We could spend an entire series on why quality content matters. Between Google updates, user experience, keyword rankings, brand building, and lead generation, content is clearly king on the modern web. In fact, 76% of marketers are increasing investment in content marketing these days, and 91% of the top business blogs are publishing fresh content weekly or more often.
So we know why content and content marketing strategies are important, but what is lost is how to create great content. You don’t need to be William Shakespeare to pen a masterpiece of web content, and there is no need to write a novel to get visitors, generate new leads, and convert them into customers. You can get better content in 3 easy steps.
Step 1) Determine your audience, and tell them what they want to hear
It doesn’t matter if you are writing a blog, writing a landing page, or filling in the service pages of a local auto parts shop, customers are human beings and we all want the same things. According to a recent survey among marketers, audience relevance is the most important aspect of content marketing (58% chose it). If you are writing for a sports clothing shop, your demographic is going to be young and dedicated to a certain sport or niche. Use slang associated with that niche, use energetic language, and identify with their daily experiences on the field. Conversely, consulting software is going to have a demographic that’s older and more professional.
Either way you need to tell them what they want to hear. Who is the company? What does the company do? And most of all, how does the company help them (what do they gain)? Better content involves getting into the minds of the reader and using the right voice.
Step 2) Tell a compelling story
Storytelling is one of the oldest human pastimes. We might not be sitting around campfires telling tall tales anymore, but the fact remains that telling a story is the best way to engage a reader. The same survey of marketers showed that 57% of marketers chose storytelling on their list of most important factors. To put it in plain terms: storytelling creates a connection. Modern consumers hate the hard sell; get this, Accenture surveyed 10,000 people and 75% of them said they never wanted to buy a car from a dealership, mostly because of the pressure of the hard sell.
Reaching out on an emotional level by telling your story helps customers identify with you. Human experiences differ widely but are usually the same in nature. Better storytelling involves:
- More real-world examples
- Similes (comparisons using like or as)
- Tension (people don’t like when things come easy. If they did, most films would be over in minutes).
- Theme – try to tie the writing together using the same theme (E.G, affordability, practicality, cutting-edge technology)
- Main characters (this one is easy. It’s you and the customer. Tell them about yourself and tell them how you help them)
You don’t need to write a series of novels with in-depth characters and themes, but having more of this incorporated into your content will help with flow, emotional connection, and, in the end, sales.
Step 3) Identify your goal and trigger a response
Before you begin writing, you need to figure out what you want first. That is easier said than done, but when writing for a business, you are basically trying to do one thing: generate sales. But it is more nuanced than that. Here are some different scenarios:
- Landing pages – writing for landing pages is usually directed at selling a product. Include more concisely written benefits for the customer and make sure to have calls to action. Pages with personalized CTA’s converted customers 42% better than those without.
- Blogs for companies – blogs for companies are usually designed to inform readers. That’s why we recommend using more real-world examples for them to identify with. Use basic language so that industry jargon doesn’t get in the way of understanding the content.
- Service pages – on your website, service pages or other auxiliary pages away from the homepage serve as the middle of the sales funnel. It’s the meat of your story. Tell them what your company is about, the advantages of your service, and how it helps them. Use content in your blogs to inform and educate, use the middle stage to sell.
- About us – here is your chance to build your character. Use tension, obstacles, goals, and facts about your company. State how you were founded with a vision, tell them what you live for and why you love doing what you do.
In the end, you need to write for what your end goal is. Do you want to be shared on social media, educate customers, sell a product, convert a new lead, or build your character? Then you need to write the words that will trigger that response.
In the end, content is king of the online world, but having low-quality babble is worse than having none at all. You need to be able to write great stuff to stand out on the web. Luckily, you can write better content in 3 easy steps: Identify your audience, tell a story, and write with purpose. That’s what great content is all about.