By now, you realize the importance of including high quality content in your marketing plan. However, it’s more than just writing some documents and slapping them out onto the world wide web scene. You need to create the best content you can in order for it to work.
Don’t worry. Writing content for your business doesn’t require a P.H.D. in English or Journalism. It takes some work and thought, but you certainly don’t have to be a famous writer to create content that drives your target audience to you.
There are some tips that you should keep in mind when you do create your content. We will start by taking a look at each type of content and how to create them for a successful business marketing strategy.
An article is content that is seen on websites and in article directories. If you remember earlier in this report, these were referred to as ‘bait’ for business owners to lure prospects to their sites.
Articles are documents that are 500-1,000 words in length. They provide a user with general bits of information on a chosen topic. They set you up as an expert in that particular field because they give a user a glimpse of your knowledge on that topic.
To create a high-quality article to put on your website or on an article directory site, keep these tips in mind:
Choose a topic closely related to your field– If your business is in the fitness field, then an article on stock markets won’t give you credibility with your prospects. If you write articles that are about fitness, then your expertise in that area can easily be seen.
Put your own twist on the topic– Do your research and see what kinds of articles are already out there on your chosen topic. See, what others are offering for information on that topic. Then write about the same topic, but with your own twist to it to make it unique.
For example, if you’re writing about fitness, instead of writing about what things to do like your competitors are doing write about what things to avoid in a fitness plan.
Choose an attention grabbing title for your article– To get people to read your article; you should start with an attention grabbing title. It should make them want to read the article. If they read the article then they can see how knowledgeable you are on the topic and they can decide to go to your site for more information.
For example, let’s look at this title:
For a Better Fitness Plan, Use these 10 Powerful Steps
This title is okay, but not good enough. Here’s what’s wrong with it:
- It’s too long. By the time they’re done reading the title, they could be too tired or bored to go on to the article.
- They would have to read the entire title in order to find out what information they will get out of the article itself. By that time, they may be too uninterested to read anything more.
A better title would read something like:
10 Powerful Steps to a Better Fitness Plan
This title is better because:
- It’s shorter. Users don’t feel like they’re reading a novel when they read your title.
- The first couple of words alone tell them what the article is going to be about. They can read those first couple of words and move onto the article without even reading the rest of the title.
Give the information that your target audience wants– Do your research on your target market. Find out what problems or concerns they’re having and tailor your articles to give them what they want. If your niche market wants to know how to burn calories easier; then you should be providing them with articles relating to that.
Use more paragraphs-The articles you’re writing for your website or article directories will be viewed on a computer screen. The longer the paragraphs your article contains, the harder it is for them to read.
If they’re hard to read, the user will give up reading it long before they ever finish the article and before they see your website links. Break up your article into shorter paragraphs that contain 3-5 sentences and use bullet points.
Give them the facts and the real facts at that– Articles should be straight and to the point, and focus on supporting thoughts, facts, or ideas on the topic. There should be no extra fluff that has nothing to do with the main topic of the article. Fluff belongs in fiction novels; not in your non-fiction articles.
Furthermore, when providing your readers with facts; make sure they’re real facts and not ones that you just made up to make yourself look more like an expert. Your prospects aren’t dumb. They can see right through most con jobs. Rather then gaining credibility you will be seem as a scammer and won’t be taken seriously anymore.
Also be sure to use reliable sources when checking your facts for the article you’re going to write.
Talk like your target audience– A common mistake some business owners make is providing their readers with an article that contains too many long words that their target audience doesn’t know. They should be able to read it and understand it without having to pull out a dictionary every few words.
Using longer words will not get you seen as an expert. Actually, it shows that the content you’re writing isn’t for the prospect and they’ll move on. If you’re writing an article about the stock market that’s geared for beginners, then you don’t want to use a lot of the jargon words that are common in that field.
Your readers aren’t likely to know what those words mean. Rather, use plainer language that is easier to understand. If your target audience is geared toward the more advanced people in the stock market field; then you can use the longer jargon type words, because they would be more familiar with those words.
E-Books are longer formats that provide readers with a more in-depth look at the information you’re going to provide them. These would require a little more planning and thought than an article would.
