With the growth of digital channels, we have never consumed as much written content as we do now.
Well written content can resonate with your audience and communicate messages well. But if you don’t get it right, you can switch off your readers.
When it comes to writing content here at DTW, we always keep five key principles in mind:
Do your research
If you want your audience to engage with your writing, you need to make sure your content is relevant.
Take the time to understand who your audience is. Start with general demographic information, before considering the needs they may be facing.
To connect with your audience on an emotional level, share personal, relatable stories. Another way to do this well is to crowd source content as part of your research.
A good example is Stylist magazine which curated content for a special Covid-19 issue.
By sharing the stories of its readers, the content was engaging for its target audience.
Write for the platform
Once you’ve got an idea of who you’re writing for, you also need to consider the platform you’re writing on. You’ll find that platforms have different audiences, meaning your writing will vary for each.
For example, a LinkedIn post with a target audience of solicitors will be very different to a post you write on Facebook for university students.
And it’s not only short posts on social media you need to consider. You will also need to tailor long form content to suit the platform or medium where it is being published. Such as on a public facing website or a member’s only monthly newsletter.
You may also want to consider writing from a particular person, such as the CEO of your company. Which leads us on to our next tip…
Develop your voice
By developing a unique brand voice, you can create your own or your company’s personality. This will allow you to foster a more meaningful connection with your audience.
We don’t need to go much further than our own local high-street to see some of the brands which excel at this. Greggs and Lidl have both excelled at using down-to-earth brand voices, showing how tone of voice can be key to a successful campaign.
The voice you create needs to be consistent throughout your content. From blogs and newsletters to the posts you share on social platforms, as well as any engagement you have on those networks.
This consistency will help your audience connect with you across all the content you publish. It will also build trust in your brand and identify your content as your own.
Think about readability
Most of us don’t take the time to sit down and read content like we used to. This is because we’re more likely to be scrolling on mobile devices, meaning the readability of your content is more important than ever.
Most word processing applications, including Microsoft Word and Google Docs, have readability tools built into them. If you’re writing for the web, there are a whole range of plug-ins available for WordPress, which will give you guidance on how to improve your content.
There are also paid tools, such as Readable, which offer reports and scoring of your content.
Some key points we always keep in mind, when it comes to ensuring the content we write is readable, include:
- Aim for a level of readability appropriate to your audience. We use the Flesch-Kincaid grade level. Aiming for the eighth grade ensures your content is readable by 80% of people
- Using headings, bullets and lists to break up content into sections
- Keep paragraphs to only two or three sentences
- Being as succinct as possible when writing on your topic and avoid use of jargon
Many websites also include an estimated ‘reading-time’ at the start of each article. This allows your audience to bookmark longer reads for later.
Add a call to action
At the end of your content or social posts, prompt your audience with what you’d like them to do next with a call to action (CTA). Without one, most people won’t take any action, even if they enjoyed reading it.
You can motivate your audience to take action by:
- Asking them a question they can answer in the comments
- Directing them to another piece of content
- Sending them to a landing page
- Getting them to subscribe to your newsletter
Engaging your target audience also means they are more likely to get in touch, follow your social channels or buy your products.
Any questions? If you’d like to find out more about our copywriting and social media services, feel free to get in touch.