I’ve received several emails from different sources this week that have all covered the same material for their own reasons. Some of it may sound familiar…
First up was Anne Farr of the Rothera Group, referring to Public Sector tender applications (but it’s equally applicable to all content writing). “Many companies write a flashy sales-style executive summary which highlights many great features from their company. What most clients actually want to read about are the unique benefits they will gain by engaging with that supplier. Ensure your executive summary is written for your readers and not to impress your own senior management.”
Next, from a BuzzSumo newsletter covering the Content Marketing Institute conference, comes advice from Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at Marketing Profs: “Developing empathy with your customers by constantly asking [yourself] why customers would care about your product or service is a good example of beneficial slowness. Content marketers need to create audience-centred content, not brand-centred content.”
She continued, “Your readers are looking for a reason not to read. Don’t give them that reason. Toward that end, lead with your best bit of writing. Keep your writing revolving around the “screw” or central idea that matters to your audience. And be ruthless in your self-editing.” Indeed! As trainers in all sorts of arts disciplines say, tear up the bits you like best because they’re probably over-blown.
Drew Davis, quoted in another email about Content Marketing World, suggests “You have to give away all of your best advice. The pages on your site where you give away great bits of content marketing strategy give you a search, social and email bump. That bump is necessary to get people to your transactional pages… You don’t need to create a lot of content. But what you do create MUST be niched and helpful as hell”.
Now, I hate to say “I told you so”, but doesn’t all that sound rather familiar? Nice to know I’m not alone in promoting these ideas!
What are you writing your content for? To get your audience on your side. To give them information and news that looks at your world through their eyes. To get them engaged with your business, on their terms, and keep them engaged.
To help them know, like and trust you.
And – hopefully, maybe far, far in the future – to do business with you. But that’s a secondary consideration in what you write.
Moving on… Did you spot the phrase in Drew Davis’s quote, “give you a search, social and email bump”? What he’s saying there is that you also have to make sure people find your content. You gotta promote it. I found a great tool the other day to help you do just that: Quuu.
If you’ve never heard of it, go to promote.quuu.co and take a look. How it works is that you sign up (it’s about £30/month), post links to your content and say what category of business it applies to. Other members then tweet your link to their followers.
I only signed up last week, and I only have one post listed, but already it’s had about 5 times the number of clicks any previous posts have had, courtesy of Quuu’s members. Worth a punt (and no, I’m not getting anything for promoting this or any other tool).
PS Want help getting your blogs and other content written in the first place? Join the Content Confidence Club – just ask for details!