For content writers in 2020 and beyond, the task is to create unique content in new ways - to say something different. The following tips will help you modernize your content strategy for better engagement and brand awareness.
1. Build on Your Top-Performing Posts
Often, content creators neglect to focus on the simplest guideposts. While surface-level metrics like comments and likes don't tell the whole story, they do tell the story of your engagement. Review your blogs, social posts, and emails to weed out the top-performing content pieces. Brainstorm how you can expand on these topics.
2. Start Considering Voice Search
As smart technology becomes an integral part of society, voice search is becoming ubiquitous. Optimizing for voice search will be critical in the years to come, as people rely more on this method of searching for products and services they need.
3. Apply the 80/20 Rule
Is your content output balanced? Are you publishing mostly factual information, mostly inspiring pieces, or something else? In general, readers are interested in actionable advice and practical knowledge, so aim to focus most of your content there (80%). However, humans aren't robots. People want to know the 'why' behind your brand, so including some conceptual, theoretical, or even opinion pieces (20%) adds depth to your content.
4. Approach Old Topics from a New Angle
Many topics have been covered to death. As a thought leader in your industry, it's important to understand current narratives - the general consensus on topics in your industry. With this knowledge, you can then expand beyond that narrative - What is it missing? What is overlooked? Readers will be delighted to hear a fresh perspective on an old topic.
5. Don't Copy Competitors - Build on Their Ideas
Copying competitors is a strategy businesses use to keep up. But nowadays, customers value innovation. If you want your business to thrive instead of just keeping up, build upon what your competitors are already doing. What content is doing well, and how can you create something even better?
On Scripted, you can share examples of content that you like. Our writers will look them over and create content in the same vein.
6. Research Thoroughly
In the age of digital information, it's impossible to keep up with every content stream coming at us. Thus it's all too easy to assume something is correct when it's not. If your business publishes statistical content, commit to digging deeper to see whether your sources are truly indisputable. If they're not, mindfully re-frame your language to be more open-minded when presenting information.
7. Write Longer Posts for Better SEO
Research shows that posts of 1000+ words tend to rank higher in Google than shorter posts. They also tend to be shared at a much higher rate. If you're strapped for time, blog posts of at least 300-400 words will give you a shot at improving SEO.
8. Use Blog Quotes for Social Media
There's no reason you have to do twice the work and create totally separate blog and social media content plans. Pick several of the strongest quotations from each blog post and schedule them on social media. This will greatly help to fill out your content strategy.
9. Don't Believe the Naysayers (Blogs Still Work)
Some marketing gurus will tell you that blogging is obsolete. And while video has been surging in popularity, studies still show that written content heavily impacts conversion rates. Regular blogging also raises your Google ranking and keeps your audience interested.
10. Cut the Fluff!
There comes a time in every content creators life when they need to get honest about content quality. Do a 'fluff' audit, going through all of your published content and removing any text that rambles, distracts, or contributes little to the overall purpose of the piece. Your audience will thank you.
11. Ditch Jargon for Plain English
When looking at the most well-performing landing pages and marketing campaigns, one thing stands out: simple, concise wording. Modern companies are abandoning jargon and embracing more down-to-earth language that readers can relate to. In a world where customers strongly prefer personalization, direct communication goes a long way.
12. Focus on Long-tail Keywords
For most shorter keywords, competition is extremely fierce. Most businesses should not expect to rank for terms like 'business consultant' in our saturated digital marketing landscape. Instead, zeroing in on specific, longer keywords - like 'business consultant in Anaheim' - is much more likely to get you results.
13. Start Using a Thesaurus
Regardless of your industry, there are certain terms and phrases that are simply overused. When language becomes overused, readers begin filtering it out and ignoring it automatically. In other words, they disengage. Start using words that are less generic but mean the same thing. This tells your busy audience members that you're worthy of their attention.
14. Start Using UX Principles
In graphic design, UX principles provide a framework for making user-friendly design decisions. In writing, we can use similar principles like: use imperative sentences, write in active voice, and split up large blocks of text into smaller paragraphs. These seemingly unimportant elements greatly impact your reader's comfort level, and thus, the likelihood that they'll keep reading.
15. Choose a Tone/Personality and Stick to It
Running a business means juggling many tasks. Nailing down your brand's tone and personality may seem like an extraneous step you can skip. But the longer a brand goes without clearly defining its characteristics and communication style, the more generic your customer interactions will become.
16. Make Headlines More Specific
When deciding on a headline, avoid vagueness. The headline, "How Set Up Your Retail Business in 4 Weeks" is much more likely to generate clicks than "How to Set Up a Retail Business." Adding numbers, percentages, or time-frames can help you generate more curiosity.
17. Compile Content Ideas for Different Audience Segments
Part of modern content marketing is personalization - knowing your audience and meeting them where they're at. Take advantage of email marketing tools that allow you to segment your audience by age, gender, income bracket, or whatever makes the most sense for your business. From there, you can plan your content around what uniquely interests each segment.
18. Create a Content Repurposing Routine
Never let good content go to waste. In reality, your entire audience isn't going to see your content the first time you post it. Get into a routine of tweaking your content, re-sharing it, and presenting it in different formats. For example, you can take an excerpt from an ebook and use it to kick off a new blog post. Similarly, you can take clips from a YouTube video and share them on Facebook for bite-sized content.
19. Write Your Brand's One-liner
Many branding experts like Donald Miller recommend crafting a one-liner: A single sentence that everyone on your team has memorized. When someone asks, "What do you do?" you can respond precisely with your one-liner, eliminating any confusion. Here's an example for a food delivery business: "We deliver pre-made wholesome frozen dinners at an affordable weekly price — not just a box of ingredients with a recipe."
20. Write Your Brand Guidelines
Much like defining your brand's tone, writing brand guidelines is a task that brands often put on the back burner. However, brand guidelines simplify and streamline all future content creation - especially if you're hiring a freelancer. Those who are less familiar with your brand can read through the brand guidelines and get a precise understanding of who you are and how you communicate.
Ready to streamline your content strategy? Find a Scripted writer who specializes in your industry today.