By now you would have heard the saying ‘content is king’, however, it’s not just ‘content’ but ‘quality content‘ that is the holy grail. In our article Marketing Predictions for Australian Marketers in 2013, we discuss how content is one of the key areas of focus for marketers in Australia this year. To improve customer engagement, brands need to be more “human” and relatable through their communications.
However, most of us are not professional writers and may not be in a position to hire them. So the idea of writing relevant and quality content can be quite a daunting task. Are you having trouble trying to capture peoples attention? Are you wanting them to like, share and comment on your content more? Well, do not despair. We’ve compiled a list of 27 ways to improve your content from a range of industry experts and tips that we’ve come across.
- Be scannable. According to a study by Nielsen Norman Group 79% of web users scan rather than read.
- State your conclusion first. Then list your supporting points. This is known as Inverted Pyramid. Readers know exactly what you’re content is about right from the start and can decide whether to read on.
- Use subheadings. They are a great way to break up text and help readers to scan your content.
- Embrace bulleted lists and numbers. They make content easy to read and more inviting.
- Keep your paragraphs short. Try to keep it to one point per paragraph.
- Keep it simple. Write so that an 8th grader could understand what you’re saying. If it’s a good enough method for Readers Digest, then it’s good enough for us.
- Avoid jargon and marketing speak. You’ll just bamboozle your reader.
- Format strategically. Bold important concepts so readers can see the most important concepts at a glance.
- Use white space. Line breaks are your friend and improve readability.
- Use a conversational tone. Don’t be afraid to show your personality. It’s not a lecture, write as you would talk in a conversation. Don’t be afraid of contractions like ‘isn’t’ or ‘don’t’. Talk to your readers like a friend by using ‘you’ and ‘I’.
- Avoid complex words. If you have trouble pronouncing it, then ditch it.
- Avoid clutter. Adjectives and adverbs are great when you’re trying to be descriptive, but use them sparingly and avoid clutter.
- Don’t overuse exclamation marks.
- Styling and typography. What fonts are you using? If you can’t find one you like, why not investigate some of the great readable Google Fonts available.
- Images are your friend. We are visual beings, so use images to help illustrate your point.
- Consider alternative ways to display your content. Infographics are a great way to display complex information.
- Include facts and statistics. They give you credibility and help you to create evidence-based opinions.
- Use anecdotes and case studies. They can bring your content to life and make the reader care about what you have to say.
- Mirror responses. Use some of your readers language in your content, what are they telling you? Show them you’re paying attention.
- Use highly relevant links. Link to other articles or previous content you’ve written that might be relevant to the reader.
- Don’t be afraid to use a little slang. It can lighten the mood, just don’t go overboard.
- Avoid cliches and sayings. They can bore your reader.
- Use keywords and tags. From an SEO perspective, keywords are important when it comes to search but avoid ‘keyword stuffing’ your content. Readability is key. Use appropriate Heading and Meta tags in your HTML, all good content management or blogging platforms will support these options.
- Tighten up your content. Review your content to see if there is anything you can do to shorten it. Even give yourself a word limit. It’s a great way to make sure your reader doesn’t get bored.
- Use several posts. If you have written a large article, consider breaking into several shorter posts.
- Proof your content. Read through just the sub headings, bold text and bullets to see if readers will be able to get the general gist of your article.
- Spelling and grammar check. Get a friend to review your content. If you don’t have this luxury, check out useful tools like Grammarly.
For more detail and tips on how to write good content, check out these great articles from industry experts that we referenced for this post:
If you have great writing tip to add to this list, please share it with us below.
Latest posts by Calie Salter (see all)
- Australian Marketing Conferences and Events – May 2019 - April 24, 2019
- Australian Marketing Conferences and Events – April 2019 - March 30, 2019
- Australian Marketing Conferences and Events – March 2019 - March 1, 2019