When writing any sort of content for your business, word choice matters. Your style of writing and your content should reflect your business’s personality and intent. Business authenticity is important to consumers. In fact, 51% of consumers feel it's important to get a personalized experience across digital platforms. That said, your content writing should carry a consistent tone and voice throughout all avenues. There are several ways you can incorporate better word choice and improve your writing overall.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material, like videos, blogs, and social media, that don’t just promote a brand but also are intended to stimulate interest in its product or services. It has been proven time and time again to be extremely successful. Implementing a content marketing strategy can produce up to 55% more traffic and 5 times more leads. Content creation is a great way to grow audience engagement, develop a stronger brand presence, and drive overall sales. But, that’s not all. Strategic and thoughtful content marketing can also form a stronger bond and instill more trust among your consumers.
If you don’t have a content marketing plan, there are great resources out there to help you get started. HubSpot offers a content marketing template that’s completely free and worth checking out.
Put Down the Thesaurus
Writing has the ability to bring your brand to life. Good, quality writing has the potential to connect with customers and leave a lasting impression. When you use a lot of the same, overused words in your content, it can become boring for readers. Words add color and vibrancy to your writing.
So, how do you choose the right words? You might think turning to a thesaurus might be the answer, but it actually can inhibit creating the strongest, most natural writing. Taking the time to stop, pull out (or open a tab for) a thesaurus, and look up a word can make you lose your train of thought and ‘writer’s trance’. When you’re leaning on a thesaurus, that personality and passion can be lost.
Also, if you think about it, if you’re having to look up a word in order to use it, then you probably shouldn’t be using it in your writing. The key is to write what you know and then if you’re still unsure go back to your writing, thesaurus in hand, and make the changes you think are necessary. Chances are, your first draft will better reflect your business’s personality and voice than any thesaurus could. Personalization in your writing can influence your digital revenue up to 38%. Don’t get us wrong, a thesaurus can be a great tool when used correctly. Just remember not to rely on it too much.
Words that Work
Adverbs can be great for describing verbs or adjectives in a way that is more interesting. The key is to use fewer phrases like “very good” and replace them with words like “astounding” or “brilliant”. But, the downside of that is when you use certain words over and over again, they lose their impact. Let’s talk about those boring, overused, filler words you need to get rid of in your writing and words you can replace them with.
Important - Everything and anything can be “important” - it’s subjective. When communicating with content, there are often better words that can explain or emphasize what you’re trying to say. Try using words like: essential, meaningful, serious, or influential.
Like - I think we’ve all heard this word one too many times. Whether you’re using it to describe something you enjoy or as a proposition, the word like is overused and over-counted on an overwhelming amount of content. Some words to use instead are: related, close, alike, identical, or equal.
Perfect - You want to describe something and really make it sound appealing, we get it. The word ‘perfect’ might come into mind. However, it is overused and because it is, it can actually come off as less sincere. Instead, use words like: impeccable, superb, immaculate, accomplished, or ideal.
Amazing Once again, anything can be amazing. There are stronger words you can use to increase the impact of your writing. It doesn't need to be a super complicated or complex word or phrase. Try using words like: impressive, marvelous, extraordinary, or miraculous.
Good - Good writing, good business, good engagement; all of these don’t have quite the same effect as some other words could. Trying other words to brighten your translation, like first-rate, outstanding, superior, terrific, valuable, or worthwhile.
Just like using powerful language matters, using the wrong words in the wrong places can actually cause writing to come off as confusing and undesirable to read. There are a couple of main themes to keep in mind when choosing what words to include.
- Meaning: What emotions and connotations does the word invoke?
- Audience: What do you want your audience to think or feel when they read your content. A single word might not seem like it has an impact, but it does.
- Tone: The tone of your piece isn’t just what you want the audience to feel but also to show how you feel about the topic.
- Style: As mentioned, your voice or content tone should be reflected in your writing. It’s what makes the writing appear more personal and intriguing to your readers. It’s important to keep this consistent throughout all of your writing.
3 Tips to Improve Content Creation + Voice
Writing, in general, can be a difficult thing to master. In business, there is a specific ‘format’ or way of writing that is proven to be the most professional and effective...1. Less is more
This can apply to several different scenarios - whether it be a social media post, an email, or a blog - less is more. Being concise and direct in your writing can make a big difference in how long your reader stays engaged and interested. It can be hard to stick to a direct plan or path when writing because our brains move so fast. Try starting with an outline or framing your main ideas before actually writing. Not only can it keep you more concise and direct, helping your point clearer r and easier to comprehend. Stick to the point, say what you want, and then be done with it.
We know proofreading is important, and content marketing is certainly no exception. Your business may be judged quickly (and harshly!) when errors are made in content, whether it’s using the wrong words or incorrect grammar. When you get going on a piece, don’t proofread and edit as you go. Let everything you need to say flow and then go back to reread and make changes. It’s also good to remember that it’s okay to step away from your writing and come back to take another look. You want the content you public to be the best it can be.3. Be professional, but not impersonal
Being personal is essential to creating a stronger bond between your business and your consumer. And there is a way to still be professional while being personal. Sharing stories that can help readers relate to the topic or sharing your own experiences can be a fantastic way to get closer with your audience. Not only is sharing stories impactful on your audience, but it is also 22 times more likely to be remembered. It’s quite literally in our DNA to be more interested and responsive when reading a story versus facts. Just make sure these are appropriate and fitting to what your main point really is.
Content Creation Tools to Take Advantage Of
There are great (and sometimes free!) online resources available to help better your writing. They can make content marketing a little bit easier if you’re not a writing whiz - or even if you are, and want to level up. These tools can help you stay on task, make your writing process more efficient, check your overall writing quality, and increase accountability.
- Grammarly: Obvious spelling or grammatical mistakes in your writing can quickly discredit your information, no matter how accurate and useful it may be. Grammarly is a great tool to use to monitor those mistakes and still maintain your voice. Plus, who really knows if you need that comma? Grammarly does.
- Hemingway Editor: Making your content as digestible as possible is crucial to getting your message across. When writing online content, typically short sentences are more common. Hemingway Editor checks your writing for overall readability by grading your content and making suggestions for improvement.
- Cliche Finder: There are some cliches out there that work, tried and true. However, relying on those alone to brighten up your writing can result in falling short. Cliche Finder can help your content feel original and help you stay away from those stale ‘that’s what they all say’ phrases and redundant cliches.
- Draft: Get inspiration - in real-time -from other writers in Draft. This tool allows you to collaborate with other writers while writing to better your content. You have the option to accept changes from other writers or not. It also sends you encouragement and reminders to get back to your writing while also creating a gamification aspect.
Whatever content you're writing, put a little extra thought into word choice and creative structure. You’d be surprised at the impact it can have and how it can increase overall engagement. Writing can have a magical impact on people. It has a way of helping you feel connected with others and in business; it’s a great way to interact with current and potential customers. We know they are looking for that personalized experience when looking at digital content, why not give them that opportunity with your brand?