Putting an Emotional Spin on a Boring Topic: Vigilance & Amazement

This is it. We have arrived at the fifth and final installment of our Emotionally Appealing Content Series.

If you have been following along, you should know by now that the best way to get an audience to act is to get them emotionally involved in whatever it is that you are saying.

In this series, we have provided multiple lists of tips, strategies and examples of how to create content that emotionally attaches to a reader. (Don’t worry if you missed it; we have it all right here for you – IntroductionEcstasy and Grief, Loathing and Admiration, Terror and Rage.)

Now, in our final installment of the series, we take on the final two emotions from Plutchick’s wheel – vigilance and amazement. And there is an obvious direction to go when talking about vigilance and amazement.

And it’s the Batman.

Vigilance

The story of Batman is a prime example of how people will act (sometimes with incredible force and audacity) when provoked with an issue that they feel strongly about.

When Bruce Wayne’s parents were killed by a city thug, young Bruce didn’t just get interested in the city’s planned efforts for removing the street crime. He didn’t sit around and anticipate the eventual removal of the city’s criminals. He donned a crazy, black bat suit and went out to fight the crime himself.

If you can create content that speaks to readers and gives them reason to act, they will respond not because they want to, but because they can’t imagine it any other way.

That’s good news when you are trying to get your audience to spread the word about your content.

Tips for writing to incite vigilance:

  1. Find a Cause and Fight for the Future – Find a cause that connects with something specific within your industry and then give your readers a way to fight for that cause. If you can’t find a specific organization or cause, fighting for the well-being of future generations will always work.
  2. Tell a Story – People connect to true stories. Offering examples of real people in real situations will likely draw your reader deeper into your content and create more compassion for the content’s purpose.
  3. Put the Reader in Another World –Create a world that the reader can see, feel and deeply care about to get them to act. Make sure the world is pretty terrible if you are trying to get them to change it. Make sure it’s pretty great if you are trying to get them to build it.
  4. Make Them Feel Like They CAN and WILL Make a Difference – People respond to results; if you can offer a potential end result that could happen with the help of your audience, you will be much more likely to get readers involved.

Examples of spinning boring topics toward Vigilance:

Accounting

  • # Ways to Make Sure the Next Generation Doesn’t Suck at Math
  • The Most Inspiring Scholarships for Accountants and # Ways You Can Fund the Future

Cloud Computing

  • Things to Save in the Cloud for Future Generations
  • How the World Will Change With Clouds In Third World Countries

Home Insurance

  • # Things You Should Tell Your Kids About Home Insurance, Before It’s Too Late
  • How To Help Flood Victims Get Back Afloat

Encouraging your audience to act by connecting them to a cause or issue is a great way to get them to care about your industry and message.

Amazement

Batman seems like the perfect embodiment of both of these emotions. But for amazement, we won’t use the star character for our comparison; we look at the man behind the movie.

Christopher Nolan, the writer of the Dark Knight trilogy, helped the trilogy make over a billion dollars by writing a story that provided his audience with distraction from the everyday, surprises around every corner and most importantly, sheer amazement in nearly every scene.

If you can incite oohing and ahhing from your audience, you will most certainly incite a social share from them as well.

Tips for writing to incite amazement:

  1. Push the Limits – Find something outlandish that someone else did and push it even further. The best idea are often something that reaches a boundary and then crosses it.
  2. Don’t Be Afraid to Be Weird – People are amused by things that are unique, strange or just plain weird. Don’t be afraid to show something off-the-wall. People like to see something that they haven’t seen before.
  3. Back Up the Facts – Just one wild fact will intrigue an audience. Scan stats and studies for springing findings. All you need is one shocking fact in a headline to catch major attention.
  4. Make Sure It Hasn’t Been Done – Being amazing is easy, so anytime an idea pops into your head that feels too good to be true – it just might be. Make sure to search for your brilliant idea before writing and don’t get frustrated if you find that the idea has been done. Continue to spin the idea until you come up with something fresh, and new.

Examples of spinning boring topics toward Amazement:

Accounting

  • [Large Number of Money] Lost By Accounting Mistakes Across the Globe
  • # Accountants with Muscles Bigger Than Arnold

Cloud Computing

  • # Things You Never Knew Could Happen in the Cloud
  •  The Amount of Information in the Cloud Could Fill [Large Number] Libraries

Home Insurance

  • Eight Homes Aboard – How Much Does It Cost to Live Like a King?
  • # of the Weirdest Things Ever Insured

Search social sites to see what others are sharing to get an idea of the strange and crazy ideas that amaze people to the point that they have to read and share.

So the Batman Dark Knight trilogy is proof that people will fight for something they believe it as well as savor in the extraordinary. But remember, not every audience is the same. The Dark Knight had mass appeal, but your industry may not. Make sure to know your audience before making these moves.

You may never be as good as Christopher Nolan at pulling your audience into sheer amazement, but with the right tactics, you can wow your audience with interest by continuing to show them ideas they have never seen or thought of.

And while you may not get your audience to go out and fight crime, by showing them something that they can and will feel passionate about, you will get them to at the very least, spread the word about your message.

Final Thoughts on Emotional Content

So now you know that by putting an emotional spin on a topic, you are far more likely to connect with your audience. But a few major things to remember when creating emotionally-driven content:

  • Know your audience
  • Take risks
  • Analyze past content to see what works (and what doesn’t)
  • Ride the emotional roller coaster (don’t stick with one emotional appeal week after week)
  • Don’t give up

Creativity isn’t easy. So don’t fret if you have a difficult topic and struggle with finding a unique and emotionally-driven way to spin it. Give yourself a break, walk away from the computer, and find inspiration all around you. Good ideas are behind every corner – you just need to know how to look for them.

By looking a topic from an emotional angle, you will open up a world of new ideas and perspectives, and find a vast new playing field for creating ideas for content that readers love and love to share.

About the author

Raubi Marie Perilli

Raubi Marie Perilli is the founder of Simply Stated Media. She regularly writes about freelancing, writing, and marketing on her blog and around the internet. Learn more by following her on Twitter or signing up for her free training, How to Get Your Freelance Business Off the Ground Without Wasting Time.