Simple, easy to understand content is an asset. As a reader, it helps you solve problems, get inspired, and be more productive. As a business, it helps you build deeper relationships with your target audience.
Many businesses have started using content as a tool to drive sales and clicks. If you haven’t started using content as a marketing tool yet, here are some interesting statistics for you:
Here are some practices that can help you create great content:
1. Look at content as a product.
To put content creation into a clearer perspective, let’s compare it to how typical businesses build great products.
As shown in the image above, most product development teams go through these (and maybe a whole bunch more) steps. You develop an idea, research and solve problems, build prototypes and then iterate continuously until you find the perfect output.
Now look at the same chart again and see how the same process can help you create better and longer lasting content for your organization.
Interesting, right? From ideating to drafting one iteration after another, content creation by itself is a multi-dimensional process. In the same way great products often take some time to get to market, so too does great content. So take your sweet time ideating and iterating; it’s what the best writers do.
2. Create a style guide.
A style guide is a set of standards you can establish that extends through any form of content your organization generates (blogs, websites, help guides, e-books etc). It helps you set a universal tone for your brand, one that can encompass all your products and marketing activities.
An effective style guide should ideally contain the following:
- Writing goals – why you write what you write and for whom.
- Grammar and mechanics.
- List of overused jargon, or other words that should be avoided.
- Standards for writing user-education material.
- Checklist and best practices.
3. Use a collaborative writing tool.
A collaborative writing tool like Zoho Writer basically lets you add collaborators, discuss items with them, get feedback, and immediately see the changes they make, right from your document. This is important as it helps you organize your content, and any discussions related to it, all in one place.
A collaborative tool results in more iteration and more varied perspectives about a piece. Such a tool also eliminates long mail threads about what is and isn’t working in the content. And since it saves all your documents on the cloud, you also have the option to carry these discussions with you even when you are away from your desk(top).
4. Start writing for the people, not bots.
Your content should add value for your audience, not your search engine. The primary aim of any organization setting up a good content strategy is to write content that can:
- Talk to your readers in the simplest of languages.
- Connect to your audience and establish a better, long lasting relationship with them.
- Create an impression about your brand as a dependable one.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) drives traffic to your post, agreed. But imagine readers leaving your page when they find it provides no additional value for them. They might even question the credibility of your brand, resulting in Brand Withdrawal.
Don’t let keywords dominate your stories. Write content that your readers will share with people they know. That’s a great content marketing strategy by itself. Try it.
5. Evaluate and evolve your strategy.
All things said, what works today might not work two years from now. Continuously look at what your competitors are doing. Analyze what’s working for them. Compare it with your current strategy. Find a deviation? Figure out how to close the gap.
When it comes to marketing, nothing is set in stone. See how businesses update their identity periodically, even when nothing seems wrong with the current brand. Evolution is necessary. Businesses fail when they fail to evolve. Watch out for latest trends in content marketing. Find fresh ways to tell your stories and keep experimenting through A/B testing.
Additionally, it’s also important to see how the Writer-Reviewer relationship works in your organization. Hold periodic workshops and open houses to discuss content creation in detail. After all, great content is an outcome of great teamwork.
Know any practices you think can really work for content creation? Let us know in the comments section below.
Also read: 7 Types of Content That Will Drive Targeted Traffic to Your Website
Written in collaboration with @shakespeareprof