//4 Ledes in real life: why they work (and what could be better)
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4 Ledes in real life: why they work (and what could be better)



4 ledes in real life why they work and what could be better - 4 Ledes in real life: why they work (and what could be better)

OK, the original plan of this article was to provide excellent examples of LEDs in B2B and B2C content marketing.

But a strange thing happened during this search: a mediocre domination of ledes.

This is disappointing because, next to the title, the LED is everything. This is the determining factor for whether to read the article. The lede has many responsibilities: hook the reader, indicate the subject, set the tone for the article, etc.

Your article is important – it's the determining factor to know if you want to read an article. @AnnGynn #writingtips Click to Tweet

Since mediocre and mediocre riches abound, let us focus on a few that show what works and what does not work. Then discover tips and ideas on creating great leds.

Note: I use the journalistic form " lede ", which is "the introductory part of a newspaper article intended to entice the reader to read the complete story ". Technically, "lead" is also correct.

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Set the scene

Glassdoor's blog offers a range of topics relevant to its visitors, who come looking for a job, read peer-reviewed workplaces and get career advice like this article with its good to say:

How to take a sabbatical leave can improve your career

After spending too many nights in the office, who among us has not always dreamed of leaving our responsibilities aside and heading to a very remote place – perhaps the white sand beaches of Mexico, rugged mountains of Switzerland or the magnificent traditional architecture of Japan. But inevitably, the reality sets in: you have work to do, housework to finish and a steady pace of bills, loans and expenses to pay.

And if this fantasy should not remain a fantasy, however? What if you could earn months, if not a year or more, and come back refreshed and ready to face the business world, with a healthy bank account?

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What Works

Establishes an attractive scene – white sand beaches, rugged mountains, breathtaking architecture (and uses three different locations to attract readers with different travel interests)
Demonstrates an understanding of the public by including their challenge (their evenings in the office) and their aspirations (leaving responsibilities for a remote place)
Ledes can show his public understanding by including his challenge, says @AnnGynn. #writingtips Click to Tweet
Take the reader on a journey of reflection in the first paragraph:
Oh yes, I spend too much time working.
Wow, it would be cool to get rid of those responsibilities, especially if I'm on a dream trip.
But I can not because I have to make money to pay for things.

Tips for Making Things Better

Paint the image with fewer strokes (that is, words). Imagine that your content platform limits the number of words or characters – and will not let you publish unless your text falls below or equal to its mandatory number. You may be surprised at how much you can improve your display if there is a stop sign for counting words. FYI – mobile It takes an average of 80 to 100 words on the screen before the player scrolls, which is too long for a reader, but it is useful to keep in mind that you structure the introduction.
Do not ask obvious questions. If you write a hypothesis or other question that elicits the same response from all readers, delete it. Instead, use declarative or definitive declarations and fulfill this promise in the article.
Do not ask questions if the answer is the same for everyone. Use definitive statements, says @AnnGynn. Click to Tweet

And if it was written like this:

After spending too many nights in the office, you dream of leaving your responsibilities and going to a distant place: the white sand beaches of Mexico, the rugged mountains of Switzerland or the magnificent architecture of Japan.

This is not necessarily a fantasy.

The revised letter has 44 words (the original was 120). I've deleted the paragraph with several questions because the opening paragraph sufficiently defines the aspirations scene. It also helps to better understand the purpose of the article.

Recognize your audience

The MyFitnessPal blog serves a community built around the company's application, which users use to track their meals and physical activity. The well-designed blog offers many interesting contents, including this article of stairlift or treadmill.

What is the best workout: stairs or treadmill?

Whether you love to put on your sneakers or swim in the pool, there's nothing to stop you from believing it's important to take a regular dose of cardio. This not only helps to burn fat and weight management, but it also has other benefits, such as improving mental clarity and preventing muscle loss.

The lede does not work on several levels. And yet, the writer wrote a better guide – he was buried a few paragraphs down:

… Sometimes, when you are in a hurry, the 150 minutes of moderate exercise suggested each week are jostled. This is where the most popular cardio equipment comes into play – especially two of the biggest burners of calories: the treadmill (on a slope) and the stairlift.

1544893180 618 4 ledes in real life why they work and what could be better - 4 Ledes in real life: why they work (and what could be better)

What works (in the buried led):

Speak directly to the reader (use of "you")
Indicates that the author knows the reader – a person who is fit but who has other priorities that make it important to maximize their training time
Defines the expectation to which this article will provide an answer
Focuses on the subject (cardio training equipment) unlike the original lede that mentions swimming

Tips for improving the situation:

Make every word in your head count and keep it between 25 and 45 words on average, says @AnnGynn. #writingtips Click to Tweet
Use active verbs. Eliminate verbs and phrase structures "to be" that carry nothing.
Avoid limiting language. Do not cover yourself. Although this is not illustrated in these two paragraphs, the introduction to the article includes the phrase "in fact quite surprising". Delete "in reality" because it's a useless word. And get rid of "pretty" – the results were surprising or not.

And if it was written like this:

When you have time to exercise, you want to use equipment that optimizes your efforts. Is it a treadmill or a stairlift?

It's 24 words. The wording demonstrates an understanding of the reader (already an athlete and pressed for time). The lede also defines a wait (which is more efficient – the treadmill or the stairlift).

