News | 17 July 2019

5 Tips for writing content

A while back we were at the B2B Marketing Expo in London. It was a great event, which was not only a nice excuse to catch up with clients and partners and get an unusable amount of free pens and tote bags, but also an opportunity to discuss some of the big topics of the future.

With over 500 seminars across the two days, there were many conversations and talks around the big ‘sexy’ subjects: AI, ABM, IOT etc. However, it was actually a straight talking seminar by David McGuire, from Radix Communications, talking about the risks that you should be taking with your content which has stuck with me.

Target a smaller audience. The broad-brush approach, where content written to appeal to everyone often has the problem that is doesn’t resonate strongly with anyone.

This is particularly relevant in the B2B sphere where companies can be guilty of segmenting their audiences by job titles and expecting the 100000s of people who have the same or similar job title to be motivated by and interested in the same things.

Stop talking like you’re not in the real world. Corporate content can be riddled with complex language. This is arguably because businesses assume that as they are dealing with experts in their field, they need to sound very intelligent, highly knowledgable, or they simply use internal language in their external communications. Yet humans respond to humans. You can still retain technical accuracy whilst talking in a straightforward manner that will resonate with your audience. David also raised the valid point that the higher the expert, the shorter the time and ultimately less time for cognitive load. So keep it simple, keep it snappy and keep it human.  Goodbye lengthy theses.

Related to this, is the notion that everyone wants to be a thought leader. But when we Stop preaching and start helping, we are more engaging. A good personal example is our Embrace content, which I hasten to add we do try to base around helping our clients, however our recent articles: email marketing benchmark statistics were extremely well received and our analytics suggest very highly engaged with. This wasn’t any fancy musings. It was just us distilling data from a few reputable sources, explaining what to look for in uncomplicated and jargon free language and throwing in a few considerations. It isn’t rocket science but it is helpful and therefore engaging.

And an important point to leave on. Don’t publish if it’s shit. Your content needs to work for you. Write down what good content looks like for your business. Make each piece answer to those standards. Content for contents sake is just adding to the cluttered mass out there. A stat which stuck with me from this talk was that 90% of audience engagement went to 5% of the content. Five measly percent. So kill that 95%, save yourselves so much time and effort and concentrate on what works.

The best part, they aren’t really risks, they are glaringly obvious points which we all can be guilty of forgetting.

Author
Jasmin Gerrard,
Senior Account Manager