Creating good-quality content isn’t easy for everyone – not everyone is a natural or confident writer, but it’s always worth the investment, either your own time or paying a professional. Your content is how people learn about you and your products and how they decide whether to commit to you or not.
Here are the basics of effective content.
Your content has one main purpose – to convert visitors into customers. Just posting an amazing listicle is great, but it won’t get you a sale or a subscriber by itself. You need to urge readers to sign up, to look at products or, of course, to buy them.
You mustn’t be heavy-handed or obvious, though! It’s a hard balance to strike, so you need to take time over your calls-to-action. They should be there, but not waving madly at readers.
It should be meaningful
There’s no point having content just there, filling up your virtual real estate. It has to earn its keep by informing and entertaining, as well as giving people a takeaway.
To do this, your content must be on topics that are worth reading about. If you have a new service that’s a bit niche, don’t devote the entire 1,000-word post to it; think of a wider topic and slot it in somehow.
It strikes the right tone
Think about it – press releases are formal, Twitter is snappy and swift and Facebook posts are jokey and very informal. Write the content to fit the platform – no-one goes to Facebook to read a treatise! You should also get rid of jargon (unless it’s in a trade journal) and adopt a friendly tone.
This is vital! Hurriedly-written, sloppy copy with spelling and grammatical errors is a major turn-off. Write your piece, leave it overnight (if possible) and then re-read and revise.
Take your time, do your homework and make sure your content has all the basics covered before you hit “publish”.
Get the right format
This is especially important in longform pieces. Break your copy up with images, clear paragraph breaks and make sure you have enough white space.
More than words
You can use graphs, embeds, photos, pull-quotes and links to break up the content and keep people engaged. Very often, it’s the images and pull-quotes that people remember most. Sometimes you need to let this additional material lead and fit your content around it.