The last few years it seems like everyone has gotten into the content game and for good reason – content helps your business get found online. Content is a powerful tool to drive interest for your brand, business or product. If you have any chance of getting on that coveted 1st page of Google, content is vital to achieving it.
But with this success has come a deluge of content that is starting to overwhelm consumers. We’ve hit a period of information overload. It used to be that content was equated with power. Those that had the resources to create great articles, blogs, and videos had the power. But these days, anyone can do that. This means we are being inundated every day with a lot of copycat, low-value, boring content.
But alas there is hope. Here are a few ways you can write better content to keep it fresh and interesting.
#1: Make sure you are writing content people crave
Scott Aughtmon at the Content Marketing Institute has put together a great infographic detailing the 21 types of content we all crave. I plan on printing this out and giving it to office mates and clients. It’s fantastic.
#2: Let’s stop calling it content
I know this smacks all of the language I’ve used up until this point in the face, but the term content sounds boring, almost like a commodity. Maybe there are better ways to refer to it? I like the terms ‘stories’ and ‘articles’. It just sounds a bit more exciting. Is there an alternative term to frame up your content? If so, give it a try. It might inspire some better writing.
#3: Stop getting boring Bob to write stuff
We’ve noticed that some companies force employees who should never write anything public-facing to write on a regular basis. Let’s face it, if Bob from accounting (no offence to accountants) just may not have the skill set to write great blogs or do social media. Maybe we should focus him on other things. There’s no reason why an entire team needs to be involved.
Also, we need to start considering hiring English majors in the business world. They’ve actually read books and written creatively before entering the workforce.
#4: Be new and unique
Too many blog posts and social media updates are me-too or copycat, regurgitating the same old tips, lists and advice every day. We fail to take the time to think up unique and original ways to communicate our ideas. I’m overwhelmed by the number of articles that say the same things in slightly different ways. We’ve all read the e-books that take a single concept and drag it out for 30 pages, or the article that communicates a profound concept, but really is something we all already know. It’s getting tired. We owe it to ourselves and our customers to write new and unique things that provide value and interesting insight.
#5: Have a voice
Too much of our content is stale and robotic. Add your own flavour to it. Let your personality jump out. Build a tone and a style that tells the world what your company is like and who you are. Check out Jason Fried’s blog posts at 37signals. You start to get a real sense of his personality in the way he writes.
Hopefully, these tips will give you a good kick start on delivering great stories, experiences and articles for your customers.