As content marketers, content is integral to what we do. It’s right there in the name! Quality content is king of inbound marketing, and it’s the king of much of our work here at Tribu. I have often wondered if I should count the words I write in a day, and what the equivalent would be in novel pages at the end of a work week.
Fortunately for our clients, I have no desire to write a novel, but I have every desire to write delightful content for their brands. But writing content for so many different channels and personalities can be difficult. How do you produce quality content, and how do you keep it on-brand for every client?
Create a Character…
In the marketing world, these are better known as “buyer personas,” and they’re essential to marketing good content to your potential customers. A buyer personal is your ideal customer, the demographic you want to target distilled into an individual person with specific traits. Adopt a buyer persona-type character for your writing process to help your tone stay consistent.
It sounds weird, and it is! Embrace the weird. Write it down somewhere so you can glance at when you begin writing content for a particular client. It should encompass the elements of your tone of voice guides and brand standards, and it should be very quirky and specific to that particular client. Your customer should have a clear sense that you’re talking to them!
Then Become Your Character!
Don’t be afraid to dive in deep.When I write for our dog daycare client, I’m not writing simply with the needs of a dog-daycare customer in mind. I’m writing as First Time Dog Owner, aged 28. I’m newly married, a mid-level professional, and I live in a small condo with my husband and our four-year-old, medium-sized Australian shepherd mix named Theo.
My husband and I both work full-time, and our condo doesn’t have a big yard for Theo, so we’re thinking about investing in dog daycare. What questions do we have as dog owners? What information would be useful to me in newsletters, in blogs and on the website? We’ve got a dual income and no kids, so we’re looking for high-quality services – what can dog daycare offer us that other services can’t?
That character is who I keep in mind when I do my research and produce content. I’m subscribed to eblasts she might subscribe to, and I think about issues she might have with Theo. I try to anticipate this character’s questions and concerns, and I write for them.
Making a character for your writing projects will help you write content that your audience needs and wants to read.
Use Simple Editing Tricks
The biggest thing you can do to improve any piece of writing? Make sure it’s grammatically and stylistically perfect. Most online selling is done with the written word, and poor grammar has a measurable negative impact on a consumer’s impression of your writing.
There aren’t a lot of substitutes for proofreading your work and familiarizing yourself with the rules of grammar and style. A few tricks can help you recognize errors before you hit publish:
- Read out loud
This is so easy, and so often overlooked. Take the time to read your piece out loud and really listen to what you’re saying. Often, bad grammar or poor sentence structure will be easier to catch when you hear it.
- Read it Backwards
Read each sentence, starting from the last one of your piece. This makes your structure at the level of sentence and paragraph more clear. If your point isn’t clearly and succinctly organized, this will become clear when you have to consider it one sentence at a time, in the opposite order that you composed the piece.
- Always have someone else proofread
There’s no substitute for a second opinion. Have a co-worker read the piece give you feedback. It’s best if they’re not familiar with the project. Then, you can ask if the point makes sense, and if they were a consumer would they be convinced. You’ll get an answer from fresh, unbiased eyes.
- Skim it
A truth that may hurt many diehard content writers is this: most people won’t read your every word. Go back and read your piece for the final time with as little time and interest as possible. Are there eye-catching headings? Numbered lists that are easy to peruse? (hint hint!) Make your content easy to digest in parts and pieces, while still absorbing the message.
Don’t Be Afraid To Go Back to Old Content!
The best thing about written digital content? It’s a living, breathing thing! Not only can you go back and fix errors, you can update content to make it continuously relevant and shareable. I’m not saying change your content every day, but consider ways that it can be repurposed and put to good use.
Let your writing grow and change to serve a purpose on social media, in an eblast, in a guest blog segment. The possibilities are endless if you make an effort to do more than publish and push.
Don’t Forget Keywords and Other SEO Opportunities
Write with keywords in mind. One of the best ways to improve a page’s SEO is to include keywords organically within the content of the page itself.
Link to other relevant content within your site and within your industry. Make sure every blog includes links to social media, and where applicable, call out your audience to share your post if content speaks to them!
Always be thinking big picture with your writing and keep it consistent. Keep writing, keep improving and you’ll draw people to your content.
Seeking delightful, engaging content that your audience will love? Reach out to the Tribe.