Elevate Your Content Marketing with these 15 Tips

Laptop on a desk with coffee and notepad

February 22, 2023

Written by Sam Hoffman

Sam Hoffman is a Pittsburgh-based marketing professional with a BSBA in Marketing Management and an MBA from Youngstown State University. With nearly 10 years of marketing and sales experience, Sam understands good marketing principles and how to apply them to real-world business situations.

Written Content is Still King

Podcasts have gained 383.7 million listeners worldwide as of 2022, but written content is still the most essential pillar of marketing today.

WordPress found there are 409 million people actively viewing more than 20 billion website pages on a monthly basis, with about 70 million new posts and 77 million new comments per month.

These stats are only for WordPress websites. It doesn’t factor in all the additional types of copy being used for marketing, like company brochures, social media posts, press releases, or email copy. Promoting a podcast even requires written marketing copy to help build awareness.

Due to the high number of blogs and other types of content being published regularly, it is difficult for new content to get noticed. Marketers aren’t just competing with other companies, but also with an influx of AI-generated content.

Google is aware of this and has taken steps to make sure human-generated content written for people instead of algorithms is more highly rewarded in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Google has also recently recommended using E-E-A-T, which stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, as a guideline or lens for all content to ensure it is high-quality, original, and people-first.

Still, not all content is equal. Writing for the web is very different than writing for print. Marketing copy is also different from how journalists write.

The most challenging aspect of marketing copy is it needs to be simple and effective. Simple, meaning it is clear and concise. Effective, meaning it helps achieve a specific goal.

It also needs to be SEO-friendly. Can you see how this is feeling anything but simple?

Regardless of your current skillset, there may be times when writing another blog post can feel daunting. Follow these 15 practical ways to keep those feelings at bay and to see results from your content.

1. Start with a Content Plan

Most marketers know they shouldn’t write about just anything. You need a plan. A significant portion of any content marketing strategy involves planning, measuring, and refining. Whether you’ve written zero blog posts, or 1,000, it is never a bad time to start a content plan or review your existing one.

If you already have a content plan in place, this part is easy. You can review it and make tweaks as you go. If you’re looking to make a new content plan (which you really need to have), here are a few tips.

Map out the buying journey for your ideal prospect. Figure out what steps they take before, during, and after they make a purchase. Focus specifically on the steps your existing customers took to find and purchase your solution or software.

In general terms, the decision-making process for most people is something like this:

  • Problem Recognition
  • Information Search
  • Evaluate Alternatives
  • Purchase Decision
  • Post-Purchase Evaluation

Over the years, this process has typically been referred to as a marketing funnel, with Problem Recognition being at the top and Post-Purchase Evaluation at the bottom. Ideally, you’d want to re-engage clients at the bottom to keep them reentering the funnel as many times as possible to become repeat customers. There are dozens of variations of funnels out there, but they are all basically saying the same thing with different words.

2. Discover Topics

Armed with the understanding of your prospects’ buying journeys, you need content that helps reach buyers at various stages in the funnel. To do this, you need a good list of topics.

To find strong topics to write about, start by looking for info that is most important to your audience and that you don’t already have content for. Here are some great places to begin researching:

  • Google’s Keyword Planner
  • SEO tools like Semrush and Ahrefs
  • New scholarly articles
  • Research and survey findings
  • Trade publications
  • Industry news sites
  • Competitor sites
  • Online forums
  • Business leader’s posts on social media
  • Conversations from networking events
  • Webinars
  • Trade Shows
  • Books related to your field/niche

You may glean ideas from other sources, but the above list is a solid starting point. Set up a central location to store all the topics you come across that would be good fodder for future content. This can be a list with appropriate headings in Google or Word doc, a spreadsheet, a note-taking app, or on good ol’ fashioned paper.

As your list of topics begins growing, start categorizing them in two dimensions: type of content, and what stage of the funnel it fits in. So, if you’re a content marketer for a B2B SaaS company that sells an eCommerce solution, you might categorize posts into the following groups:

  • Marketing
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Start-Ups
  • Branding
  • Selling Online
  • How To Guides
  • Drop shipping

You can have as many groups as you need to adequately categorize your topics.

Once that’s complete, try to figure out what stage of the funnel each topic fits in. Meaning, is it Top of Funnel Content (ToFu), Middle of Funnel Content (MoFu), or Bottom of Funnel Content (BoFu)?

ToFu content should aim to be more educational and help someone who is just beginning their search for a solution to a problem. Middle-of-funnel content is more in-depth and should aim to help searchers narrow in on more precise solutions. The bottom of the funnel should consist of things like product demos and video overviews of solutions and more technical content.

