From “care” / “don’t care” decisions at the top of the funnel, to “good” / “not good” evaluations at the bottom of the funnel, effective content marketing often hinges on quick yet powerful points. In an instant, content can connect, or it can wither off into obscurity if it’s too wordy or complex. Calculate your risk – the more components in a piece of content, the higher your probability will be for problems. Quick content marketing, however, doesn’t happen in an instant. It takes practice to instill enough skill to condense complexity into brevity. To help, here are a few tricks and exercises you can use to keep your content quick and on point.
Length Training on Twitter:
Can you make your point within a 140 character limit? It’s pretty simple, but regularly using Twitter forces you to fit your messages into this minimal space. It trains you to work within an economy of words and characters. If you’re already a tenacious tweeter, adding restrictions like avoiding abbreviations or attaching linked images can drive you to up your game even more. Even for longer form content assets like eBooks or white papers, being able to think in tweetable takeaways or sharable summaries can help you ensure that the piece appeals to both the impatient skimmer and the immersed reader alike.
Pitch Impatient Peers:
When it comes to being quick in content marketing, your best friend may very well be your worst critic. Find someone who is going to bluntly tell you if a topic is too long, too complicated, too dull, or not worth his or her time. Whether you rework your point until it wins this person over, or you ask this person how he or she would change things, you’ll have a solid sounding board to perfect your point. Plus, it’s much better to annoy an internal colleague or peer with an unpublished asset than to irk a potential prospect or buyer when your content is in the wild.
Time to Read vs. Time to Write:
How long it takes you to craft a piece of content shouldn’t really matter to your audience. How long it takes your audience to read what you write, however, should absolutely matter to you as a content marketer. You can quickly churn out stream-of-consciousness content, for example, but if your readers can’t easily piece together your thought patterns, the intended value is lost. Stress time to read for your audience, and you can relax about how long it takes you to craft that content. Stress how long it takes you to craft content, though, and you’re just stressing yourself out for nothing.
Use your own target audience’s points against them. It’s no surprise that words or phrases register fastest among people who have heard them before, so why reinvent the wheel? Cliché can be ok if it communicates exactly what your audience wants to hear. Talking points at conferences, conversations on social media, and interviews with customers can all provide necessary insights into the lexicons of your ideal buyers. Plus, content marketing research shows that Best-in-Class firms are 93% more likely to align their content to the needs and interests of their buyers than All Other organizations.
Fit Form to Function:
Never make content longer than it has to be. If your CEO wants a white paper on your newest product, but your buyer only needs a one page pitch at his or her stage of the funnel, do a one pager. In 4 Tips to Create Short Content for Long Term Success, I covered some of the benefits of short form content, but overall, just think of efficiency in your content. How can you achieve the highest possible outcome for the lowest amount of time, effort, and space expended? Plan your content around what your buyers need to covert – not what’d be nice to have in your marketing mix – and you can keep things not only concise and on point, but well within your wheel house of production as well.
Do you have any additional tips or tricks for quick content marketing? Add your insights in the comments below!