Writing great content for your business is a choice. You can choose to write about something that you’re interested in (and maybe two more people on the entire planet). Or you can choose to research and write about something that your customers care about. If you’re lucky enough, those two things align.
In order to be successful, most businesses will need four key types of content:
Marketers tend to focus on creating educational and helpful posts. Imagine this situation – you’re going to work early in the morning and you’re waiting for a bus. You’re scrolling through your Facebook feed and see two posts: “6 Mistakes Every Advertiser Makes” and “6 Funniest Campaigns on Facebook This Year”. Which one would you read? The second one, because it is 8AM and it’s too early for a lecture. And if you are coming back from work? Also the second one, because you spent eight hours in the office and you don’t need to think about work anymore.
Content that entertains is often funny, highly shareable and it has the ability to transform a company into “a pesona that is just like me”.
This humanizing aspect can be crucial if you want to build trust and long-term relationship with your followers.
Take BuzzFeed as an example. They post news about some serious and important events that occurred in the world:
But they also have lots of entertaining posts on their website:
Therefore, you might go to their website when you need some relevant info, or when you just want to kill some time. That is exactly what you want to achieve with your blog posts.
Content that is created to educate your visitors will show them why your website or product is worth sticking around for. While content to entertain appeals to readers’ emotions, content to educate appeals to their rationality helps establish authority.
When you create content to educate, always have SEO in mind. People will read your post when you publish it, sure. But blog posts that educate are meant to be useful long-term, so when someone searches for “6 Mistakes Advertisers Make” in a few months your article will be more discoverable.
HubSpot has many educational content on their blog, such as this one:
When we say inspiration, we don’t mean quotes and pictures. The best inspiration for many people are success stories, customer testimonials, and case studies. If you’re starting your own business, you will probably find inspiration in how other entrepreneurs succeeded and what they had to face along the way. Or if you want to buy some product, but you are still having second thoughts, good customer reviews and testimonials can be a push that you need.
Exercising can be tough sometimes and sticking up with your nutrition plan can be even harder. Tone It Up girls know that, which is the reason they use success stories from other girls who finished the program, such as this one:
You feel the urge to go back to that workout you abandoned a few hours ago? We get you.
Content created to convert is meant to lead the reader in the direction of some sort of action, such as signing up for a newsletter, downloading a free how-to guide, or buying a product.
Distilled created this content matrix, that shows how your content can be divided up into the above four categories:
Now that you know what kind of content you can use, it’s time to talk about what type of content you should consider.
It is proven on numerous occasions that human beings are visual learners. One study showed that, after three days, a person would retain only 10-20 percent of written or spoken information, and almost 65% of visual information.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that people are more likely to remember the information by looking at infographics. Do you have a data-heavy research or numbers and statistics that can be interesting? Create an infographic.
If you’re not a skill designer and you’re not sure how to create an infographic from scratch, do not panic. Hubspot offers 15 free infographic templates that you can edit in PowerPoint or Adobe Illustrator.
Another option is using Canva infographic templates. You can access lots of them for free, but for just $12.95, you can get access to over 300 000 free photos, illustrations and templates. We highly recommend getting this plan for your business, as it can make creating images for your blog posts extremely easy.
Another research study shows that people have a tendency to lump things into round-number groups and view everything outside them as inferior. For example, the difference between items that are ranked No. 10 and No. 11 can feel enormous and significant, even if it’s actually minimal or unknown.
When creating lists, have in mind to:
–Meet a need– Do not create a list just to create a list, but because it will help your users and readers solve a problem or find out something relevant.
–Experiment with numbers– Top 10 lists are always popular, but do not be afraid to create a list of hundreds of tips or resources.
–Make them skimmable– Not everyone will read everything that is on your list. If you’re writing about some useful tools for digital marketing, have in mind that some people might already be familiar with Buffer or Plann.
And see what we did here?
People love storytelling, and you probably already know that, but what you might not know yet is that best stories follow a three-act structure, a model used in screenwriting to divide a fictional narrative into three parts:
–The setup – This is a part where you present the world and people in it. It should show the normal life of those people, before something happens to disrupt this routine.
–The confrontation – In the second part, a main character will face some problems and must find a solution to his or her problems. The character usually has no experience on how to solve the problem, but to do that, he must learn new skills.
–The resolution – In the final act, the story is brought to its most intense moment, victory has arrived and main characters have a new sense of who they are.
Why is this important to you? Once you found your ideal influencer, tell his story properly. What was he doing before he became successful? What obstacles he had in his way? What did he do? How did he solve those problems? How does he feel now when he is successful?
If you’re writing how-to guides, you’d want to make them as detailed as possible, but make sure that you stick to around 1 500 words. Medium’s research on this topic shows that an ideal blog post comes in to be a 7-minute read, which is approximately 1 600 words:
When creating how-to guides, make sure to:
-Solve a problem for your audience – A guide on how-to-do-something is helpful only if it solves a problem your audience might be having. If your audience are young moms, a tutorial on how to decorate a modern apartment won’t help them much. Instead lead your audience through steps on how to child-secure their apartment.
-Break it up – If things start getting complicated in your guide, break them up by creating visual checklists, quotes or infographics. Or if you see that some subject might get too long, there’s an idea for one more blog post (and you will use inbound links to create those two posts).
A list of resources and tools can be a great way to deliver value to your audience. Are you a digital agency? Then you might be using:
-Social Puzzle to create Facebook apps,
-Canva to design some simple images,
-Harvest to track how much time you spent working with clients and
Share that with your audience, they will appreciate it!
If you, an individual reading this blog post, are using some apps that are really helpful in your everyday life, create a post about that, too. For example, we use:
-Yummly, to find some inspiring and easy-to-make recipes,
-Argus , to check if we’re taking enough water every day,
-Studio Tone It Up to exercise and stay healthy,
-Charity Miles, because if taking a walk instead of a bus can raise money for some charity cause, we’ll sure do it,
-Foursquare to find out about good restaurants and places to visit and
-Depop to sell and buy unique stuff, such as designer clothes.
Seems useful, right?
First things first, you cannot start writing any piece of content without having an idea about what you are going to write about. Set your personal preferences aside. The fact that you’re interested in some topic does not mean that your audience is interested too.
This one is also the hardest part about creating content, right? So how do you find the right topic idea?
Once you start writing, you should do a very detailed research and learn everything there is about your niche. Once you know who your readers are and what they like, you can start looking for trending topics for your niche.
There are many tools that can help you find those trending topics – our suggestions are BuzzSumo, Google Trends and Feedly. All of those tools are also extremely easy to use – for example, just go to BuzzSumo, type in the keywords and you will get most popular articles on the web:
According to a research, 80% of people who visit your blog post will read your headlines, and only 20% of them will read your content. If your heading and subheadings are not catchy, you will lose people’s attention before they even start reading your blog post.
Check this blog post from HubSpot:
Subheadings are making content easy to read, and blog visitors can have a glimpse of what is covered in the post. If you were doing interview for a Sales Manager, you would not skip this one, would you?
Even if you catch people’s attention with subheadings and they decide to read your blog post, you will lose them if the post is not readable. Make it easy for them, add bullets, graphs, infographics and, of course, paragraphs!
Go on now, review your content and make any improvements! Don’t forget to let us know how it went.