Content-writing techniques that work
4 Content Writing Techniques to Create A-level Content
It’s the dream of every brand to produce engaging content capable of creating a strong connection with its readers.
But this is easier said than done.
Fact is, the internet has grown exponentially and has turned it into one of the most crowded spaces on earth.
It’s no surprise that several brands struggle to produce content that works.
This poses a huge challenge for brands that now face a double challenge:
- Growing competition that buries their content
- Overly empowered consumers with zero tolerance for BS content.
So how can you consistently produce good content that stands out from the rest?
Well, there’s no secret pill that will produce A-level content, but there are a few best practices you can emulate to get scale your content strategy and create a solid blog.
In this article, I break down four writing techniques to write A-level content and further share actionable steps to make every word count.
Writing techniques to write A-level content
#1: Empathize with Your Buyers
In content-writing, personalization counts for everything.
In fact, 87% of consumers feel that personally relevant branded content has a positive impact on their brand perception.
For this reason, it’s extremely important to write with empathy.
After all, Writing is a two-way street. Your content must demonstrate your reader’s plight and standpoint. It needs to be relatable and emotionally compelling, or it just won’t work.
And understanding buyer personas and using empathy to relate to them is one of the best ways to deliver better content. You need to tailor content according to your buyers needs.
Here are a few ways to go about writing with empathy:
- Identifying their stage of the buyer’s journey and identify what you can do to deliver actionable content
- Identify key traits of each audience set
- Conduct in-depth buyer persona research
- Actively listen in on your buyers
Once you have gained these insights, you can reflect this in your content writing by:
- Developing a voice in your writing specific to the buyer persona
- Segmenting your customers to tailor content marketing efforts
- Determining what type of content works best for each persona
- Fine-tuning your content through focus groups and gaining valuable insights
Source: Buffer Blog
Buffer, a social media management software biz, uses guest blogging as a growth hack strategy to concentrate on writing for the people who influence their buyers.
By understanding their buyers, Buffer capitalized on interacting with them through high-impact touchpoints and influencers.
Founder Leo Widrich commented on the strategy they used for success saying, “It’s not for potential customers, it’s not for current customers, it’s for people who could potentially interact with potential customers.”
#2: Tickle Your Readers’ Funny Bones
Humor is one of the best ways to lower your audience’s defence and have them be more open and receptive to the message you are trying to convey.
Think about all the memes you share on social media and the number of Reddit threads dedicated to good old jokes. Even great marketing campaigns have gone viral because of a well-timed joke.
Apply the same tactic to your writing. At the end of the day, your audience is only human—and catching them off guard with a laugh can do the trick.
Here’s some ways for you to discover the right dosage of humor for your writing:
- Find your funny: put yourself in their shoes. What would make you laugh and simultaneously spark your interest?
- Make it work: make sure your humor has the right balance of fun and sensibility, so it doesn’t come off offensive
- Use sarcasm and memes: there’s a reason why Chandler Bing is a fan-favorite in Friends. Tastefully including sarcasm and the right selection of memes can tickle your readers in just the right way
Case: PunchLine Copy
PunchLine Copy is an online conversion copywriting service that using humor to create content that packs a punch.
Their blog is a successful example of integrating actionable content with some good old humor. Their use of GIFs, one-liners and memes not only keeps the reader engaged but also entertained.
For example, in the below blog post, the use of an easygoing tone in the writing combined with a tasteful R2-D2 reference draws the reader right in.
Source: PunchLine Copy
#3: It’s Storytelling Time
Humans are social creatures and once you create a connection with your readers, they will come back for more.
This is where storytelling comes in and helps stir up emotion, influence your readers and gain their trust.
To tell a story that sells, you can get started by doing the following:
- Define the goal: Align your story according to the goal to make it relatable and have an identifiable call-to-action
- Personalize: your story should evoke empathy from the reader, for example, by using another POV or visuals
- Show them the solution: present a problem and offer a happy ending. Take your buyers’ fears and turn it into an offer they can’t refuse
- Back your story up: using data to validate your story can make it more real and authentic
Case: Ryan Robinson’s storytelling content
Ryan Robinson’s homepage, though static in nature, is just as effective as any other blog in attracting readers to his services.
For instance, Ryan shares a heartfelt story about a friend to put his offer into perspective:
We all know someone who is stuck in a brutal corporate job and not living out their dreams.
This story strikes a chord in its readers and at the end of it, Ryan brings it back to his pitch by saying “why do I care about this”?
A story, if well positioned, can touch your readers the right way and convert their empathy into action.
#4: Nail Your Research
Before taking anything seriously, it’s natural for humans to look for legitimacy. They want to know your work is credible before jumping the gun and acting on it.
Cue: research. The foundation to every content writing piece you do.
Research helps shed light on important questions with regard to your buyers and your competitors. Depending on the kind of content writing you do, these questions may differ.
You have to remember: readers do not consume content merely on speculation.
Add extra flavor with statistics, facts and figures to make your content valid. Being accurate in how you source this info is also important.
As you can see their content is filled with data-driven statements—and at no point leave the reader without facts.
Bonus: Create SEO-Friendly Content
Today, if you want to produce good content, you need to think about search engines (or SEO) just as much as the target audience. After all, good content is useless if no one finds it.Yes, you can leverage social media and email lists to reach your target but organic channels (read: Google) is one of the most efficient and effective ways to reach your target audience.For this reason, it’s important to create SEO friendly content that can get you that top spot on Google.
Here’s a few simple ways to create SEO-friendly content:
- Utilize the right keyword research tools to find user-generated keywords and build content that (naturally) includes them.
- Make sure to use a good balance of media such as videos, data-driven images and even compelling infographics (great way to increase reader time).
- Keep your content reader-friendly by following the right formatting practices, funnel, etc.
For more information, I recommend checking out this guide on creating SEO friendly content.
Experiment, Test and Optimize
There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to content, especially considering the dynamics of an online marketing strategy. There’s no secret format that’ll bring in high conversions.
Instead, you have to find your own style and a strategy mix that works best for you. Not one technique trumps the other. Experiment with all of them. Additionally, you can utilize A/B testing tools to test and optimize different funnels for higher engagement and sales.
This means bad first drafts and a lot of re-works but once you find a magic formula that sticks, it’s worth it.
As a content writer, you’ve got to pack a punch with your words. It makes all the difference between your content being A-level or subpar.