Six Easy Tips To Make Your Writing More Effective

Writing effective content is paramount for businesses looking to expand their social media presence. By engaging your customers with insightful and well-written brand messages, you are also increasing the recognition and overall credibility of your brand. In an ever-growing marketplace of niche and emerging brands, brand credibility is key.  

Of course, most of your brand’s credibility comes from the actual product or service you are providing. Therefore, your content should also keep customers in the loop about upcoming events, specials and news, etc. Additionally, with Facebook and other networks now being used as feedback forums, it’s important that you respond to this customer feedback effectively. Online communication does not have to be overly difficult, however. Here are eight starter tips to writing more effective content online.

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PLAN YOUR CONTENT

I have written previously about the importance of following and maintaining a content plan. A content plan allows you to post content around important dates and events in your business, while also giving you the flexibility to share this across multiple platforms. This flexibility comes from understanding or completing your brand’s messaging framework, which allows you to effectively communicate your brand’s key messages and adapt them for different marketing channels. For example, Nike’s content differs greatly across their television, print and social media campaigns, but they all incorporate the same messages about product performance and their slogan, “just do it.” 

FOLLOW A SET STRUCTURE

While it’s important to be creative and add that human element to your work, some rules never change. These rules are there to make life easier for the reader, by enabling them to focus on the content rather than trying to keep track of everything. Our blog follows a standard 800-word template with an introduction, key points and conclusion. Online content with more than 800 words can lose the readers’ attention, while less can impact the article’s overall SEO ranking (that’s a whole other kettle of fish for another day…)

Likewise, 40 characters should suffice for a simple social media post. You can adapt the rules for longer posts, but try not to have any sentences longer than 15 words. Hashtags should be limited to 1-3 per post, with at least 1 being used at the end of the post. Using more than 3 hashtags makes you look unprofessional and desperate for likes. Simply keeping copies of, or creating templates for your content provides you with a basis for consistency and readability. 

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MAKE EVERY WORD COUNT

I cannot understate the importance of making every word count, particularly on social media. With a 15-word limit per sentence, you have a short space to effectively communicate your message. Take this example of a community organisation posting on Facebook:

Today we caught the bus to Queens Park and enjoyed a barbeque lunch. After looking at the animal nursery, we finished off the day with a game of football. Everyone had a great day! 

It’s not bad, but it could be improved. Simply re-wording, re-positioning or removing some of the underlined content will make this post a lot more readable. Try this instead:

Great day today at Queens Park! After enjoying a BBQ lunch, we walked through the nursery and played some football.  

Assuming they have included some photos, they do not have to be overly wordy or descriptive. 

CONSIDER YOUR ‘SELLING WORDS’

Making every word count isn’t just a numbers game. Gaining your reader’s attention also requires well-written content, containing a selection of ‘selling’ words. Selling words are just that: they sell. If we look again at the community organisation example, I have highlighted the selling words in bold.

Great day today at Queens Park! After enjoying a BBQ lunch, we walked through the nursery and played some football.  

These selling words are appropriate for families and young people. Notice also how they appear at the start and finish of each sentence. Other examples of selling words are love, new, exciting, sale, opportunity, special, etc. 

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PROOF YOUR WRITING 

Before you post anything online, you should always proof your work. Is it factually correct? Does it read well? The two types of editing that all content writers should be doing are macro- and micro-editing. Read through your post as if you are a member of the audience. Can you follow it all the way through? Do you get the right message? Once you do, you can then micro-edit your work for any spelling or grammar mistakes. They do pop up, trust me! It’s all about finding that balance between being engaging and professional in your writing.

MONITOR YOUR CONTENT

Finally, you should monitor your content once it’s published. What works? What doesn’t? What feedback (if any) are you getting? Having a strong framework in place will allow you to write more effective content and engage your audience.