Content marketing is one of the most effective, cost-efficient, and all around best marketing strategies to drive leads and sales.
But the key with content marketing is understanding that your results are directly tied to the quality of your content.
Creating well-written and sharable content can sometimes seem like an overwhelming task.
But as challenging as it can feel at times, the results are well worth the effort, especially when you know the content you’re putting out there is helping you build a better business.
So here are 5 tips that you can use to level up your content and increase your odds of content marketing success.
Tip 1: Keep It Clear, Concise, and Focused
The most important thing you can do for your content is to keep it on point.
Your potential customer found this content for a reason, whether through a search engine, or spotting a link that caught their attention.
Their goal is to learn more about the subject you’ve headlined and you owe it to them to provide it.
To do this, your content needs to be as focused on the subject as possible, so don’t glaze over other concepts that aren’t essential to your main point.
Just as important is your ability to keep it clear and concise.
One way to do this is remembering to keep your paragraphs short for easy scanning.
Humans are built to embrace success.
It’s the same reason video games are designed with lots of achievements at the start.
It creates an addiction. Your content is the same way. With each paragraph, the reader gains a subconscious feeling of victory, driving them to the finish.
Lastly, forget what you learned in school.
A lot of rules, although grammatically correct, do nothing but make modern speech sound pretentious and cumbersome.
If your customer needs to pull out a thesaurus, you’re working too hard.
Speak with your natural voice if you want to reach out to capture their focus.
Technical jargon will only throw it off. Write so that your readers will understand the content and not get choked up in fancy talk.
Tip 2: Edit, Edit, Edit
Hammering out a 2,000 word article and hitting submit just shouldn’t happen.
Even Hemingway was well known for disliking his initial drafts.
Break up your editing into phases. For the first phase, simply read through the piece for content.
Did you get across all the points you wanted to? And do you need to beef up some areas with more facts or statistics? Identify the issues and fix them from the top down.
Also, ensure the length matches the depth of content.
If you find your content getting “fluffy”, you may need to cut some sections.
In the end this will make your writing stronger throughout.
Next, read the text out loud and see where it gets too wordy.
Most people subvocalize, meaning they’re reading the words aloud in their head which makes breaks in the flow of text obvious.
Lastly, double check your spelling, grammar, and voice.
Save this for last since you’ll be editing most of the text in the other steps and you don’t want to miss something.
Keep the tone of the article consistent and use the proper ‘their’, ‘there’, and ‘they’re’. Nothing will undermine your credibility faster than those.
If you find that you have a lot of changes to make with every piece of content, try writing in long hand the old-fashioned way with a pen and paper for your first draft.
Because most people hand write slower than they type, it forces your brain to slow down and put more thought into the text which may be key for churning out higher quality material.
Tip 3: Make the Content Actionable
Talking about your success is fine, but what your customers really want to know is how they can do it too.
By creating actionable content, you’re giving your audience things they can try immediately.
This will keep them coming back for more information and get them interacting more with your content.
A good way to do this is to create lists or highlight key tasks in your content to help the reader specifically identify what they need to do.
This also gives them a reason to return to your article when they run into a similar issue later down the road.
This is also one of the simplest ways to get people to subscribe to your newsletter or purchase any informational products.
It builds trust because you’ve given them tasks they can try for themselves in order to experience immediate results.
And nothing sells like positive results.
Tip 4: Add Images
Images can take a decent post and make it great.
The key to shareable content is to find relatable graphics.
Using stock photos for the sole purpose of using images may look better than a completely text-based piece of content, but it’s pointless if it doesn’t benefit the reader.
For example, don’t use a picture of a blank computer screen when writing about technological issues, instead, you could try using a shot of a man pulling his hair out.
When you find images that have emotional appeal, your customers, who are likely in the same position, will be better able to relate to your content.
Lastly, try to find or create images and infographics.
By having graphics paired with your content, you’re offering material that’s easier to read and understand.
According to Forbes, articles with images get 94% more views than articles without. That’s too large of a percentage to pass up on.
Tip 5: Provide Answers
No one wants to finish an article with more questions than they arrived with.
Again, people are consuming your content for a reason.
Remember that with your headline, you’ve made a promise to answer their question, so you need to be sure your content provides the answers they were looking for.
If you’re having trouble knowing whether you’ve sufficiently answered the question or not, try reading your content from a potential customers perspective and think of questions they might ask.
It can be difficult to explain to a beginner, a topic you’re well versed in, but by putting yourself in their shoes, you can eliminate a lot of the issues.
To Sum It All Up
These tips may sound simple but that’s because they are.
Writing great content isn’t reserved for the Shakespeares and Tolstoys of our generation.
It’s attainable to anyone who focuses on the basics and can get pen to paper, or hands to keyboard.
Any Other Ideas?
So now I turn it over to you…
Is there anything else you do when trying to create new content?
Or are there any other strategies you’ve heard about that you’re going to try next?
Leave your thoughts in the comments section below now.