Effective Content Writing Tips for Different Platforms

author imageWriting content for different platforms requires a varied approach for websites, social media platforms, and print collateral. It requires a certain level of skill to know the difference as well as what ways are most effective.  What should remain constant however is that your content be reader-driven andactionable” to keep readers engaged, educated (i.e. informed) and entertained.

Writing for Social Media

Set the Hook Quick -More concise writing in social media (SM) is the key.  Most people are on the move while on SM platforms so it’s imperative that you set the content hook quick with strong points up front and in a pronounced way.  There’s so much content out there so this a key way to stand out, engage and create a faithful reader.  This ultimately affects the breadth of your audience and long-term followers.

 The Risk Factor – Social Media social graces aren’t the same as traditional forums.  So feel free to take a risk every now and again. If you have a quirky yet innovative way to capture an audience, SM platforms like Facebook & Google+ are the places to do it.  Feel free to mix your SM writing with audio sound-bytes or other platforms like YouTube to really engage and entertain.

Girl on Floor Writing on LaptopWriting for Websites 

Standing Out – What ever the main point is of your content, it should be conveyed in a standout way that doesn’t require a lot of upfront reading or navigation. Using bold or differential typeface, different color fonts, graphs, images or infographics allows the reader to get the “gist” or the most important information in 1 minute or less.  Make sure these standout points:

  • include bold statements about your business;
  • engages the audience visually; and
  • encourages them to act.

Write Easily Scannable Content – Don’t expect people to pour over your every word on your website.  Scannable content is engaging content that allows readers to understand the general basis sweepingly, at a glance.  It is easier to read than word-for-word and it allows readers to easily digest the primary information nuggets.

Writing for Print Collateral

Be Promotional & Motivating – Most web and social media content has to appear more informational than promotional.  Subtle promotional content requires a certain finesse and is not overly stated or extremely brazen.  A great print piece conveys to your clients that you take pride in your business, products or services. Your print collateral should persuade prospects and inform them that you have something valuable to offer them. Ultimately it should showcase your talents and strengths while clearly motivating to purchase your product or service.

The Bigger Picture Copy – Print collateral does so much more than explain your product or services. The quality of our product should be exemplified in your content copy and the copy should reflect in-kind.  To me, sloppy copy conveys sloppy business.  Remember once in a prospective client’s hands, you have the chance to make not just a client out of them, but hopefully a long-term advertiser via word-of-mouth.

Tail End Tip:  Make sure all your content flows smoothly to minimize boredom, confusion or frustration.

Creating website content worth passing on

Laptop to the world

Unless you’ve been diligently dodging the news of late, you are fully aware of the rants and complaints to online user privacy. Specifically from users and former users of Facebook. I’m not going to get into that too much because it isn’t necessary and I may post some links to articles you can read if you want.

Here’s the thing you really should be paying attention to; your digital profile. As a web designer and social media user, my information is all over the place. Most of which I knowingly posted and signed up to share. Some of which I did not particularly care to have shared about or past my set restrictions. As I Google my own name I find interesting websites that have farmed my information and added to their sites. Some relevant, and some not. What’s becoming a bit alarming to me is how my “digital profile” is starting to look like a social security number.

Why is this alarming? Well because if you’re one of the millions out of work and submitting your resume online to many different job forums, and career sites, your information isn’t always nested and secured within those sites. So yes, employers are searching for you by name and through Facebook, or Yahoo, and other social sites and engines. And yes they’re finding information. We all know banks check your credit history, but should they be allowed to follow your online history? What TV shows you “liked”? What web forums your signed up to (gun, porn, racial, gaming, etc). Even parents are getting into this by checking out their neighbors, or they’re children’s friends parents, or potential babysitter.

Remember cookies? Sure you do. Just as much of a pain that they were before, they are again now. Through these cookies websites like Facebook can see where you’ve been and associate that with your Facebook profile. They then use that to calculate the best advertisements you’d be interested in to try and pitch to you. Smart right? Haven’t you noticed the plethora of ads in the free apps on your smartphone? Those ads will be getting even smarter soon.

Moral of the story is to check out your online profile. There are sites that you can request to remove your