The headline on your B2B content needs to grab attention and stop the scroll, but your opening line needs to keep the reader hooked and make them want to read on.
It is a powerful combination, but how do you write an intriguing intro to your article or thought leader?
Writing an intriguing opening line is a powerful tool. There are simple ways of creating intrigue, and you can also get quite creative.
Below are just four ideas to give you a flavour and hopefully inspire your content writing. I’ve made up some examples to illustrate – they are complete fiction, so don’t think of them as actual market commentary.
1. Use a question
Questions can be used in several different ways – lookout for a future blog post on this. But one simple technique is to focus your intro on a question that you subsequently answer in the article.
Framed correctly it gives the reader an indication of what the article will cover and asks a question they are keen to find the answer for.
In a competitive post-Covid office market, how do landlords ensure their vacant space attracts occupiers?
How do you land occupiers when the office market is competitive?
2. Challenge common perspectives (or misconceptions)
Presenting an idea which challenges commonly held perceptions or assumptions – or misconceptions can be a great way of intriguing readers.
It is something unexpected, and people want to know where there might be gaps in their knowledge.
Creating a successful co-working hub isn’t about communal areas, it’s about quiet spaces.
Successful office spaces encourage people to work elsewhere.
You’ll need to go on to explain the rationale behind your ‘challenging’ view.
3. Present an odd-one-out list
Similar to challenging a common perception, you can start your article with a list of key ingredients for achieving something, but one is unexpected – a curveball if you like.
It not only grabs attention by standing out and hopefully generates reader curiosity, but it can be a way of adding personality, a human touch or even fun to your B2B content.
The odd-ball item needs to be genuine, obviously, because you’ll need to go on to explain why it’s significant. And three items is a good number – any more than that can get unwieldy and lose impact.
A successful development is about understanding occupier needs, the right location and a good supply of biscuits.
It was the right space, in the right location, but in the end, it was a packet of jammy dodgers which sealed the deal on letting.
4. Use a quote
Like starting your article with a question, there are lots of different ways you can use a quote as your introduction or opening line (again, look out for a future post).
The simplest thing to do is pull out a key point you make – just a sentence or two. It needs to make sense on its own but invite readers’ curiosity to find out more about the context.
If your content includes comments or quotes from clients or other experts, then pulling out a sentence or two to kick off your article can also work really well.
In my own work, I’ve used an anecdote that cropped up during the content chat as a quirky route into a topic.
And recently, for a series of articles around one issue, I asked everyone the same first question and quoted their answer in the opening of each piece.
It showed the range of thinking on that particular issue.
Hopefully those ideas have given you some inspiration for different ways to kick off your content and creating some intrigue.
It’s a topic I’ll be returning to, so check back here on the blog or sign up for my newsletter, which I’ll be launching soon. This will be a monthly digest of content I’ve written plus some stuff others have written that’s caught my attention.