If you’re a writer, and you’re trying to get into the world of content marketing, it can be downright confusing. People toss around the word “content” like it’s going out of style. Sometimes, it means writing. Sometimes, it doesn’t.
If you were curious, here is my overview of the “content” from “content marketing” (from a writer’s perspective).
The short answer
Anything the consumer can read (or in some cases, listen to or watch).
The long answer
Anything the consumer can read (or in some cases, listen to or watch), which includes:
You might know most of these, maybe even all of them. But often times, we forget why these mediums matter as much as they do (or the best format for presenting them).
We’ll get into more info on how to write good content for these mediums across the board later, but here are the basics to get started.
Blogs – The bread and butter of content writers, blogs (aka articles) are what you’ll likely spend most of your time writing. They are an excellent method of creating brand identity and giving your readers useful (free) information to enrich their lives. They’re also powerful lead magnets. Businesses that blog about four times a week get nearly four times as many leads as businesses who blog only four times a month (citation needed). A well-written blog is a rare and beautiful thing.
Web copy – Creating a digital brand image means getting the words right, right away. Businesses who fail to deliver a clear value prop on their website suffer from high bounce rate (the customer running away before you even have time to sell them anything). (Citation needed) that’s where you come in, with dynamite messaging that sells their product.
Social media – Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn will be your biggest cash cows from a writing standpoint. A very different kind of writing, but a lot of the rules in this book still apply. (Facts and Citation needed)
Advertisements – Good old-fashioned, David Ogilvy-style advertisements. You see them on the side of Google and plastered on buses, subways, and billboards. Creating a messaging campaign for advertisements under ten words can pay in the tens of thousands of dollars, but only if you have a proven track record of ads that sell. (Citation needed)
Emails – Even with your overly saturated spam folder, email marketing is still one of the most cost-effective tactics for businesses. When you consider the standard ROI for email campaigns is 3,800% (or $38 for every $1 spent), you start to see the value. The writing boils down to seductive subject lines and sexy, simple value props.
Landing pages – Landing pages are like super-targeted home pages for a specific buyer persona. You get there through ads, social media, and emails catered to your needs and wants, and there’s always a call-to-action, or a CTA. For an example, if you’re Under Armour, you’ll have a different landing page for that female runner in Maine who needs warm clothes to bare the elements than the teenager in Southern California who wants a flat brim hat because that’s what all the cool kids at his middle school are doing.
Sell sheets – Super sales-y language is a must with sell sheets. You need to build a case for your product or service in about 500 words. Can be super effective, if properly executed.
Ebooks(White Papers) – The long-form value prop. A downloadable ebook must be value heavy and sales light, but delivers a more comprehensive or complicated message.
Advertorials – Somewhere between blogs and sell sheets. I find them deceptive so I’m not really a fan.
Infographics – While it’s more about the pictures, artists tend to be lousy writers (and vise versa). Keep it right to the point and you can’t fail.
Videos – Video scripts need to be written by someone, and you can even change by the second.
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” – Ernest Hemingway
Hemingway is one of my all-time favorite writers (and not just because I had to read him in high school, either). His prose is crisp, clean, and compulsively readable. He wrote with a journalist’s flair for storytelling but a copywriter’s command of simplicity and conciseness.
But even Hemingway sat down at the typewriter and just bled sometimes. Writing can be very hard. And writer’s block is all too real.Continue reading…
See through all the office amenities and escaped the hassles of working in an office. Contrary to popular belief it’s not your only option and it’s certainly not the best option. Join me in becoming a remote worker and you’ll be happier (and surprisingly) more productive.
In my latest article at Entrepreneur, I give five reasons why everyone should be remote workers. It just makes more sense. Not only does this benefit employees but also their employers. Everyone wins!
Last week, we talked about the value of a strong content marketing strategy and the basics for creating content people want to read. We also pinpointed the three characteristics of great content: relevance, practical value, and consistency. This week, let’s talk about getting your content to stand out.
You’ve probably cleaned out your house countless times, but have you ever thought about sprucing up your marketing strategy?
Spring cleaning is a great tradition. After spending months cooped up indoors, it’s a chance to refresh and refocus for the second half of the year. Why not apply that same energy to cleaning up your marketing strategy as well? Continue reading…
I’ve always found Cutco’s business model fascinating. If I had to try and sell kitchen cutlery door to door, knives wouldn’t be my first choice (for various reasons). So say what you will about Cutco’s high school and college sales reps—they they know how to sell knives.
The fact that Cutco’s business model holds up at all is a testament to their targeted marketing. They know they’re a B2C knife company—they’re the only one I can think of—and so they market their knives differently than B2B knife brands like Shun or Zwilling that sell directly to stores.