Business copywriting Copywriting

Five ways to make your content more effective

Coastal Content took on a new Devon-based client during January. A client who had paid a lot of money to a fancy London agency to promote his web store. The client said the content didn?t sit right with him and that the quality wasn?t what he had been led to expect. So rather than pay another agency, he looked over the border from Devon to Cornwall for content marketing. To us.

We?re not going to name names or list those problems, as a gentleman doesn?t kiss and tell. Suffice to say what we found prompted this post. A post listing five ways to make your content more effective that are in no way related to the five main issues we found with our client?s content.

1. Know your audience

If you just write web content without considering who you?re talking to, you won?t always reach them. Spending even an hour considering the target market, the demographic and how to engage them can make a huge difference to how receptive that audience will be. One sizes very definitely does not fit all.

2. Painting a picture

Part of the art of writing content for ecommerce is painting a picture of a lifestyle. That is especially true if the product being sold is an aspirational one. That means using a positive and energised tone, referring to the features and benefits and concentrating on how the product can elevate the life of the reader in positive ways. A writer?s job is to create a story, content marketing is no different.

3. Use good quality images

Talking of pictures, always use the best quality image you can in any content you publish. Image size and quality has to be balanced with page loading speed, but that?s what image software is for. Nothing is worse than arriving on a website to see a poor quality image or one that doesn?t render correctly to different screen sizes.

4. Proofread and edit

Deadlines permitting, I tend to research and write one day and then leave the copy overnight or a couple of nights to brew. Then I edit with fresh eyes. You would be amazed the number of corrections you make after a sleep or two. Spelling errors are part of life but minimising them as much as possible makes you and your client look better.

5. Checking after publishing

Modern Content Management Systems (CMS) are pretty good at making life easier for publishers but they still need managing. It pays to double check hyperlinks, images, quotes, special characters and any media you have added. You need to make sure the CMS has faithfully reproduced your hard work as it should. It only takes a couple of minutes but can drastically influence how your client is portrayed.

Adopting all of these measures will avoid you being accused of writing without due care and attention. If you want to make it as a content marketer or provider, this really is the least of what you should offer.

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