Better Content for your Marketing

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Information about Better Content for your Marketing
Marketing

Published on March 19, 2014

Author: erikmb

Source: slideshare.net

Description

A blog post on the value of good content for content marketing.

Better Content for your Marketing Content marketing is currently held as a must-do for promoters of companies and brands. This trend has emerged in the wake of major search engine updates that overturned traditional SEO techniques: Gone is the need for repetitive texts great for ranking but eye- wateringly dull to the human eye. Now content is king (again – it has been said before). Defining the Undefinable This movement is unsurprising: Few things attract visitors more than content they actually want to see and read. But the term content is general in the extreme, and for that reason, discussions about content (in the context of content marketing) are often rich in sweeping statements. For example, many explanations stress the importance of well-produced content that adds value, but don’t elaborate on how to source this material. Others caution against shovelling generic text into websites, however this is merely stating the obvious. Few discussions tackle the creation of actual content – which is easy to understand, as there are no grand solutions that work for all types of content. Consider the challenges of texts on a typical e-commerce website: Outside product descriptions, what content will attract customers and make them return? Which types of articles will actually drive sales? The answer depends on audience demographics, the nature of the product, current market tendencies, and other factors. Getting under the hood of texts For this reason, the right copy is unique for every product and organisation, but there are universal guidelines that are effective. Some tried and triple-tested methods can help producing content that more readily snags the attention of visitors pressed for time and money. Here are seven tips for writing better straplines, feature articles, and anything in between: 1. Good writing takes time Copy is a powerful tool and should never be treated as an extra. Sharp writing underpins good design and functionality, while rushed and slapdash efforts can make any website look amateurish.

Treat copywriting as a central part of the project, whether it is a large website or one-off campaign, and schedule enough time for writing, editing, and proofing. Content templates can be useful in larger projects to make the process easier. 2. Dare to be original Text can spark interest at glance, yet uninspired and redundant texts litter the Internet. Blandness is the bane of curiosity, but it’s easily remedied with planning and a little pluck. Don’t settle for dated truisms or promotional copy that means little to anyone outside the office. Instead, draw on your organisation’s identity and use it to make your copy come alive. See the J. Peterman Company for a great example of what can be done with product text. 3. Kill the clichés In conversation, platitudes whizz past almost unnoticed. On pages, both printed and digital, humdrum jokes and snazzy jargon leave readers uninterested or cringing. The reason is simple: clichés are by their very definition common, and therefore unsurprising. As a result, they’re also boring. The remedy is simple: Think of new comparisons or hooks to pique interest. Again, be original and personal. Everyone knows how hard a rock is, but they don’t know you. 4. Don’t bury your message deep in paragraphs This straightforward rule is surprisingly easy to miss. There’s a widespread fear that getting to the point quickly is offensive, old-fashioned or – strangest of all – suggests a lack of education. In truth, readers enjoy getting the core idea served without having to skim through endless waffling. Unless there is need to frame the central message in context, too many introductory lines risk turning readers away. The average visitor is stressed - don’t make them wait. 5. Clarity and brevity above all Any good writer knows the value of tight and clear copy. Conciseness is a virtue, especially in an online environment. Many first drafts are too wordy, and the solution is editing, testing, discussion, and more editing. 6. Grammar is vital...

Correct spelling suggests reliability. Conversely, one typo can undermine a page of polished, balanced and brilliant copy. Proofreading is a task often accompanied by sighs and winces, but it’s an absolute necessity. Ideally, involve several people – proofing is a tricky chore at best. 7. ...but creativity matters just as much. Copywriting is not spelling. Flawless grammar is important and finished texts should be blotch-free, but this doesn’t guarantee creativity behind the writing. Solid grammar is equal to faultless alignment of graphic elements – it’s essential, but separate from a good design or a compelling message. In (very) short Make room in the schedule and write with gusto. After that, edit until you cannot stand seeing the text. Ask for opinions and edit again. Proofread and publish. Your readers will thank you, and come back for more.

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