I imagine that for film directors, same as for us business blog content writers, finding ways to engage the audience is the Holy Grail.
The other day, though, sitting in a dark movie theater looking at a blank screen and clapping my hands as part of the reverberating applause, I gained a whole new understanding of what the word “engaging” means.
Regular readers of this Say It For You blog are used it by now: As a corporate blogging trainer, I’m always looking for ideas for blog content in unlikely places – ads posted in bathroom stalls, book, magazines, billboards, speeches, even eavesdropped conversation snatches. To me, it’s all content fodder to use for the benefit of those who’ve turned to me for assistance with business blogging.
But, really, that particular Saturday morning, I thought I was there just for the movies…
Several dozen of us Heartland Film Festival Society members had been invited to breakfast and a special showing of four award-winning short films. The films were spectacular, each one deserving of the name Truly Moving Picture.
My favorite of the four, the one that made me want to get out my cell phone and summon every blog content writer in Indianapolis to “get over here – now!” was “The Butterfly Circus”. Here’s how the reviewer summed it up: “A limbless man in a carnival sideshow encounters an infamous circus showman and is inspired to hope against everything he has ever believed.”
Afterwards, I reflected on the fact that we, the people sitting in the Legacy Landmark Theatre 4, were very much like blog readers. What corporate blogging does best, I’ve often remarked, is deliver the kind of customers to a business website who are already interested in the product or services that website is touting. Obviously, all of us Society members already had an interest in art film. But then what? In any SEO marketing blog strategy, something needs to happen next.
The standard answer for writers providing blogging services to others is that what’s next is the Call to Action. In the couple of weeks since I saw “The Butterfly Circus”, I’ve been thinking a lot about CTAs, about what happens when Calls to Action are just not there, and what’s often missing when they are.
Once the basic connection has been established through the blog post title and some attention-getting statement of statistic, we blog content writers have our real work cut out for us – creating the emotional connection with readers. According to the Content Marketing Institute, you must “use emotions to engage the brain. It doesn’t matter how well-written your content is if readers aren’t emotionally involved in what you have to say.”
The twenty-minute film had ended. With no live performers in sight and just a blank screen in front of us, all forty of us in the audience burst into applause. We needed to do something to express all that emotion the film had evoked in us, and no one was giving us an outlet.
That, in short, is the big insight I wanted to share with freelance blog content writers. The only thing worse than a lame Call to Action is NO Call to Action.
Give your blog content readers something to do with their hands – and the positive emotions your content has produced.