What Is Content Writing? 8 Tips To Level Up Your Content

Writer:
Ellie Diamond
Published: Dec 01, 2022
Table of Contents
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Content writing is the path to stronger brand awareness, better credibility with customers, and more demand for your services.

As many as 83% of business-to-business (B2B) companies and 80% of business-to-consumer (B2C) companies reach these goals with high-quality content. Behind those achievements are skilled content writers — professionals who know how to research a topic and present it in a way that resonates with audiences. When used well, they help brands rise above the competition.

Types of Content Writing To Know

Content writing is the creation of text-based digital marketing materials. Marketers often hear the term and think of content writing for blogs — still one of the most popular types of content — but that's only the beginning. Here are five other formats to consider if you have your sights set on a hard-hitting content strategy.

Technical Writing

Technical writing is any written communication about technology. Many content marketers dismiss technical writing because they don't sell high-tech products or services, but that mistake could cost you an audience.

Most companies today use consumer-facing technology as part of their online presence. If you accept digital payments or allow users to create accounts on your site, you need technical writing.

Good technical writing makes your digital tools more accessible. Users who can easily log into your site, find their accounts, and submit orders will feel better about your company. Those positive associations strengthen brand loyalty.

Social Media Posts

In a 2021 survey, 35% of all buyers and 50% of Gen Z buyers (born between 1998 and 2006) said that social media influenced their purchasing decisions. Social media posts help you reach those users.

The social media landscape is also highly competitive. Approximately 92% of companies with more than 100 employees use social media for marketing. Companies need top-notch content to break through the noise and stand out.

Strong social media content:

  • Uses the right platform. Different social platforms attract different audiences. Facebook is the clear winner for users over 50, while users under 30 flock to TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram.
  • Targets immediate user needs. To stop the scroll, you need dynamic content that offers a solution to the customer's problem.
  • Inspires action. Social media posts should spark a desire to hear more from your brand. Use active language and always include a call to action — perhaps an email list sign-up or request for more information.

Plan to include paid advertising and organic (free) posting in your social media strategy. Use each platform's built-in analytics tools to learn how each post performs.

Email Newsletters

You might already send promotional emails and important updates to customers, but what about regular newsletters? An email newsletter can keep you on customers' radars and maintain their interest in what you offer.

If you don't already publish an email newsletter, start with some strategizing. Determine what you want your newsletter to accomplish — more purchases, more referrals, or account upgrades, for example.

Plan out a few months of newsletters before releasing your first issue. Aim for 90% educational material and 10% promotional. All content should provide value for the reader and inspire them to click on your next newsletter.

Long-form Content

Blog posts are still a content creator's bread and butter, but shorter isn't always better. While 300 to 600 words were once the industry standard for blog posts, search engine optimization (SEO) has changed.

Today, search engine algorithms reward content that provides extensive reader value. Shorter posts are still valuable, especially for simple topics that call for quick answers. But longer posts let you go into more depth and detail.

Website builder Wix gives 2,500 words as the optimal length for most substantial posts, but don't be afraid to go bigger. Pillar pages and "ultimate guide" posts can be 4,000 words or longer. There's no magic number — it's about maximizing value and minimizing the dreaded "fluff."

Product Descriptions

Product descriptions are your make-or-break content. Buyers who reach your product pages are interested in details, and your product descriptions have to deliver.

Descriptions should touch on four aspects of your product:

  • What it does
  • What problems it solves
  • How it benefits the user
  • Its unique value

Be accurate, concise, and engaging. Target your audience's needs and preferences, conveying why your product is the best choice. Show your reader why they need to buy today.

8 Content Writing Tips To Improve Your Content

Although each type of content writing incorporates its own digital marketing strategies, there are universal best practices you can apply across your content. These eight content writing tips will help you take things to the next level.

1. Combine a Content Strategy With Content Marketing

One of the most common content mistakes is confusing strategy with marketing. They're closely related and complement each other, but they serve distinct purposes.

Content marketing is the creation and distribution of consumer-directed information — writing, images, video, infographics, webinars, and more. The distinguishing factor of content is that it builds audience relationships and brand awareness without directly selling (if you want more sales-oriented material, you're looking for copywriting).

A content marketing team takes your content from idea to execution. Content strategy is where the bigger-picture planning happens. It defines what you want your content marketing to accomplish and lays out the overall plan. That includes:

  • Which audience subgroups you want to reach
  • Where you'll publish
  • What kind of content you'll use
  • Whether you'll outsource content creation or develop it in-house
  • How you'll measure success

Your answers to these questions will set the stage for content creation.

2. Answer Questions People Are Asking

Your many hours of content strategizing and marketing pay off in one key moment — when a potential customer sees your headline in a sea of organic search results and thinks, "That one! That's the answer I need."

You aren't chosen by accident. Striking that just-right chord requires an understanding of your target audience and a knowledge of their needs.

Start by analyzing what your existing customers have in common. What are their shared demographics, and what problems do your products or services solve for them? If you have additional data, like which advertisements perform best, that's even better.

