Table of Contents
- Can Content Impact Revenue?
- 7 Content Writing Tips for Digital Mad Men
- Research! Research! Research!
- Be precise
- Let the creative juices flow
- Address the problem
- Don’t forget SEO
- Key Takeaways
Before we get into Content Writing Rules, it’s imperative to fully understand the role that content plays in the modern-day marketing mix. Many wise marketers use content marketing as their salesforce; good content not only helps in engaging with the target audience but also helps in building a long-term relationship and loyalty.
Can Content Impact Revenue?
According to a case study by ‘Marketing Insider Group’, French IT conglomerate Capgemini was able to use content marketing to generate over 20 million dollars in revenue in just a year. Content marketing is easier said than done, especially because the audience and platforms keep evolving. Therefore, it is imperative to follow certain content marketing rules to achieve your business goals. Keeping in mind the plethora of content on the internet, marketers must follow some content writing guidelines to win over their audience.
7 Content Writing Tips for Digital Mad Men
1. Research! Research! Research!
Before you even begin writing or strategizing your content, follow a strict research process. Marketers often ignore the importance of research, thinking that the quantity of the content will make up for the quality. Here are a few things that you should research before starting your content marketing activities.
- Target audience
- Your previous content marketing strategies
- A domain that you want to talk about
- Identifying key opinion leaders and authorities in that domain
It is important for you as a marketer to provide something of value to your audience via your content. Marketers often make the mistake of not conducting in-depth research on the topic they are writing about and may end up with content that isn’t much different from one that the target audience already knows.
2. Be Precise
The average attention span of a human being on the internet is now being compared to that of Goldfish (15 seconds), which makes it even more difficult for marketers to create content that can hold the attention of their audience.
When your target group lands on your content, they are looking for something very specific, ensuring that your content is precise and clear enough for them to understand and consume. While it is important to follow SEO writing guidelines, it cannot come at the cost of being clear and precise. Your content should be easy to digest.
3. Let the creative juices flow
Irrespective of whether you are in a B2B or B2C business, creativity can take your content a long way. A quick Google search on the type of content that you are looking to create will give you an overview of what your competition is doing, and what you need to do to break the monotony.
Creative content has a longer shelf life as it is likely to be shared organically by your target group. Spotify’s yearly Wrapped App is a great example of creativity in content marketing. By marrying data with creativity, Spotify gives its users a macro-level overview of their music listening habits (Ref Image below). Moreover, by making the content shareable across social media platforms, Spotify ensures that its content is distributed well organically.
Here are some content writing rules to improve your content’s creativity:
- Use high quality images
- Invest in video content
- Tie up with content creators/bloggers
- Identify whitespaces left by your competition
4. Address the problem
Your audience is going through your content with an objective, and your content needs to address that. For example, let’s assume that you own an e-commerce store with a wide variety of products in the sports shoe category. By using content marketing, you can educate users on the best shoes suited for them based on their physical activity. Using formats such as short, dynamic questionnaires can help you personalize your content. Personalization and contextual content help build relevancy and establish authority in the minds of the consumer.
5. Don’t forget SEO
Imagine spending countless hours on research, strategy, and execution without getting any sizable readership. That’s where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes in; optimizing your content for SEO is one of the most important content marketing rules that you as a marketer should know. While SEO in itself can be a separate topic for a blog, here are some general SEO content writing guidelines that one must follow:
- Research and target multiple keywords
- Format your content (use titles, paragraphs, and subparagraphs)
- Identify search intent
- Optimize meta titles and meta descriptions
- Keep your headlines short and crisp
- Prioritize link building
- Add images and pictures
- Keep the content relevant to a search query
You can check out these tips on how to write SEO-friendly blogs.
Many marketers make the mistake of completely ignoring distribution after they have uploaded their content. Listing your content on your website, channel or social media account is not enough; you need to cross-promote your content across different channels to gain more visibility.
Imagine you post 4 blogs per week on your website with an average audience size of 10k visitors per blog. That’s 40K visitors per week reading your content; this might be satisfying your weekly KPIs but there is still room to grow.
Are you promoting your blogs on social media?
Do you convert your blogs into a weekly newsletter and mail it to your subscriber’s list?
Is some other website featuring your content/articles?
These are just some of the questions that you as a content marketer must ask. Distribution ensures that your content gets seen and recognized. Since you are in charge of distribution, you have the power to decide where your brand and content are visible. Here are some of the content distribution channels that you must explore.
- Social media
- Cross-promotion via emailers/newsletters
- Tie-ups with influencers and thought leaders
- Third-party tie-ups and integrations
- Paid advertising (Search Engine Marketing)
Last but not the least, measurement and KPIs are important elements of content marketing. We, as marketers and content creators, spend a lot of our time and energy on creating content for our brands and ourselves. We must regularly measure how our content strategy is working to understand if what we are doing is right or wrong. There is no single KPI that is relevant across different content types. KPIs change according to the business or marketing objective of the content.
Here is a summary of some KPIs that are relevant across different content types.
Now that you have understood the basics of content writing rules, it’s time to put them into practice and achieve your business/personal brand goals.
- Be sincere with your research. Before you start with your content, conduct thorough research on the topic you want to cover.
- Be clear with what you want to convey. Don’t beat around the bush, but at the same time, try not to let your content become a hard sell; the key here is to strike a perfect balance.
- Be creative with your execution. Use different content formats such as videos, gifs, images to bring the picture to life.
- Ensure that your content is addressing what your audience is looking for; it is imperative that your content marketing addresses the need gap of your target group.
- Content marketing without adhering to SEO content writing guidelines dos and donts is like riding a superbike without fuel. Ensure that you follow all the basic principles of SEO.
- Leverage different channels to distribute your content, distribution is as important as content creation.
- Set hard KPIs for your content marketing strategy and keep measuring them periodically. A monthly or quarterly review of your content marketing strategy is generally a good practice.
Pick a topic that you feel passionate about. Create a calendar and start following it. Practice writing each day and publish your work on a blog or third-party website. Keep practicing until you master the art of content writing.
There are many types of content such as blogs, articles, newsletters, videos, images, sketches, etc. Pick a type that you feel works best for your brand or business. Diversify your content type to clear the clutter.
There are several KPIs that can help you measure your content marketing performance. Select your KPIs depending on your business and marketing objectives. Many third-party tools can help you measure the performance of your content.
Content guidelines are nothing but your own content writing rules that you as a marketer/content creator set for yourself or your team. Guidelines could be anything from the overall tonality to follow, length and format of the content, language to be used, words to avoid, etc. Guidelines help you or your team maintain uniformity across the board.
While content marketing is definitely the current buzzword, it has its limitations. One of the main limitations of content marketing is that it takes time to achieve considerable RoI from content marketing unlike other forms of marketing, especially performance marketing. Being aware of this will help you understand how to set up your campaign from the start.
There are several brands that are making inroads in content marketing. Their creative, smart campaigns are making a huge impact on their customers. Read more about these here.