Content – something we read daily!
It can be in the form of a blog, an article, press releases, letter, news, a question, a sales copy or just anything you are reading online. Content writing is the backbone of any website – without which the website is just blank and of no use.
This content which we see online has a process behind it. It involves careful planning, research, writing, proofreading, editing, and finally publishing. Content is used for different purposes and is written keeping in mind the purpose of use and its target audience. For instance, the target reader can be a school student, can be a housewife, an IT professional, a retired bank, a forex trader, or anyone who is interested or needs information.
Content is developed for different purposes. It can be a Press release on behalf of a company launching a new product or an education blog, helping students how to write an essay correctly. It can be a user-manual related to using a product or just a social media update from a celebrity.
In recent times, a lot of content is developed for digital marketing purposes. These are specially written as blog posts, articles, podcasts, website content, press releases, tweets, social media bites and more. Effective and useful content plays an important role in search engine optimization as well. High-quality content is written and distributed by digital marketers as a part of their marketing strategy.
Understanding Digital Content and Its Use
Content is useful information: it is readable, it must be engaging, useful, relevant and should ideally keep the reader glued to the matter. Just as everything else we see online, content must look organized, formatted well and easy to digest as well. Digital marketing is the process by which this content is used so that consumers can see it and consume it. This is possible in different ways used by digital marketing professionals.
Digital content is different from the usual print media content. Here are some objectives of digital content:
- Entertain – Content needs to have an emotional appeal, which makes it sharable. The more it is shared, the better it is.
- Education – This content serves the purpose of educating a user about a product or service. It might be ‘how to use a product’ which the customer bought. This kind of content must be brief and to the point.
- Persuasion – The primary purpose of writing persuasive content is to change the mind of the consumer. This is usually in the form of a sales copy which can convince the reader about the benefits of using a product or service, persuading him/her to try it out.
- Conversion – Conversion content is one which is not rational but emotional, helping to bring in conversions.
Types of Digital Content
As digital marketers use digital content on different platforms and for different purposes, the content available is of different types. Here are some of the most common types of content used by experts:
- How-To Articles or Guide – These articles are simple or complicated depending on the topic. The main objective of writing such articles is to help the reader understand ‘how to’ use a product or a service. These are mainly for electronic products or software which needs a bit of guidance for using it.
- Listicles or Lists – This type of content is in the form of a list. For instance, ‘Top 10 SEO tools.’It lists out the information in a concise and brief way.
- Product Reviews – This type of content helps in promoting sales of a product which is available online. It is generally written on behalf of sellers, with an objective of changing the mind of the buyers or motivating them to try a product.
- Blogs – These are written on behalf of a company for link building purpose or to keep connected with the readers. Corporate blogs are common and written on behalf of the company.
- Guest Posts – These allow bloggers or writers to have their article featured on another site.
- Newsletters – These are generally issued to subscribers with the latest news and information related to products or the business in general.
- Social Media – These days social media plays an important role in the growth and development of a business. Social media content include short and snappy posts. These are basically quick updates and help in staying connected with the users.
- Website Content – This is the content written for a website containing information about the business, its products, answers to some frequently asked questions, contact details and lot more.
- Sales Copy – The primary purpose of writing sales copy is to boost sales. Content is written in a way to help conversions. It takes a lot of skill and experience to write an effective sales copy.
Now, Comes the Question – Who Writes Content?
Now, this is a major question! Content for the web or digital use is not just writing an article or a piece of news. It involves a lot of planning, research, use of keywords and a lot more. A professional content writer, who understands the importance of digital content is the ideal candidate. If you are wondering, what are the skills necessary to write content – here is a brief:
- Excellent writing skills – Perfect English writing skills is a must. Content has to be original without any grammatical or structural errors. Content is written in simple language, in an easy to read format, without the use of unnecessary jargon or complex sentences.
- Research and Analytical Abilities – A content writers analyses a lot of data, classify information based on such data and arrives at conclusion. Researching skills is a must to develop engaging & useful content.
- Generate Ideas – Generating ideas and creating attention-grabbing content is one of the biggest challenges, content writers face. Fresh ideas and interesting headlines do help in improving the quality of content.
- Logical Flow – Reading an article or blog should be stress-free for the readers. Readers do not appreciate surprises, sudden information thrusts, repeated information, or fluff. It adds no value. Thus, a writer needs to maintain a logical flow throughout the article.
Besides this, a content writer needs to have SEO knowledge and should be able to write proper headlines, use keywords naturally, use certain tools (editing tools, plagiarism checking tools) and stay updated on recent developments.
When content is used for digital marketing, the writer needs to have in mind all SEO rules for writing and how to optimize content for search. The writer needs to understand how to measure the results with Google analytics.
Thus, we see that content writing is not just about gathering information and putting up the information. It involves a lot more and needs proper skills and knowledge.