3. Prioritize Your Selected Topics

Depending on how much time you spend finding topics, you may end up with over 100 content ideas. However, you can’t produce all 100+ at the same time. Before getting started, review your plan from step 1. Then, prioritize your chosen topics based on what is most important to your business, using your content plan and goals as a guide.

There isn’t really a right or wrong way to rank content in this step. Keep in mind that some topics might be trending now and could lose some steam in a few months. If you only focus on the latest hot topic in your industry, you’ll always fall behind major companies with more resources, and end up looking like you’re behind. Place a heavier emphasis on developing content you need that can become evergreen and don’t spend quite as much effort on trending topics right away.

4. Write with Your Audience in Mind

Everything you do, from the colors you use to the images and words on a page, needs to be created for your audience first. For most people in marketing, writing for your audience is common sense. But it is so important it bears repeating.

Often, B2B tech and SaaS marketers believe they are doing this already. When working with our clients, we need to remind them of this simple, but profound, point. The ugly truth is no one cares about your brand as you do. No one cares about your product, service, or solution like you do.

People care about their problems and finding solutions to their problems. Digital marketers must find ways to communicate their company’s true value proposition in a way that makes readers interested enough to engage and moved enough to respond. This is only possible if you put yourself in the shoes of your audience before creating or writing anything.

5. Focus on Search Intent to Maximize Rankings in Search Results

Make sure the content you produce matches search intent. Meaning, make sure the content is written with your readers’ end goals in mind. This is a core tenet of SEO because search engines go to extreme lengths to match content with related search queries.

For example, an in-house marketer for a supply chain software company writing about slotting should ensure they answer relevant questions and have details specifically related to warehouses and inventory. Otherwise, their content might not show up at all in the SERPs, or it can be matched with a query about slot machines at a casino.

6. Write Strong Headlines to Separate Key Ideas

Marketing copywriters often use several headlines to break up their text and to introduce key ideas. The correct use of headlines helps readers skim content to find the most important info for them.

When writing this section, we explored several options for the headline. You can see the different options below:

  • Write Good Headlines
  • Write Strong Headlines
  • Use Strong Headlines
  • Use Frequent, but Strong, Headlines
  • Use Strong Headlines Frequently
  • Compose Strong Headlines to Separate Key Ideas
  • Write Strong Headlines to Separate Key Ideas

Many of the options above would have worked as a headline for this section. However, they weren’t as clear and didn’t summarize the information well enough. So, we kept going until we had a headline that 1) accurately described the content to follow and 2) was more interesting and engaging. Write as many variations as you need until you get the right heading.

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7. Hook Your Audience Quickly and Often

Remember learning about writing “hooks” for your essays in English class? If not, here’s a quick refresher. Hooks are usually opening statements or sentences that attempt to grab a reader’s attention and keep them engaged. A strong hook elicits curiosity in your audience and makes them want to look closer at your content.

In content marketing, hooks are used more beyond the introductory paragraph. That’s because readers have a short attention span. If you want to keep someone engaged on a longer piece of content, you need to use hooks throughout the article to keep them focused.

There are different kinds of hooks that you can use in your marketing copy, including:

  • Titles
  • Headlines
  • Rhetorical Questions
  • Personal Stories
  • Analogies
  • Mystery or Puzzles
  • Something Unexpected

An important note about hooks: try not to be spammy or seem too much like clickbait. That can turn off your audience. For some companies, clickbait can work, but be cautious as that strategy can backfire on you.

8. Share Real, Actionable Tips

Remember that stat way back at the beginning of this article about how much content there is to consume? People are inundated with information. Instead of writing an article full of fluff, provide actual tips people can use to solve the problem you’re writing about.

Writing content with insightful tips takes thought, time, and effort. It is much easier to write a high-level article with 1-3 sources; that is the kind of content that AI produces. It is much harder to sit down and figure out ways to solve problems.

AI content is already being used by many businesses to streamline all or parts of their content writing. To differentiate your content from all the rest, make sure you are writing information that will help people and not just reiterate points that have already been made in millions of other articles.

9. Write with Clarity

“I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.”
—Blaise Pascal

Marketing content needs to be written with clear and concise language. Not because your audience is stupid, but because people are busy. Most folks won’t be able to sit down and read every word you write. You need to make the content digestible.

This is done by writing in short sentences and paragraphs, and with simple language. We always recommend writing at an 8th-grade reading level or less, if possible. That’s the grade level most ads are written for, and it is what people are used to hearing. Some readers may prefer more sophisticated writing, so make sure you match your audience’s expectations.

Many tech marketers assert that their buyers are a very smart, educated demographic. That may be true. However, there are always younger people entering your industry, or even seasoned professionals coming from other industries.

