Creating a content strategy and also penning (okay, keyboarding!) your thoughts every once in a while is not always easy. You have to align your blog/article/newsletter/email with your current content strategy, and also keep in mind that the content you are creating is “inboud’. I’ll explain…
Inbound content is a piece of content that’s written from the perspective of attracting leads to your site and eventually help them travel further down the funnel. Any inbound piece content has the following elements:
So, what’s standing in your way? Sometimes, it could just be the writer’s block, while other times, it could be a lack of motivation or low bandwidth (we’ve all been there!). In any case, you still need to create that incredible piece of content, right? Unfortunately, as a Content Strategist/Content Marketer or Inbound Marketer, you don’t have much time to spare, let alone ponder over your thoughts that are simply not coming! On top of that, you always have the next thing to accomplish on your agenda. So, what do you do?
I am going to share a list of top 5 effective writing tips that’ll save you a lot of time and which you can simply refer to while writing your next piece. So, let’s begin?
If it’s a thought leadership article for the head of marketing, for example, then you already know what all it should consist of. Since different buyer personas and different stages require different and unique content that attracts that specific audience, maybe it’ll help to also segregate who you are writing for and which stage content this is going to be (awareness, consideration, decision). One of the things I tried a few months ago which at the end of three months landed me a blog bounce rate as low as 2.67% was segregating content into different stages and writing for each one by one.
Meaning, in the first month, I wrote only “awareness” stage content, in the second month, I wrote only “consideration” stage content, and in the third month, I wrote (combined the earlier two stages and refurbished it)only “decision” stage content. This not only helped segregate the stages and personas effectively, but it also caught me by surprise when I noticed that some of the blogs even had a 0% bounce rate! I had finally cracked the kind of content my buyer persona was looking for. If only they knew, content was “Queen” all this while!
Focus on these things while writing for different personas:
In true terms, this is what “inbound content” means - it doesn’t sell! We have inbound sales and inbound marketing for that, don’t we? Jokes apart, the whole purpose of creating an inbound piece of content is that you don’t want to hard-sell anything but want to organically attract the prospects towards your brand.
So, be aware of the language and don’t write as if you are a salesperson trying to convert a prospect into a customer right here, right now. Odds are, it might happen anyway if a prospect is looking for a solution and before you even got a chance to nurture her, she is ready to buy. But that needs to happen organically too. Now, let’s take these two CTAs:
“We are the best, our products are the best. Talk to us.”
“Experiencing a (specific) problem? We might have the right solution. Talk to us.”
If you were to read both on different pages, you know which one will make you cringe. It’s the same with your prospects and you don’t want to make them cringe! So, when you know you are going to be writing from an inbound perspective, you know that you need to keep it conversational and not stress too much upon “conversions”. Conversions should be the by-product of your unique content.
I know it won't work if you are experiencing a writer’s block, but the more frequently you write, the less you are likely to experience any roadblocks. And it also helps attract massive organic traffic. This is not to suggest that you compromise on quality. But when I was writing at least 4 times a week, our blog traffic shot up by 400% as compared to when I was writing only once or twice a week. Now, writing every day is a wishful thought when you are also responsible for the strategy for multiple inbound clients; in that case, outsource work from a couple of really good freelancers and edit their blogs as per your brand guidelines.
Creating consistent good quality content leads to higher organic traffic and better brand recall in the long run. So, make sure you also have a few inbound links thrown into your piece, to interlink other relevant blogs as well that relate to the same pillar page topic as per your current content strategy. Stats say that businesses that publish more than 15 blogs per month get 3.5x more traffic than those that blog only 4 times a month. Did you write a blog today?
I had written a blog a few months ago on how to make storytelling your best content strategy and I have to say, it never gets old (not in a literal sense!). At the heart of inbound marketing is content and at the heart of content is storytelling. No matter what kind of a business you are into, you can always create an impactful and at the same time edgy and light-hearted story around it. You can also use strong emotions as a catalyst to drive that story, wherever you prefer.
The point is, there’s a clear difference between “I make baby products to enhance their cognitive functions” and “ Kian is 6 months old and already knows how to turn the cap of the bottle. A scientist in the making?” If there’s no story around what you are selling, it’s highly likely that your prospects are not going to connect with your brand.
You can create stories for social media, for your YouTube channel; give video marketing a chance? As long as there’s a story, and a solution around what you are creating, you’ll be doing the inbound marketing content right.
As HubSpot itself puts it, while writing say, a blog post/article/ebook, you should first complete the midsection and then go back to finishing the introduction and conclusion parts. Honestly, today was the first time I tried doing this and it actually worked in putting together my thought-leader article in a very effective manner. So, just outline what you are going to write about and simply fill in the blanks. Doing this will also ensure that your content is not garnering high bounce rates, which takes a lot of time to settle. This outline is a blueprint of where you need to take your writing and will serve as an anchor every time you get stuck.
If you’ve already developed the content calendar that you are currently following, then that makes this whole process easier as you already know what you are going to write about. If you haven’t done that, I strongly recommend knowing what all you are doing to be writing about this month, based on your content strategy and personas you are targeting and then following it, depending upon how frequently you are writing.
This is something I personally vouch for (along with my other tips) that you can always keep writing on the go. Yes, sometimes it can take days to finish a content piece, but already having something in the draft gives you cues to what your next sentence should be. And since you’ll already have the blueprint ready (refer to point 1), you’ll know where your piece is headed and you can simply pick up from where you last left.
It so happens that sometimes you get an influx of ideas but you are working on something else that’s urgent. In that case, you can always keep a word document open, either in your google drive or on your computer, and then scribble down everything that’s coming to your mind. And when you actually starting the piece, you’ll know where you want to take it. Inbound marketing and content go hand in hand, like two best friends; and when you are consistently producing good quality content that’s also inboud, you’ll do wonders to your own content strategy skills in the long run. And if you are stuck, try out these tips and let me know how that went for you.
What’s your “out of jail” card for when you are stuck with creating inbound content? Share with me in the comments below.