How To Write Great Posts – Starting Off The Right Way
If you’re about to start marketing your product or service online, take a look at these following content marketing tips. Posting content can be tricky: your audience is not captive, you cannot do a Hard Sell, but at the same time you have to persuade readers to buy. If you’re not allowed to point out the obvious (“Get this WONDERFUL THING!”), what can you say?
Step By Step
- Have a plan. If you don’t know what you’re trying to achieve, you’re unlikely to achieve it. Good marketing content is focused and organised. If a passage of text has served you well, use it as a benchmark or, if possible, a template.
- Be modest. Don’t boast about your personal achievements. It’s about as interesting as listening to the pub bore. Your customers don’t care about your CV – why should they? – only about what you can offer them.
- Write for your audience. Consider what would stimulate their interest. What do they need in their lives? Keep everything relevant to them. And don’t fall into the trap of creating an attention-grabbing headline, which links only tenuously to the rest of the text. Your readers will feel cheated if you do.
- Pique their curiosity. You can support your words with various elements: unusual or beautiful images; music, to help establish a mood; or animations (like most other animals, human beings automatically take notice when anything moves). Animations don’t have to be full-scale videos – it could be something as simple as a travelling arrow or brightening sun.
- Use humour. It draws people in and generally amplifies your message. If you’re not a natural wit, enlist someone who is.
- Delegate. There might be some very talented people already in your organisation, who’d be only too happy to contribute to your internet marketing success – let them do so. Accept help from outside, too. It’s a rare writer who doesn’t occasionally have a few off days; guest bloggers give you a break and introduce variety into your message, both in the ideas they put forward and as new voices.
- Banish the expert! . . . If you’re blogging, people won’t expect a lecture. Don’t use excluding, professional jargon. If you’ve got personal stories which pertain to your product and/or audience, share them. Quirky little details (what’s your favourite breakfast?) can be very appealing.
- . . . But don’t take it too far. If your favourite breakfast is half a bottle of gin, that’s the time to stop sharing. Blogs aren’t confessionals.
- Be authoritative when appropriate. Use a conversational tone, but make it clear you have the knowledge or understanding when it counts.
- Be subtle with keywords. Keywords are important, but avoid stuffing them in wherever possible. They can come to grate upon the reader.
- Make it easy to Share. Install links and buttons beneath every post for readers to Share anything of yours that they like. If this can’t be done at the touch of a button, they may not bother.
- Be ruthless. Edit your text. Make a point, when you think you’ve polished the text as much as possible, of going through it and cutting out every unnecessary adjective, tautology and cliché. We all use words such as ‘just’ or ‘actually’ more than we think: word-search your text and delete all of them. (Yes, all.) Then delete the first sentence – possibly the first paragraph. There is a natural desire ‘to set the scene’ before getting to the meat of our message; but it’s almost always surplus to requirements. (Don’t feel bad about this; it seems to be something no-one can resist – professional writers do it all the time.) Your text will not suffer as a result and, more importantly, nor will your readers.
- Tie up the beginning and end. Whatever you mention in your first couple of sentences, tie it up – that is, reiterate and ‘prove’ it – in the last two sentences. This reinforces your message.
Close the deal – in secret
Keep your content intriguing, upbeat, helpful and original, and readers will want the products or services associated with your words. Anything suggestive of slickness, ulterior motives, or a desire to achieve this month’s sales targets, is guaranteed to make the reader move away at high speed. Create a user-friendly space, and let your readers make their own minds up.
(Even if they haven’t. Heh heh.)