Content is key.
You’ve probably heard that a thousand times, but it’s true.
Content is everywhere; long, short, ad copy, website copy, blog posts, emails.
Successful digital marketing requires you to master the art of content writing and we’re here to break it down for you.
Whether you’re a great literary, or you struggle to write an Instagram caption – starting is famously the most difficult part of writing anything.
So before you even attempt to make a start, do your research.
Do Your Research
Going into a writing session blind is never a good plan. And if you’re writing for a brand or business, here’s what you need to research:
- The product or service that you are writing about
- The end goal: should the content drive sales, increase website traffic, collect email sign-ups, educate or inspire?
- The tone of voice: informal, formal, conversational, professional, educational
- The target audience: what is the gender, age and location of your audience? What are their interests?
It’s likely that you will refer to your good friend Google for some of the answers to these questions, or at the very least to check out your competition.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattering and though we’re obviously not saying you should copy (in fact don’t ever copy, it’s totally self-defeating), taking inspiration from the worldwide web can be a great move!
That being said, one of the most important parts about your research, if external, is to make sure your information comes from a credible source.
And that you cite that source in your writing. Give credit where credit is due!
Once you’ve done your research, you can begin writing.
We recommend starting with your headline.
Your headline is the first, and arguably the most important, line of copy on your page.
According to research by copyblogger.com, on average 8 out of 10 people will read your headline but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest.
The relevant article ‘How To Write Magnetic Headlines’ tells us that the better your headline, the better your odds of beating these averages and having more people read what you’ve written.
Writing your headline first is a great way to give you parameters for your writing. It’s a lot less daunting to start writing an article that you know will contain the ‘5 keys to successful Instagram marketing’ than it is to tackle “successful Instagram marketing”.
There are great tools available such as SurferSEO Content Editor that allow you to insert your headline and provide you with relevant keywords, useful questions and subtopics surrounding your chosen area – the perfect cure for writer’s block!
On the topic of keywords, those are very important.
Find & Use Keywords
Using relevant keywords throughout your writing is the best way to increase the number of people who view your content.
Keywords encourage search engines to view your content as reliable and authoritative. And doing keyword research should be one of the first steps in marketing your business as it allows you to see what people are putting into search engines to find products like yours.
Using the Google Keyword Planner in Google Ads allows for you to see what sort of keywords your competitors are using and which are driving the most traffic.
So we’ve got research, headline, keywords – that’s all the admin done.
Now you can get into the meat and bones of your content.
Write Your Heart Out But Write Accordingly
By this point, you should know what you’re writing about, who you’re writing for and what you want to achieve through your content. The latter is key.
The goal of your content will heavily influence your writing. If you are writing an educational piece, you will want your content to be information-heavy whereas if you’re writing ad copy you will want your content to be short and sweet, catchy and persuasive.
If you’re writing ad copy, it’s worth taking a look at your competitor’s campaigns to see what is trending and what is driving sales.
Perhaps you’re making your ad copy relevant to pop-culture like Love Island or a public holiday – stay relevant.
If you’re writing longer copy for your website or a blog post then you should ensure that your content answers the questions of your audience.
Say you’ve written a blog about ‘Tips For Solo Travellers’; you can bet your audience will have a number of questions about taking a trip on their own.
Instead of giving all the answers upfront, you might be writing to inspire your reader. In this case, you’ll want to leave your reader with questions that help them with a bit of self-reflection.
No matter what kind of content you’re writing, people love the personal touch. Include anecdotes, point out your personal favourites or draw on your own experience – make your content accessible.
The Importance of Readability
We’ve already established that it’s a challenge to draw in the modern reader. Distractions are everywhere, our attention spans are ever-decreasing so content writers truly have their work cut out for them.
We recommend taking a step back from your writing to ensure it draws the reader in. By this we mean, make sure your sentences are concise and your paragraphs are short.
There’s nothing more fatiguing than being confronted with a screen seething with Ariel size 11.
This is especially true considering the research showing that of all the time spent browsing over half is on a mobile device.
Once you’ve got your content, make sure that it is optimised for both desktop and mobile viewers!
Check Your Work
You’ve heard this a million times, but when it comes to business – this is critical. Nothing screams amateur like a typo.
Our final piece of advice, check your work. Then check it again. Send it to someone else. Then check it one final time.
Oh, and use Grammarly – it’s a God send.
Now you’ve got the basics for successful content writing, set yourself down at your keyboard and type until your heart’s content.