5 Tips for Writing Recognizable Content That Stands Out from The Pack
Content marketing is mostly about fighting for your target group’s limited time and attention. Once you've won this big battle and got the attention you want, you have to exploit it as much as possible by creating recognizable content that people remember.
Content recognizable for the reader must be written in a way that makes the reader feel that he or she is interacting with your brand. This requires the reader to understand or feel what your brand stands for, and what separates it from the pack. All well and good, but how do you make sure that your article, blog or newsletter is selected when there’s so much to choose from?
1. Force Yourself to Search for Synonyms
Simple. Elementary. Easy. Useful. Uncomplicated. Handy.
If you think these words all mean the same thing, think again, because you’re probably underestimating the power of language. These words might all try to indicate the same sort of thing, but the various differences in nuance are important.
These apparently minor nuances explain why a designer will say that he prefers 'simplicity' in design to 'convenience’, or why food bloggers tend to call their recipes 'easy' rather than 'uncomplicated'. It’s also the reason why we mention 'useful tips' in the introduction, instead of 'simple tips'.
Don’t simply settle for a word that roughly conveys your intention, therefore, but dig deeper. Force yourself to find synonyms for the words you habitually use every day, then choose the word that best reflects your precise intention and brand identity.
Tweaking your language and spending a few extra minutes in this way will add more body and personality to your text, and put you on the road to creating really recognizable content.
2. Use Imagery
Using lively imagery is the very best way to give your content personality. This is an area where soccer commentators really excel. They will rarely describe a great goal as a "hard shot in the corner”, but revert to colorful language such as "a shot at a speed that would impress the average NASA rocket scientist”. This evokes an image, and highlights the power of the shot.
If you want your content to be recognizable, don’t limit yourself to descriptive language, but inspire your readers with imagery. It opens up a world of possibilities to bring your tone of voice to life, and an opportunity to include those subtle differences in meaning that distinguish your brand.
3. Write as If You Were Talking with a New Colleague
Lots of content makers and writers are only too happy to show off their extensive vocabulary, but in reality nobody wants to be confronted by words such as ‘beholden’, ’thereof’, ‘afore', or ‘hence’. These words are best kept for legal texts or games of scrabble.
The best way to express your tone of voice is to write in the same way we talk in real life, so forget the formalities and write as if you were talking with a new colleague: naturally, without laying on the jargon. Once you’ve dealt with this, putting the identity of your brand in your text is virtually automatic. After all, the way a cool advertising agency welcomes a new colleague is very different to the way a large investment bank or a neighborhood supermarket would go about it.
4. Ignore Grammar Rules
For all the language purists who are checking this blog, we do know how to spell and that it’s poor style to start a sentence with ‘And' or ‘But'. But we want our prose to be nice and readable, and think that a more relaxed style fits our brand. And if that means ignoring the rules of the dictionary from time to time, so be it.
As far as we’re concerned, you can ignore the strictest grammar rules if it gives your tone of voice more freedom.
Writing with the common touch can also help in SEO because people search Google for the words they normally use.
5. Make Sure You Have Something to Say
A blog with writing tips should really steer clear of this boring subject, but even so I think it needs repeating. Writing tips are great for getting a story in the spotlights, but if the story is a dud, there’s not much more than an empty stage under those spotlights.
So immerse yourself in the subject, make sure you know what you’re talking about, and try to find an angle that is also new and interesting for you personally. After all, you can hardly expect your readers to read your piece with enthusiasm unless you share that enthusiasm, so don’t limit yourself to compiling a list of all the things revealed by your research.
Always add value, a clear vision or a unique perspective from the position of your brand. Only then can the writing tips above be put to proper use, and you’ll successfully grab and retain the attention of your target group.