Seven Writing Tips for Struggling Marketers
Most companies looking to get more business on the internet know they need high-quality, regularly published content. And when it comes to creating a content strategy, writing various types of content, tracking the results and adjusting the plan, a professional content team usually gets the best results.
Despite this fact, though, many marketers end up finding themselves responsible for creating blog posts, email copies, social media posts, product descriptions and much more—regardless of whether or not they're strong writers. Marketers looking to improve their writing and create more effective content should keep these tips in mind:
1. Know Your Audience
As a marketer, you've likely defined detailed target audience groups. Use this to your advantage and keep the characteristics of your target audience in mind when writing your content. Elements of your writing that can affect your audience's response include:
- Topics covered
- Use of industry jargon
- Use of humor
- Content length and format
- Vocabulary used
- Conversational vs. formal tone
While emails and social posts can be targeted to specific people, you may not be sure who typically views website content like blog posts. Fortunately, tools like Google Analytics can help you understand audience behaviors and demographics on your site, giving you a clearer picture of the types of people who typically read your content.
2. Use Your Publishing Platforms Appropriately
Marketers often tend to ask for a sale regardless of the type of content they're writing, but this isn't always appropriate. While it can be smart to include a call-to-action in an email, product description or event listing, one of the biggest tenets of content marketing is to simply provide value without necessarily asking for anything in return—especially when the content is in the form of a blog post or ebook. Constantly going for a sale on social media can alienate your audience as well.
3. Learn to Summarize
The average human attention span is now around eight seconds, which is shorter than that of a goldfish. This won't come as a surprise to marketers, however, as grabbing your audience's attention and getting your point across quickly has always been a top priority. So, make sure your content is succinct and scannable where possible. In blog posts, break up your content with bulleted lists or try providing a summary of the post right at the top. Try limiting your email newsletters to just a couple of paragraphs, and use design elements to break up different sections. For event listings, list the location, date, time and registration link (if applicable) in a bulleted list before anything else.
Apart from easy-to-read text, you should also pay close attention to responsive design. No matter how much you optimize your content, bad web design will render it useless. Content marketing and web design are just like the timeless ‘chicken or egg’ question—there's no clear answer as to which one should come first. Therefore, it’s equally important to optimize the non-text elements of your website.
One way to achieve visually appealing and user-friendly web pages is by implementing PSD to HubSpot. This makes your content readable and compact, regardless of what device or screen size you view it from. From a marketing perspective, this comes with a lot of benefits. It can help boost your website’s user engagement, increase organic traffic, and reduce bounce rates.
4. Proofread and Edit
Many marketers will be the first to admit that they're not great writers. Because of this, creating content and publishing it without proofreading can end up being a waste of time and money. Content plagued with grammatical errors, misspellings, sentences that are difficult to understand, and other mistakes will turn a reader off almost immediately.
More importantly, unpolished content can heavily damage your surface credibility and online authority. Always keep in mind that your website acts as your virtual storefront. Potential customers can—and will—make assumptions about your brand after only a few seconds of browsing your content. So, it’s important to leave a good impression. Take the time to proofread your content more than once, and consider using a tool like Grammarly to check your content for mistakes.
5. Use Colleagues to Your Advantage
In the world of marketing, seeking help from your peers is never a sign of weakness. It’s actually a smart business move. Your fellow employees can be a great resource for creating marketing copy. Whether you need ideas for a new blog post, feedback on an email newsletter, or a second pair of eyes for proofreading, take a minute to get some help. You may even find that your colleagues can provide insights for the content that will improve its effectiveness.
6. Know Your Brand Voice
Your content's tone and voice are incredibly important for branding and market positioning. Many companies today like to use humor and quirkiness to keep readers interested and entertained. Blog posts historically have worked well when the writer maintains a conversational but authoritative tone. However, these strategies don't work for everyone and don't fit with every company's branding—you'll need to fit into whatever works for your business. Take a look through some of your company's past communications and consider your target audience to keep your brand voice consistent when writing.
7. Read More, Write More
Like learning a new language, one of the most effective strategies for becoming a better writer is to immerse yourself in content. Try to expand and diversify your reading scope as much as possible. Take the time to read email newsletters from competing companies and scroll through your social media feeds to get a feel for the characteristics of successful content. Find two or three bloggers that you admire, read their content frequently, and try to mimic their style when writing.
Then, take the time to write as much as you can. The more often you write, the easier and better it will become over time. Think of typical work tasks such as emailing clients and corresponding with colleagues as chances to hone your craft. Remember, writing is like a muscle that needs constant exercise. However, as with any workout, doing the same routine over and over will only cause you to plateau. You have to try different routines in order to keep your gains.
Of course, outsourcing your writing is always an option as well. Content marketing and content writing services can help your brand get your message across in the most effective ways possible. They can also provide training and consulting for marketing professionals who've been thrust into content creation and need assistance.