Content Marketing: Create the perfect content piece
Traditional marketing talks at people. Content marketing talks with them.
– Doug Kessler
Every marketer out there understands the power of content. Whether it’s a text or visual piece – if created in a compelling way, can work wonders. So how do you create that perfect content piece that does all the work for you?
We have created a mini guide to content writing that will help you create a blog post, press release or product description that will get your audience want to read and find out more.
First step in working on your content piece is doing the initial prep work. It will help you create a vision of what your content should look like and what message it will convey. Things to consider:
How would you like to be seen and perceived? – Do you want to come across as entertaining, knowledgeable, inviting, friendly, dry? Think of the reactions you would like your readers to have. Tip: Positivity works always better than negativity and bitterness.
What subject are you passionate about? – By talking about things that interest you, you are making your own life much easier and you have it almost guaranteed there will be someone else equally interested in the subject.
Whatever you write about, make sure you are being yourself.
You have to understand your audience before you start your work. Answer few of the questions below before you start
– Who is your audience? Where do they live, how old are they, what kind of background do they come from, are they educated, what needs do they have.
– What language do they use? It will help you define how much into industry language you can and should go.
– What knowledge do they have? You have to find the right balance so you don’t sound too patronising nor too difficult to understand.
– What are they hoping to get out of it?
Define the purpose of your content – what is it supposed to serve and how. You can usually divide the content into the following categories:
Writing your article
- Start with a working title and finalise it once your piece is written.
- Scribble different headlines. According to Upworthy’s ex Editor-at-Large the viral content website writes 25 different headlines before they select one. This practice makes a writer think outside the box when writing.
- Keep the title short. There are few reasons for it. First of all longer titles are more difficult to digest and lose the punch. Second of all, for SEO purposes and how search engine will display your post title. Moz advices to keep it under 60 characters and around 6 words.
- Write a title that is human.
- I.e. Existing Headline: Holiday booking tips versus a more human version: 10 Tips to help you book a holiday of your dreams.
- Try to tell a story without giving the juicy information away.
- Be positive as positivity sells better. Don’t spread negative information, be passive aggressive or discredit or patronise others. Also avoid using offensive language and talking about subjects people don’t feel comfortable with.
- Don’t be too salesy.
- Keep it short – Up to few sentences.
- Empathise with the reader and refer to them in your copy. Use ‘you’ reference or describe a scene in the third person and conjure up a feeling your reader recognises.
- Lead with the end of the story, but don’t give away the juicy stuff.
- Keep the reader interested by saying something funny, sharing an interesting fact or something quirky or personal. You can also engage by asking a question or leading with a successful story.
- Make is easy to read. A sentence shouldn’t be longer than 20 words and should only cover one concept or idea.
- Keep your article to the point and cover one concept. The entire article should be no more than 600 words per article.
- When asking questions, ask one question at a time.
- Sum up your blog in one sentence. If you can’t do this, there’s probably too much going on.
- The post’s purpose needs to be clear to the reader.
- Use language your readers understand.
- Talk to the reader. Pronouns like you, your and yours will help the reader see themselves in your copy and, consequently, in the story you are trying to tell.
- Combat passive language. Active voice means the subject of each sentence is doing the action rather than receiving it.
- Research your keywords. Think like your reader and use the words they could use to come across your content.
- Break the text up to make it easer to read. Use headers, sub headers, bullet points and images.
- Break content into paragraphs with each paragraph covering a specific subject or concept.
- Use free (and legal) image resources like pixabay, pexels or freeimages if you don’t have a content library.
After you’re done
- Re-read your article and proofread it. Ask someone else to proofread it if you can.
- Check if it’s compliant with your company’s guidelines.
- Plan where and how you’re going to promote it.
- Think of an A/B test for your content piece. A/B testing is a great way to get a better understanding of what triggers your audience.
According to various sources these are the best performing formats:
- Emotional posts
And these are the reasons readers share the content online:
- Brings valuable and entertains others.
- Helps them define themselves to others (give people a better sense of who they are).
- Helps them grow and nourish relationships (stay connected with others).
- Self-fulfilment (to feel more involved in the world).
- Gets the word out on causes they care about.
- Buzzsumo – helps you understand what goes viral
- Headline analyser– tells you how much emotion your headline conveys
- Hemingway Editor – Great tool for content proofing, helps you passive-proof your text, start by doing a CTRL-F for the word “by.”
- Readability tools:
- Cliché Finder – Feeling like your writing might be coming off a little cheesy? Identify instances where you can be more specific using this handy cliché tool.
- Title idea generators:
Now that you are ready to write, find out how to generate blog ideas that work.