Have you been tasked with writing engaging content for the company website?
Or maybe you’re putting together a campaign and need to compose an email to capture your audience?
Whatever the purpose, the question you may ask yourself is “how do I make this content a success without using up all my thinking hours in the day?”.
Content can be subjective, and sometimes we need to accept that what we publish may not work, emails from a mailshot may get deleted before opening, traffic to your website may have reduced due to out of date content, and the customer story you spend weeks putting together doesn’t do your work justice.
Many years ago, I was a features editor for a business magazine; I was to deliver 10 new articles a month for the publication – so I learnt how to do it efficiently – well as much as I could!
I want to share with you a few simple rules I picked up along the way that will help you create a great piece of writing in no time at all.
Hopefully after you have read through the following 5 steps, you will feel ready to take on your best writing project with excitement – and breathe new life into your content!
Step 1: Have a plan
Your content will have more value if it’s part of a story. Having a strategy which your content aligns to will make it far more impactful.
Creating a 3-6 month editorial calendar is a great start! You will have a bird’s eye view of how you can entwine topics with other marketing activity to make sure you give your content the best opportunity to succeed.
Planning helps you consider your content needs for the up and coming quarter, rather than publishing content reactively. Working this way is a shift in mindset, and although you will need time to set up a such a system, you will feel organised and confident that trending topics don’t get missed!
Step 2: Choosing your topic & research
There is nothing more frustrating than sitting down to write and not knowing where to start. Let’s face it – there are so many distractions which can stop your creative juices from flowing as much as you would like – meetings at work, emails, technical issues, or just merely tiredness!
Take the pressure off and keep a list of ideas, topics and references on a spreadsheet. Be clear of your editorial plan and know what is coming up. Searching for topic ideas one at a time can be stressful when you are against deadlines.
Availability of content whilst researching your topic can be overwhelming. Use your spreadsheet to note down references, links to other sites, competitor info, anything that inspires you and your content. Understanding what’s trending in the market place and how your competitors are approaching topics is vital.
A few things to think about when researching your topic in preparation for writing;
- Why are you writing the content? What is your message?
- What does your audience want? Put yourself in their shoes.
- What content is currently ranking?
- Understand the different language/tone used across social media platforms – appreciate your content may need to be adapted to suit multiple marketing channels.
- Does the topic align with your business strategy and marketing plan?
Step 3: Ask an expert for input
Referencing a respected expert or requesting them to proofread your content before publishing could make a difference in how successful your writing is. Influencers and thought leaders will add credibility to what you are sharing.
An example would be when publishing a customer story, ask for support from the person that has led the project, ensuring all technical information is correct.
Step 4: Don’t give it all away!
So, you have created this great piece of content, that reads beautifully. What next?
Leave your audience wanting more, do not tell them the full story!
Just like when you’re hooked on a box set and left wanting to know what happens next; writing content is the same. If the market knows there is more, they will be encouraged to save your email, bookmark your page, and contact you.
Step 5: Make it actionable
Creating a successful call to action encouraging your audience to interact with you is the ultimate goal for any marketer!
Give something back – your audience has taken the time to read what you have to say now it’s time to reward them.
There are lots of assets you can create around a piece of content, which will be valuable to your marketplace and ultimately encourage them to contact you.
A missing call to action is like going to a party and not giving out a party bag!
A few ideas that come to mind that you could giveaway include:
- webinar invite
- promotional items
If you need support with creating great content then get in touch! Our team are waiting to hear from you – firstname.lastname@example.org