Okay, so I’m behind the times on catching up on my box sets. I’ve loads of them in the cupboard. They’ve been out for ages. Everyone raved about them (hence I bought them) and they are now iconic, but I still haven’t found time to watch them.
So when recently I decided that the several hundred TV stations were not providing enough entertainment for me each evening, I asked my team which box set would be best to watch.
I wanted to be entertained; sustain reality and get knee-deep in a complex storyline which would capture my imagination.
To say I loved it is an understatement. What’s more it reminded me very much of how compelling content is created, be it for TV, web, radio, print and any other medium you care to mention.
Of particular relevance was how much the formula for this TV series could be harnessed for the good of bloggers.
So here you have it, our blogging tips or “What every blogger can learn from Jack Bauer and 24″…
Appraisal of facts
One thing I love about 24 is at the beginning of every episode there is a short round up of all of the most important factors in the series to date. Those who are regulars get reminded of where they are up to and the plot to date. But it also means that even you if you only ever viewed one episode you would have an idea what is going on and why. This is a win/win situation and makes the series accessible to an even wider audience.
Regulars are rewarded and newbies are included. Very clever.
When blogging, key tactics you can use to achieve the same effect are:
- Creating links to previous blog articles which are important to read first (or in relation to the current blog)
- Talk about your post on social media reminding of, and highlighting the most important facts
- Feed relevant articles into the footer of your blog – if you liked this article, you may also like…
- Make sure you couple all of the above with “immediate satisfaction” and you are sure to produce a successful article.
Avid 24 viewers will have been addicted to the breadcrumb trail of clues throughout the series which gave clues to where each strand of the storyline was heading.
So how do bloggers capture the breadcrumb effect in a single post? Well here’s the thing – don’t craft a single post. Have a content calendar of articles which dovetail together in themes so that the breadcrumbs you create link to the rest of your repertoire.
Within every episode there are links to the past, present and future. This engages viewers as they discuss and share ideas on where the storyline is heading, what each reference means to their favourite characters and provides a strong sense of belonging. That feeling that “I have watched this, understand the plot and feel excited to anticipate what may be coming next”.
This can be achieved in a blog with links to previous articles within your website, links to external articles you cite and your service/product pages. These links are not only a healthy part of the customer experience, they also play a vital role in SEO – so a double whammy in practical terms.
Within all content, be it a TV show, a chapter of a book or even an act in a play there should be a certain level of immediate satisfaction for the consumer – a quick fix if you like.
Every blog should stand up on its own merits and be useful, interesting and engaging in isolation. Use this article as an example. Has it given you some new ideas? Does it help you consider how to create your next blog? Having read it, do you feel it answers some of those nagging questions you’ve had about creating compelling content?
Yes? Then hopefully you are satisfied.
Satisfaction is one thing, but hopefully it will also leave you with an appetite to learn more. Perhaps the next step is to learn how to optimise your blog for organic search? Perhaps you’ll re-think what kind of content you are creating and produce some different types of blogs, vlogs or infographics and plan to pop back and read more tips another time?
There is no debating that a series such as 24 is action packed. It’s fast moving, with strong purpose and it’s exciting to watch. Lord knows how in reality, Jack Bauer would be able to spend 24 non-stop action packed hours without food, comfort breaks or some kind of sleep.
So how does this translate to your blogging skills? Make sure there is some juicy ‘action-packed’ content provided by every blog you create. Content which is unique and developed for a specific buyer persona is best. Put yourself in your buyer personas’ shoes and create content which provides solutions to their business challenges or individual needs.
Let purpose and education be your action – and pack it into great articles.
Simple, right? Wrong…
Keep your audience hungry
Compelling content is something that is often talked about by digital marketing professionals, and is actually very hard to achieve. In 24 there is always a cliff-hanger at the end of every episode and every season. How do you achieve this with a simple blog? Here are some ideas….
- Pick a big topic, relevant for your target market and break it up into bite-sized chunks over a set period of time
- Provide a range of both evergreen (timeless) and tactical (current) content. This demonstrates to your audience that you are aware of the big picture challenges but are also current enough to be on top of the new
Bring ‘em back for more
Whilst I am sure there are plenty of people out there who have only ever watched one episode or perhaps one season of 24 – there is a huge demographic of those who were hooked and kept coming back for more (and more).
Here are a few tips on how to achieve this successfully with your blog content:-
- Invite visitors to your website to sign-up for newsletters and blog updates (you’ll find out how to sign up for ours at the bottom of this article)
- Include calls-to-action within each blog such as enquire now; post a comment (or ask a question); buy now etc. If they are hungry for more – make sure you are the business to satisfy their craving
- Encourage and facilitate discussion on your posts on your social media channels
- Run polls, questions and ask for input into your future blog posts via the blog itself and social media
Now, if those aren’t all the ingredients of a good blog, vlog or infographic – I don’t know what is?!
Of course many businesses create blogs but very few of them have the time or inclination to think about these (and many more) factors or indeed plan their content and theme their campaigns.
If you’ve got a quick question on blogging, then please comment below 🙂