Articles by Month: November 2016
We’re finally able to wrap our heads around the wealth information we obtained from the always amazing Content Marketing World conference, which was conveniently held in our hometown in September. Immersed in a sea of orange, top content marketing minds from around the world shared with us the latest trends for delivering valuable content – from sales to social media to metrics to messaging and more.
We learned more than we could properly process during the two-day conference, but with time to reflect we now bring to you our top five takeaways from Content Marketing World 2016.
- Document your content marketing strategy. One thing that was reiterated throughout the conference was the importance of documenting your content marketing strategy. Your content strategy should be accessible, detailed and easy enough to understand by anyone. When documenting your strategy, include the architecture of your content (like website navigation or pages), the end goal of the content and how your strategy will be governed. And don’t forget about measurement! Set specific goals that can be measured to determine your ROI.
- Emotive messaging connects your brand to the consumer. Developing content that speaks to consumers on an emotional level can create a special connection with your brand and your customers, differentiating you from your peers. When creating or searching for content, put the customer at the center of everything you do. Make your customers feel good about your brand, and they’ll want to share your content.
- Thought leadership takes content to another level. A buzzword desired by most but understood by few, we learned the true meaning of thought leadership. Thought leadership is the product of your brand’s chief storytellers or evangelists, who bring your content to life. Thought leadership goes beyond the status quo to provide consumers with content that identifies new opportunities or shares exclusive insights that relate to a pain or solution.
- Hug your haters. Haters are not the problem – ignoring them is. Instead of ignoring criticism and complaints from consumers, embrace the negative comments. Good customer service is rare and memorable. By being honest and providing answers to your customers, you are increasing transparency and ultimately building trust that will differentiate your brand from others.
- Find your why. Day two of the conference kicked off with a hilarious address from comedian Michael Jr. But behind the laughs and lightheartedness was a serious message any content marketer needs to hear: find your why. Michael Jr. expressed the importance of knowing your purpose and explained that knowing your “why” will help develop your “what” in content creation.
These words of wisdom only scratch the surface of what we learned at #CMWorld 2016. Thanks to the Content Marketing Institute, who puts together the largest content marketing event on the planet, we are armed and ready to create content that matters in 2017.
When you sit down to write, what is your first thought? Is it the topic you’re writing about? Your audience? How often do you think about your level of writing?
PR practitioners are writers. As with many other authors, much of our focus is writing for our audience. So what reading level is optimal when writing?
How to assess your writing level
A variety of components go into measuring readability, including syllables, sentence length, and other proxies for vocabulary and concept complexity.
The Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level formula is one readability test that calculates a grade level based on sentence length and the amount of three-syllable words within a given text. Also, sites like Readability-Score.com are an easy tool you can use to measure the readability of your writing.
Readability or complexity?
Research says writing somewhere between a 4th to 8th grade level will allow you to reach the largest audience.
“Copy that’s 4th to 6th grade level is barrier-free and can be read quickly and comprehended well by all adult readers,” according to blogger Jeff Brooks.
For blogs, you can get away with writing at an 8th grade level.
Contently explains that by keeping your writing simple you have the opportunity for a larger reach. “The other lesson from this study is that we should aim to reduce complexity in our writing as much as possible. We won’t lose credibility by doing so. Our readers will comprehend and retain our ideas more reliably.”
Writing for your audience
In addition to making sure you simplify your writing, it’s also important to consider your audience. If your goal is to reach a large, diverse audience, you should aim for a lower level. If you’re developing a newsletter that will be distributed to a highly-educated audience, your writing can be more sophisticated.
To sum it up, write simply and keep your target audience in mind while writing in order to communicate most effectively.