Welcome to part two of our content writing series! We’ll be sharing 4 more writing techniques top internet marketing companies use to present brand messages in a compelling light. Check out part one, or dive right in below.
Keep it simple, stupid
New writers often associate high vocabulary with high quality. But why then don’t we see more fifty-dollar words in great literature? Pick up a copy of A Farewell to Arms or The Old Man and the Sea and you might be surprised by the economic, understated prose you read. Granted, Hemingway is the gold standard for restraint in writing, but you don’t need to become the next great American novelist to create simple, elegant sentences.
Content bloated on heady language is a nightmare to read through. If your readers have to decode your copy to get to the brand message, you’re losing leads. Save the vocabulary flash for your next Scrabble game. Quality writing gets the point across and doesn’t draw attention to itself.
Keep it simple, stupid. Show restraint with your word choices. That way, when the copy actually calls for a lexical flex, it’ll hit home even harder.
Cut the cliches (sometimes)
Cliches are the nemeses of good writers. They aren’t stimulating. Why feed your readers another mouthful of the same tasteless gruel they’ve been eating for years when you can wow their palate with something original?
That said, cliches are more acceptable in content writing than they are in the literary circle. They can help you ground your reader, especially if you’re bogged down in technical writing. It might be useful to describe a cloud computing service as a “one stop shop for your software needs,” rather than a “consolidated virtual infrastructure accessible through any mobile terminal with an internet connection.” This cliche at least has purpose, rather than being a placeholder for original thought.
Keep things conversational
If you’re writing content for internet marketing purposes, make sure to read it aloud before you hit “Publish.” Though some clients demand a more “academic” tone, it’s usually best to write with a conversational flow. Not only does this style read well in our heads, but it’s much more approachable (and, therefore, engaging). This tip relates to much of what has already been said in this series: practice brevity, keep it simple, vary sentence length, and finish phrases strong. These tips will help you speak with greater clarity and impact, and they’ll crown your content “king,” too!
Understand the rhythm and impact of words
There is an entire field of study dedicated to the rhythm and flavour of words called “stylistics.” This branch of applied linguistics helps us identify and appreciate the tones and beats of text. I recommend taking an introductory course, or even just Googling some background information, as it’ll increase your love of language in a big way. Your favourite books, passages, and poems will strike you on a whole new level. Everything will look brighter and more deliberate; you’ll start to see how poets synthesize the hissing sounds of snakes or searing pans using sibilant “S” tones and alliterative devices. Reading (and writing) will get a lot more interesting.
If you understand the rhythm and impact of words, your content will have greater impact, and your internet marketing campaign will perform much better. You’ll start to see how some phrasings sound more casual than others, and learn how to avoid writing like a knight courting some fair maiden. Let’s review a quick example.
Consider the following two sentences:
- You will be penalized for that duplicate internet marketing copy.
- You’ll be penalized for that duplicate internet marketing copy.
The change is as tiny as can be, but it makes a big impact. The first sentence sounds very formal and emphatic, whereas the second is much breezier. The first is longer, punchier, and more assertive, whereas the second is faster with fewer “sharp” beats. This tiny rhythmic change can make all the difference in copy. The first sentence might be more appropriate for clients in the legal or education sector, while the second would be great for a trendy tech company Tweeting to millennials.
Step up your content marketing strategy
If you enjoyed these content writing tips, you might want to explore content writing options with our internet marketing company in Markham. You can learn more about our content marketing here, or by calling (416)-619-7935.