How to write effective content

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Content creation goes far beyond blogging, it’s the lifeblood of your business online. We take a look at why fresh, high-quality content is so important and how to use it effectively across all channels of your digital marketing efforts.

You’re not a writer.

You’re never going to win a Pulitzer Prize for that article about Enterprise Resource Planning software, and even if you did, would you even want to show it off? Above all, blogging is for teenage girls with an infatuation for everything you hate.

Besides, you wouldn’t want to be a writer, trust me. People will quickly figure out you’re not a reclusive genius, you’re just a reclusive git, but that’s beside the point. If you want to make the most of your digital marketing efforts, you’re going to need to start putting out quality content.

Putting content into context. Why it’s so important to your business

There’s more to content than a blog post about the latest goings on in your business. Content is how you engage with new and existing customers, and is quite literally the digital voice of your entire organisation. It’s also a way of establishing prominence and credibility within your industry.

If your website is a shopwindow for your products and services, content is everything else that a shop requires in order to stay relevant on the high street; marketing, customer service, the complete out-of-store to in-store shopping experience. And that’s precisely what people and Google want from you.

Welcome to the internet, this is how we do things

The internet has changed dramatically in the relatively short time online marketing became the norm. Nowadays, mobile users can access your website at the tap of a finger, from home or on-the-go, which means user behaviours and expectations have changed also.

The internet is no longer built for pragmatic uses only, it’s designed to provide useful and enjoyable browsing experiences, and a large part of that is quality content. This means a short, key-word focused blog post isn’t going to cut it anymore. More is expected of your content output than simply driving relevant traffic for the sake of conversion.

Google understand this (we’re using Google as the definitive search engine because… well, they are) and take the quality of your content into consideration when assessing where your website sits in the search results rankings.

That’s not to say content is no longer performance-driven, in fact all content is purposefully created with an overall ‘goal’ in mind, it’s just the goal has become more varied.

What constitutes quality content?

Okay, this is what you came for, right? You want to know exactly how to create content that not only pleases everybody, but also pleases the almighty Google.

There is no definitive formula for quality content, sadly, and anybody who tells you there is, is lying. Google determine the usefulness and quality of your content (and by extension your website) by assessing user-behaviour once they arrive on your site; where they land, what they do, and how long is spent browsing before they leave. It’s up to you to determine what makes your audience tick. There are, however, a number of things to consider that will definitely help:

Be dynamic - Relevance is good, but only writing about your business, with a narrowed focus on your industry, isn’t going to please your readers all of the time. Broaden the topics of your content by thinking carefully about what else interests your target demographic.

Be personable - Professionalism is ever so important when building lasting relationships, but so is personality. How much ‘personality’ you inject into your writing will depend on the nature of your business, so find a tone of voice that matches your brand. Writing how you speak (so long as spelling and grammar is correct) is usually the best way of engaging people.

Be consistent - How often you upload fresh content will vary from business to business. Everybody has different audiences, and some industries are more prevalent news-wise than others, so audiences will expect varying levels of engagement. The key is to be consistent, especially when combining content output with regular email campaigns.

Be clear and concise - Break up lengthy bodies of text with headers and distill information into salient points for readability. People want information quickly, most probably because they’re browsing on the move, or in the habit of consuming information in bite-sized portions, so format accordingly.

Be different - There’s a lot of businesses competing for the attention of your customers, so it pays to be different in the kind of content you put out there. Yes, you want to be useful and relevant, but a little creativity can go a long way. Keep an eye on what’s hot in the media as well as your industry and find ways of bringing the two together.

For more tips on writing effective content, join us at the next Derby Hub meeting Weds 21st October, 12:30pm to 2:00pm, where Lee from Koobr will be giving a presentation on ‘Blog Writing’.

Click here to book your place.

Lee Currie is studio manager at branding and design company Koobr and has a background in copywriting and digital marketing. He has produced written content for clients across various industries, from architects to finance companies, and was recently published in FeedFront magazine in America.

As studio manager, Lee also uses his expertise in writing and marketing to develop brand concepts and the messaging behind the brand.

 

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Date Added: 16 October 2015

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