How many times do you encounter content that is just too long?

“65% of people say that if the content is too long the material becomes significantly less effective” (Source: Writing Without the Bullshit)

Content marketing is one of the most powerful ways to promote your brand to your target audience. When done well, it’s 3 times more effective than outbound marketing (Source: Content Marketing Institute).

Outbound marketing (n) is the traditional form of marketing where a company initiates the conversation and sends its message out to an audience. (Source: Wordstream)

However, if the content is not up to standard, the aim of the piece becomes obsolete.

There are a number of things that need to be considered before, during and after writing a professional piece. If you’re like us here at JTN and you craft a lot of copy, consider having a template to highlight some guidelines on how best to optimize your writing effectively.

Having something to follow will ensure that every piece your firm publishes will be of a standard that makes it both useful and effective for the reader.

Just as we did with our ‘Writing a Great Blog’ post, we’re going to share with you some key things to consider to help you write better copy. 

Plan, draft and edit. One of the most important parts of writing any piece of content is to know what you are going to talk about. Planning before starting is vital if you want to have a coherent piece of work. Also think about how much you want to write, give yourself a limit on words so you don’t write too much.

Once you’ve planned and come up with your first draft — of which there should always be multiple — edit what you’ve written. Be harsh with yourself and remove anything that doesn’t add value.

Be direct. A good piece of content doesn’t have to be long, instead focus on getting to the point as quickly as possible.

“Treat the reader’s time as more valuable than your own.” (Source: Josh Bernoff)

Avoid repetition. If you have mentioned something earlier in the piece or you intend to talk about it later on, don’t repeat it. One sentence or paragraph should be enough to get your entire point across. Every word should earn its’ place.

Bullets or tables. To avoid having a page full of just words, consider breaking up the text with some bullet points or a table, wherever you can. Other options are graphics or statistics highlighted within the text. You want your content to look appealing rather than daunting. Take care to avoid writing paragraphs that are longer than four lines, as the shorter they are, the easier they are to digest.

Keep these points in mind when you next sit down to write an email, blog or white paper. Following these tips will help you create content that your audience will want to read.

If you’re worried that your content isn’t getting the attention it deserves, get in touch. A member of the JTN team can sit down with you and plan out a content strategy to help improve your marketing.