Writing great copy is essential for any successful business. Even with the current emphasis on video and podcasting, the written word is still one of the most powerful ways to attract and engage your ideal prospects.
And now, more than ever, marketing copy has to be compelling and carefully crafted, because we’re all experiencing ‘information overload.’ It is estimated that most Americans have exposure to approximately 4,000 – 10,1000 advertisements each day. Because of this ‘content’ saturation, we’ve developed an unconscious, sophisticated screening process for what we pay attention to and engage with, and what we ignore.
And we ignore a lot.
But if your content is thoughtfully created, keeping top-of-mind the needs, interests and desires of your niche market, you can make it through their ‘content filter’ and get their attention. Your ideal prospects have grown weary of generalized, boiled chicken content; they need instead real value, real problems solved, real questions answered.
Here then we will look at a few techniques you can use to create high quality content that is easily consumed, stands out, gets read and shared, and ultimately drives your prospects to profitable action.
Don’t Make SEO Your First Priority
The first and most important thing to do when writing content you want to be seen and read is to write for the reader and to write in a way that feels natural and creates the best reading experience.
You don’t need to ignore SEO. It’s important to consider optimal length, keywords and metadata. But those features should enhance your content, not dictate it.
Let Them Know You Know Them
Getting intimately familiar with your ideal customer is always time well spent.
- How old are they?
- What is their occupation?
- What are their challenges?
- What goals do they have?
- What keeps them up at night?
- What are they searching for?
Knowing the answers to these questions will inform the kind of content you write and the language you use, and when your prospects read it, they will instantly be drawn in. This blog post by Digital Marketer has more tips on creating a customer avatar and offers a free worksheet to help you collect and organize the information.
Your readers have allowed your content through their filters, so reward them. Give them what they are searching for, answer their questions, give them solutions and be sure to include a relevant call to action so they can pursue deeper engagement with you.
Link Authoritative Resources
Linking out to authoritative resources demonstrates that you have your reader’s best interests at heart and that you’ve done your research. Whatever your niche market is, they will recognize the names of key industry leader names and brands, creating an immediate sense of trust and connection with you.
Make it Entertaining
Don’t forget to make your content entertaining though. While you want to be considered an authoritative resource in your own right, this shouldn’t come at the expense of readability. Make sure your content is entertaining and your headlines grab attention.
Presentation is Key: Break Up Your Content
As with cooking, presentation is important for content marketing. This isn’t the place to practice those awesome 5 paragraph essay skills you perfected in English 101. Content Marketing has its own key features that make it easy for readers to get in, get what they want and get out.
For example, notice how this article is broken into segments with separate headings. This prevents it from looking dense and it ensures that your reader can quickly get the information they’re looking for.
White space is also a good idea: short sentences and paragraphs, bullets, and carefully positioned graphics also increase the chances that the reader will spend more time with your content.
Consider the User Experience
If your readers have to work hard to consume your content on their device, they will click away. We’ve all had the experience of trying to read non-mobile responsive content on a mobile device. The scrolling, pinching and chasing necessary to see all the content is enough to make the most patient person give up and move on.
When creating content, check the presentation on different sized devices before publishing. It’s a simple step with a big payoff.
Use these techniques to audit your current content and create more effective content in the future, so you will stand out from the competing messages and get the attention of your ideal customers.