Sweet. That’s how concise compact looks. Effective write-ups have one thing in common – they’re concise. Yet, influential and powerful. Maybe, that’s how the phrase ‘short and sweet’ came into existence. Every word says a story. Some stories brush your heart, and stay right there. Expressing more in lesser words is a crucial aspect of writing. A significant skill, indeed.
Content marketing is no different
It grabs attention. It tells stories, persuades skeptical minds, and above all, does the delicate task of communication between brands and customers. It can’t be compromised. As a writer, you’re always supposed to make you content lovable, pithy and succinct.
Wait, do people hate longer content?
Not necessarily. But when it makes them scroll unnecessarily or wastes their time- they absolutely hate it!The next thing people do after reading such content is they grab a cane and politely ask the writer his address (Obviously, I’m kidding). Your content should immediately convey its meaning instead of making your audience go around in circles. Don’t make them pull their hair out. Don’t confuse them. Sure, you might be fond of suspense, but please get to the point – they’d clap for you!
What’s the point of all this?
You doubt me? Ouch. I know what I’m saying might baffle some homo-SEOpiens. But listen, I have something to say. “Google adores long posts!” they said, so you think it’s alright to blast your audience with a verbal machine gun. You have a lot to express. So you ramble wildly on the blank sheet of paper. Oh, and not to forget videos, infographics, and other stuff whole internet is busy doing. But wait. People have a life … and they don’t wish to spend time reading worthless trash. Sorry to disappoint you if you think you’re too important, because sometimes, you’re not.The point is, your readers care about your content if it’s perfect. Deep inside, they wish for something delighting. But what kind of content do they crave for? What are their content fantasies?Nobody knows exactly. People are odd. They have different interests.
But here are some clues you can trust. This is the type of content your audience wants.
- It’s focused on your readers’ 'you,' more than your own you.
- It’s crafted for them, like a match made in heaven.
- It gives them what they want, not what you want to give.
- It leaves them contented with a memorable experience.
- It solves their problems and gives them a reason to smile.
- The actual bullet exists no more. My neighbor’s dog ate it.
Here’s your secret sauce
Since we’re talking of content marketing, remember that the following rules are not limited to writing. They’re applicable to other content, and are relevant. Go ahead and use these ways to make your content impactful.
1. Cut off the fluff
Admit it. A lot of content is mere fluff. It’s there to fill space and to make stuff attractive … and it’s futile.The internet is jam-packed with a lot of chaff and chaos that needs to be trimmed down. Sorry to break your heart, but no, there’s no more need or space for it.
- Write short posts that can compensate for the long ones.
- Keep your videos small, and edit them to bring down their length.
- Get rid of what’s unnecessary in any kind of content you create
That’s important. Here’s a valuable advice – put your audience before everything else.
2. Use alternative phrases
Look closer. Observe your copy to understand how you can further cut-down a bulk of words. You may remove idioms, turn three sentences into a single expression, use active voice, throw out filler words, practice for betterment – be a critical editor. But how do you become so sharp? Well, read this post on HubSpot and or refer this handbook. Once you become concerned about the preciseness of your writing and pay attention to details, you keep getting better.
3. Make a long story short
Everyone loves stories. Unless they make people yawn. Be clear and crisp while narrating events, reciting past experiences or telling stories from your life. Sure, people love you. They’ll read what you write. But don’t stretch it too far - they’ll scroll and move on. Make it a rule to rewrite every narrative after the completion of first draft, and then squeeze it through 2-3 revisions. How do you do it?Imagine you’ve got a great news and your friend is rushing towards the washroom. Yes, say it as you would say it to him maybe. Quickly. Though, not always.
4. Avoid the usual blah blah
You’re creating. But are your creations getting enough attention?Don’t be too descriptive. It’s okay to say less. Blabbering forever doesn’t turn you into a genius. Saying less doesn’t make you dumb. Tell only as much as needed. Nothing more.Your readers won’t think you’re a fool if they’ve understood your point.
5. Screw SEO
Someone might object. Ahem, look at the frowning Google! Nevermind. SEO is deceptive. It makes people do things they shouldn’t do. Black hat activities, keyword stuffing, spamming, link purchasing – altogether, crazy stuff. Its most fatal consequence is the way it manipulates marketers. It controls them, like puppets. Trust your instincts and hit publish if the content feels alright to you. Don’t stuff keywords or do something that might bore and disappoint your readers. It’s easy to forget that you’re not a slave of google. Don’t be slave. Be a darn rebel. Though, you’ll still need SEO. Does this sound contradictory? No, it’s not. Maintain the right balance – you’re smart.
Be merciless. Creating perfect content can be fatiguing. You don’t always abide by all the advice you take.Being too careful is a bad idea. This habit alone can make you spend hours starting at the screen, doing nothing. All pros know this truth – perfectionism sucks. So how you create flawless content?Revise your existing content. Updating your old content is a fair idea. It gives you an opportunity to look at your content through fresh eyes, with a new perspective. That makes it easy to fix outdated content and using it again to its best level.
What kind of content do you use on your website? How you make them more audience-friendly and easily consumable? Tell in the comments.