Think you can write anything and slap it up, bish, bosh, bash? Everyone knows blogs are a load of old tosh anyway, right? Think again. Today’s consumers are savvy. They will smell a rat.
Get and a Content Marketing StrategyInbound marketing methodology is all about relevant content creation. What actually is content marketing? It’s blogs, emails, e-books, all tailored to your specific business niche. The important thing to remember is to make it relevant and creative. Here are the ten top tips for amazing content creation.
Think Like a Journalist
That is, the 5 Dubya’s. Who, What, When, Where and Why? From the outset, the structure of your post needs to make sense. You need to lead your reader to the required destination. That is, the end game, to read more about your product or service and become a lead.
Think hard about what your hook is.
Where’s your new angle? Why should the reader care? The Dubya's are pretty self-explanatory. Yet so many bloggers get lost in the epic sale. That’s not what we’re about. At least not yet. It’s a gentle slope.
Be transparent in your writing. Any creeping sales talk in disguise will annoy and scare your customers off. They know you are writing content for marketing purposes. You only create a problem or a backlash when you lack transparency. Especially in the case of product spruiking. Being disingenuous will lose you leads.
Do your research. Don’t just jump on a topic that you are familiar with and think you can put your information out. You need to be sure you are putting out correct information, from a legal perspective. This means research using reliable sources.
Wikipedia does not count as a reliable source.
Know Your Percentages
When we talk percentages, we mean serious business. It comes down to a 50/50 split. You may think content is king. And it is. To a certain point. However there is a truth, universally acknowledged.
An even split between the headline and actual content gets you the winning vote.
Because that catchy ka-ching of nifty headline actually buys you the clicks. Whereas the content gets you the lead. These two guys are hand in hand.
We live in a visual age. So never forget that your graphic at the top is a crucial element. Nine times out of ten we click on an article due to the attached visual, and then get interested in the content.
Think back to the last two links you clicked on for an article. What drew you? Headline first and then image, no doubt. So be clever. Be witty and thought provoking.
You are dangling the carrot in front of the donkey. So make that carrot look fresh, shiny and new. Otherwise, no one will bite.
What is content scraping? It’s a terminology that means repurposing or flat out copying another writer’s content. It’s actually kind of illegal, due to complicated copyright laws. Don’t think that by referencing the original writer you can get away with it. Sure, it’s a better option than plagiarising but it is lazy and unnecessary.
Following on from the lazy scraping habits, consider how authentic you are going to be. This is so important for maintaining brand loyalty and generating leads. You are in competition with a lot of other like businesses.
Why should the customer choose you?
Brand values like authenticity and reliability are crucial aspects. People want to trust and have faith in their brands.
Get The Tools
A poorly written or grammatically incorrect blog post will bomb out. It will lose you customers and respect by the bucket load.
You don’t have to be a journalist to properly structure your blog post either.
There are two amazing tools that every content creator should have on their browsers. Best of all, they are free. Grammarly, a web based application will vet your grammar, spelling and structure. It’s simple and easy to use.
The second is Hemingway App. Named after the great succinct writer himself, Ernest fans will be delighted with this app. It colour codes your writing to show hard to read or poorly structured sentences. It also highlights pointless adverbs and passive language. It forces you to evaluate your writing in a cold, hard light.
It could also be named after Stephen King. The prolific writer is a hater of adverbs and adjectives. And he is right. They are unnecessary. Listen to the wise men, they know their stuff.
Keep it Simple, Stupid
Another sterling pearl learnt in journalism 101. Flowery long and overly complicated sentences are great if you are writing a Mills & Boon epic. But if you are writing a blog post you need to keep it short, sharp and succinct.
The figures of how quickly people switch off are astonishing.
I mean, if you have made it this far, congratulations. You have a higher than average concentration level. Your customer does not.
Kill Your Darlings
That sentence you just wrote that has you swooning with the immensity of your own poetry? Yeah. Lose that. It’s a bit like the K.I.S.S rule. If you are weeping at the verboseness of your own prose, you need to adjust your thinking. If that’s the case, go write a novel. Best of luck.
What’s the takeaway?
You are trying to sell a product or create a lead generation. Never forget that. Yes, you want to keep the authenticity and transparency and everything else we discussed earlier in the article. But why are you writing? Who are you writing for? Never forget those crucial W’s. Inbound and content creation delivers results that will generate leads. You just need to put the effort in.