The ability to tell good stories well will be THE disruptive marketing trend for 2018. It moves content marketing beyond the funnel into true, emotional engagement with stakeholder. Writing is the foundational skill for storytelling, no matter if it’s an article, a video or any other story format.
Of course, no matter how talented, few people can always write effortlessly. What makes writing great is the process of planning, drafting, revision and redrafting. And, not too many people can dictate a story for transcription and expect it to be any good, without going through the writing process. It’s this process that improves our thinking as our thinking improves our writing.
Why is good writing important for social media success?
Every 60 seconds more than 500 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube, more than 3.3 million Facebook updates are made, there are 3.8 million Google searches, and almost half a million tweets are published.
In this environment, getting and retaining the attention of your audiences means being able to tell your story across multiple digital platforms. This takes writing skills and talents across the range of media categories. Click To Tweet
- In owned media, the writer will produce blog posts, social media updates, web content, speeches, video scripts and more.
- For earned media the writer will focus on op-eds, media pitches, influencer pitches, bylined articles, media availabilities, news releases, photo calls, letters to editors and more.
- In shared media, a good writer will be creating and compiling social media updates, blog comments, user-generated content, discussion forums, bookmarking, reviews and more.
- For paid media copywriting, the focus will be on social media ads, search ads, native advertising, sponsored content and more.
How do skilled writers improve search engine ranking?
Despite the surge in images and video content, words still govern search engines. Google and the other search engines have done a lot to eliminate black hat practices like keyword stuffing and link farming, and search algorithms are now based on identifying content that demonstrates real audience value. In short, it takes useful, entertaining and quality information to get a high search ranking.
Using words strategically in the form of titles and subtitles, keywords, summaries and image descriptions all helps, but it’s the storytelling that pushes content onto Google Page One.
How does a writer go from good to great?
The best way to improve as a writer is to write! Bestselling novelist Stephen King told Business Insider that one way to get to be a great writer is to write every single day. He said, “Once I start work on a project, I don’t stop, and I don’t slow down unless I absolutely have to. If I don’t write every day, the characters begin to stale off in my mind … I begin to lose my hold on the story’s plot and pace.”
He also advises would-be writers to read as much as possible. “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot,” he said. “Read widely, and constantly work to refine and redefine your own work as you do so.”
There are exercises that writers can use to get the creative juices flowing. They challenge a writer to invent, compose and create on the fly.
What tools and resources does a writer use?
Great writers often keep a journal. They use it to jot down notes about ideas and observations as they arise. They might write down descriptive phrases or metaphors as they come to mind, and then use the journal for reference when getting down to the writing task later. Keeping a writing journal will help you when it comes to ideation and brainstorming too. It can help in processing ideas, breaking them down to communicate them effectively. It can help a writer identify story opportunities that might not be clear at first glance.
Another tip for writers is to make use of online tools and resources. There are ideation tools, vocabulary tools, editing tools and proofreading tools available free online to support a writer. Click To Tweet There are style guides, and literary databases and content crowdsourcing tools too.
But beyond working with online tools, collaborating with a skilled editor can take a good story and make it great. Editors bring a different perspective from that of the writer. They are more analytical and provide improved clarity and style. They provide a final check on the value of a story for audiences.
Are you sure your social media expert has the writing chops it takes to succeed? Click here to set up a call to discuss your writing needs.