Ten tips for crafting magic marketing content
Just like rich coffee, marketing content should be brewed to suit the taste of your customers.
By Tony Spencer-Smith (first published in our newsletter Exclaim!)
Content marketing is an effective way to engage with your target audience, build your brand and stand out from the crowd. The trouble is, you need really good content to make it work.
Maybe you have already found that out to your cost. You need to craft copy that is lively, human and useful enough to your customers to make them stick around.
Here are 10 tips to help you write content that does just that.
1. Focus on your customers. You need to get inside their heads, focus entirely on what will be helpful to them. All writers need to keep their audiences in mind, but this needs to be a focus intense enough to truly be called empathy.
2. Give generously. Content marketing is not about plugging your products. It is about providing customers with useful insights into the wider world in which you operate and how you can make life richer for them.
3. Be human. A lot of traditional marketing content might as well have been written by a robot. Your writing style needs to show you are a flesh-and-blood person conversing with your readers.
4. Be clear. Let nothing get in the way of your readers understanding exactly what you are saying. So no needlessly fancy words, convoluted sentences, jargon. Make your writing concise and accessible.
5. Tell stories. Real stories about people, well told – whether they are staff members or customers – entertain, convinced and educate readers in surprisingly powerful ways.
6. Adhere to good journalistic standards. Content marketing builds trust. It will fail if you make up stuff, fudge issues, come across as self-serving and fail to be accurate and factual. This is not the place for marketing hype.
7. Develop a nose for stories. You need to be able to sniff a story out of superficially boring aspects of your company. Good stories are everywhere if you open your eyes – and learn to tell them well.
8. Develop an instinct for news. Ever posted an excited blog about a minor upgrade of one of your firm’s products? News is what matters to people, what would be useful for them to know. Did that upgrade really deserve to be broadcast on social media?
9. Connect viscerally. Content needs to be accurate and factual, but it also needs to be rich with the little details that bring things to life, and emotive enough to inspire.
10. Conduct good interviews. When you interview an expert inside or outside your company, don’t be afraid to ask him or her to spell things out in terms you understand – admitting your ignorance is the first step to being able to make a topic real for your readers.
Want more handy writing tips, plus news and views on the eworld of words? Sign up now for our free newsletter Exclaim!