The main aim of content marketing is to attract new customers. Let’s be honest, most business owners or managers do not sit down to write a blog because they love the written word. Most do it because their SEO advisor told them they needed to write blogs once a week. As a result, the content is often less than thrilling.
Creative writing is something we did at school, right? Our teacher gave us a theme and sent us away to come up with a creative writing piece, pictures optional. Some people were brilliant at it; others less so. If you fall into the former category, then great, you have your content covered. However, if you fall into the latter, no doubt every last blog you write is a painful process.
How Important is Creative Content?
Anyone can churn out a bit of content. Check out a few random websites online and you will soon see just how bland some of the content is. The trouble is, bland, poorly written, or just plain bad content is damaging to your business. It harms your credibility. Custom content, on the other hand, is a valuable commodity.
Custom content can give your business the results it needs, but only if you craft the right text.
Write for Your Audience
It is very important that you figure out who you are writing content for. Creative text is great, but not if it fails to hit the mark with the target customer. Always write for the lowest common denominator, or you risk alienating a significant percentage of your audience.
Before you begin crafting content, research your target customer. Look at how your customers interact on social media. Determine their age, social background, and any other factors that make a difference, and write accordingly.
Plan Your Writing
Streams of consciousness-style writing might have worked for James Joyce, but it is rarely as successful when used to populate a website. Firstly, you need to come up with an idea. If you don’t have any, brainstorm with colleagues.
What type of content are you writing? Blogs are very different to press releases, so consider the proposed distribution channel before you begin writing.
Tackle your web content in the same way you would prepare a report. It needs to have an introduction, a main body, and a conclusion. Devise sub-headings and sections, and create an outline for your text. Use this to keep you on track and prevent ‘scope creep’.
Use the Right Keywords
Keywords are important. They help search engines show your content to the right audience. If you have a Google AdWords account, you can use Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner. Otherwise, look for a free online tool instead.
Once you have identified the right keywords, incorporate them into your content. Do not shoehorn them in all over the place, as it will look unnatural and Google will penalise you. Remember: content must always appear completely natural. Blogs in particular should flow as if you are having a conversation with the audience rather than lecturing them from a virtual podium.
Do not let a desire to get your message across stifle your creativity. Different audiences respond to different styles of writing. The right words, tone and style all make a huge difference. It doesn’t matter how important the underlying message is. If the words are dry and there is no spark in the writing, it will fall flat.
Try to bring something unique to the table. Write from your own perspective or offer some new insights on an old topic. The more original your content is the more readers will enjoy it.
Proofread and Edit
The first draft is cause for celebration, but no matter how amazing the piece is, there will always be room for improvement. Once you have proofed your content for syntax, typos, grammar and spelling errors, put it to one side and walk away for a bit. When you come back you will have fresh eyes and be able to make constructive revisions.
Read through the content with an objective eye. Does it get your message across? Does it add value? If not, why not?
It takes practice to become a good writer, but producing quality content is well worth your time and effort. However, if you still can’t summon the enthusiasm to put finger to keyboard, hire Ink Elves to weave their magic.