WHAT’S THE STORY WITH YOUR CONTENT?
I often find myself comparing my content marketing projects to a writing a novel. After all, I like to think of myself as a writer first and a content strategist second. So, when I start a new project, whether it be a blog post, or a full-scale digital strategy, I find that I can easily jumpstart my creative engine by thinking of the piece as part of a story. This story is an ongoing narrative that defines each company, brand or individual differently.
Ideally, you will have conducted research to help wrap your head around this component of your brand or client’s story. The Content Marketing Institute has some useful resources on perfecting your brand’s story, which is a good place to begin. But if you’re just starting out, you’re on a time crunch, or you’re confused about where and how to start, here are a few helpful tips to help you write kick-ass content for itsy bitsy, or big huge content marketing projects.
Who are you talking to? This question may seem to have an obvious answer. “Well duh,” you might say, “I’m speaking to our target audience.” But, I would counter with a few follow up questions. Who is your target audience for the specific piece you’re working on? Is it a niche group? Are you speaking to one person, multiple individuals, or a larger group? When I’m feeling at odds with the writing component of a content marketing project, I often find that if I sit down and redefine who I am speaking to, it immediately makes the writing part flow.
Note: It can make things a whole lot simpler if you try writing for one person, instead of many. But, if that’s not possible, try to narrow the scope as much as you can.
What’s the goal of the content? Is the content (whether it be small- or large-scale) meant to generate sales leads, educate current customers on a particular topic, sell a product, etc. Looking at the end goal of a project, throughout the content development process can help you and your team stay on track and avoid goal-dilusion – ultimately, avoiding a true headache for all. I recommend regrouping with the goal of the project at least three times between the start and end of the writing process.
Can the core message be simplified? Ever feel like you’re jumping all over the place with your writing? Sometimes taking a beat and reviewing your writing to see if the message can be simplified helps strengthen and streamline your content.
Is content curation an option? Utilizing the content resources at your brand’s disposal is a reliable and frequently used technique in the content marketing world. I know, this may sound a little shady, but I guarantee you that any good content marketer has curated content from time to time. As long as you’re not stealing content from an outside source, or using content that is not applicable to your current project, repurposing your old content projects can not only save you time, but also communicate a consistent story to your audience(s). For more info on curating content, read Mashable‘s article with some great tips on how to curate content appropriately.
Writing awesome content for your brand can be a challenge, that’s for sure. But, if you stick to the ‘story’, with the tips above, and remember that practice makes perfect when it come to writing strong content, you’ll be well on your way to creating a radical finished product.
Want more help with your online content? Contact me today and find out how I can help strengthen your brand’s online presence.