I dread writing the intro paragraph of a blog. Yes, I just admitted that. It gives me flashbacks to college and writing the thesis statement for essays. Staring at the computer screen, getting up to get more coffee, staring at the computer screen again. These days, making sure your website content is getting noticed and read is so critical, given that it is how many of us define marketing success, which puts way too much pressure on writing those engaging few opening sentences. But the reality is that it’s not rocket science, and you don’t have to be perfect in your writing skills to put together quality content for your website. Here are some ideas that will help you make each piece of content stellar:
Persona– more than just a marketing buzz word
Who are you writing to? Before you start a content piece, clearly define who will find it of interest and why. Content just for content’s sake is a waste of valuable time and resources. You need to understand your audience. If you have developed Personas for the people who will be reading your blogs, start with writing content that would appeal to them.
Be the Hero
Write content that will deliver value to your audience. This seems like an obvious tip, but it’s important to take a step back and understand what is truly valuable to your audience. At Diagram, we like to make sure we are answering questions that our clients and prospects might have or addressing pain points with their day to day website or digital marketing issues. If you can help your audience solve a problem with your content piece, even better.
Not sure what problems your audience might have?
Here's a quick idea: Identify people who talk daily with your clients, such as client services or sales. Ask them to write down every question they get asked for a couple days. You will get a great list of ideas!
Think outside the Blog
Quality content is not just limited to blogs. Make sure you are offering all kinds of content on your site when applicable: eBooks, whitepapers, case studies, videos. Experiment with what is getting noticed and do more of that. Blogs are valuable in that they can be written and published quicker. But a more in-depth eBook addressing a common pain point for your audience might be just what you need to get your audience excited.
A Picture is worth 1,000 Words
Great content is more than just words. Adding visual elements like pictures, charts, or infographics to your content pieces can make them more engaging and easier to digest. And even from a textual perspective, bullet points, headers, and other typographical tricks can also help keep the readers’ interest and make your content more readable.
Great content should be actionable. Even if you are writing content that educates your audience or solves a problem for them, you are not quite done. Be sure to think about the next step you’d like your audience to take. It might be to sign up for more of your awesome content when it’s published, share your content on social media platforms, click a link to read more now, download a more in-depth piece, or simply add a comment. Be sure that you keep in mind what you’d like your audience to do once they are done reading.
Content marketing is all the rage right now, but for good reason. At its core, providing valuable content is all about relationship building. A great blog or eBook can be the start of a conversation with a prospect, or it can be what keeps an existing client thinking about you when they need the services or products that you offer. Take the time to think about who you are writing to, and what value you are providing to them before you get started with your opening paragraph. It’s worth the little extra time. Do you have any other tips or ideas for creating valuable content? Let us know in the comments.
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