Idea for a copywriter: how easy it is to write texts using a contentogram

The content chart that I want to share visually displays the intensity of different indicators in the dynamics of content consumption, somewhat reminiscent of CJM and story greed. Visualization helps to visually see the connections between elements and makes it easier to understand and remember. Content visualization, both statically and dynamically, can be called a contentogram.

  • Content can be anything from video to text. I will show you how you can use it when working with text. Contentogram is suitable for different types of texts, including commercial ones. In my example, in order not to get distracted from the point, I will take an empty text template.

Let’s start filling

Let’s say a reader saw content in a VKontakte group. This is where his readers’ journey begins, this is the first step in his interaction with content.

First of all, the reader pays attention to the title. It should attract attention and reflect the essence of the text.

Often, readers skim the text before reading it in order to assess the volume and structure, to understand the general meaning (this is called skimming). It is important here whether the text is easy to read, whether it contains illustrations, videos, lists and other elements.

Our contentogram is divided into 3 main blocks:

  • Author
  • Text.
  • Reader.

You can organize the table in the order that suits you. I have the text in the middle. On the left are instructions for the author and the structure of the text. On the right is the reader’s path from the first contact with the text to the end of reading or performing some targeted action, if it is implied.

The structure of the text can be any. I took the classic structure of a five-term essay. It is suitable for writing short essays and consists of:

  • entry;
  • body of the article with three theses;
  • conclusions.

This structure is as simple as possible and is taught in all American schools.

I gave the structure in a checklist format and added how much text each block takes (in percentage). I just check the text against the checklist of each block and make sure I haven’t forgotten anything.

Instead of volume, you can add anything: the time of reading or the number of characters. So you will immediately see if you are carried away by some part of the text, or vice versa, did not collect it.

Any additional parameter can be added to the contentogram, which simplifies the work. For example, if we were writing a script, we would add a storyboard to it.

In the “Text” column, you can either insert ready-made text to check it against the structure, or write it right there, following the structure and dividing it into blocks. I additionally mark important details in the text using color coding. Why, it will become clear when we turn to the reader.

In the column “Reader” I describe everything that the reader sees and feels in each block of the text structure, showing his reading path. So you can trace how his perception changes in the process of reading.

It is convenient to mark important details in the text and the reader’s reaction to them with the same color. For example, here is a fragment of an essay about images in the stories of Edgar Poe. The author asserts a certain thesis and gives an example of how the writer does this in one of his stories. The same labeling allows you to clearly see that we do not just follow the structure of the text, but also show the reader everything that we want to convey to him.

Additionally, the table can be supplemented with useful details. For example, the factual richness (the ratio of the known and the unknown) and the impact on the rational and emotional perception of the reader. This allows us to see that we are maintaining balance in the text and keeping the reader’s attention. Exact numbers are not needed, estimates from -5 to +5 are sufficient. It is not necessary to build curves, it can be any designation convenient for you: ordinary emoticons or arrows will do.

Additional parameters are also optional: it can be, for example, appeal to different senses or the specificity of perception for different types of readers.

Contentgram is not a dogma, but a handy tool that can help simplify the writing process. All people visualize differently, this is just one of the possible options that I use. Any content chart can be, the main thing is not how it looks, but how useful it is in work. I hope that my structure will be convenient for you too, or will suggest how to organize your unique contentogram.

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