Don’t extend stories, just hit the point.
Confused? If you are telling someone How to write great content, there’s no point is extending it by explaining to him what you ate last night for dinner, right?
Write content that’s Scannable, It’s a pretty new term when it comes to content marketing, but it’s whats trending right now.
- What Is Scannable Content:
- How to Make Content Scan-friendly:
- Scannable Content has a better way of speaking:
- Time Vs Results:
- Consistency and Quality:
- Innovation And Creativity:
- Using HubSpot’s Content Evaluator:
- How to get content ideas:
What Is Scannable Content:
Did you know more then 75% of you audience, don’t reeeeeeeeeeeead your article, instead they just Scan, meaning looking from one point to another, scanning for points, reading couple words of the point and then moving to another point.
Why? Who has the time to read all that you’ve put into a post? Additionally, there will be your popups, ads and related post links which will be ever competing to grab a click from the user.
So you have to make sure you provide as much value as possible, in as little words as possible.
How to Make Content Scan-friendly:
Scanable articles are those in which every word contains value, a single word of the article should be able to explain to the users, what the whole line is about.
Why does someone click on your link?
So that they can go through whatever you did the whole day, what you had for lunch how your son or daughter bugged you right? Because you’re such a superstar. Well sorry to say but, you’re not. None of us are. It’s the bitter truth.
They’re on a page because they’re confused about something or want actionable knowledge of tips on the subject.
How to give it to them:-
- Break the sentences, having a very long paragraph kills the spirit of the reader. So break the paragraphs into short lines.
- Bold out the texts, so that they know which word in the line is most important, and that word should be able to give them a rough idea about the whole line.
- Simple language. Well if you go on and show why you scored 90% in English Major in Harvard, no one gives a shit. There are so many other options, why should they? So try to use as simple languages and words as possible.
- Enough White Space in the post. Yes, if your page is full with text and text and text, they might just as well go out and buy a magazine for that right? So just keep the distance between paragraphs and lines adequate so that the page looks clean.
The above points were what you need to apply overall, I’ll list some additional points here as to what your in-text articles should be like.
- H2 tagged Secondary Headlines. – H2 Tags is regarding the On page Optimization of your content, also it automatically bolds out the text. So telling the users that it’s a separate Sub Topic & important.
- Description of the sub topic. Writing a sub topic, and directly starting out to list the point won’t do. Take couple lines to describe what the sub point is about. So that your audience can link themselves with the sub points of the sub heading.
- Bold Out the most important parts of the content lines, for the same reason that it should be directly giving an idea about the line to the people.
Scannable Content has a better way of speaking:
- Direct Way of writing:-
This is just to say that, you definitely will provide more impact for a sentence saying “I provide SEO service” rather then “SEO services is provided by us”.
It’s not rocket science, it’s just about the physiology of the readers and letting them connect with you.
- “Talk” don’t just “write”.
You need to make your audience have the feeling that they are talking to you face to face, and not just reading some article in a journal. And yes using Jokes, puns, and things like that is not a bad idea.
- Diction:- What the hell is that, right? EXACTLY my point, technically Diction means use of words. In this sub point, I could have used “Simple Words” instead of the highly technical term Diction and that would’ve saved you a lot of confusion right?
So, use words that are common and easily acceptable.
Test your Content For Scan friendliness:-
So you’ve done all that needs to be done, right? Who’s the judge? It might still not be as simple as people would want it right?
So how would you test if your content Really is Scan friendly, and is able to impart value to your audience without giving them the horror of going through all of it ?
www.read-able.com :- The perfect tool for you, that will evaluate your post for you, and tell you if there’s any value that your audience is getting from it.
See that? Most of the indicators are green, and if it can be read by a 10 year old, you’re doing awesome.
Time Vs Results:
You publish a great piece of content, and it’s really great, and you still didn’t get a thousand hits the first week, what do you do? You quit your career as a Content Marketer or you quit that particular Strategy. Well, let’s see what others have to say about it:-
“Content marketing Isn’t a sprint, it’s a Marathon” , That’s what the World Known Digital God Neil Patel has to say about it. So if such an utterly successful guy has the patience to wait for the results, what makes you so special that you can’t ?
So Give your Content enough time, to generate the results, say 6 months at least before moving on to something else.
Consistency and Quality:
Here’s the point, Google itself has updated itself to such a level, that only the Best content gets to the top. So no matter whom you hire for SEO, if your content isn’t providing Value, it’s useless.
So First and foremost, try to impart Value based articles. There are already thousands out there for Storytelling so you don’t need to add up.
Secondly, Be consistent. There’s no point in publishing 3 articles in a day, and then nothing for the next 3, so make a constant strategy and stick to it. Google loves constant updates , it keeps your content fresh.
Also this is a debated topic about how it actually affects the rankings but, it seems Google loves consistency, so yet another reason for you to be consistent.
Update Old Posts:
It’s one of the most important aspects of your Content Marketing Strategy. Would you believe If I tell you , you can rank #1 on Google, with only around 30 posts, in a YEAR?
Well BrianDean From BackLinkO uses this strategy, and has literally invented it from scratch, calling it the SkyScrapper technique.
He writes only around 30 posts a year. Then how does he Rank so high?
- Extremely Detailed articles.
- Constant updates, on the same article, keeps it up to date.
- It’s better to have 1 Extremely valuable article, then 100 useless ones.
And it’s not even that hard, there always are so many changes on the Search Engines and their algo’s right? So why not update your content with the latest measures?
Innovation And Creativity:
I hesitated a bit before including this here. Upon my research, I found a lot of articles pointing to the need of Innovation And Creativity . Content Marketing is no rocket science, and it’s nothing new.
Here’s an example of a content marketing campaign from 1910, yeah see? It existed back then.
So the point is, just because someone says bold out or follow certain rules of that kind in your content marketing approach, don’t limit yourselves to it.
Surely do follow the rules listed above, they’ve been included there after an intense research of around 6 hours, on works for most people. But just because something works for most people, doesn’t mean you can’t invent something new, right?
Using HubSpot’s Content Evaluator:
I understand it’s not easy to always come up with “unique” “valuable” content. That’s why in this section I’m listing an awesome tool, called the HubSpot Marketing Grader .
HubSpot has a full collection of steps and strategies which are implemented on your blog, or need to be implemented. Trust me using all of these will take your Content Marketing to the next level.
For eg take a look at the below screenshot, awesome tool to evaluate an all around performance of your blog. Good right?
How to get content ideas:
I’ve written a detailed post on “tools to generate awesome content ideas” , do check it out. You can’t get a better list I promise that.
Content Marketing is not rocket science, there are no definite formulas. It all begins with how well you can convince your audience that your piece of content or product is the best for them.
And how would you do that? By providing Real value and not just lines of stories.
I’m pretty sure you would have learnt atleast one new thing from this post, will you be kind enough to take out couple seconds and let me know what it is, in the comment box?