In this blog, Scott Grant, the marketing manager at James Hutton Limited, offers his advice and suggestions to help your article to stand out.
Scott has worked in professional services, higher education and loves to write.
Writing is something that a marketing person will do just about every day. Whether that’s creating social content, a new webpage, a landing page, a handout, an e-mail marketing template – we’ll often be writing. As someone who has been writing for around 10 years now, here’s my top 5 tips…..
- Consider using lists in your title
People are instantly drawn to numbers. It’s a fact.
Using a list provides the reader with organisation, the opportunity to digest the information quickly and skim read.
You should definitely try to use odd numbers too – they stand out even more.
I mean, does it not sit uncomfortable with you when the volume on your TV or radio is sitting on an odd number and you must change it to an even number…? It’s because people prefer even numbers so an odd number stands out more. Stick to the odd ones.
Psychology, meet marketing. Marketing, meet psychology.
- Try to tell a story
You’re going to hit me with a bunch of stuff about research you’ve done – nice work. But I’m here on the internet having a great time and unless you’re telling me something interesting to keep me here, I’m going somewhere else.
If you can, try and weave a story into your article. Try comparing what you’ve got to say to an everyday task, using a conversational tone. Then hit the audience with the benefits.
For example, I often try to explain that marketing is a bit like a first date:
- You’ll dress to impress (this is your great website, great collateral, great product)
- You’ll tell your date a bit about you without boring them (great content)
- You’ll be authentic (you’re building trust and being you, you’re not pretending to be something you’re not)
- You’ll ask questions (how you can address their needs?)
- You’ll hopefully enjoy each other’s company (because why wouldn’t you?!)
This hopefully puts yourself in the best position (although there are no guarantees!) for a second date and who knows, maybe a relationship!
- Use images (or videos or GIF’s)
By using images you’re going to get more engagement and it’s really useful to break up your text too.
You can get lots of royalty free images from places like Unsplash, Canva (I recommend the pro version) and iStock.
Would you want to read a 4,000 word essay when you’re internet browsing?
- Use Calls to Action
A Call to Action (C2A in marketing speak) needs to be a consistent throughout your articles.
You’ve spent all this time writing your article – go one step further. Can you get the reader to do something with your article? Sign up to your newsletter subscription, share the article, follow your social media, read another article, open up a collaboration and ultimately get a return for your work.
Also be useful – signpost them to additional content they may find useful to help build trust.
It’s fine to use the same call to action more than once.
- Get help if you still can’t crack it
If writing is something you struggle with, get in touch with someone who can help you with it.
Oh hello, did I not tell you I’ve done this for over 10 years? I’m sure I did. Drop me a request, I’m happy to help you. Or there are plenty of other Knowledge Exchange/Comms colleagues across SEFARI who’d be happy to help too. No point in you swinging for the fences if you’re not holding the bat properly.
Scrolled all the way down here? I see you. Nice work, thanks for reading.
Scott Grant, marketing manager at James Hutton Limited