Here, we share with you some tips on starting up and perfecting corporate content, be it a blog post or professional column for a media outlet.
There is always a story to tell
First of all, don’t try to create perfect content. A common problem that unexperienced copywriters and content creators face is the tendency to be perfectionists — this is unnecessary in this context.
As far as the creation of corporate content is concerned, it’s worth saying that individuals usually view it as a business. This fact leads to such delusions as “quantity over quality,” “there is too much info on the web on this subject, let’s try something else,” or “we don’t have any news” and so on. At first, these arguments make some sense, but eventually, they only slow down content-making. As a result, companies waste a lot of time and resources, publications come out rarely, and it doesn’t help to increase the number of customers.
We have another suggestion: as soon as you have an idea for the content — put it into action. This will help you create a draft that can be modified, and then you can analyze the audience’s feedback. In any case, this will be a useful experiment.
There is no need to wait for a highlight or for a reason to write content. Don’t try to make ideal content, because it may be a real waste of time for you. If you don’t manage to reveal the topic by yourself — relax. Your competitors usually try to post more often than you, do not agonize over creating “the masterpiece” and feel free to use cliches.
The content must be useful for a reader
You should write about what you know. Also, write about things that really burn your heart. It means that even native advertising does not look like advertising.
In general, it means that corporate publications should be of some benefit to the readers. In business, this phenomenon is called “value added.” It is the answer to why people should buy this product or read this article. It is not very difficult to develop content that allows readers to solve their problems or to find answers. In fact, you have to be well-informed.
The first step to success: define your target audience
Before writing the text, try to define your reader. You need “to draw” your reader and be in his shoes. This approach will help you to understand what a person’s interests are. It’s the only way to create “added value”.
For example, there are a lot of articles for business leaders discussing content promotion through our partnering content agency’s blog. We usually deal with the content promotion. Our readers hire employees and make important decisions every day, so we try to answer all their questions concerning content marketing. For example, we tell them how to evaluate the effectiveness of the content.
Our second most important group of readers is marketers and editors engaged in content-making or in managing the process. We provide them with practical advice, statistics and frame their typical mistakes. These tips should be applied when creating content in any area.
Second step: make a plan of the text
The text needs to be logical and structured. The idea shouldn’t jump, and it is essential that the reader understands why he is given such information. This can be easily achieved by just making a plan before writing.
But don’t be too enthusiastic. Don’t go too deeply into details, draft a list of sections in simple shootouts and state the essential facts. This will help you to defeat “the fear of starting from scratch”. Quite often, the most challenging step in writing a text is to begin. But if you have a plan, the text appears by itself.
Check the facts and figures (experts involved)
If there are any facts or figures in the content, they must be checked. An error in the content of the company’s blog or the expert column can seriously affect business and spoil a company’s reputation.
It is therefore essential to check facts and figures, refer to the sources when quoting and give essential links, even if it is a translation from another language. This will help your readers to verify the original statements.
Try to involve experts, if possible. You need to stick to this approach as it helps to avoid problems after publication.
Don’t hesitate to edit
Don’t publish the text immediately after it is written. You will need some time to read it and do some editing. For example, the picture below shows a manuscript written by Fyodor Dostoevsky. As you can see, the author of «Crime and Punishment» did not hesitate to make changes. He added a lot of ideas by writing in the margins and crossing things out, and so on. Use this great writer’s approach as a role model on how to create content.
Besides, make some grammar corrections to facilitate language — Content Force is an excellent tool for solving this task.
Also, show the content to experts, managers or partners before it is published. And they can change a lot of things there. Be prepared to go through the whole piece one more time.
The importance of the heading and the lead
We live in the era of information overload. We are continually getting a significant amount of information. It is just impossible to read all the articles and references in social media feeds, so people have to choose. And the main factors affecting the choice of a reader are the heading and the lead.
Here are a few tips to create a high-quality heading:
- A proper title gives a reader a bright idea of the text and intrigues. A right heading is shocking and makes you click on the content.
- “How,” “why,” “why,” “what”, “when,” “what” — looks good in the heading, because given to understand that the text concerns some important things. Also, the heading should describe the action, and probably reveal some part of the intrigue.
- Eliminate odd words. The shorter, the better
It’s not over when the text Is finished
It’s not enough just to write good text. You have to find your readers. As for the media, this problem is already solved, because they usually have their audience. But the corporate blog is another case — you need to think of involving readers.
You should spend as much time on the content distribution as you do on its creation. In a perfect world, you should develop a micro-strategy of promotion for each piece of content.
To increase the media outreach, it is crucial to choose the publication time and actively spread the reference to the content in thematic communities (e.g., Hacker News, Growth Hackers) and social networks. Remember also to re-post on popular sites — sometimes a re-post from a corporate blog on Medium can bring more readers than the story would have at the website only.