With people skipping TV ads by using fast-forwarding, with direct mail going into the waste bin, and with online ads getting blocked by sophisticated software, a very large percentage of companies are using content marketing as a way to get their message out.
Content marketing goes beyond traditional sales pitches. Instead, companies enhance their brand by publishing information and ideas that they hope will provide value to potential and existing customers. Content marketing is becoming a central part of a company’s marketing strategy.
This “content” takes the form of reports, graphics, slide shows, videos, etc. But rather than being “hit” by pop-ups or banner ads, the content is voluntarily chosen by the customer by clicking on a link.
Unfortunately, the “content” in content marketing is sometimes more marketing or sales pitch than useful information. To be effective and useful, the content must be truly informational, and it must be professional looking as well. Anything less is both ineffective and likely to offend potential customers.
That’s why it’s important to assure that the “content” in content marketing delivers on its promise and is the best possible quality. Creating the kind of top-notch content that attracts, engages and retains an audience requires people with a set of skills not usually found in a typical marketing group. One of the most obvious is a professional editor.
If you look at the graphic at the top of this post, you’ll notice the term “optimize”. This might better be termed “edit”. An editor can help put a professional finish on a content marketer’s efforts.
In order to produce tangible results, your content needs to effectively communicate a message to your audience. That means you first have to know who your audience is, what they need and/or want, and then produce meaningful readable content, with a message that’s clear and focused.
At that point, it’s time to refine and polish the message. Remember, the reader of your content is trying to find out “what’s in it for me?” An editor often serves in the valuable role of reader surrogate, and can provide unbiased feedback.
An editor will look for and eliminate obvious spelling, punctuation and grammar errors. Nothing interrupts a reader worse than these glaring mistakes. This is the “red pen” step.
An editor will also look for flow and continuity, as well as succinctness in making points. He or she will assure that the content has a specific point of view or perspective, and that it explains to readers why they should be interested or care about the subject. The editor will remove repetitive and excessive content, and make sure that the main points and key details support the purpose of the content piece. Explanations, examples and facts should support these, so the editor might request that all facts and opinions be double-checked. The goal is to develop a tight, readable, persuasive argument. This is the “sharp scissors” step.
It’s then time to really refine the wording—word-smithing, if you like. The content editor will want to know whether every word, phrase, sentence and paragraph “sells” the content? Is every point crystal clear and smooth? Is the content set in the right tone or voice for the target audience and appropriate for the subject matter? Does the content come across as professional? Does this content deliver substance and enhance the organization’s marketing strategy? This is the “sandpaper” step.
Once your content is published, you should get or seek out feedback. Did your message get through as you hoped it would? Did anything not go as planned? What can you learn from this experience that will serve you next time around?
So, what’s required is not more content creation, but quality content editing. If that talent is not in-house, it should be sought outside. Quality content requires quality editors, working with you to product truly persuasive copy. Every piece of branded content in the organization needs to be edited for professional consistent quality that effectively and positively reflects the brand.
Copyright © 2016 by Affordable Editing ServicesShare This: