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How I Met with Angry Audiences: Why Your Conclusion Matters

By: David Tile| Founer @ Article-Writing.co
Posted On: April 15, 2014
Making your article unique is an important part of content writing, and your conclusion can be just the place to do it. A favorite TV show provides a great example.
It’s the final curtain call. The cast stands together, joins hands, and takes one final bow. If you’re a fan of the hit series “How I Met Your Mother,” you were exposed to this image for weeks before reaching the finale. Finally, fans would get the end to the story on how Ted Mosby met “the mother,” a punchline that’s been going on for nine years. This leads to an important fact in any form of writing: Your conclusion is just as important as your beginning, and if it misses the mark, your entire story can — and will — suffer for it.

The Consequences of a Poor Conclusion

 

If you took to Twitter after the show’s finale you would’ve been greeted with a lot of disappointed fans. One tweet in particular caught my eye after I finished watching the show: How I Wasted Nine Years of My Life.

This is what a poor conclusion can do to your work. It can make audiences so upset that they consider the work as a whole a giant waste of time. “Dear anyone who watched all nine seasons and 200+ episodes of the CBS hit comedy,” wrote Kristin Dos Santos for E! Online after the finale aired, “we would like to send our condolences to you during this very difficult time.” Before making this comment, she said how, if you watched only the first and last episode of the series, you would think that it was a brilliant comedy series. This statement means that, according to her, the rest of the series isn’t worth your time. Just stick to those two episodes otherwise you will be disappointed.

One bad conclusion led to more than 200 episodes of a fun series being seen as a waste. Really stop and think about that for a moment. Imagine working on something for nine years, gaining an audience, and making the word legendary a cool catchphrase. Can you imagine all of that being considered pointless because of one episode? This is why your conclusion is just as important as your beginning and the content in the middle. Once you have your audience hooked, the last thing you want is for them to walk away unsatisfied.

What a Good Conclusion Looks Like

Let’s check out these bullet points from the site Time4Writing and examine what a conclusion is:

 

– A conclusion is what you will leave with your reader

– It wraps up your essay

– It demonstrates to the reader that you accomplished what you set out to do

– It shows how you have proved your thesis

– It provides the reader with a sense of closure on the topic

Knowing this, here is what a conclusion should look like:

– A conclusion is the opposite of the introduction

– Remember that the introduction begins general and ends specific

– The conclusion begins specific and moves to the general

What made the conclusion of “How I Met Your Mother” so unsatisfying to its fans is because it didn’t do any of these things. The setup of the show has been the story of how Ted met “the mother,” but in the end that’s not really what the story has been about. That’s not to say that your conclusion can’t have any surprises, nor is this suggesting that your conclusion can’t bring in new information. The trick with having new information in your conclusion is to show that new information developing in the work as a whole. “If this information were significant enough to your argument, it should have been included in the body paragraphs,” writes Dona Le for Sibia Proofreading. “Adding it in the conclusion simply distracts the reader and detracts from the overall impact of your previously focused argument.”

Now you can argue that this is what “How I Met Your Mother” did. This new information has been developing over time. However, the problem with the ending is that it’s hard to distinguish what the new information is. It’s not really the mother, because she’s been in the title since day one and we’ve been waiting to meet her. Sure you can look back at the series and realize that, yes, it’s been about someone else this entire time. But now we’re left wondering… why build up the mother at all when, as the kids point out, she’s barely been seen in the story?

When your title and your story promise sometime, that’s what your audience wants in the end. In this case, the conclusion feels like two conflicting points and raises more questions than answers. That’s not what a conclusion is. A conclusion is an ending, something the audience can walk away from knowing that there’s nothing left to say. Unfortunately, in the case of this series, audiences have been mostly saying “no” and there’s no going back now — unless, of course, an alternate ending is created. What a coincidence?

However, you may not always have a chance to go back and undo what’s been done, so write a conclusion that’s worth it now instead of trying to go back and fix what you post later. Professional writing services can help you put this all together as well.

