Marketing is one of the most difficult parts of any business. Why? It’s always changing. It requires constant research to determine answers to questions like: What is the best length for a blog post? How many hashtags should I use? What are the best times to post on social media? Things that worked previously may no longer be working. In the age of infinite information at your fingertips, developing content that is relevant and stands out among the rest can be difficult. People are often overwhelmed when searching the internet and trying to find answers. So what is the best way to get their attention? Keep it simple.
Whether you are writing a blog, social media post, landing page, or any other piece of content, the best thing to do is be direct and to the point. Don’t add all those extra “fluff” words to make it sound fancy—it’s just distracting to those trying to find what they are looking for. As I pointed out, they are already overwhelmed and may have looked at several other articles or websites before stumbling upon yours. If you are direct, and you have what they are looking for, then when they perform your click-through action such as downloading that e-book or filling out your contact form, you will have a warm lead that is more likely to result in a sale, rather than someone calling you about a service or product that you don’t even offer.
Another challenge in marketing is deciding what to write about. Do you feel like you just can’t come up with good ideas? There is so much information being published daily on the internet that it’s difficult to be unique or come up with your own idea. The fact is, someone probably already has written about the same topic that you want to write about—so how do you get people to click on your link rather than the other person’s? Here are 7 ways your can kick your content marketing up a notch and be the link that your audience is searching for.
1. Use tools
Even cavemen and ancient cultures used tools to help them be more successful! Here’s a few of my favorites for modern marketers:
Grammarly will help you keep your grammar in check, even in a web browser—no need to spell check in Microsoft Word anymore.
Hemingway analyzes your writing and looks for ways to make it more clear and easy to read.
Focus blocks distractions (like Facebook) when you’re trying to get your work done.
2. Know your audience
Stop! Before you even begin, you need to make sure you know and understand the audience that you are writing for. You need to think as if you are your audience and ask yourself: What are they reading? What topics interest them? How are they being reached? This will help you to figure out what to write about. Once you know what your audience’s interests are, you can cater your content to them.
3. Stand out
There is a lot of controversy around the average attention span. In 2013, Microsoft posted a study that found that the average human being now has an attention span of 8 seconds. That’s a sharp decrease from 2000, when the average human attention span was 12 seconds. But what Microsoft didn’t take into account is that as humans we have different levels of consciousness, so all hope is not lost. What we can take from this is that in your marketing, you have to stand out among the rest. Since there is so much information out there, you have to be able to grab your audience’s attention. Calls to action, clear language, and personal, relevant topics are important in your content writing. The reader wants to know what the point is in order to determine if they are interested in reading further, so make sure to get to the point quickly.
4. Make it easy to follow
When you’re writing a blog post or designing a landing page, keep it simple and direct. If your audience gets lost along the way, they are less likely to click or take action, and instead they will move on to something where it is easier to get from Point A to Point B. A few things you can do:
Keep paragraphs short
Use bullet points for lists
Break up the text with images
Use headers to break content into different sections
Create a clear call to action (preferably above the fold)
5. Create value for your audience
Simplicity is in. But the other aspect of being simple is creating clear value for your audience. The audience needs to know how reading what you have to say, buying your service or using your product will help them. For example, say your customers are looking to ramp up their social media. Your potential customer’s google search results in several pages, and they click on one. The landing page has some information, but then it has a button that just says “free download” or “click here.” They may click on that button, they may not. But if you change the button to be direct by showing what the value of the click is, you are much more likely to get that conversion. The button could instead say “Show me how to get more followers on social media”. If you had to choose between those options when looking to improve your social media presence, which would you be most likely to click on?
6. Use quality images
If you want someone to follow you on social media, you need to use high-quality images. On social media, quality matters, and it affects how people view you and your business. If you post content with typos, poor image quality, or complicated writing, people are less likely to follow and engage with you as opposed to a company (or individual) that has a lot of professional appeal.
7. Focus on quality rather than quantity
Some people think that you have to try to post every day, several times a day, but if the quality isn’t there, it may do more harm than good. It’s important to write about things that your audience cares about so that they actually read your content rather than just pass it by. So if that means you post less, but what you do post is more valuable, that’s the way to go. That way when your audience sees social media posts, blogs, e-newsletters, or anything else from you, they know it’s something they are interested in taking the time to look at and read.
I know you didn’t ask for it, but here’s some “mom advice” for you: in everything you do, be authentic and truly believe in the words that you are putting out there. You can do all the research in the world, but if there isn’t any passion or truth behind it, and if you don’t believe in it yourself, why would your audience?
Now take this list and get to writing! Create valuable content for your audience that gets the clicks, engagement, and shares you’ve been waiting for. If you want help to reach your content writing goals, head on over to www.jennasisassocaites.com or give us a call to find out how we can help you achieve your objectives. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org - we would love to chat with you!
Megan Augustine is a Cleveland, Ohio native who relocated to Charlotte, NC in 2018. She has over 5 years of experience marketing in the technology field and a passion to learn more every day. She enjoys traveling and scuba diving, and spending time with her 2 daughters.