Can you hear that? That’s the buzz of the Internet swarming around content marketing. The field is increasing so quickly that Google search results for ‘content marketing’ outnumber those of ‘Barack Obama’ by more than a third. Given its track record for business success, more and more companies are boosting their online content efforts hoping they’ll win big. However not all content is created equal. You can’t expect to win on the big pots with low pairs or an ace-high alone. Content curation is an art of its own and only the right amount of training—paired with real life experience—will increase your chances for a big win.
Online content differs greatly from other mediums like journalism or academia.This style generally offers more freedom and flexibility than the other methods, but certain tried and true best practices tend to resonate best with online audiences. Essentially, don’t over think it and make it as easy as possible for the reader to get your point:
- Short sentences and common terminology allow for easy reading to broad audiences.
- The smart use of CAPS, bolds, italics, underlines, and colored text can make your text come to life. Choose wisely, however, or else the text can become distracting.
- Include links to relevant content when appropriate; these inclusions will enrich your article and indicate that you’ve done your research.
- Use bullets and/or numbered lists for clear-cut, simply flowing organization.
Jack: Write Creatively & Communicate Effectively
Content writing is not a field in which you can afford to be wishy-washy. You’re expected to be a leading voice of authority, whether it’s for a product, service, or strategic methods within your field. Your readers click your link and continue on for your page to gain valuable insights, tips, and perspective. It only takes one well-written article to pique a reader’s interest, so when you’re penning your next piece, write as though it’s a make or break opportunity for retention, since it very well could be.
Set your texts apart from others in the content marketing crowd by maintaining a consistent, engaging, and entertaining voice that truly speaks to the readers. Your audience wants to know that there’s an actual human behind the ideas, rather than being talked to by content-generating automation.
Be fun and be free. Put enthusiasm into your work while using tone and personality to set yourself apart.
Queen: Using Visuals to Pull Them In
Sometimes it’s better to show than to tell.
King: Focus on Active User Engagement
For better or for worse, we’re living in a digital world wherein social media can be the strongest tool in your marketing arsenal. Social networks provide excellent (and for the most part, free) avenues to engage existing followers as well as to attract new ones.
Once you generate a solid base of followers, be sure to create engaging copy to align with your links, whether it includes a soundbite from the article, an intriguing call to action, or a fitting visual presentation of the content inside.
Also note that you have to optimize the timing of your posts in order to establish the optimal level of engagement. Think of points during the day in which your readership is most likely to be logged in online: checking emails once getting to the office, on lunch break, and commuting back home. With this point, also keep time zones in mind if your reach is global. It’s okay to recirculate existing content if you think you’ve missed the boat on the article’s reach. Generate a new social post with a variation on the copy so as to pique the reader’s interest anew.
Ace: Give the people what they want.
Ultimately, users will be drawn to your post and/or blog if you raise an issue that they wish to explore further. Browsers often use their time online to find answers to questions they already have, so prepare your content with these potential inklings in mind to have the answers they’ll be looking for.
While online readers may be seeking information first and foremost, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t add some spice to your content. Considering the previous points explicated in this article, attention to writing style, compelling visuals, and social components will all make your content more accessible, relevant, and entertaining to peruse. Create a fun twist to your writing, whether it includes a recurring motif of a personal interest (like poker, perhaps) or a pop culture reference (these can pertain to public figures, awards shows, sports, and the like). By loosening up the restrictions of content marketing within the genre, you are simultaneously creating a more developed, dynamic article that is more enjoyable both to read and to write.
And with this, my friends, the house will always win.