What sounds too basic for you can be helpful for people new to the industry. Those buyers appreciate easy reading without having to Google industry acronyms.

Ideal Length of Your Content

In school, we would often ask, “How long does it need to be?” when we had to write an essay. One of my English teachers would always respond with this famous quote: “Like a girl’s skirt—long enough to cover the subject, but short enough to keep it interesting.” While that’s a funny saying, it’s a good rule of thumb and is backed by some data.

Backlinko’s content study found that long-form content gets an average of 77.2% more links than short articles. However, Medium discovered engagement will drop for posts with a reading time longer than seven minutes.

Every piece of content is different and serves a different purpose. Some topics need to be longer, and others can be covered in a few hundred words. In our opinion, the sweet spot tends to be somewhere between 1,300-1,500 words for most blog posts, but some can be longer. Ebooks and other long-form content will have higher word counts since this content is often consumed by a more highly engaged audience toward the bottom of the content funnel.

10. Where’s the Evidence?

Some marketing topics, like this one, don’t always need cited sources. This is one example where it isn’t needed because the experts are the sources. However, aside from opinion pieces or interview-style blogs, it is best to back up your claims with data from other sources.

This has a few benefits. First, it validates that you are well-researched, which builds credibility. It also gives you an opportunity to boost your SEO rankings by adding links to your articles. Lastly, facts and figures make you more believable and can help you get buy-in from your readers.

11. Optimize Your Content with Links

If you’re following tip number 10, you should give credit to your sources. Citing sources in marketing copy is as simple as hyperlinking to the original article. For SEO purposes, you should also find ways to link to other content on your own site. Again, having links to your site and others keeps your readers engaged and can help improve your SEO positions in the SERPs.

12. Proofread and Edit Before Going Live

This tip is straightforward but very important. Content with mistakes can turn people away. Review, edit, and revise your content before making it live. Ensure everything is spelled correctly and there aren’t any grammatical errors.

Not everyone is a gifted editor. Hire a part-time freelance editor if you can’t do this well enough yourself.

However, try to avoid getting too carried away with making the content perfect. It may never be “perfect,” but at some point, it must be good enough to publish. We once had a client that had 5 or more people review and edit content for every blog post.

This bureaucratic approach resulted in long lead times, with pushback and pressure from numerous people defending their pride. Don’t go that far.

Your content should always be error-free. But once it is acceptable to your team, it’s time to make it live.

13. Create a Distribution Plan

Now you are ready to make your content live. Clicking “publish” on your WordPress site is only step one in that process. You need to distribute your content on the channels that matter most to your readers so they can see it, read it, and take the action you want them to.

A distribution plan doesn’t need to be super detailed. It is just a list of places online to distribute your content. The most common channels are email and social media, in addition to your website of course. Some content is better suited for certain platforms over others, so keep that in mind when scheduling social media posts for your content.

Also, use Google Search Console to request indexing of your new content. This will add it to Google’s priority crawl, ensuring it gets indexed sooner rather than later. Once your content is indexed by search engines, it can be found online easier by people who aren’t currently subscribed to your brand.

14. Repurpose Content for Other Channels

After your content is published and you know where you want to post it, consider what format is best for each platform. For example, can you make an infographic out of your content for Facebook or Instagram? Can it become a video for TikTok, Instagram, or YouTube? Are there key facts you can share on Twitter?

Leverage the power of each platform you want to utilize to your advantage to get the highest amount of engagement possible.

15. Measure & Refine

Seasoned marketers know a major part of the job is measuring, tweaking, re-measuring, and documenting successes and failures of campaigns to achieve the best results possible. After you have spent hours making a new piece of content, you should revisit it often to see how it can be further improved.

If a particular article or social post didn’t perform as expected, see what you can glean from the data. Treat your campaigns like an evolving experiment and hone your skills over time.

Unlock the Power of E-E-A-T and People-First Content for Your Business

Effective content writing is crucial for businesses looking to succeed in today’s highly competitive digital landscape. Crafting engaging, high-quality, people-first content that resonates with your target audience will drive traffic to your website, boost your search engine rankings, and ultimately convert more leads into customers.

By following the tips and strategies outlined in this article, you can elevate your content writing and create compelling copy that engages, informs, and inspires your audience. Whether you’re writing blog posts, social media content, or website copy, the key is to focus on delivering value to your audience and telling a story that resonates with them.

If you’re struggling with content writing or simply don’t have the time or resources to do it effectively, consider reaching out to a professional content writing service. At Creative Stream Marketing, we specialize in creating customized content strategies that drive results for businesses of all sizes.

Elevate Your Content Marketing

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you elevate your content writing and take your business to the next level. Follow us on social or subscribe to our email list to get other great tips for free.


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