Content writing is not just about an impeccable selection of words and grammatically coherent sentences. Without any meat (read valuable information) to your content, your well-written piece will not have the right impact; in all likelihood, your target audience will reject your content.
Table of contents
- How to write compelling content
- Take inspiration through quality research
- Speak to experts
- Follow the trends and stay updated
- Know your audience
- War of words
- Write first, edit later
- Use your own voice
- Give finishing touches
- What is a content marketing strategy?
- How do you create a content marketing plan?
- Six steps to creating a content plan
- Understanding the audience
- Their choice of medium and content form
- Audit existing content
- Ideas for content creation
- Content Execution timelines
- Publishing and monitoring parameters.
- Key takeaways
Content writers are often required to work their linguistic flair to create engaging content on subjects beyond their areas of expertise. So, how does an experienced content writer handle a topic that they are not familiar with?
This blog has several tips, including those on handling unfamiliar subjects or topics, that can help content writers ace the art of masterly writing. So, here’s how you can go from being clueless to being an expert with a content marketing plan.
How to write compelling content
The first step to creating compelling content, even on topics that you are unfamiliar with, is to ace the process of research and building resources. Content writing is not just about an impeccable selection of words and grammatically coherent sentences. Without any meat (read valuable information) to your content, your well-written piece will not have the right impact; in all likelihood, your target audience will reject your content.
So before you venture into writing on a new topic, consider the following steps.
Take inspiration through quality research
If you are out of ideas or clueless about a particular topic, start reading up on the subject and researching. You can start by checking out online posts about the subject. Taking inspiration from other materials on the internet helps you understand the topic and which aspects need a particular focus. You can even leverage this as an opportunity to detect specific sub-topics that are not being talked about but are essential for the audience.
It’s okay to refer to other posts in your writing, but don’t forget to mention the sources or give credit to the original writers wherever necessary.
Speak to experts
How to create great content on a topic you are unfamiliar with? Speak to experts in the industry. Try finding some of the top influencers or market leaders in the industry and connect with them for your research. Speaking to experts and adding their views to your content does two things:
- It gets you the most unique and reliable content on the subject. All you have to do is ask the right questions to get your answers.
- It adds massive credibility to your content. By attributing this information to an industry veteran or a thought leader who’s an authority on the subject, you show that your content has enormous value.
Follow the trends and stay updated
Another great way of finding information on a topic is to follow hashtags and influencers who specialize in this niche. By staying updated on the trends about a particular topic, you can ensure that the most relevant and latest information is being shared.
Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Quora, and other social platforms are great places to start with. What’s more, if your content revolves around what’s trending, it is likely to be seen by a wider audience.
Know your audience
Before you write, take some time to understand who your target audience is. We cannot be writing for a generic reader if the content has to have an impact. Most publications and brands have target audiences. Know who your audience is and what they are looking for, and make sure your content has the material that appeals to them.
Also, be confident about what you want your target audience to be convinced about. Do your homework well.
War of words
Today, the internet is flooded with all kinds of content, and your target audience is likely to find a sea of information. What will help you stand out? Your words, your research, and your expertise. Simple.
Make sure you choose words that grab attention and follow a structure that holds your reader’s attention. Also, be aware of the vocabulary or industry-specific terminology that you are using. Your copy can only make an impact if it is coherent. Write simple, but write to create an impact.
Write first, edit later
Many content writers tend to overthink and end up editing each sentence as they start writing. As many seasoned writers will suggest, you should write with your heart and let it flow. Edit later. You have to edit your own copies to get rid of errors.
Use your own voice
To create easy to read and follow and unique content, it should be written in your own voice. Although you have research and references, content that doesn’t have a voice of its own cannot influence readers.
Give finishing touches
Since the attention span of users is short nowadays, your content needs to have catchy headings. You need to grab attention. Period. Finally, make your content SEO-friendly. In other words, you need to make sure that your article or blog has the primary and secondary keywords and terminologies that are highly searched.
