Content marketing: when less IS more…

Feb 23, 2021

I’m Emma Hayward, one of the new trio of journalists turned content creators at The Power of Words B2B copywriting consultancy.

As I child I was glued to ‘John Craven’s Newsround’. That shows just how long I’ve been a news and information junkie.  As a journalist in local, national and international news, I’ve covered elections, conflict, health, the environment, arts and just about everything in between. I’ve also spent many hours standing outside Westminster talking about UK politics. I’ve always felt it’s a huge privilege when ordinary people share their stories during life’s highest and lowest moments.  

Simplifying the complex

To get people to listen to these amazing stories, fully digest them, and to feel any emotion, I would need to whittle down complex subjects to what sometimes felt like next to nothing. As a reporter, my entire story would often be about two minutes. That’s hardly anything and yet ample, if you’ll pardon the oxymoron.

SEO vs readability

Translating this for B2B content, clear, compelling copy is the best way to win over your clients and customers. Of course, that’s not always the case. If you’re wooing Google and trying to improve your rankings through long-form, then that’s a different conversation. Although we’d still argue that it needs to have a useful purpose, solve problems and not be written that length for the pure SEO sake of it.

Chop, chop, chop

At The Power of Words we write, re-read, chop, chop some more and chop again, until we’ve whittled the copy down to its smallest, yet most powerful form. The old adage ‘the best things come in smaller packages’ is true, in our book.

Fatbergs?

What I’ve also learnt though during two decades in the business is that the most interesting stories aren’t always the ones that everyone wants to do.  One of my favourites was filming in a Victorian sewer under central London with the man in charge of clearing the mini mountains of wipes and grease known as fatbergs. Exploring the bowels of London was a dizzying and somewhat enlightening experience, and one I’ll never forget. 

Secret writing weapon

In content marketing, headlines – or titles – are your secret weapon, whether for entire campaigns or individual blogs and articles. And for this, you need to channel your inner journalist. In badly written material, the real story can get buried on page 2 and by that time, your potential audience has already pressed the snooze button.

On that note, I won’t keep you a moment longer – except for some quick content pointers.

The Power of Words’ content tips:

  • LEARN SOME JOURNALISTIC TRICKS OF THE TRADE: Consider training up your junior marketers or PRs to write more in-house content.
  • CREATE WOW HEADLINES: Take time on these – they are as important as the 1,000 words that follow.
  • AVOID ACRONYMS: KWIM?: (Know what I mean…?) They’re alienating and confusing.

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