Content marketing has seen significant focus and tremendous growth in 2017. Digital media trends suggest that content marketing will continue to be the heart of marketing in the years to come. Not only will businesses continue to use content to communicate with their audience but content will also play an important role in helping businesses create a brand identity, build brand awareness, connect and engage with the target audience, build a reputation and increase customer trust and loyalty. A large majority of companies realized the importance of 2017 and many of these companies plan to enhance their content marketing efforts in 2018.
As a content writer, there were some content writing practices that were quite successful in 2017. Here are some lessons that we learned from writing content throughout the year and how we can continue to focus on these practices and improve our performance even further in 2018:
- The Ability to Master Different Writing Styles: One of the most important lessons that we learned in 2017 was that content should be diverse. Content does not follow a single format. If you’re into news writing, you tend to follow an AP style and the writing style tends to be crisp and short. It should also be informational. On the other hand, blogging is friendlier and more personable. You also have more room to present your views and perceptions in a blog as compared to a news article which has to be based on facts. Similarly, if you’re writing ad copy, it is generally more marketing oriented. The goal is to present the features and benefits and to use copy that is persuasive and short. But if you’re writing a white paper, your piece will be much longer and will require more research and more substance. The point is that as we move into 2018, we have to understand the different types of writing styles.
- Focus on Ideation – Ideation refers to the process of finding an interesting subject, a catchy title, and a captivating angle. It is thus important to have the ability to generate ideas and not simply pick random subjects that hold no appeal to your target audience. Some strategies that would help the ideation process include understanding your audience, performing an effective keyword research and keeping an eye on your competition to know what they are focusing on and how you can do better.
- Always be original: This lesson will never get old. It was important before 2017, in 2017 and will continue to be important in 2018 and in the years to come. Any writer who has any desire to be successful and reputable can never compromise on originality. Every piece of content that you write should be original. That does not mean you cannot write about topics that have already been discussed. What it means is that you need to make your content unique and you need to present your perspective and your thoughts on the topic in question. If you do use somebody’s material, you must cite the original source.
- Become SEO Savvy: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) knowledge is critical for any writer who wants to be successful today and in 2018. The problem is that SEO algorithms can change quite rapidly and so writers need to regularly update themselves so that the content they write is SEO optimized. You need to use the right keywords, ensure there is zero plagiarism, and provide high-quality material and in-depth content. Spend some time on keyword research. Don’t go overboard though and avoid keyword stuffing.
- Know how to Use Social Media: We all know how important social media is today. If you want your content to be read and distributed, you need to build your presence on social media. This means you need to connect with people who are interested in what you have to say and you have also have to be part of a community and a network of people who are likely to enjoy your content and recommend it to others. Keep in mind that when you talk about content writing, you are basically talking about content marketing and if you want to market your content, you need to know how to use social media effectively.
Overall, the above lessons made content writers successful in 2017. Further honing these practices will be useful for content writers in 2018 as there is no doubt that content will continue to be a critical component of any successful marketing strategy.