There are many things to keep in mind when starting to write content for your company. Your writing style, topic choices and even content structure play a major role in how effective your efforts will be. So here are a few tips to get you started:
Audience, audience, audience – know your audience better than the back of your hand. If you don’t know what your audience knows and doesn’t know, or what they need information on, you’re going to have a hard time figuring out what type of content to put out and on what topics. If you’re not creating content that will interest them, you’re going to be playing to an empty room. So take the necessary time to know who your target audience is and what their wants, needs and interests are.
Talk about them, not yourself. Consumers want to be told why something will benefit them – so tell them (even if it’s in a roundabout way). Don’t talk about your brand or your company operations; they don’t want to hear it. They want the raw knowledge – with this they will infer that your company is intelligent and reliable. For example, when talking about pet food, explain what makes a good food and why – what does it do for the animal and why an owner can feel good about it. Don’t tell them what you put in it and then why it’s good.
Choose the content type based on your audience. Content marketing can take many forms, often times most of it is disseminated through the online world. Choose your content types carefully – what would appeal the most to your audience? Will they be more apt to access blogs, videos, white papers, ebooks, podcasts, etc.?
Be smart about structure and formatting. When someone starts reading or watching or listening to something, they want to know right away why they should listen (why care?) and what the topic is. So start with this. Raise a question you’re going to answer, introduce a mystery to solve or tell a story leading into the main content; just be informative from the get-go.
Also, don’t make a written document hard to read:
- Keep paragraphs short – large blocks of text scare people away
- Use lists as often as possible – lists are inviting to the eye and break up paragraphs
- Use effective headers throughout the document. Headings should be informative; they should 1) logically divide the information into sections, and 2) allow readers to scan them to a) get a sense of what the doc covers, and/or b) find the section that covers the information they want so they don’t have to read everything.
While content marketing is a relatively new phenomenon, the concept is nothing revolutionary. Consumers expect information to be readily available online, and so they go looking for it. If you’re putting out content that meets their needs, you’re getting exposure, building influence and perhaps even gaining a new customer base.
Keep in mind that content marketing is really just one piece of the puzzle. Once you’ve created content, you want to help people find it as easily as you can, and of course, you want to get as many leads out of it as you can. That’s where Inbound Marketing comes in. Stay tuned and we’ll cover that soon.
Please share any other content marketing tips!