There is so much content out in the world – and so much of it is just okay. It’s not bad, it’s not good, it’s just okay. And you don’t want to be just “okay,” because okay is very forgettable.
The key to content marketing success today is to stand out from your competitors with value-added content that helps your target audience and makes their lives easier and you have a very limited window to capture their attention.
Here are some ideas for how to do it.
- Tell stories. Share your experiences, background, challenges, childhood, career path or processes that have worked for you. This kind of content really resonates with others and helps you stand out.
- Write like you talk. Having a more casual, everyday tone in your content makes you more relatable. In addition, writing clearly and concisely using simple language helps others digest your content better. In addition, use plain language, write from the heart and don’t overthink it too much.
- Offer a unique perspective. Don’t just report on the news or regurgitate what your competitors are doing. Instead, try a different approach and uncover insights that others may not have considered.
- Add visuals to illustrate your concepts. When writing a blog post, article, web page or social media copy, think about the visual assets that can help you bring your points to life. Screenshots, videos, infographics, icons and charts/graphs can help you explain complex concepts and make your readers “stop the scroll” – meaning they see your content and slow down scrolling on their social media feeds. Stopping the scoll should be your ultimate goal in all content marketing efforts.
- Have a main takeaway. Before you even start writing ask yourself, “What is the one thing the reader will learn from this piece of content.” Put this at the top of the document and let it guide you throughout the writing process. This will help you write clearer content. In addition, also think about “Why should my reader care about this?” This will help you choose the right examples to support your content.
- Always format content with your readers in mind. Readability should be your top priority.
- Dense copy without paragraph breaks is hard to read, especially if you’re skimming content on your mobile device.
- Rewrite sentences for brevity. Longer isn’t necessarily better. Try writing in an active voice to help you with this.
- Using short, succinct paragraphs of no more than four lines and interspersing paragraphs of just one or two lines, as well as using section headers and bullets will help your readers better follow along with your content.
- Omit sentences and words that don’t have real value. Once you have a first draft of your piece, reread it and delete sentences and words that aren’t necessary. Case in point, I pared down this blog post!
I hope these tips are helpful to you as you write your own content. For more content tips, sign up for my newsletter.