Creating content is one of the most important things you will do throughout your career as a small, web-based business owner or marketer. One of the most obvious uses for content is, of course, the marketing campaign. Even after the campaign is over, however, you’ll use creative and unique content to help keep your brand buzzing and to continue to draw in new clients while ensuring current customers remain engaged. For this reason, it’s important that you understand how to craft, express, and display your very best ideas.
This can be a difficult process – trust me, I’ve been through the wringer when it comes to desperately wracking my brain for new ideas for unique content. In the end, however, there are a few tried and true methods that can help you create strong content that will attract the kind of attention you want to see. Let’s go over a few of them right now.
Have you ever read an article that was so thick with industry-specific jargon that you could barely get through it? That kind of dense writing certainly has its place – but that place is not on a blog or in a campaign designed to appeal to a relatively wide audience. Even individuals who are familiar with the jargon might not find it necessary to wade through it all for the sake of reading a single article.
Say what you want to say, and do it clearly. Don’t use ten-dollar words when a two-dollar word will work just as well. Even if your blog is industry specific, you want to create something engaging enough to attract a wide audience. It’s a bonus if you can create content that’s easily digestible and interesting to even the lay person. Keep it simple.
Don’t be Afraid to Fact-Check
Sometimes you’ll be interested in writing about a topic, but might not have the expertise to do so with authority. The worst thing you can do is to simply charge ahead blindly. Don’t pretend to be an expert when you’re not – or, more specifically, back up your claims with solid data in order to lend weight and authority to your words. Spend time fact-checking your claims, and don’t be afraid to revise your work if it turns out that the situation is a little bit more complicated than you anticipated.
Statistics and case studies are your friends when it comes to crafting a solid bit of content that is as informative as it is engrossing. Contrary to popular belief, it is entirely possible to convey a lot of material, including numbers, without weighing down the tone of your writing. Refer to the tip above: when in doubt, keep it simple and explain things as clearly and plainly as possible.
The Three “R”s
Don’t publish your content without reading it over! This is true for both the pieces you know are a little shaky as well as the ones you think are solid. In general, you should follow some form of the process below in order to ensure that your work is precise, engaging, and to the point. First, however, take a break to clear your mind, then come back to the content and:
- Reread the content with fresh eyes – you can even read it aloud to catch strange phrasing.
- Revise ruthlessly.
- Rewrite any portions of the content that just don’t seem to work.
Understand Your Clients’ Points of View
This should be one of the easiest tips on this list, but you might be surprised at just how often it’s overlooked. Don’t approach every bit of content from a “business owner” or “marketer” perspective. That is to say, don’t focus so much on how writing something will benefit you, but rather how it’s going to help your customers as well as anyone looking for information. Who is likely to read your content? What are the relevant issues facing them?
Learn to view your business through the eyes of a consumer, and you’ll create engaging content that is more likely to be useful to your audience. Don’t take their attention for granted! They’re taking the time to learn more about your business – the least you can do is take the time to ensure that you’re writing something worth the read.
No one wants to read something that reads like the author was pulling teeth just to get to the end. Is that really the kind of image you want to convey? Of course not! You’re probably passionate about your work. Display that enthusiasm in your content creation process, and your readers will pick up on it while reading.
Content creation can be a difficult process, but taking the time to do it right is a great way to build a loyal client base that is happy to return to you again and again. It will also help your brand advocates educate others about your incredible business. There are plenty of tools to help you refine your writing skills if needed, and there’s really no limit to the amount of time you can spend rewriting and revising a piece. There are also plenty of sites to help you get a handle on the kind of content in which your clients might be interested. Above all, be passionate and present your ideas enthusiastically – your clients will thank you for it.