What if we told you content writing requires strategy. Is that something you are familiar with? Have you worked with countless of copywriters but you are frustrated because they do not bother to angle the article? In all honesty, we have worked a lot with copywriters who are extremely good with strategic content writing and they are all not local.
Strategic Content Writing is a steep learning curve for any writers. Most writers find a certain style of writing and usually will stick to that because they have honed their skills in that area. So what is strategic content writing?
It is about finding the right angle before you commence on the actual writing
Take content writing as a tool for you to communicate with your audience. It should be either incentivising or provoking or relevant to today’s audience. So here are the few pointers before starting your content writing.
#1 What is the purpose of doing up this content?
You must first identify the purpose you wish to achieve as your result and angle your content to the targeted audience. Do you want your content to be more persuasive, expository, descriptive or narrative? Depending on your writing style, you are able to relate to the right crowd.
#2 What are you looking to achieve while doing up this content?
There are only 2 things you should be looking out for when you do up your content:
So what is an engaging content and how do you develop one? An engaging content could relate to the reader at the moment and could cause a change in their attitude from making them feel indifferent to feeling an emotional connection. It should be able to offer your reader a new perspective, something inspiring or entertaining.
Tip #1: Writing an engaging content you must first come up with an attention-grabbing headline
Do not ever settle for the first headline that you come up with, draft up a few more before deciding on the best headline that might grab the attention of the intended audience. As the average human attention span is 3 seconds, make your headline as concise as possible! Always use the 4C’s to help you with a headline. Is the headline clear? Is it concise enough? Will it compel the audience to read the content? Is it credible? If you manage to check off the 4C’s, you have got yourself a winning headline!
Tip #2: Do not use clickbait
If you watch YouTube frequently and see an interesting title that might have caught your attention, you click into it and realise the content being shown wasn’t really what it said it was. That my friend is a clickbait. Can you imagine your reader disappointment? Instead of retaining them, you end up losing them and losing credibility as well. Don’t let your readers go through the frustration and break their trust. Remember, it takes years to build trust, but a second to break it and perhaps forever to try and repair the damage.
Tip #3: Everyone loves stories
Story telling is about connecting to other people and helping people to see what you see. – Michael Margolis
As a child, you would often ask your parents to read you some bedtime story because it is able to catch your attention. A storybook also requires strategic content writing to be able to cater to the kids. Likewise, the same applies for businesses. Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the story behind it that gives meaning and life to the readers and relate to them.
Here is a good example of how engaging storytelling can be.
#3 Who are your target audience
Please do not generalise your target audience. Try to narrow down your intended targeted audience as specific as possible. Targeting a niche marketing might not be a bad thing. Here’s some interesting fact, do you know that a small audience means fewer shares, but more long tail traffic? For example, Singaporeans aged 18-21 in the year 2017. Females. Looking for part time job. So how do you narrow down to your intended audience?
Here are a few tips:
1. Analyse what benefits your customer could get from your products/services and how it could fulfil customer needs. Consider things such as their demographics. Figure out what age, gender, religion, ethnic, income level, marital status, occupation, education level.
2. Consider the personality traits of your potential customers as well by coming up with a Persona. What is the customer’s lifestyle, interests, values and personality traits?
3. Once you have figured out the above two points, you should be able to narrow down to the targeted audience to focus on and work from there onwards to create the right content.
#4 What are you writing about
When you have established the above, make sure you know what you are writing about. If you feel that whatever you have written in the first place isn’t able to convince even yourself. Strategise and rewrite the content again and again till you get the perfect content and desired outcome. But make sure that the article is not too offensive yet not too passive aggressive.
#5 How do you neutralise an article while making it thought-provoking
Be sure you are not biased in your article writing. You can write to endorse a product but how do you not make it such that it looks as though you are hard-selling the item. Read the following article on the good, bad and ugly examples of sponsored content 4 here
#6 Why is it important to find facts before you commence on it?
People are getting way too smart and often, everything is on the internet. If you are less smarter than your consumers, you are going to get it. Think of the internet as a supercomputer that can extract the information you need within seconds by just typing it into the search engine bar. With a click on search, and VOILA! The answer to all your queries is resolved. But always remember, don’t believe everything that is written on the internet. Check its credibility before believing in it.
#7 Check your grammar
The attractiveness of correct grammar cannot be overstated, nor can the damage done by bad grammar be denied! Grammar is to a writer what anatomy is to a sculptor or the scales to a musician. You may loathe it, it may bore you, but nothing will replace it., and once mastered it will support you like a rock. – B.J. Chute
Always triple copy-check your content writing and get 2 other individuals to double check before you do your submission. You could also use grammar applications to help you correct any grammatical error, we would personally recommend ‘Grammarly”. If your grammar is shit, you are going to garner the attention of the grammar nazi’s and blood will be spilled. Grammar nazi’s judge people based on spelling, grammar, punctuation and sentence structure. If your content writing isn’t strategically planned, all the efforts done in the first place will be for naught.
If you would like more content writing tips, you can check out some of the links below to write great content:
(1) 54 Content Writing Examples, Tools, Tips and Resources
This site provides you illustration examples with concise informational content that is easy to understand. It shows you examples like how to power up video text, how to get to the point by using infographics (which is currently a very popular content used amongst most creators) and much more examples, tools, tips and resources that can be found under different category!
(2) The Nine Ingredients That Make Great Content
Kissemetrics tell you’re the 9 important ingredients that are needed to make great content so as to boost your business SEO rankings, gain traffic or leads. Create original content, have a strong headline, make your content actionable, be able to provide answers and much more. It will be an insightful read, we promise you.
(3) Even More Web Content Writing Tips
This website will be able to provide you with 21 more tips that you might have missed in the process of doing your content writing out of eagerness. Check it out before you start on anything!
Always remember, good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader. Not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon. Quality content is subjective in individual, but good writing will always remain constant. Make it simple, make it memorable, make it inviting to look at and make it fun to read.