Everyone wants to write content for their website that is effective, compelling, and connects with their audience. Maybe you're in a marketing position at a small company, a small business owner in Vermont or beyond, or work for a marketing agency. You know that creating shareable stories through your marketing is extremely important.
But how can you know for sure if your content writing is all of the above, or is what I call cotton candy writing? In Part I of the Effective Content Writing series, we discussed the basics of writing content and how to make it effective.
Now, let's break down the two most common types of content writing and determine which works best for you and your business.
Two Types of Content Writing: Cotton Candy and Snickers
Cotton candy writing: contrary to popular belief (mostly by academics and old school business owners who shiver at the thought of conversational writing appearing publicly), cotton candy writing does have it's place. Content writing at its core is made up of frequent posts--blogs, social media posts, case studies, and more--crafted with SEO terms and keywords and neatly packaged up online.
According to curata.com, "Original created content is the linchpin of any content marketing strategy."
Note the focus on original content writing. That's an important key and one we'll look at in a future post. Contrast cotton candy writing with Snickers writing.
Snickers writing: Snickers bills itself as the candy bar that "really satisfies". More recently, its marketing gurus have re-billed it as the candy bar that can help ravenous hunger pangs because, "you're not you when you're hungry".
Snickers really satisfied me as a kid. I was raised by two back-to-the-land parents who were into organic gardening, living like we starred on Little House on the Prairie, and of course, eschewing sugar in all its forms. When I got my sweaty little paws on Snickers bars at my grandparents house or on Halloween, you can bet I dove in with pure glee.
Snickers writing is heartier, meatier content writing. It's text that's carefully researched, thought out and planned ahead of time. It's often used in conjunction with an editorial calendar. The behind-the-scenes work is what makes this type of writing more interesting and effective. At its base, this type of content is fantastic storytelling.
I'm not here to tell you that one type of content writing is better for you or your business than another. As a writer, storyteller and formerly-trained journalist I'm drawn to Snickers writing. But in the past I've worked with clients focused solely on cotton candy writing. It worked for them and fit into their long-term goals.
If you're a business owner or marketing manager and are worried that your content appears like cotton candy when you're shooting for Snickers, here are three tips to help you differentiate.
Is Your Content Writing Fluffy Like Cotton Candy? 3 Ways to Tell
As a business owner or marketing director, you must decide: is the potential for higher rank online is a priority? Or is providing thoughtful, compelling content more important?
If you're worried that you're online content resembles cotton candy more than Snickers and would like a second opinion, please get in touch. I'd be happy to review your current online content and share my thoughts. Maybe we can split a Snickers and munch away while we chat.
Joy Choquette has been writing professionally from her home office in northwestern Vermont for more than a decade. She helps small business owners to cut through the clutter online by creating shareable stories and memorable messages that motivate customers to action. She specializes in the areas of business, environmental and health and wellness issues.