Nov 1, 2017

How to Make Your Native Content Stand Out

by Digital Marketing Institute

In this world of endless information, they say that content is king. So you need to write an article that is fit for the royal court. Here are some tips on writing native content that will promote your brand, increase consumer loyalty and drive sales.

1. Be Useful, Be Relevant, Be Read

While conversions and engagements are undoubtedly the goal, good native content should read as naturally as any article. That means the article has to be something that a customer can take value from even if they don’t make a purchase. it could be purely entertaining, or simply relevant to the reader’s interests.

Good native content can be an enjoyable read, a good insight into a business or industry or even just provide your users with a good laugh. It can also give customers extra value by being useful – can you show customers how to get the most from a product or save money?

Fundamentally, good content is relevant to both you as a business and your customer base.

2. Decide Why You Are Writing And Execute

What’s the purpose of the article? Are you trying to make a sale? Get signups for a newsletter? Drive a download? It is important before you start to write to decide why you are writing. Whatever your reasons, a call to action is absolutely crucial. As is its placement and delivery.

In many cases, advertisers will leave the call to action until the end of the article to allow readers to enjoy the article as they would any editorial content but others opt to place the call to action closer to the start to deliver their advertisement sooner. Decide which works best for your product, for the individual article and the product and execute a clear, precise call to action.

3. Know Your Platform

Native content can be used in a variety of ways, but on all platforms, one thing is consistent: it has to look like what people expect to see. This means that for social media, ads should look at home in the feed and, when clicked on, it has to be familiar.

Native content can be used in a variety of ways, but on all platforms, one thing is consistent: it has to look like what people expect to see.

When writing content that will be used on other websites, it is crucially important that you recognize the platform. This will help build trust from readers and will ensure that they do not view your product with suspicion. Does your piece fit on the site? Is the headline a completely different style? Can users seamlessly switch to your article without it being jarring? Read the intended home of the article, learn their style and you will be able to deliver content that readers connect with and enjoy.

4. Stay Concise, Stay On Topic

Like all writing, it is vital that your content is concise and on-topic. It is important to remember that your business is just that – yours.

Your customers don’t necessarily have the knowledge or interests in the minutiae of your product that you do. But they have landed on your article.

Help them by keeping the amount of unnecessary explanation to a minimum and keeping your article about what your headline promises.

If your headline promises Six Ways To Change A Lightbulb, we don’t need 300 words on where to buy lightbulbs. It is important to remember that readers have clicked on a headline for a reason.

But a headline should always, always deliver on what it promises. The age of cheap clickbait (“You won’t believe what happened…) is over and web users are more discerning and will be less forgiving of headlines that leave them feeling cheated or short-changed.

A headline isn’t a trick to grab readers, it’s a promise of content that answers a query, fulfills a need and satisfies.

5. Invert The Pyramid

Writing good native content follows the same principle of any editorial content – delivering your important information first.

Imagine your article as a layered pyramid with the most important information at the bottom. When writing content, we invert that pyramid and deliver conclusions and takeaways first.

That allows readers to know instantly what the article is going to tell them and what they can expect.

If we keep that pyramid in mind, we can structure the article in a way that delivers supplemental information in the middle and specialist information towards the end.

6. Own Your Product

While we don’t need you to go into the minutiae of your product, your content should reflect that you are an expert on what you sell.

Be authoritative, speak in a voice that projects your expertise to your customers.

If they have taken the time to click on your headline, there is more than a good chance that a customer is seeking your expertise and your advice.

Don’t be afraid to make definitive statements about your product.

However, that means that your article needs to be as well researched and unimpeachable as any editorial content. If you make a statement of fact, you will need to cite references that as unbiased as possible.

7. Write For The Web

How readers consume online content has shifted over the last number of years and it is crucial that advertisers recognise that shift.

Your content should be structured in such a way that makes it readable and accessible for readers.

A successful native piece will:

  • Use lists where possible – putting information after numbered headlines allows readers to scan the article
  • Contain simple, short, but information-rich headlines
  • Have short sentences
  • Have a number of cross- or sub-headings that contain keywords linked to the topic to allow easy searching
  • Link to relevant extra information rather than attempting to place massive amounts of text in one page
  • Be conversational and engaging
  • Include keywords throughout the copy, links and headings

Follow these tips to instantly improve your native content and create better user journeys for your users.

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