Learn how to write compelling content in seven easy-to-follow ‘bits’
You know you need to write compelling content and publish it to promote your business. You keep hearing that content is king and your main competitor is tweeting and sharing on Facebook like mad.
You know you need to adapt digitally or die. Yet you have no content marketing strategy because you feel OVERWHELMED about getting on board the digital train.
Take a few deep breaths, get a cup of coffee, come back and have a look at the following infographic, then continue reading as I break this compelling content conundrum down into seven easy-to-follow ‘bits’:
Why must all digital marketers be able to write compelling content?
Because the ultimate goal of content marketing is that you want to drive people and traffic back to your website so that you can achieve a higher ranking on Google search engine query results.
2-The Research Bit (This is kind of a Science Bit too)
Blogger confession: I started journalism on typewriters and my first mobile phone was the size of a brick! Undertaking a Certificate in Digital Marketing in Dublin Business School to drag me (kicking and screaming) into the 21st digital century seemed like a good idea until I became overwhelmed by terms such as SEO and KEYWORD RESEARCH.
Clarity came in the form of a paper by Founder of Copyblogger & Scribe, Brian Clark ‘How to Create Compelling Content that Ranks Well in Search Engines’. I think it is compulsory reading. Here is the link http://scribecontent.com/downloads/How-to-Create-Compelling-Content.pdf
My lightbulb moment came from reading his sentence: ‘Keyword research is cool. It allows you to gaze directly into people’s minds’.
I agree with Brian that you must tell Google the words people are actually searching for so that the correct answers relevant to the users’ search can be returned. (I sound like an expert now!).
So before you write one word, do some thorough persona based keyword research because you need to know your audience.
You will need to come up with groups of keywords relevant to your intended message but a brilliant Google tool called Google Keyword Planner will do the results’ work for you. (You just need to set up a Google Adwords account).
3-The writing –like a Journalist – Bit
A lot of businesses who do not have inhouse content managers hire the services of journalists and professional writers because the writing rules of engagement can be applied with great effect in the digital world.
To write a ‘sexy’ (good) story – apart, of course from having your facts right – you need to grab the readers’ attention with a snappy, catchy headline which includes your all-important keywords to help your content be found online.
Remember that reading is a visual medium: the rule of thumb in print journalism is that you have about 15 seconds of reader eye scanning time in which to get them sufficiently interested to stay with your story.
Another writing essential is the ‘5 W’s & I H’, standing for Who, What, When, Where, Why & How? To write a complete news story you have to provide the reader with the answers to these questions.
Not sure about taking my word on this? Well, follow this link http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/241845 to a blog contribution ‘Think like a Journalist to Create Compelling Content that gets Noticed’ by co-founder of E2M and MoveoApp, Pratik Dholakiya.
4-The look at how others are doing it – then you do it better – Bit
A webinar by Content Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Lorraine Griffin on www.digitalmarketinginstitute.com/blog/master-art-content-marketing-exclusive-webinar-industry-expert explains this ‘bit’ very well citing the example of Paddy Power . Lorraine says that what Paddy Power is doing is “excellent” as it shows they have a deep understanding of their audiences (they’ve done their persona based research).
Eye-catching and fun, their content draws you in but she hits the most important nail on the head in that this bookmaker knows that the content goal is to increase online traffic and sales, so every piece on content it produces, links back to an area on its website where you can place a bet.
5-The Channel & editorial calendar Bit
You need to choose the right channel for the right audience and you should be intelligent about programming your messages.
Lorraine’s webinar has some excellent advice on this which requires being organised but it makes total sense. With a targeted approach, you can roll out a piece of content across the week, using different slants to reach different audiences across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn etc.
6-The Promotion bit
You might need another cup of coffee about now as you are not done yet; to stand out from the daily billions of pieces of content, you need to promote as well as publish.
Search, content and social marketer Aaron Agius has great promotion ideas on https://blog.kissmetrics.com/17-advanced-methods/ .
He gives sound advice suggesting everything from promoting your content on StumbleUpon’s Paid Discovery Service to turning your content into a .pdf to contacting people who have linked to similar content.
And of course, don’t forget about the pre-digital age way of going viral: word-of-mouth. Tell everyone you know about your website, get them to tell everyone they know and so on… word will spread like old fashioned wildfire.
7-Finally -back to the Science Bit – The Measuring Bit
You have published and promoted your content, give yourself a clap on the back! But just like every journalist, because you are only as good as your last story, you must keep repeating the process.
However, don’t just write into a vacuum, track the performance of your content marketing strategy to improve its effectiveness and results.
There are so many free analytic tools on the market – too many to mention here – which can be used to measure the metrics applicable to your business.
This link http://www.curata.com/blog/the-comprehensive-guide-to-content-marketing-analytics-metrics/ is a great starting point for you.
Do you agree with my seven easy bits to writing compelling content? Did I leave any bit out? Leave a comment and let me know.
Author: Aideen Sutton