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Connect to the goal of the mark

T-Mobile's blog gathers industry news, special offers and helpful tips, including this weather article with an enigma:

Tips for staying safe during the winter storm season

The winter brings a lot of kindness – friends and family, holidays and celebrations – but can also bring harsh weather and dangerous storms. Snow, melted snow, ice and wind create dangerous conditions that lead to power and network failures.

Rest assured, we are ready.

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What Works:

Set a season tone (that's the content you can use now)
Seduces the reader by contrasting a happy scene with a harsh reality
Use an occasional or familiar voice (you / us)

Tips for improving the situation:

Avoid general feelings . If your guide works as well on another story, write a new guide. For example, this T-Mobile LED could be used for an item from the power company explaining what to do when a power failure occurs.
If you could place your cookie over another story and it still works, write a new cookie. @AnnGynn #writingtips Click to Tweet
Do not use words that have a similar meaning. "Holidays" and "celebrations" are almost the same in this winter context.
Talk to your audience (more defined). T-Mobile's audience consists of its customers – people with a cell phone – and anyone who may be affected by a power outage.

And if it was written like this:

Your camera phone captures the benefits of winter, such as family sleigh rides and friends building snowmen. But snow, melted snow, ice and wind also cause network failures that can affect the use of your cell.

Rest assured, we are ready.

The word count of the new version is a little shorter (35 words versus 43 in the original), while creating a scene on the bright side of winter. Most importantly, it better meets the purpose of the T-Mobile brand and responds to the potential challenge of the intended audience.

Make it convincing

The American Heart Association blog discusses research, statistics, trends, calls for donations, and survivor stories. This lede comes from his series Histoires du cœur .

It took a heart attack to reveal his heart malformation

Growing up, Alanna Gardner learned that she could not be too active. If she did, she would faint. Sometimes spells prompted an emergency visit. The doctors, however, never diagnosed the cause.

Reluctantly, she stopped playing sports.

But after going to college, Alanna began to wonder if the fainting was a sign that she was just not fit. She started to exercise – slowly at first. She maintained a healthy diet. And she did not have more mysterious episodes.

At age 25, she trusted her body enough to register for Philadelphia's Broad Street Run, a 15km run. Her training plan called for a 10-kilometer event a few weeks before.

Alanna thought she was in the best shape of her life. So when fatigue hit during the event, she felt "defeated". And soon she was there. Crossing the finish line, she fainted for the first time in seven years.

"I could not find my friend or an ambulance, but I was not worried because it was such a normal thing," she said. "Then I sat thinking that someone would find me."

She then remembers her awakening at the hospital.

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What Works:

Humanize the subject of heart problems
Uses the narrative form, allowing the reader to invest in the topic
Encourage the public to continue reading to find out what will happen next

Tips for improving the situation:

Align the title with the lede format. Although this story is good, it could have been even more powerful if the title did not tell the whole story – It took a heart attack to reveal a heart condition.
Also make sure that photo captions and URLs do not reveal the story if there is an element of curiosity.
The headlines should not reveal the whole story, says @AnnGynn. #writingtips Click to Tweet

And if it was written like this:

No need to revise the newspaper, it works well as it is.

Let us now turn to some suggestions for inspiration and improvement of the beginning of your articles.

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Do this type more often

The narrative and immersive leds, like that of the American Heart Association, give good results. It is a commodity of specialized journalism for one reason: it works. (Just think of the number of celebrity profiles starting with a version of the actress who enters the restaurant with a casual sweater and chic jeans and orders a salad before talking about her career.)

Too often, content creators do not make the effort to take the necessary steps to create a narrative narrative. (Often, we do not give them time to interview people or they do not know how to find people.) But if you want the public to continue reading, an engaging witness followed by a engaging A story based on the human will do the business.

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Do not forget the suspense

The incorporation of a curiosity factor, as Andrew Davis told Content Marketing World really captivates your audience. Blind or delayed identifications encourage readers to continue because they want to know who or what is being described. You can also create curiosity with suspense as Mashable did with this lede :

A runner's first hang-gliding flight turned into a spin after the pilot forgot to attach it to the tandem safety harness.

Chris Gursky told YouTube on 1945 his extremely terrifying glider experience in Switzerland . Gurksy quickly realized, just after takeoff, that he was not hooked to the glider harness.

The integration of a curiosity factor really captures your audience, says @DrewDavisHere. #CMWorld # writings Click to Tweet

The author reveals that the hang glider survived in the second paragraph. So, the suspense is short-lived. But it's just enough to get readers to click on the video – not to know if he survived by what he did.

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Beginning and end together

Think of your end as part of your beginnings. Writing an engaging story (no matter how long) requires an end that connects at the beginning. Surround your reader with the full circle to remind him how all the points in your story are related.

The big ledes are possible. They demonstrate an understanding of the audience, define or manage expectations, and attract the reader with an engaging story, format, or scene. Greatness requires bringing all these pieces together to create a fluid, engaging, relevant and fast experience for your readers.

Start your content marketing story as early as 2019. Register today to get the lowest rates for Content Marketing World in September.

Cover image of Joseph Kalinowski / Content Marketing Institute