white rabbit with glasses on reading a book

Our [Literal] A-to-Z Bible on Copy and Content

7/17/20

Content Marketing

If you read the title, you know what this blog post is all about. We’re not going to waste time with an introduction. We have 26 different copy/content concepts to talk about, for crying out loud!

A is for Audience

Before you start whipping up content and copy, you have to know who you’re writing for. Who are you targeting with your products and services? Who do you want to speak to through your social media posts, or blogs, or podcasts, or email newsletters? Rather than tailor your content towards your customers, focus on your audience

B is for Branding

What’s in a brand? Would a brand by any other name smell as sweet? … nah, that didn’t work.

The name of your brand is important, of course, but branding is more than that. It’s more than your company’s logo, the products or services you offer, what your website looks like. Branding involves how you communicate with your audience, the experience you provide to people, and how all of that is different from your competitors. Branding is what makes you special. You have to understand your branding in order to create content and copy that markets your biz effectively and accurately.

C is for Consistency

“Con(tent) starts with (con)sistency.” Oh look, we dedicated an entire Instagram post caption to the importance of consistency! Make sure you read the whole thing (and give us a follow too). But if you’re not interested in bouncing out, here’s the idea in a nutshell: you need to create content consistently to provide value to your audience. If you want help being consistent, we have a super simple content planner that can help with that.

D is for Deadline

We love a good deadline here at Uncanny Content. Whether you work by yourself or with a team, stick to your deadlines. Be an adult. Don’t be that asshat who thinks that deadlines are more guidelines than actual rules.

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E is for Evergreen

Ah, evergreen content. The gift that keeps on giving. Evergreen content avoids topical references, specific mentions to dates or current events, or dated jokes that no one will remember in a few months. 

To create evergreen content, look within your industry or niche. Address your audience’s needs. Answer questions or dive into topics that pop up often. When you create evergreen content, you maintain relevance and authority in your niche.   

F is for Fold

As in, “above the fold.” This is a phrase leftover from print publications, where you’d put all the important content on the front of the newspaper fold to entice people to buy it. This concept still applies — and it applies for your website, sales pages, and social media captions. Use the power of the fold to grab your audience’s attention, make a point, and get them to click through to read the rest.

G is for Google Rankings

If you’re not #1 in Google (or in life), what’s the point??

Okay, we’re kidding. Being at the top is pretty awesome; after all, the first result in Google gets 31.7% of all the clicks. That’s huge. But if you’re just starting to improve your Google rankings and need to lower the bar, shoot for making the first page instead. That precious first page gets 95% of web traffic. How can you do that? By making sure your content matches search terms (hello, keywords) and that your meta description gives people a reason to click your listing.

H is for Hashtag

Did you know the hashtag was born in 2007 on Twitter? Marketing specialist and Twitter user Chris Messina proposed the hashtag as a way to create groups of related tweets. Hashtags now alert us of trending news topics, blink-and-you’ll-miss-them memes or challenges, social movements, activism, and worldwide conversations.

To use them well for your biz, be specific and relevant. Don’t go overboard and stuff your social media posts with hashtags, which look spammy. Instagram has even instituted a 30 hashtag limit to make sure y’all rein it in. We recommend checking out similar brands to see what hashtags they’re using and which resonate with you. Create a list that you use consistently, so you’re not just pulling hashtags out of thin air.

You might even create your own hashtag to build your brand, like we have for #uncannycontent. Shocker: we’re the only people using it!

I is for Information

No matter your brand voice, whether you’re snarky or inspiring or sentimental or whatever, don’t forget the crucial bit in your copy and content: information. Provide the information that your audience is looking for on your website, for example. 

What do you do? How does it benefit your customers? How can they contact you? It’s okay to be funny, post GIFs and memes, or use unique language to make your copy stand out. Just don’t lose the essential information when you do it. People might come to you for the personality, but they’ll stay for the value.

J is for Journey

Content is super important, yes, but don’t forget about the journey. And we’re not talking about some mythical quest in a fantasy realm. 

i'm going on an adventure gif

OK, maybe Latasha is. But Jess is talking about the customer journey. 

The witty and informative content on your website may entice readers, but are you giving them the right links to click on when they’re done reading a page? Do they know where to go to find more information, buy a product or service, leave a review for your company, or share how amazing you are with other potential customers? Spend time mapping out your customer journey, and figure out where you want them to go from ANY page on your site.

Then, fix your site, make sure you’re addressing any pain points, and that you’re delivering the best experience possible for site visitors. If you feel like your customer journey on your site is all fudged up, we’d highly recommend working with a web copywriter and web designer to create a better experience.

K is for Keyword

Keyword research is an important part of your content strategy. When you include the right keywords on your website or in a blog post, you’re using words and phrases that you know your target audience is looking for. They’ll find you more easily in search results, which leads to more traffic, more leads, more sales…and the rest is history.

Google Keyword Planner is king for keyword research, but Answer the Public and tools like SEMRush are also great.