To create an e-book that brings you the most success; here are some things to keep in mind:
Plan what information you will give your readers and break them into segments- Devote each segment to a topic that supports the main idea of the e-Book.
For example, if your e-Book is going to be about setting up a fitness plan to burn the most calories than you can break up the information into segments like:
- Discussing the importance of fitness
- Discuss different types of exercise and what areas of the body they target
- Discuss how to set up a fitness plan for their needs
And so on. This shows you how each segment or chapter of the e-Book would be set up. The main topic of the e-Book is about setting up a fitness plan, but each segment will focus on one area that supports the topic.
Breaking down the information into sections helps your reader more easily learn one aspect of the topic at a time instead of throwing all aspects at them at once.
Create a Table of Contents– Once your e-Book is completed and edited you will want to add a table of contents. The table of contents will show your reader the different areas that will be addressed within the main topic of the e-book.
Readers can read the table of contents and skip ahead to a topic they want to learn about first without having to read the whole e-book first. E-Book readers appreciate the flexibility that this gives them, because they don’t always want to read through the whole book just to find one particular topic.
Especially if they’ve read the book before. Instead of having to read the whole thing again to find the information, they want they can access it easier with the table of contents.
E-Books can be Free or bought for a Fee– You can choose to give them away or sell them for extra money for your business. Either way, you’ll win. Free e-Books are popular, because they’re free, of course. Your website link will be included once or twice within the book, so if a reader likes what they see, they have a website to go to for more information or products they can use.
If you choose to sell your e-Book, then you will want to choose a price that makes your readers feel like they are getting a good deal. When using it for marketing purposes; the less money you charge for it the better off you’ll be.
Like articles, E-Books should also be written in a language your target market understands, and provide them with shorter paragraphs and facts. When you apply all these tips to marketing your E-Book; you will drive more traffic and gain more business exposure.
Previously we explained that reports were shorter formats of e-Books and are generally written as lead generation tools to other products. These reports can bring you business exposure as well as more product exposure.
To create successful marketing reports; here are a few tips to think about:
Make them interesting:
You want to provide some good general information in your reports, but you will want to change things up, so the report is interesting to your readers. If you simply write some thoughts or facts down and leave it at that; then the reader could get bored easily and will not finish reading.
If they don’t read through your report, then they won’t see your website links. So be sure to change things up to keep their attention when they’re reading your report. Some ways to change things up:
- Italicize words
- Bold words or phrases
- Underline sentences
- Change font sizes for some phrases to make them stand out
- Change color in some phrases
The above are very simple ways to change things up, but they are also very effective. It breaks up the content they’re reading and helps them stay focused on the topic of the report.
Write them in a conversational tone
Conversational tone means that you’re writing as if you were actually talking to the reader one on one. A report is easier to read and more effective as a lead generation tool if the reader can view it as a conversation they’re having with you.
To better understand conversational tone; let us look at this phrase:
While some people do talk like this, it’s not the norm. When writing conversationally you would write that phrase like:
The difference here is that the word you makes your writing seem more like it’s been written specifically to the reader. As far as the contraction can’t- it’s what most people would say in a normal conversation.
There aren’t too many of us that actually talk using the word cannot. Granted, there are a few that do talk like that, but more than likely; you’re target audience wouldn’t. So, write your reports like you were actually having a conversation with the person that’s reading it.
Add some extra spice to your report to make it stand out to your reader. A couple of images thrown in helps as well as quotes and stories or examples. As long as they relate to the content that you’re trying to highlight, they will keep your reader going to the end of the report.
People love quotes. Quotes from famous people or someone that they know can really grab their attention. If you can work one in that supports a thought in your report, you will gain your readers interest as well as gaining their trust and respect.
Stories and examples are powerful. There’s no better way to grab someone’s attention than by telling them a story. Throw one into your reports or you can use examples to help explain what you mean by something you just wrote.
Earlier in this report, you have seen this:
The idea of devoting each segment to a certain topic was introduced and then the words For example are thrown in. This leads the reader into an example that will help them understand the idea that was just introduced.
