You may be established. You may be new to this. But you know that writing to and for your audience is an essential piece of marketing. You know you need to engage and attract your audience.
You can learn to write and to write well. It doesn’t have to come naturally. You can structure time and brainstorm to create content that reflects your brand and that connects with your buyer.
There are some essential elements that you need to include for your writing to be successful and appeal to your audience.
You could be writing anything but the tone and pitch has to be just right if you’re to attract the right audience and to engage with that audience. I’ve put together a 10-point listed guide on how you can create the perfect piece of content;
1) First things first: Who’s your audience?
Before you even start writing content you want to know who it is that you are writing for? Who are you aiming your content at? Spend time brainstorming/mind mapping etc. to figure out who your ideal buyer persona is.
Ask yourself questions like: If they were a real person standing in front of you what would they look like? Where would you find them? What would they want to read? What are they likely to interact with?
2) What’s it all about: It’s all in the title
Darren Prowse of Problogger.com states that, ‘8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. This is the secret to the power of the headline, and why it so highly determines the effectiveness of the entire piece’
This says it all. The effectiveness of your title should describe your content and what it will offer. It sells your piece. It should relate to your article but needs to be eye catching enough for someone to click and read you content.
3) Use your voice: What tone and style do you choose?
By this point you’ll have a good idea of who your audience is. This dictates or at least should dictate how you address them. Write in a style and tone that your target market can relate to. Speak their language.
Make it human. Remember real people will read your piece. Write as if you’re just having a conversation. Keep it natural. Allow your reader to empathise and connect with your content.
4) Create white space: Break it down
I’m not referring to the dance floor but breaking down large portions of your text into bitesize, easily digested paragraphs. It’s a good rule of thumb to keep paragraphs to maybe 3 sentences maximum.
Use bullet points and numbers. Headings as well as subtitles. Pictures, videos, infographics quotes etc. Make your content attractive to your intended audience.
Ensure you use a pop of colour in your titles and subtitles. This helps to break down large chunks of texts into more readable and user-friendly formats.
5) Use your knowledge: But keep it simple and cut the jargon
The art of good written content isn’t in showcasing how many long words you can squeeze into a sentence. It’s actually in being able to guide your reader easily and with flow from the top to the bottom of your article.
6) A picture says a 1000 words: Use visual aids
Pictures are another great way to guide your audience form start to finish and is appealing to the eye. Or perhaps infographics and charts if it fits in with your content.
There are many free stock images available on sites such as Pixaby and Pexels. Always check that you can use them and that no attribution is required and that it’s suitable for commercial use.
Ensure the theme of the photo fits into the message of your content. It can turn off your audience and destroy credibility by hitting the wrong note in order to get views or clicks on content.
7) Add credibility and weight to your writing: Back it up with additional resources
Whatever it is that you’re saying use quotes from respected industry sources and those within the field you are writing to aid authenticity.
Use numbers wisely. Data is a useful tool in backing up your point and adding weight to your opinion. For example you could use something like this;
According to an article written by Ash Read on Buffer Social in June 2016, ‘55% of readers will read your blog post for 15 seconds or less.‘
8) It’s not just writing: Remember you’re building a brand
Whether it be your own content or content you write for someone else- you’re creating a brand. Be careful and take time to think about how that is being built and how it will grow. Think how you want the intended brand message to come across.
9) The writing needs to be more than words: Ensure you create flow and edit well
We’re in a society where most of us are time poor. Your content needs to flow like water off a ducks back. You want to make it as easy as you can for your audience to be able to start and end your piece.
Be mindful of distractive texts and fonts. Keep it simple. Edit well. Leave enough time from first drafts to making edits to your content. Fresh eyes work best. Where possible get it verified by a colleague or friend.
It is perfectly okay to write garbage — as long as you edit brilliantly. C J Cherrah
10) Tell the audience what you want: Always end with a call to action -CTA
Always always make sure your content concludes asking your audience what you’d like them to do. It could be you want them to make contact, to follow you on social media platforms, to take advantage of an offer.
Whatever it is do state the obvious. Don’t assume your audience will know what to do.
Final tip: Need to know what to write?
Try this: You know your audience, you know the problems and questions they have and are likely to ask. Solve their pain points in a blog post for example. Use the same material but condensed within your social media and email newsletters too.
Having clear problem and resolution formed content shows expertise and adds weight to authenticating your knowledge and skillset.
Send me your comments, Like and share my posts on LinkedIn @ Amber L Smith and why not connect with me on Twitter @Simplyamberlou and Medium Amber L Smith.
Knowledge rich: Time poor? Need a little help in writing to connect with your audience? Get in touch.
Visit my site, send me an email at email@example.com, like and share my posts and follow me on Twitter @simplyamberlou or LinkedIn Amber L Smith.
Writing you sharp and smart copy