On this episode of 'Inbound & Down,' co-hosts Jon Sasala and Danielle Esposito continue their miniseries discussion about key takeaways from inbound marketing and sales platform HubSpot's INBOUND 2017 conference, focusing on creating effective content.
As digital marketers, it's drilled into our heads that content is king. We need to produce content, good content. Yet like all things digital marketing, what makes "good content" good evolves, so it's important that every once in a while, we stop to think, reflect, and ask ourselves:
"Am I writing effective content?!"
After attending several content-driven Inbound sessions, we learned some best practices that made us stop and again ask ourselves this same question.
"Ending Toxic Content," a session by author, analyst and chief troublemaker at Without Bullshit (WOBS), LLC, Josh Bernoff, was particularly helpful.
"You must treat the reader's time as more valuable than your own," he declared.
This simple, powerful sentence makes sense, and should be in the front of every marketer's mind each time they sit down to produce content.
"You must treat the reader's time as more valuable than your own."
Sometimes, we get so sidetracked ensuring our content includes keywords to help boost our search engine rankings that we forget about our readers. The result? Most of what we read (and write) is empty space, fluffed up, and devoid of impact.
The key to writing effective content is to always remember that we're not just writing for search engines, but more importantly, we're writing for readers, and to help solve their problems. It's a tricky balance, that as marketers, we must master.
Here are several other best practices culled from INBOUND 2017 sessions to help ensure you're consistently writing effective content:
Keep your writing concise and to the point.
Stop using the passive voice.
Stop using industry terms that most people probably don't know the meaning of.
Stop using verb intensifiers, such as "frequently," "very" and "deeply."
Summarize everything your reader needs to know in the first paragraph.