content marketing, content production, copywriting, digital copywriting, storytelling, writing tips

Create better content with these top tips

Create Great Content
Create Great Content

Australia has thrown itself into the pit of confusion with its latest election. The AEC are slowly determining who’s going to take charge of this fine country, while we all sit helplessly, twiddling our thumbs. Many Australians are disenfranchised, uninspired and unsure where to look to for great leadership. Don’t let your brand fall the way of our major parties. Understand your brand and communicate it with clarity and leadership. Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a better writer and communicator overall.

Know your message

We can all get caught up in what everyone else is saying and confuse our own message as a result. Much like some of the campaigns rolling around our screens and radios, marketers are seduced by the idea of pulling others down in order to big themselves up. This just pulls everyone into the gutter. It doesn’t matter what the other guy is doing. What do you have to offer? How is it unique or valuable? What do you want your clients, audience or readers to know about you? Answer these questions and you are off to a much stronger start.

Know your style

If your organisation has a communications and/or marketing team, you will likely already have a style guide. If you do not, I urge you to work with your team to create one. A style guide will inform your tone, your approach and your word choices. It can help even the most nervous of writers find the right path. If you don’t have a team to help design a style guide, I recommend you consider working with a consultant, such as Make it Peachy to design one for you.

Design a strategy ahead of time

As we know, there are so many different channels you can communicate through these days and it can be incredibly overwhelming. Sometimes you can get so caught up in the newest trends that you miss the chance to promote your service and product in the most effective way. Understand how the different platforms work, and design a communications strategy that is easy to follow. The Hub created a fantastic infographic outlining 25 great content marketing platforms for your brand. Don’t waste your time throwing your content in every direction, hoping for something to stick. Identify the platforms that best reach your audience and create a content adhesive that sticks every time.

Do your research

What is engaging your industry right now? What are they talking about? What are they debating? Do your research and understand where your industry stands. Where do your audience and clients stand? What are they interested in? How can you show that you offer this? If there is something newsworthy you want to comment on, make absolutely certain you have done your research. Making the time to do your research will keep you abreast of any developments in your industry and help you illustrate your knowledge to your clients.

Strip away the industry jargon

Whether you are designing a presentation, writing an email or creating original marketing content, remember to get rid of that jargon. I wrote a stand-alone blog on stripping away your jargon. As you know, you are the expert in your field, no one else is. The best way to engage people is to make your content as easy to consume as possible. Get rid of your technical lingo and shorten those sentences. Using jargon only serves to alienate people. You can show your expertise with far greater ease when you can explain your point using Plain English.

Don’t forget about your copy

Images and videos are fantastic ways to engage and seduce your readers. People love great videos, emotive pictures, and informative infographics. Make sure you use them where you can. They are a great way to grab your audience. In fact, while researching for this blog, I came across this amusing little video of a professor’s explanation of marketing.

However, ensure you back that up with some quality copy. Your choice of words explains your message and demonstrates your knowledge. Don’t flood your content with images and videos if you can’t back them up with engaging copy.

Educate yourself and your team

You may be the expert. You may have an extraordinary team and some socially progressive, financially sensible policies. The trouble is, if you don’t know how to get that across, you could end up with a hung parliament, or worse, not enough of the market share to actually affect change. If you don’t have the writing or presentation skills you need, don’t wing it – learn. There are thousands of courses around the country that offer up to date advice, tips and tools for you to become a better communicator. If you are looking for writing training, Make it Peachy offers a range  of courses and I can even design a personalised course for your team.

If in doubt, ask for help

If you aren’t confident that you can create engaging content, don’t do it. Talk to your communications and/or marketing team. If you don’t have one, engage a consultant. The only thing worse than not creating any content is creating terrible content. Don’t assume your clients will know you’re passionate and inspiring. Show them that you are.

Decorated pumpkins in a garden
content production, copywriting, digital copywriting, research, storytelling, writing tips

Give your customers a treat this Halloween, not a trick

We’ve all been there. Happily surfing the web and up pops a fantastic looking article. Off we go, trusting and naïve, and there at the end of our click is a nasty, boring, uninteresting monster, completely unrelated to the original bait. We feel violated. How can we slay the evil click bait monster? For starters, don’t contribute to it. Positive, reciprocal and useful relationships are based on mutual respect and exchange of useful products, services and information.

You can make a point of creating engaging, relevant content, and treat your customers to a great service. Below are five tips for keeping your content interesting and still engaging for your audience.

