Posts tagged web content writing
Have you ever wondered why only some of your childhood memories are still stuck in your brain while the others have vanished? Why do you wish to see more of LOST (famous TV series by Spielberg)? Why are some stories, articles, and websites hard to forget? It is because they all have a high Recall Quotient.
Today, the web is full of content posted just for the sake of search engine optimization. Millions of writers worldwide make a living out of rewriting old content and posting the same at several places. But, you must know this – One good article can make up for 1000 or more boring articles. If the content has value your readers would willingly share it.
So what goes into writing content that people would love to read and remember?
To begin, think about a story that you can narrate to anybody right now. It could be a book, a TV series, a movie, an advertisement, or just a blog post that you read recently. Now think why you remember it so well. You will come up with following answers:
- Emotional connect: I still remember an episode of “I shouldn’t be alive” on Discovery where a bunch of teenagers get lost in the Grand Canyon without water, food, or shade in the blistering heat. Now, why do I remember it? Because I have a kid and I can feel the pain when I see any child in trouble; because I have had an experience in my life where our team ran out of water and it was a long time before we could each get an unfulfilling sip. Although, we were waterless for just a couple of hours, I can still imagine how it could’ve been for those kids. What I am trying to say is that if the content strikes the right chord, it will hit the audience emotionally. So the most important aspect of good writing is understanding the problems and challenges faced by your audience and portray it vividly. That brings me to the next point, which is…
- Vivid presentation: A dramatic representation and good use of persuasive language, pictures and videos is essential for today’s online audience. Can you recall the first time you read or watched “Jurassic Park”? You are right, great content must be backed by greater presentation. But, I am sure that you do not remember the second and third part as well as you do the first one? The reason…
- Originality and element of surprise: You are more likely to remember something more when you see/read it for the first time. That’s why web content writers should always think of unique ideas and ways to write. J.K. Rowling has done it pretty well with her famous series of books: “Harry Potter”. Each part has a never-been-told-before story, an element of surprise as well as a flow that smoothly shifts from one part to the next – and yet each book is somewhat complete in its own way.
I know this list is incomplete. There are many more factors that go into building compelling content, and one of them is “conversational writing” style. I invite you all to please share your ideas about what goes into writing compelling web content.
To stay on top-of-mind of your target audience
To be in your prospect’s consideration set, you have to maintain the frequency of your brand communication and build awareness. You need to send promotional messages, e-newsletters, alerts, surveys, webinar invitations, be active on social networks, and do much more at a faster rate; thus creating a need for hi-speed marketing content.
Communicate with your audience through several online and offline channels
You cannot wait to make your prospects come to you on their own; instead, you have to pull them through many online and offline channels including – corporate website, webinars, podcasts, blogs, online marketing, email marketing, articles, press releases, direct marketing, event participation, social media, and more. Bottom line – you need quality content to execute all these successfully.
Arm your sales team with more ways to convince the prospects
Case studies, whitepapers, service/product brochures, process demos, webinars, presentations and proposals – all have to be created, updated and personalized for each client or industry vertical. Your sales people cannot handle this task, as they are sales experts not communication experts; moreover it eats-up their selling time.
To build credibility by exhibiting knowledge in your domain
The only way to build credibility in the online world is to demonstrate knowledge in your areas of expertise. This could be done through industry reports, surveys, whitepapers and case studies. The irony is that the subject matter experts have the hold of the programming/technical language, but not English language. To make these documents professional you need seasoned writers or proofreaders.
Cater to a global audience with the professional online documents
Writing for global business executives is a great deal different than writing for local prospects. The style is simple and straightforward. Writing for the web is also an entirely different area. The writer must know the scanning habit of the readers and place the right triggers at the right places.
Creativity to break through the clutter and still provide information
Most of the people on the net are in search of complete information. By providing it to them, you instantly gain competitive advantage. More information requires elaborate sitemap planning and more content.
Can your marketing team do the job?
Yes, if your marketing team has dedicated content writers. If you do not have a content writer in-house, your marketing team will end-up spending a great amount of time in writing, instead of concentrating on other critical activities. Moreover, outsourcing saves lots of time and money.
Can your agency fit the bill?
Having worked in a global advertising agency for quite some time, I’ve understood that they are good at developing only creative content like ads or do high-end designing. They have limited expertise when it comes to long copy assignments. Ad agencies usually don’t have people who are familiar with IT industry and its terms. Your PR agency can be of help in writing the press releases only. A web development agency can guide you with keyword selection, but ultimately you have to provide the keyword rich content.
Writing content for the web and marketing collateral is a task that has to be coordinated among – a subject matter expert (for technical details), a marketing executive (for that marketing twist), ad agency/web development agency (for designing), and a dedicated content writer (for professional and error-free content).
A brief look at where we are, and what we can expect to deal with in the months ahead.
1. Trend #1: There are freelancers-for-now. And there are those who are in it for the long haul.
You probably know someone who’s been laid off, and now she’s trying her hand at freelancing until the job market improves.
This isn’t new. When the U.S. went through a deep recession in the early 1990s, I belonged to an association for communication professionals. Unemployed people would come to our monthly meetings and tell us, sotto voce, that they were consulting. Which would lead more than a few members to ask, “Okay, what kind of a job are you looking for?”
The consultants’ reaction to the j-word question was predictable. They’d be all over the meeting room, pumping anyone and everyone for job leads. Which made some of us wonder what would happen to their consulting clients once they got a job. (Does the expression “hung out to dry” come to mind?)
Although most of the freelancers-for-now may be a competitive headache for now, they’ll be back in the employment world soon enough.
2. Trend #2: What if they decide that they like freelancing?
You may think that from what I said about the previous trend, that the temporary freelancers are muddying our lovely swimming pool. However, some of them find that they enjoy the life we live. You know, hustling for gigs, pouring their workaday souls into what they do and constantly finding ways to make it better, wowing the clients, and hey, who needs a job anyway?
They’ll quickly learn about what I’m going to describe below.
3. Trend #3: The freelancers who survive are those who are good at what they do, and are excellent at business. Especially when it comes to saying no.
If you’ve been freelancing for more than five minutes, you’ll know that there are all sorts of offers to work for free, or almost-free in return for exposure, referrals, publicity, or future assignments at your full rate.
For example, you might find yourself like the record store, restaurant, or hairdresser shown in the popular YouTube video in which customers ask for substantial discounts off the quoted price.
Or you may be asked to give your work to organizations that can well afford to pay for it. Happened to me this past summer. I was asked to share some of my photos with a local organization. I told the person making the request that I’d be happy to work out a licensing agreement. Her reply: The organization had no money for such a thing.
I guess I was supposed to take pity on this organization and share my work, but I didn’t. Something just didn’t seem right. After all, this outfit has a well paid staff and a nice office in downtown Tucson. I later found out that its annual budget is more than $1.5 million.
As you can see from the above, the ability to say no is one of the most valuable things you can develop. You can say it nicely the way Washington, D.C. photographer John Harrington does with his prospective clients. Or you can be nasty like Harlan Ellison is in this YouTube video, where he describes how he refuses to have an on-camera interview reproduced on a DVD.
4. Trend #4: You’re not alone anymore, so learn to work with others. And manage them.
5. Trend #5: Being good doesn’t go hand in hand with being a prima donna.
Read the complete article here: http://bit.ly/51zjeB