Content marketing is a strategy which is used to attract, captivate and grip an audience. It involves creating, publishing and sharing media, like emails, blogs, landing pages and social media.
Also, when co-ordinated alongside a website SEO strategy, your content can help to improve your ranking on Google for search phrases related to key services and products, as well as increase website enquiries and sales.
We’ve pulled together our top ten content writing tips, so that you can hit the ground running when working on your next piece of content.
Before creating any content, you need to know who your target audience is. This is an essential first step as it won’t be a success unless you understand who you’re writing for.
Your business should already have a clear idea of who your customers are, so revisit these personas and think about the type of messaging that’s needed to speak directly to them.
Without goals, how will you know the purpose of your content, or be able to measure the success of pieces?
Your content goals should be in-line with your wider business goals, and could be to drive traffic to your website, get more enquiry form submissions, raise brand awareness, or even to generate sales if you’re an e-commerce company.
Sit down with your team and make sure everyone is on the same page about your goals. These goals will be a deciding factor in the CTAs you use, the type of content you’re producing, and the topics and themes you’re discussing.
Once you’re clear on your goals and target audience, you can build your content marketing strategy.
A strategy is necessary, because you shouldn’t be writing content for the sake of it. There needs to be value to it, otherwise you’re wasting your time.
Not only should your strategy link back to your goals, but it should also line up with any of your future campaigns. This will allow you to plan and maximise the success of campaigns.
Your strategy should also include a variety of different types of content (audio, visual, and written), so that you can speak directly to your audience at each stage of their buying journey.
At Purpose Media, we use content plans as part of a strategy to outline the next 3-6 months (or more, if needed) of content. The plan usually includes the content type, title, outline of what it needs to cover, along with any keywords. It could also feature additional useful information, like products, imagery, sign-off process and go live/publication date.
Your audience always needs to be at the front of your mind when writing, along with your brand identity.
All of your content should be in your brand’s tone of voice and align with your values. This will not only help with brand consistency, but will also ensure that you’re targeting your audience in the correct way, so that they feel a connection.
It doesn’t matter if your audience is looking at your content on social media, via an email or when visiting your website, your tone of voice needs to remain steady across all channels.
Our fifth content writing tip is to always prioritise user experience (UX). Think about the form of the content, would a reader expect to see a video or some imagery amongst a long-form blog? Are paragraphs and sentences easy to digest? What length should the overall piece be?
Try Googling your content title and use the structure and content from the top-ranking results for inspiration.
Think about how you can grab the attention of your audience with your headlines. These are a great way to keep them interested and invested right from the start, so make sure they count. If you’re writing for SEO, make sure your focus keyword is in the main page heading.
The piece also needs to be useful to the reader. You should know the pain points of your audience, so consider incorporating these into your content to show how you can help solve their problems.
Accompany all of this with the use of personal pronouns, and it will allow you to speak even more directly to your chosen audience.
Using CTAs will help to add purpose to your content. Your CTAs need to be relevant though, so make sure that they match up with your goals.
For example, if you want more form fills, include a form at the bottom, or a link to a form. If you’re an e-commerce brand and using the blog to shout about your products, include CTA buttons which take the reader to the products on your website. This will help your content to convert sales and enquiries.
There are lots of ways that you can add value to your content using SEO techniques. Not only can this help your content to appear in search engine results, but it can also assist with driving organic traffic to your website.
We recommend adding internal links to other relevant pages on your website to help users and search engines better find pages within your site. These are best placed within your copy, like the link to our SEO page in the paragraph above.
We also suggest adding a meta title and meta description. A successful meta description can raise the click-through rate (CTR) of your organic search results, while a meta title is one of the first things that a user views when they perform a Google search. This means that it can be used to help you stand out from your potential competitors. The meta title is also a Google ranking factor, so should include your page’s target keyword.
If you’re writing SEO tailored content, you need to consider your end user and what they want to achieve when they visit your content. This is often referred to as intent. For example, those looking to buy have “transactional” intent, and benefit from seeing features and pricing. Equally, a user could have “informational” intent, and are looking for a blog to explain a topic in detail. Googling your keyword and looking at the top results will help you to see what intent to write for.
Cover the topic from different angles to help you rank for multiple related keywords, also known as semantic keywords. The term “semantic keywords” describes the intent and meaning behind a keyword phrase.
Semantic keywords are ones that are related to your original target keyword. For example, “content writing” could also cover “digital marketing”, “SEO”, “social media”, “blogs” and more. Covering the topic this way can provide search engines with more insight on the topic, boosting your SEO efforts.
Once you’ve written a piece of content, don’t just stop there. Make the most out of it by re-purposing it for your other platforms.
For instance, you could:
Share your blog on social media to reach a wider audience
Re-size the graphics as visuals for social media
Create a video with a shortened down version to make it easier to consume
Use it as an article in an email newsletter
Presenting it in a new format will expand its reach and lifespan.
It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on how your content is doing, so that you can measure its success. Look back at what your goals were and see if your content has helped you to reach any of these.
We suggest reviewing your content quarterly and yearly. You can use tools such as Google Analytics and Ahrefs to see how the piece is ranking, how many users have viewed it, and how long they have spent reading the content.
All of these factors will help to paint a picture of how your content is doing and whether there are any improvements which can be made. Just because a blog has been live for a while, doesn’t mean that you won’t gain something from making amends. For example, you can check the relevancy of your keywords and if products and imagery are up to date.
As part of your content plan, you should allocate time to review your pieces.
Hopefully these content writing tips have got you excited about working on your next piece of copy.
However, if you still need support with creating content that will speak directly to your target audience, support your goals and KPIs, and create conversions, Purpose Media can help.
Get in touch today to learn how we can assist with any content-related queries with our expert team of marketing strategists and creative copywriters.