Why It Matters to Let Your Readers SCAN, READ, and STUDY Your Content
In this edition we are going to focus on how people are currently processing new information and how you might position your offerings.
For illustrative purposes let's look at our topic through the eyes of Rupert Bear of the fictional town of Nutwood in England.
The Rupert books teach us how to position your content to a new potential customer. Below we will compare how a young reader and a new customer might have a few things in common.
These books have a personal connection for me as my mother loves the comics, and upon returning from England she always had a new Rupert Bear book for me to enjoy.
The SCAN - Sitting with mom and having her read to you while you look at the pictures
The Young Reader: Rupert Bear is well positioned for the earliest of children. The colors in the book are attractive and each page has four scenes that can be understood without words. Picture reading this to a three year old. You are snuggled up on the coach reading aloud the bold titles and pointing to the scenes. The child is taking it all in and scanning.
The New Customer: When writing for an audience that is busy and may or may not be that interested in your offering, it is wise to allow them a chance to be able to digest some portion of knowledge from a quick scan. This allows you to benefit from their innate curiosity and potentially earn the chance to have them read what you have written.
The READ - Reading with Dad and learning how to sound it out
The Young Reader: The next stage where Rupert works well for your growing child is when they are now learning how to sound things out. You are again snuggled up on the couch and these familiar pictures are there to help the child read the captions (which conveniently rhyme.) The meter and pace of the experience is well suited for the child, they are on their way to learning a key life skill, the joy of reading.
The New Customer: After the new customer has scanned your writing and chosen to learn more, you still want to allow them the chance to read only a little and be smarter than they were before. Give them a framework such as "here is the scoop and the skinny on this topic." They don’t have time yet to move forward with you, but you will earn points with them if you teach them something relevant quickly. We advise doing this with bold titles and pulled-out captions.
The STUDY - Reading on your own for comprehension and action
The Young Reader: At six or seven the child is reading the writing at the bottom of the page and they now have years of interacting with the characters and the story lines. The parents are happy to pick up the latest Rupert Book that can travel with the child and know that thebook will consume time and attention with all the positive outcomes that accompany reading.
The New Customer: The holy grail of business writing is to have a person of influence get past the first two steps of scanning and reading and actually study what you have to say on a topic. These are the people that make budgets, decide on purchases and lead others. The long term rewards of having them think with you and potentially learn from your deep insight are significant. You also benefit by not being there in front of them. They don’t have the distraction of dialogue, they are alone and have time to think. Get this part right and you are on your way to mutual success.
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