With a plethora of engaging marketing content types available to promote your business, both traditional and digital, it can be hard to know what works best. But until you've tried and tested the ones you think are best for your business, you won't know. A good mix of them all is a failsafe option.
As well as videos and podcasts, written content tends to be more cost-effective. Especially if you do it. But ask yourself this: Is it worth spending your precious time writing your content or would you be better off hiring a professional copywriter to do it? That way, you're freeing up time to work on what you know best — your business.
As you're reading this, I'm assuming you'd prefer to write your own. So, here's how to write engaging marketing content.
Engaging Marketing Content Types
If you haven't already developed your marketing plan, then consider adding some or all of these to it:
Brochures and leaflets for your in-person marketing events
SEO (Search Engine Optimised) web content to help your website attract your ideal customers
Informative and/or entertaining blogs for your website to share on your social media platforms, helping to attract more people to your website
Email marketing, e.g. newsletters, for sending regularly to your mailing list of existing and prospective clients
Case studies to highlight your expertise and demonstrate how successful your products/services are
How-to guides, downloadable from your website, to help people get the most out of your products
Why do I need content?
Quite simply, to attract and retain your target audience, converting them into paying customers. A range of content types helps you to provide useful and relevant content that engages, entertains and informs.
Content marketing done well helps to increase brand awareness, gets you noticed as an industry expert, engages an online community of loyal followers and leads who, eventually, become paying customers
Okay, got that. So how do I write them?
If you enjoy writing and have the time to give content writing a go, then here are ten useful pointers:
1. First, get comfortable in a quiet place with minimum interruptions. Turn off your phone. Don't check your emails. Some gentle music in the background may help – I can't listen to anything with lyrics as they're too distracting! I usually go for either classical or lo-fi/focus music.
2. Your headline is crucial. This is how you grab their attention! Ensure keywords are used here for SEO purposes. I've written more about headlines and keywords here.
3. Always write from the perspective of your target audience, your prospective customer. Use the 4W+H approach: What, Where, When, Why and How. Put yourself in their shoes to imagine why they need to buy your product or service. Come up with some compelling scenarios that would resonate with them. Use emotion! Remember that we normally have some kind of an emotional response when we're buying something, whether it's choosing a new brand of toothpaste, new accounting or HR software to reduce time in the office or a kitchen appliance. Or even a holiday! All those holiday brochures always make them sound so perfect... So, really try to hook in your reader.
4. Authenticity and honesty in content writing are crucial. Avoid words and phrases like: 'the best', 'unique' and 'the only' unless you’re 100% sure that it really is. Write from the heart. Be true to your business values. Be true to your product and your staff. That all helps with authenticity and builds trust with your followers and customers.
5. Keep it short! Or as short as possible without losing any crucial benefits. People are busy – they don’t have time to read lots of words (which is why photos, illustrations, graphics and videos are also important aspects of content marketing). People want the facts as quickly as possible, so...
6. ...the first paragraph needs to hook your audience immediately. Get the main benefits of your product into the first couple of paragraphs. Doing that should get most of your SEO keywords and phrases in place quite naturally if you're writing online content. Keep your readers on the page by writing interesting information and engaging scenarios.
7. Links to reputable sites can be helpful in online marketing content. Blogs particularly benefit from links – list them as reference sources at the end to help with credibility. Bear in mind that although Wikipedia is a great source of information, not all of it has been verified. So, only use verified, trusted sources for your links.
8. Something that all marketing content needs is a strong CTA – Call To Action. Try to make it memorable and different. What action do you want people to take? Visit your shop? Then give clear address details and provide a map. Visit your website for further information? Then put your website link there. Or if you want people to get in touch, make sure your contact details are clearly stated. Use buttons to help make your CTAs stand out — there's an example at the bottom of this page.
9. You may have finished writing at last but you’ve not finished the work yet, I’m afraid! Leave it for a while — ideally a day. Then read through it and cut, rewrite, and cut again! This helps to ensure that your content is clear, punchy and focused, helping your readers to stay to the end where that all-important CTA is. So, cut to the chase and cut out the fluff!
10. Next, get someone else to proofread it for you. Often, a fresh pair of eyes will spot mistakes and typos that are easily missed.
NOW you can publish it!
I hope that this helps you to create some great marketing content. But if you’re too busy running your business, then do get in touch. I'd love to help.
Happy content writing!