Don’t be a vampire: substance over seduction

No one is denying that sex sells. The sexy and captivating vampire sucks you in with his charm and good looks. Instead of giving you the best night of your night, you are left with a very sore neck and a rather impressive iron deficiency. Don’t do this to your potential customers.

By all means, spend time to create great headlines and sexy invitations. Don’t leave it at that. Make sure that whatever you promise, you can deliver. Create entertaining content that is both helpful and engaging.

You can’t slay the beast if you don’t know what it is

Buffy the Vampire Slayer may have had super strength and mad kung fu skills, but she would never have defeated the big bad without the knowledge. She relied heavily on the researching skills of her team to determine just exactly what she was fighting and how she could win.

Always hit the books, or rather net, and research, research, research!

Who is talking in your industry?

What are they talking about?

Who is your audience?

What do they want?

How can you provide it?

Without answering these questions, you’ll never be able to create or even curate the best and most enticing content.

Identify your weapon and use only that

If you have discovered that a silver bullet is the only thing that will defeat a werewolf, you grab a gun with silver bullets. You don’t overload yourself with a crossbow, a sword, a light saber and a wooden stake. All you’d be doing is weighing yourself down with excess crap, and it will likely just get in the way.

Strip down your intent to the cleanest content you can. Simplify what you’re able to and get rid of the fluff you don’t need. It’s wasteful and boring and you will likely just lose your audience before you even begin.

Be forever vigilant

If you are going to make yourself known to the big bad, you’d better be prepared. It could come at you at any time, and you need to be armed and ready.

Ensure that your digital content is accurate, useful and up to date at all times. You don’t know what or when a customer is going to take interest in your content, so it’s important to make sure that your content is relevant.

If you’re outgunned, call for backup

You wouldn’t run into car park full of crazed zombies alone and unarmed.

Don’t create and curate just for the sake of it. Make sure you are able to provide great and practical content. If you find yourself overwhelmed, time poor or simply unable to get started, ask for help.

There are some incredible resources online that offer tips, advice or industry relevant information. Follow engaging blogs, industry leaders and inspiring content providers for inspiration.

If you are not sure where to start, many content consultants can work with you from the beginning. They can help guide you out of the darkness and into the content haven.

Don’t throw eggs at your customers this Halloween; give them some delicious candy that lasts.

content production, copywriting, digital copywriting, editing

5 awesome benefits of creating your own content

The web is awash with articles, blogs and links from the newest expert on any given topic. It can be wildly overwhelming as both a consumer of content and a content marketer to actually decipher what is useful.

This can often scare people from getting out there and creating their own original content. Don’t let it scare you and your business. Invest in unique content.

Here are just 5 great reasons why.

  1. Credibility

You are the expert in your field. You know your business and you know your product better than anyone. Creating original and unique content illustrates your authority.

When clients, partners and potential clients can see that you know your stuff, they will more likely have more confidence and trust in you and your service.

Heighten your brand authority by authoring useful information.

  1. Time and Proximity

Events, legislative changes, news or even simply the weather could affect your industry or service. Show the world you know exactly what is changing and how your service or product can accommodate that change.

Your response to real world changes shows your audience or client base that your business is mindful of the world around us. It is also the only way that you can show them how your service or product is useful as a result.

  1. Push people back to your website

If you want to drive traffic back to your website, this is a really great and genuine way to do that. Instead of trying every trick to manipulate people back, why not create engaging content that people actually genuinely need or want? The more engaging content you create, the more people will willingly subscribe to your channels.

As your audience gets to know you as a producer of great content, they will start to both recognise your brand and website as valuable.

  1. Increase your search rankings

This is another important benefit. There are many ways to pay your way to the top of the search rank. If you want those pesky search spiders to crawl all over your page, give them something to find. Creating smart and sensible content on a regular basis will remind the spider that you are here. By updating your content and using useful and relevant copy, your rankings will increase by default.

  1. Remind people who you are

Producing content that exemplifies your service or product is a really great exemplar of what you can provide. Give people a taste of the kind of work you can do for them by producing unique content about you and your industry.

Instead of just claiming you know your stuff, show people. Show people where your brand fits into the industry and why they should remember you.

Don’t forget that there is already some fantastic content out there. Read and follow groups you respect and even compete with. Get a feel for who is creating great content and by all means curate existing content, join the conversation and engage with your industry.

By creating interesting and unique content and connecting with other great content producers, you’d ensure you and your brand remain ahead of the game.