Liudmila Ganzha
Nov 10, 2017 | 6 min read

In the previous post on content marketing, we explored how to define your target readership and pick an engaging topic that will provide value to your readers.  

It’s time to start writing your draft, right?

Nope! First, you need to give a structure to your ideas and create an outline. Planning is a vital step to avoid scattered content that leads to nowhere.

  1. Create an outline

     Jot down your points and ideas and then place them in a logical flow. This will make creating your first draft times faster and easier.

  1. Make your blog easy to consume.

Again, defining target readership is critical. Choose a style that fits your audience. Some useful tips would be:

  • Don’t be simplistic but don’t overload the text with jargon. If you run a B2B blog and write for a specific audience, you may use technical or business terms if you’re sure that your typical customer understands them.
  • The current trend is to adopt a conversational, informal style. This immediately transfers you on friendly terms with the reader. Don’t use archaic, literary or rare words because business-oriented people will lose interest.
  • Avoid impersonal tone. Who wants to read a third-person, robotic, emotionless article? Write like a human, use the first person from time to time, include examples from your or your team’s experience, tell your own stories.
  • Use the word “you”. In this way, you make your readers feel like it’s just you and them as if you were sitting down having a chat over a cup of coffee.
  • Create a conversation with your readers by asking questions throughout your post. Invite them to think about and respond to what you are saying. Encourage to share thoughts and opinions in comments – it will help you gain higher engagement.
  1. Create a compelling text

  • Focus on benefits your target customer can get from reading your copy.

What business value does your article provide to the audience?

Does it sound like an advertising piece or like an expert piece?

Is your post purely theoretical or practically applicable?

  • Write longer, detailed texts. Thoroughly answer the question. Superficial, generic content will be ditched at the beginning –  people don’t have interest in obvious things. Dive deeper, explore the topic but avoid fluff at the same time.

Consider writing an ultimate guide. I’d recommend, though, not to give away everything, though – the readers should always be willing for more.

As you’ve probably noticed, we’ve been creating an ultimate guide on content marketing and we’ve broken this big topic up into several pieces so readers gain valuable tips post after post.

  • Write how-to posts. It’s good to organize your content in the form of step-by-step instructions, checklists and how-to posts  – people like texts that teach them something.

That’s how we usually approach content at HelpCrunch – we publish a lot of how-to articles on startups, customer engagement, customer service, retention and online sales on our blog.

  • Hook your readers with a compelling headline. Every day about  2.7 million blog posts are published. The headline is the first thing of your post that people see. Make sure it’s not the last one 🙂  To stand out in the flood of content and engage the reader, your headline should be catchy and indicate:
  • for whom the article will be helpful
  • what it is about
  • what goal it’ll help achieve

Providing numbers and stats in your headline is also a great way to hook readers.

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Another good strategy is to use power words:

Arm your Tumblr blog for more marketing firepower

Remote customer service: are you ready to break free from the office?

Amplify your Shopify! Boost online sales with HelpCrunch

Wordplay also helps catch the eye of the reader.

Love hurts.. Live chat converts! Generate more leads on Jimdo, SpaceCraft and Squarespace.

You can find a lot of handy  headline formulas here

  • Write a killer lead.  If readers don’t get past the first sentence or two, you can be sure they won’t convert.

In your lead, you can provide important information, eye-opening statistics or a striking fact, or ask direct questions that resonate with the reader.

Avoid  generic stuff like:

“It’s widely known fast and effective customer support is very important for business success”.

Better like this: Wanna boost your blog or website conversion by 20% at almost no cost? The American Marketing Association study confirms the effect of offering live help on your site.

Tip. You can first write the body of your post and the introduction when it’s finished. You’ll have clear ideas for a better and will not have to rework it.

  1. Think of the readability of your text

However genial and helpful is your copy,  people won’t read if it’s an utter wall of text.

Modern customers have shorter attention spans so many of them will just skim through content. Make it possible for a skimmer to get the message.

  • Subheadings. Break up your content into easy-to-manage sections and use subheadings. Bold them with H2 or H3 html tags. This will also reinforce your SEO ranking.
  • To keep reader focus, paragraphs should be short. The general tip is not to include more than 3-4 sentences.
  • Write in shorter sentences and use clear structures. The ideal sentence length should not exceed 20 words. Longer sentences are also ok, but don’t exaggerate with them.
  • Use numbers to break up the block of words.
  • Use plenty of bullet points and numbered lists.  This will make your text easy to grab.
  • Apply boldface to phrases or words to which you want to draw the attention of the reader. Use capitalizing with moderation – it may be pretty annoying.
  • Choose a font and size that’s clearly legible.
  • Insert images to break up the text and illustrate your key points. The human brain processes visuals a lot faster than textual content. Adding captivating images or screenshot will certainly boost readability and engagement.

You can use this resource to check your readability score.

  1. Back up everything you declare

Which blog are you going to return to? I guess the one that is data-driven and trustworthy, true? To build credibility, weave outside sources and proof into your post.

Include infographics, charts, graphs. Marketing studies have shown that infographics are more often shared and easily understood than other forms of media, and greatly boost conversion.

An example from business 2 community

  • Fill your post with quantifiable statistics. Cite research and survey findings from well-established and reputable organizations that use exact statistics and numerical values, rather than providing generalizations or vague claims.
  • Provide case studies. Case studies are 3rd most influencing content type in the B2B purchasing process. According to Content Marketing Institute, 75% of B2B marketers consider them a high-converting marketing strategy. People see that your solution works for others and that instills confidence that it’ll work for them too.
  • Deliver social proof. Did you know that written testimonials increase conversions by 25%? More people will use your offer after they see that others are doing the same with success.

Other forms of social proof include logos showcasing important clients that you’ve collaborated with, number of customers, subscribers, and social media followers.

Okay, now you’re readers are immersed in your article and nothing gonna distract them from reading it until the end. But you don’t need only your faithful readers – you need paying customers.

In the next article, we’ll explore how to make your content work and actually convert your audience. Stay tuned and follow our content marketing series!

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