Anyone who knows me can speak of my obsession with reality television. My particular favorite: “The Bachelor.” From the moment the eligible bachelorettes step out of the limo to meet their future ex-husband to the Fantasy Suite and the final rose, one thing is for sure—the audience is hooked. As much as “The Bachelor” has taught us what not to do in a relationship, there are some content marketing takeaways to learn as we watch the inevitable train wreck.
Begin with the end in mind
One of the reasons millions of viewers tune in to “The Bachelor” every Monday night is that they want to see how it ends. Who is he sending home this week? Who does he choose? Does she say yes? Are they still together? The show does a fantastic job building suspense throughout the season that leads to a dramatic ending. What payoff is your audience getting from reading your entire post? Make the purpose of your post clear right away in your lead sentence and follow through with a worthwhile ending.
Here’s an example of a short and sweet lead that gets right to the point:
Keep it simple
One of the reasons why I love “The Bachelor” so much is that it requires zero thinking, which is nice after a long, exhausting day. Readers are looking for that same ease. Not that readers want to read content that is “dumbed-down” by any means, but they expect the writer to break down and discuss the topic in an easily digestible way. Using subheadings, short paragraphs and bullet points helps to make your content more visually appealing.
Develop your voice
Another amazing feature of “The Bachelor” is the reoccurring characters that seem to pop up in every season: The Crazy One, The Emotional One, The One Who Drinks Too Much. These beloved personalities are accepted by “Bachelor” fans because they are familiar and help identify who’s who. In the same vein, it’s important to become familiar to your readers. Make sure your voice is consistent and showcases your brand’s unique personality. Creating a style guide will help to ensure your voice is consistent across your brand. A style guide should include details about your target audience, content goals, narrative, tone, and any other information that is particular to your brand.
Edit to your advantage
Most of “The Bachelor” footage ends up on the cutting room floor. Why? Because no one wants to watch hours of useless conversation—we just want to get to the juicy stuff, the drama. Watch out for repetitive ideas in your writing. Like Hemingway, keep sentences short and precise so the reader isn’t lost in all the fluff.
It’s OK to be a tease
“The Bachelor” teases the audience during the entire season with previews of the finale and the most dramatic moments. It’s OK for you as a writer to tease your audience as well. If you have a blog post coming up, or perhaps a series installment, share that information across social media so your readers can know what to expect.
Creating useful, shareable content is all about hooking your audience and providing real value. There’s a reason why “The Bachelor” is one of the longest running reality shows on TV (it’s approaching its 20th season, with millions of viewers still tuning in every week). So, take a few of the lessons we learned from watching “The Bachelor” and find your inner Chris Harrison.