Your Online Content Hit List
The demand for fresh content is growing because, in essence, people, and search engines love it. In today’s market, companies need copy not only for their websites, printed promotions, email campaigns, and press releases, but for Twitter, Facebook, blogs…and on and on into the night. It seems every day there’s a new social media something we’re supposed to check out and incorporate into our marketing mix. And with Google social search now live it’s more important than ever to provide a steady stream of unique, interesting copy, that begs to be read. This is not easy to accomplish and requires innovation and nose to the grindstone. But to help speed up the process for you, here is a list of copy strategies that you need to make sure you hit while you go through the writing process.
1. Good Page Titles
You titles need to include a keyword or two, be unique and relevant to your target audience. When crafting your title keep in mind that this is one of the very first things search engines “look at”1 to see what the page is about. Avoid repeating your company name on all your pages.
2. Let the Past Go
Your content should be about the future,2 not the past, and focus on the current and upcoming needs of the reader. Keeping up can be hard but look at it this way – a nice byproduct of constantly searching for, and providing up-to-date timely content is that it’ll make you better at your job because you’ll be forced to keep up with your industry with enough in-depth knowledge to talk about it.
3. Have Your Proof Points3
Before you sit down to write, have your research, evidence, testimonials, or stats that will back up what you want to say.
4. What Do Readers Want to do Next?3
Guide your readers from step to step with what you write and then anticipate what they’ll want to do after they read your content – AND THEN – make it easy for them to get what they want.
5. Be Direct
Don’t get so enamored with your own words that you feel the need to drivel on or you’ll end up like those people who go on talking long after anyone is listening because they like the sound of their own voices. You know the type. You see them coming and quickly make your exit plan. That’s the last feeling you want readers to have when they come to your site because online, an exit is only a click away. So, provide important information and then be direct with your offer or request when there is one.
6. Remember your Limitations
Don’t try and create content that says you are all things to all people. No one is. And it dilutes your brand and real value. So, know what you’re good at and keep coming back to aspects of that in your writing. It’s okay to be narrow and feverishly focused because you’ll be speaking to your true target audience.
7. Rework, Reuse, Recycle
Providing fresh content doesn’t mean you can’t rework what you have and use it across different channels. In fact you should. This can help you stay true to your brand voice and also stretches your content further. Once you’ve done the initial content legwork, rework it and reuse it for different areas such as Twitter or your Blog. Twitter copy, being very short and sweet, looks and reads entirely different than an article on your blog – though the essence can be the same. Hint – use a good synonym source and then go ahead, spread the word.
8. Review What You Write
Reread what you write – ALWAYS – and ask yourself this: Did I enjoy reading it? If not, where did you lose interest? That’s where you need to start your rewrite. Did you believe in what you were reading? If not, you’d better make it believable.
As a final note I’d like to provide a tip given that’s been passed down to writers of all genres – Kill Your Babies. Your babies are those words and sentences you are in love with – those brilliant gems that outshine all the words around them. When something stands out like this, quite simply, it doesn’t fit in. And if you can’t quite make yourself kill it, then just pull it out and start a file titled “My Brilliant Babies” and put all those Pulitzer-winning lines in there.
- Problem Solved: How Do I Keep My Website Interesting, and Keep Visitors Coming Back?
- Before You Write: Your 10-Point Checklist