The vanity of language – why are you writing that?

How do people find your content? Chances are search will play a big part in it.

I’m currently reading The Elements Of Content Strategy, by Erin Kissane. A nice and quick read that reminded me of a few key points to bear in mind when writing for digital channels.

It highlights why you need to have a proper strategy in place covering the creation, management and ownership of your content to make sure it meets what your customers want, is well-planned and cost-effective.

It also reminded me of a few key points that are easy to forget, but should be at the heart of your digital publishing plans:

  • Use the language of your customers – remember who you’r really writing for.
  • Don’t make up names for things – your customers won’t be able to find your products and you’ll waste words explaining what they actually are.
  • Does it meet your brand standards – does it have the right tone of voice and formatting? Does it fit with the rest of your content and marketing collateral?
  • Why are you writing it – is it something your customers really want or need? Remember, content is expensive to create AND manage.
  • Has it got a shelf-life – can your content management system update automatically or have you taken a diary note to remove or update it?
  • Have you wasted any words – remember, articles should be as short as they need to be, not as long.
  • Has it been proofed – spelling and grammatical mistakes are unprofessional and reflect badly on your brand.
  • How will you measure effectiveness – do you have the appropriate stats and benchmarks in place?
  • Capture feedback – do you have methods to find out if people find it useful?
  • How will people find it – is it  on your home page, in your corporate email or on your Twitter feed?