The ultimate goal of content marketing is offering your target audience information and materials that will engage them and motivate them to choose your business. 

Seems easy, right? 

Often, companies will simply share general content to please everyone. But let’s be honest: you can’t win them all. And that’s okay! 

Rather than throwing a line and hoping the fish will bite, create Thought Leadership content strategically catered to your target market. Consider the people who would genuinely need or care about what your business offers, rather than wasting time, effort, and resources on creating general, unfocused content. Successful content marketing involves promoting your products and services to the people interested in the subject matter, who will read the content, click on your company website, and take action. 

As an executive of an organization, you are a valuable piece of the brand. Consumers want to know about the human presence leading companies, in order to understand more about the company’s values and goals. 

Take advantage of your position as an industry expert and share extra content to attract more attention to yourself as an industry leader and your company. Your quality content will build your reputation as a reliable voice to earn your consumer’s trust. However, if it’s not focused on your target audience, you won’t earn many conversions from your content. 

Consider these techniques to guide your Thought Leadership content so it can expand and strengthen your loyal consumer following:

  • Identify your target audience by reviewing your current consumer data and identifying who is investing in your business or reacting to your thought leadership materials so far. Look for trends to find why these people are interested and if others like them haven’t been reached yet. 
  • Conduct customer research to learn how they will respond to your thought leadership content. Request participation in surveys, polls, social media comments, and more to learn about your existing impression on your audience and how you can improve your platform. 
  • Create target audience character profiles. Identify their interests, demographics, pain points, needs, and desires, and write to them.
  • Find where your current and potential audience is active online.  Catch their attention by being active and sharing your content marketing materials on these platforms.
  • Pull inspiration from other Thought Leader examples. Research other executives within your field who implement successful content marketing through their personal platforms. Learn what qualities make their content attractive and why readers respond to it positively. These examples can offer a base for you to visualize what you want to achieve. 
  • Recognize your strengths as a Thought Leader. Often, leaders aren’t necessarily aware of the unique talents that give them an advantage in their industry until asked. Reflect on what topics you know best and how to input your insights to humanize your materials, make them original and more engaging for your audience. 

 

Case Study: How Strategic Content Marketing Can Broaden Your Audience

In our client strategy calls, our team will interview our expert clients to learn about their industry expertise and find out what’s meaningful to them, their business, and then identify who we believe to be their target audience. We use these insights to inspire our content subject matter and tone to create impactful content for their current and potential consumers.

Dr. Desai’s COVID PreCheck App Content Marketing

For example, our client, Dr. Nitin Desai, approached our strategy team to create content to promote his COVID Pre-Check app. His innovative software is intended to help employers ensure their employees who enter the office are COVID-free, providing a safe environment by eliminating the chance of spread. 

Our team of strategists recognized that with Dr. Desai’s thorough professional knowledge around the COVID-19 virus, he had the potential to become a reliable voice in a culture of people seeking answers. We created content for Dr. Desai that focused on sharing COVID-related insights to reach a wider audience, which has been a successful mission. Our thoroughly planned content reflected his industry expertise, which brought him attention from various media outlets and publications, including Forbes

By reaching out to our professional content marketing team, Dr. Desai achieved his goal of promoting his groundbreaking app, while also positioning himself as an authoritative voice in his field. Our team learned about his voice, discovered what was meaningful to him and his target audience, and optimized this to create focused, engaging content that broadened his consumer scope. 

Ready to Invest In Your Article-Writing.co Thought Leadership Package? 

At Article-Writing.co, we understand that you have a lot on your plate. Let us share your voice on your behalf, so you don’t need to add more time to your busy schedule to write your own content marketing. Our strategists and creators will develop a plan to create engaging materials to represent your Thought Leader brand through your own specialized Thought Leadership Package

Let us help you strengthen and broaden your consumer base for continued professional success. Book a call today.