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Everybody Writes

A critical step in a successful digital marketing campaign, that all too often receives too little attention, is content writing. Whether it’s cramming the perfect headline into 140 characters, or keeping that ideal subject line to 10 words or less, those words are to your campaign what tires are to your car – without good ones, you aren’t going to get very far. All of the crafty campaign ideas, flashy email and landing page design, and database targeting in the world won’t save you if your messaging is off, or your writing is just plain bad. You’ll lose your audience before your campaign ever has a chance to succeed.

I recently read a book called Everybody Writes, by Ann Handley (who, incidentally, was also a presenter during the Marketo Summit this year). It’s a great collection of writing tips and tools for writers, in general, but is especially applicable to digital marketing writing. To distill the entire book down to a handful of bullets absolutely does it a disservice. It’s a to-the-point, comprehensive guide that I can’t recommend enough, and I want to share some of the points that stuck out to me most during my read:

- Be brief and to the point in your messaging. “Always try to say it again, in less words!”
- Always write for your readers. Without them in mind, you will lose their interest.
- Ground your content with data. And if research is part of your story, cite it!
- Writing for email? Keep in mind: what would make you open it?
- Be benefit-driven in your messaging, and “blindingly obvious” about why your offer is awesome
- A great formula: Utility + Empathy + Inspiration = Quality Content

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