L is for Launch

When you create a new product, service, or offer, you need a comprehensive sales launch to make it worth your while. Don’t rely on one little ol’ sales page to do all the work. It’s NEVER just a sales page. Your sales launch should include a way to get people on your list, a kickoff webinar or challenge, pre-launch and post-launch emails, content resources, ad copy, careful planning, and strategic social media. That’s how you knock your launch outta the park.

M is for (Content) Marketing

Remember: content is everything you publish online or print in paper. That means content writing encompasses every single piece of information you create for your audience. And content marketing is how you promote that information. How you draw in new readers. Gain new followers. Convert your target audience to loyal customers… all through content.

N is for Newsletters

Speaking of content writing, let’s talk about newsletters for a second. Email newsletters get a bad rap for being outdated, especially next to its cooler counterparts, social media ads, and influencer marketing. However, email marketing is still one of the biggest ROI providers, and most businesses say it’s the key to customer retention.

Email newsletters still work — if you put in the work to make them effective. Provide unique and valuable content. Promote your newsletter. Build and maintain your email list. Give them a reason to want to sign up (and stay signed up). And be consistent.

O is for Opinion

We don’t shy away from having and sharing opinions at Uncanny Content, and neither should you. It’s not easy and it takes practice, but when you share your honest opinion (on things that matter), you create valuable content for your audience and set yourself apart from everyone else. 

P is for Planning

Look, content planning doesn’t have to be hard. Nor do you need to download some crazy complicated tool to do it. All you need is a strategy to organize your thoughts and keep your content on track. To prove it to you, we created a content planning spreadsheet that you can download and use for free. Get the spreadsheet here.

Q is for Questions

What’s one of the easiest ways to invite engagement on your social media posts or blogs? Ask a question. When your followers answer it, you reply back. Et voilà! You’ve just started a conversation.

R is for Read

Read everything you write before publishing it. Read it once — no, twice — more. Have someone else read it, too. Read content by your competitors, news about your industry, resources on your target market. Read books, articles, case studies, whitepapers. Read to learn and expand your worldview. It’ll help your biz without you even knowing it. 

cat browsing military strategy book gif

We’re a bunch of bookworms at Uncanny Content, can you tell? 

S is for Social Media

Ah, social media. Sometimes it’s a necessary evil. Other times, a powerful resource and a rallying point for change. Of course, those sentiments can change from day-to-day, even minute-by-minute, to be honest.

How can you use social media authentically? Whether you post behind-the-scenes details, inspirational quotes, aspirational product photos, whatever: do it to help your audience understand you and your brand. 

Don’t ever do it to fill a square or check something off your to-do list. The only social media that works is the social media that is intentional.  

T is for Traffic

Your work isn’t done after you’ve created and published your content. You need to get eyes on it, too. You need a plan to drive traffic to that fresh blog, podcast episode, hot new offer, whatever it is. No one will know that your content is out there unless you have a plan to market it. So, send email newsletters that link to your site. Create irresistible ads that link to your content. Point followers on one social media platform to that other social media platform. Don’t let that new content go to waste. 

And track your traffic. You won’t know what works if you don’t know the numbers!

U is for Uncanny

The only letter in this whole alphabet that matters. Just kidding. “Uncanny: beyond the ordinary or normal; extraordinary.” Wanna know how Latasha named the biz? Head on over to that lovely Instagram post about it. 

V is for Voice

Voice, as in brand voice, is kind of our thing. In case you didn’t know, brand voice is how you communicate with your audience. The words you choose, the tone you use, your brand personality, and how you make your audience feel. We won’t lie and say that brand voice is always easy to hammer down, but in a loud online world, your voice is how you stand out. Kinda like Ariel in The Little Mermaid when she gets her voice back and suddenly Eric realizes she’s the one. Yeah. Like that.

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Want to attract that kinda magic? Here’s some company brand voice inspiration

W is for Website

We have lots to say about what makes a website “good.” In short, you need to nail down the basics: great visual design, strong content and copy, user-friendly navigation, and smart branding. Check out our full blog post about the elements of a kickass website, but also refer back to this post you’re reading right now because… it has everything you need to know.

X is for (E)xisting Customers

Ok, so we cheated. Sue us. But your existing customers are an important part of your content strategy. Customer acquisition is a big thing, but don’t forget to keep that relationship with your existing customers going strong. Think of ways to reward their loyalty and engage your following with special content created just for them, or that makes them feel like an “insider.”

Y is for Yourself

Be you, and embrace it. When you’re not yourself in your brand, your audience can tell. Check yourself in your content and copy. Read everything out loud. Does it sound natural, like something you’d actually say? If not, start over and try again. And again and again, if needed. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it needs to sound like YOU.

Z is for Zen

“Write. Don’t think. Relax.” ― Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing

Got writer’s block? Overwhelmed by all the stylistic choices you can make with your content and copy? (We’ve been there.) Take a deep breath and just start writing. ANYTHING. You can always go back and edit later.

Phew. You made it. We made it. Now… get to writing.

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