Written content is for decades now part of our virtual world. In fact, I can’t recall a day that I haven’t visited the web to read something – news, an eBook, product info or a blog. Indeed, buyers that are seeking product info online usually ends up reading content on a company’s website or social media page.
So, if you’re a business owner with some online presence, you would enjoy buyers end up at your site and reading your content. Even better if they make a purchase thereafter…
Sadly, the written word has not benefitted much with the advances in digital communication technology. As a result, the winners here are mostly visual, voice and interactive content formats.
However, despite the exponential growth and use of alternative content, such as online videos, voice and interactive content, the use of written content is still relevant today. Notwithstanding, the success of the others, written content that is well planned and presented may render good results.
Indeed, you should make written content part of your digital marketing campaign.
What is written content?
Content writing is commonly used to explain the act of creating written content for the web.
Content writing is the process of planning, writing and editing web content, typically for digital marketing purposes. For instance, it can include writing blog posts and articles, scripts for videos and podcasts, as well as content for specific platforms, such as tweetstorms on Twitter or text posts on Reddit.
The pros and cons of written content
- Explain better – the written word is the best way to represent any complex matter easily
- More accurate presentation – using text, you can present information accurately and clearly
- It’s time consuming – it costs the valuable time of both the writer and the reader
- Not for the illiterate person – this is major disadvantage written communication
- Red tape – with big companies, written communication takes time to get approved.
Examples of written content
Writing blog posts started in 1997 and we are still using it today. Indeed, it is testimonial of a blog’s efficiency and conversion success.
According to Artem Minaev in First Site Guide, a blog is an online journal or informational website displaying information in reverse chronological order, with the latest posts appearing first, at the top. Additionally, it is a platform where a writer or a group of writers share their views on an individual subject.
From a business owner’s perspective, is the main purpose of a blog to connect your business to the relevant audience. Also, to boost your traffic and send quality leads to your website.
The pros and cons of using blogs as content for your digital marketing campaign are:
- Build great industry credibility
- Easy way to add updates and share content
- Good to get higher search engine rankings (SEO friendly)
- It takes a long time to gain a loyal readership and steady traffic
- Requires upkeep and moderation
- Requires frequent content updates
An eBook, also known as an electronic or digital book, is a digitally released version of a book, often consisting of text and images and available on electronic devices, such as specifically designed eBook readers (Statista).
Can you use eBooks as part of your content marketing strategy? Indeed, the Digital marketing Institute suggests that you can use eBooks as follows:
- As a lead generation tool – offering your users the chance to opt in with their contact information in exchange for your information
- To show case your authority – writing an eBook also gives you the ability to showcase your authority on a subject in greater level of depth than a blog post allows
- To strengthen your brand – one of the best ways to show people how trustworthy you are is by creating an eBook on a subject that they care about. And so, answering their questions or concerns in a creative, engaging way
The pros and cons of using eBooks as written content are as follow:
- Easy to create
- Great link bait and lead generation tool
- Easy to distribute and share
- Require some design costs
- Have been overused in the past
- Need to have good writing skills
Product content and guides
It is the content that you write to tell the story of your products.
Product content and guides provide your customers with the information they need to make purchasing decisions. As a result, causal product guides can lead to brand visibility, differentiate your business from competitors, and serve as a subtle and effective call-to-action (Inc.).
The pros and cons of using written content for product content and guides are:
- Quality – small business who doesn’t have the expertise, can use external experts to write quality content for their digital marketing campaign
- Detail – the written word is sometimes better to explain the features of complex products
- Easy to compare – small differences in the features of similar products can more easily be noticed by customers reading the product descriptions
- Not for the illiterate person – product guides that exclusively use the written word won’t work for illiterate customers
- Products are continuously changing – the life time of products are getting shorter. So, product content guides need to be continuously changed. This is time consuming and costly
A white paper is an informational document, that is usually issued by a company or not-for-profit organization, to promote or highlight the features of a solution, product, or service.
Indeed, the purpose of a white paper is to promote a certain product, service, technology or methodology, and to influence current and prospective customers’ decisions (Investopedia).
The pros and cons of using white papers as content for your digital marketing campaign:
- It’s easy to create
- It contains authoritative content that is good for your brand’s credibility
- White papers are great to use as link bait
- They have a great lead generation mechanism
- It involves thorough topic research
- White papers need to be created by strong writers
- It has been overused in the past
A case study is a written account of a real customer’s experience with your business. Therefore the case study describes a customer’s success, thanks to your product or service. In fact, they typically include the problem the customer was facing before they used your product or service, and how you helped overcome that problem (Learning Hub).
The pros and cons of using case studies as content for your digital marketing campaign:
- Emotional appeal – a case study tells a story about your company or product that the reader can relates to
- Social proof – it’s one of the key elements of persuasion. After all, by telling the story of how you’ve solved your customers’ problems, a case study provides the ideal content that you’ve done what you claim you can.
- Key information for buyers – case studies help to empower buyers with more information to guide them to make the best decision possible.
- Less emotional impact – written words have less of an emotional impact than seeing a real live human describe the experience in a video
- It takes time – apart from the time a writer spends writing, written case studies also go through multiple revisions and approvals before publication
- The challenge to keep your reader’s attention – without audio or video elements, case study writers must work that much harder to engage readers.
You can’t realistically create a video without a script, or a podcast, or interactive content. In other words, the point that I try to make is that most digital marketing content strategies starts with written words.
Even more, another thing I love about using written words to create content is that it gives me the luxury for my thoughts to go wandering around. Of course you can rightly ask “What the hell is that?” Indeed, wandering thoughts eventually arrives somewhere. So, getting there, I can relate independent concepts or utterings better in my mind and put it down in written words. Of course also with the help of my keyboard and MS Word, to hopefully create stunning written content…
But, is the written word that what your online customers prefer? I wonder…
Read also: The Secrets of Writing Good Web Content