Being an effective writer is central to marketing success.
Any written content you publish is the start of a conversation with a potential future customer. Your readers use the copy you produce to make judgements about your brand and whether you are worth engaging with.
But how do you convince an audience that spends almost half their average day consuming content* that what you’re saying is worth listening to?
You can learn how to write to your audience in a way that pushes your content to the front of the queue by showing you prioritise their needs, challenges and goals, dramatically boosting your value in your audience’s minds. Sound interesting?
Here are our ten tips to help you to be the best possible writer you can be:
1. Look over here! - Create an attention-grabbing headline for your writing. Title your first draft with something simple that sums up your intended direction for the piece then later go back and transform the title into something that will cause people to stop and read. Brainstorm a number of ideas using important keywords and tried and tested frameworks such as ‘ the secrets of…’ or ‘ Top tips to…’ and choose your most effective idea.
2. Watch your tone - Develop a tone that is relevant and matches the attitudes of your readers. Avoid being overly critical, as this will create a negative atmosphere. It’s best to be genuine, friendly, and helpful.
3. Be authentic and human - Have a conversation with your audience. Use ‘you’ and ‘your’ to personally address your readers rather than using generic statements, which are flat and uninteresting. Using contractions, like ‘don’t’ instead of ‘do not’ can make your writing more relaxed and accessible for readers.
4. Put yourself in their shoes -Is your writing easy and enjoyable to read? Always empathise with your audience, write using simple words and avoid using jargon and acronyms where possible. If you must use acronyms and jargon always explain or spell them when first using them in your piece.
5. Teach your audience something - Your readers should either learn something new from your content or build and improve upon their existing knowledge. Write in a style that aims to engage and educate.
6. Make a point - Present one core idea that ties into the title and adds to what’s available already. Write content that adds something new by voicing new ideas, being more comprehensive and higher quality, or by including more recent data and facts.
7. Tell a story… but don’t make it a novel - Develop a solid structure by using numbered lists, bullet points, subheadings, introductions, and conclusions. Vary your sentence structure and break up any bulky paragraphs into smaller chunks. Cut out unnecessary words like very, really, quite, and actually as well as excess adverbs and adjectives. Write using a clear and concise narrative style that can be easily followed by your audience. Make use of analogies and examples to provide context for more complex ideas.
8. What does your brand say? - Support your brand messaging by aligning the tone and subject of your content with the brand vision and values. Any content you produce must support the buyer journey and build a connection between your audience and your brand. Adhere to a consistent style of punctuation, grammar, voice, and tone and use of industry specific terms. Being consistent will build reader’s trust.
9. Polish before you publish - Edit writing for errors and poor grammar. Your first draft will and should be sloppy but your final published piece should be refined and polished. Errors in your work damage your credibility and distract from the ideas your content expresses. Doing a final check of grammar and spelling using a piece of software like Hemmingway or Grammarly should give you piece of mind.
10.Camera, Lights…Action! – Create a call to action for your content. Tell your readers what you want them to do next. This could be anything from sharing the piece, leaving a comment, or subscribing to future content. Leaving this out would count as a massive missed opportunity.