Then, take those answers to a keyword search tool. There are dozens of paid and free tools that will help you identify what your audiences want to know.

Expand your results by using the People Also Ask tool. If you enter any keyword on Google and scroll down, you'll see several questions related to your original search. Your target audiences are probably also asking these questions.

For example, if you Google " how to become a content writer," the People Also Ask questions include "How do I learn content writing?" and "What qualifications do you need to be a content writer?"

Add these questions to your keyword and topic lists, so your content comes up on more searches.

3. Write Unique and Original Content

No one gets attention rehashing something that's been said a million times. To catch your audience's eye, you need content that says something new, no matter how popular the topic is.

If you Google " content writing hacks," Google pulls up 51 million results, and only 10 appear on the first page. To get there, you need to convince Google's algorithms that your piece of content isn't just the "same old, same old." In other words, you need an angle no one else has covered.

That's more true now than ever. In mid-2022, Google implemented a helpful content update and algorithm change "to ensure people see more original, helpful content."

Google created this update to encourage content writers to stop writing for algorithms and start writing for people. To rank well in this new environment, writers need to understand what else is out there and create content that offers a new angle.

4. Know Your Content Writing Process

Purposeful content writing produces better results. A slapdash, figure-it-out-as-you-go approach might get content published faster, but a set procedure helps you focus on your goals.

Everyone on the content team should know the overall process. In most cases, the bare bones of that process will look something like this:

  • Research content ideas and identify competing articles
  • Choose a topic and unique angle
  • Identify keywords and create a structural outline
  • Research and write the content
  • Edit for content, style, and grammar
  • Publish on the selected platform(s)
  • Analyze statistics on content performance

Every content team will have a slightly different process. Understand how your team approaches each step and why. If something isn't working, consider how you might do it differently.

5. Blend Multimedia Elements To Break Up Text

It's content marketing 101 — blocks of text dissuade online audiences. Keep your paragraphs short and break up longer articles with multimedia elements like images, video, and even audio content.

Multimedia elements catch the eye and engage different senses and parts of the brain than text alone. They reinforce a concept and can make an article more accessible, increasing the message's effectiveness.

Take videos, for example. In a recent WyzOwl survey, 82% of marketers said video has helped them increase the amount of time users spend with their content. An astounding 94% say video has helped increase consumers' understanding of their products or services.

You can embed videos and images in any article or blog post you write. Choose multimedia elements that reinforce and support your content, avoiding anything generic or irrelevant.

6. Excel With the Key Components of Content Writing

Content creation requires attention to multiple details, from an SEO perspective to grammar and spelling. Always prioritize the big picture — those rules that distinguish great content from a forgettable, run-of-the-mill blog post.

Those key content components include:

  • Providing consistent value. Even if your article or post doesn't get the most views or shares, it's a success if it helps one person seek out your brand in the future.
  • Offering expert insights. Audiences trust brands that know their stuff. Post content relevant to your products or services, and always try to include information the average layperson wouldn't know.
  • Writing about a range of topics. You need to cover multiple industry-related topics to reach as many searchers as possible. Stay relevant, but be diverse.

You get only one chance to make a first impression. Read over your content to make sure it's something you're proud to share.

7. Use Complementary SEO Writing Skills and Optimization

When you incorporate elements of SEO copywriting, your content reaches more readers. Stay up to date on current SEO best practices and make sure your content team abides by them. That includes SEO writing strategies and on-page optimization tips for your tech team.

On the writer's end, that means:

  • Research keywords thoroughly. Find keywords that are relevant to your audience and not too hard to rank for.
  • Add long-tail keywords. Keywords at least three words long are easier to rank for and help you reach audiences with specific needs.
  • Write for search intent. You won't have to shoehorn keywords if they're right for that topic.
  • Add internal links. Linking to other pages on your site can boost the SEO of those pages.

These writing-related tips are important, but they need on-page technical optimization to work well. Make sure your development team incorporates elements like title tags and quick page loads.

8. Consider Content Writing Services

What is content writing? It's a business, just like yours. You can take on the work of content writing, but you don't have to.

Developing and writing high-quality content takes a lot of time — often more than a business has available. By outsourcing to a content writing service, you reclaim that time and get access to expert-level content writers.

Content writing services know content like you know your business. They can match you with pre-vetted expert writers or, in the case of Compose.ly's Managed Service, take on as much content writing and development as you need.

Take Your Content Creation to the Next Level

Compose.ly's Managed Service is your ticket to boutique content, delivered at scale and on your timeline. Say goodbye to stressing about blog updates and content calendars, and let Compose.ly handle the heavy lifting and advanced content writing skills. Reach out today and learn how we can transform your content.

FAQ's

Learn how to work with AI tools, not against them. 

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✅ The benefits and limitations of generative AI
✅ When to use AI tools and when you still need human assistance
✅ Tips for writing effective ChatGPT prompts
✅ 6 ways to leverage ChatGPT for content creation
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