If they didn’t quite get what you originally wrote, they can now feel a little more confident that they’re about to see an example that will help them understand.
Follow up each segment and article with a brief summary or the key take away points covered. It helps the reader remember the valuable points and they will feel they got good value out of the piece.
The articles that you publish on your website will reflect you and your business. Therefore, you will want to present your visitors with the best possible content. This means that you should edit your articles before placing them on your site.
Check to make sure you have included the most important aspects of the article’s topic. Get rid of anything that doesn’t serve any purpose in the article and make sure that you’re proofreading the article for spelling and basic grammatical errors.
Provide a variety of niche topics to give your readers, so they won’t get bored this will also keep them coming back to your site for more information. The fresher you can keep your content for your prospects the more likely you are to gain a sale from them.
Blogs are where you show your human side. A business website is all business, so it’s a little more difficult to show there’s an actual human behind it. Your blog is where you can show the human side of your business.
You are a person and you’re on the same level as your prospects. You want to show them that, so create some of your blog posts to reflect that. You still want to provide informative posts, but mix some personal ones in to keep your potential customers from getting scared off.
Here are some ways you can do that:
Include humorous situations
Everybody has a humorous experience at some point in his or her lifetime. Your target audience is no different. Show them that you are like them by sharing something funny that happened to you.
Share your mistakes
Since you’re just as much human as everyone else; you should have some instances where you have made mistakes. Don’t be afraid to share them. Look for some mistakes that you have made that relates to your niche website topic.
For example; if you’re in the fitness field, maybe you have purchased fitness equipment that you knew wasn’t a good deal or maybe you fell off the nutrition band wagon and went on a sugar binge.
Just share some of your mistakes with your readers to let them know that you’re on the same level as them, so they won’t feel as intimidated by you or your business.
Share some of your sadness
Again, show your human side. All humans have sadness at some time or another and you’re no different. Tell your readers of some sad times you’ve had that relate to your blog’s topic. Make sure you’re recounting sad experiences and not major depressive episodes.
Blogs are great ways to show that you’re just like you’re readers and that you’re no different than they are. This also helps them see that you’re knowledgeable about your topic and they can build some rapport with you, so they can feel more confident purchasing from you.
Newsletters contain informative articles that you offer your readers on a regular basis. The articles relate to the business site’s topic and a dash of humour or entertainment. You’re giving them the information they want while helping them remember your business.
Keeping your readers engaged is important in any long term content strategy. If the media is endless then it needs to be personable and diverting.
To create a successful newsletter; here are some tips to keep in mind:
Keep the articles informative
The idea of a newsletter is to inform and entertain your subscriber, so write high quality content to build credibility, expert status as well as keep your business name in the forefront of their minds. You can also share updates within the newsletter, so they can be more personal and fun, but keep the main article straightforward.
Keep the articles brief
Newsletter articles should be brief, but informative. Vary the length of your newsletter articles, but save the longer 1,000 word articles for your website. Newsletters should be brief because people are in a hurry and don’t have a lot of time to read through long content when it comes to their emails or in print. The more brief the article, the better the chances are that the article will be read.
Use bulleted type lists
Since people are usually in a rush; you can help them out by including bulleted type lists in your articles. A bulleted list takes the main key points of a topic and places them in an easy to read list.
Include People stories, humour
Include multiple sections on other people. Interview your existing customers and feature them. Add puzzles, photos and funny stories
For example, your newsletter article would look something like the example below.
Bulleted lists are important for your articles. The content that could be placed within one of these lists are:
- Main key points
- Name the important steps of a topic
- List out certain items that support your idea
Follow the article with stories, humour and even puzzles to keep the reader engaged and looking forward to the next newsletter.
Newsletters are a great way to drive traffic back to your site by showing up in your prospect’s email inboxes every couple of days and letting them know that you’re still around and that you have what they need.
Although content creation isn’t too hard to do, it does take some time to get them done just right. If you don’t feel that you have the time to devote to create high-quality articles; then you could consider hiring a freelance writer to complete them for you.
It will cost you some money from your business budget, but when it comes down to it; it may end up saving your business money since freelance writers can create the best quality content to your specifications that you can put your own name on while you focus on your customers.