Content marketing strategy is not a fancy term anymore. As more and more businesses move towards building authority; and think beyond just links and keywords, a well-defined content marketing plan will be the differentiator for any good business visibility.
What is a content marketing strategy?
Content marketing strategy helps you to define your focus and goals. It will primarily help you answer the following questions.
- Who do you want to reach with your marketing efforts?
- How do you plan to deliver the content: form and medium
- What are the campaign success measurement indicators?
A good content marketing plan is not just about writing well and writing more. It starts with ‘Why’. Why does the business need a particular content piece? The moment the ‘Why’ of the content marketing plan is precise, the resulting work will hit the mark.
How do you create a content marketing plan?
On a macro level, a content marketing plan is more like a production plan with indications for publishing and planning the yearly content requirement. It is important to start with research about the domain and the audience. This research will help distill the requirements or aspirations of the end-user that can later be implemented in various content forms.
A good content plan begins with understanding the audience’s needs and ends with creating an evergreen piece of content.
Six steps to creating a content plan
1. Understanding the audience
Researching the end-user helps you get into their minds and figure out their likes, preferences, interests, and how they interact with content. This insight helps develop content that the audience will enjoy and share further.
2. Their choice of medium and content form
Combining data from analytics and focus group discussions help in understanding the medium of choice for the user and the content form that is popular with them. While most believe the younger audience is active on Instagram and Snapchat, it is equally important to know that they are researching on google and looking for reviews online before arriving at a buying decision.
3. Audit existing content
Auditing the existing piece of content and repurposing it or appending it to improve its visibility will help save time and build upon the visibility of the business.
4. Ideas for content creation
Based on the research and the audit of the content, you will get a fair idea of the form of content available and the content that needs to be generated. It also gives an insight into the areas that need more significant focus going forward.
5. Content execution timelines
All plans with no timelines are just never-ending fairy tales. The proof of the pudding lies in content execution. Implementing the strategy within the finalized timelines is a great way to test your strategy and make changes as required promptly.
6. Publishing and monitoring parameters
A content marketer’s job is just half done when a piece of content is published. Monitoring the performance of the strategy and finding ways to improve it is the second half. This could be in terms of improving the strategy, changing the form of content, repurposing or reducing the content diversity, etc.
Once the plan is set, the next thing to consider is the type of content you will need for your business.
- Content marketing strategy always begins with answering the ‘Why’
- A good content marketing plan focuses on the audience preference and builds a plan that begins with research and ends with analysis and improvement.
- Content creators should focus on solid research, stay abreast with trends, write for the audience while keeping SEO in mind.
- Good content not only ranks better but also connects better with the audience.
The strategies and tips mentioned in this blog are a great starting point. The end result depends on your ability to create content that is meaningful and valuable. And if you need newer ideas, get a virtual assistant to help you out. Take Peppertype.AI, for example. It can help you create an outstanding copy in just a few seconds.
Six main forms of content that any business can use are:
A piece of content that is relevant, useful, based on solid research, and adds significant value to the end-user is considered a meaningful content piece.
– A featured snippet is a Google search feature where the article features above the natural search results. This is a great way to list a specific question. Google shows images as well as text like blogs in this section. A query for ‘best bags for women’ throws up a post by luxe.digital, listing 15 of their recommendations. This is an excellent example of understanding the latest trends and incorporating them to create a fantastic piece of content.
– Microsoft does a great job of telling human stories by way of its blog. The blog is away from the usual tech figures that we might expect from a business blog of a brand like Microsoft. Instead, they focus on human stories that subtly weave in how Microsoft products are making a difference. Another aspect that they showcase is the people behind Microsoft products. This is an excellent example of developing meaningful content that has an emotional connection.
– As video content is growing in consumption, it is essential to focus on that content. Brands have worked on creating good how-to videos and optimizing them well for the SEO to list higher in search engines and on popular video platforms like YouTube. Yakima does an excellent job optimizing video for search engines by appearing in a featured snippet for ‘installing a rooftop tent.’