifying complex topics, you speak at their level and foster a sense of trust. By building on this, you can create a stronger relationship with your audience.

Find your path to engaging copy

Discovering the right tone of voice and copy for your business can be tricky. At Avion, our team of content marketing specialists know how to transform technical and informative content into easy-to-digest, engaging copy.

We’ll help you find your voice, messages and speak in a way that connects with your audience. Get in touch with us today.