Writing Killer Content Across Platforms: A Quick Guide

Nov 10, 2020 | Agency Blog, Content Marketing

Speeding in a school zone.

Diving into the shallow end of a swimming pool. Refusing to wear a mask in the times of COVID-19. Posting a one-page flyer to your Instagram.

All varying levels of bad ideas.

Unlike the other bad ideas on the list, flyers on your social media pages aren’t likely to cause anyone bodily harm. But they can certainly limit opportunities to engage with prospective customers who come to Instagram looking for pretty pictures … and scroll right on by your long, wordy flyer.  

In this article, we talked a little bit about the Marketing Rule of Seven. Although it might take an average of seven interactions with your brand before a prospect buys from you, it’s still not advisable to cut and paste your content so it appears exactly the same across seven of your channels. Creating content that generates the right response takes a real understanding of how to treat the different platforms you’ll be working with. Here are quick tips for writing for seven of the most frequently used content marketing mediums. 

Facebook

Keep your Facebook posts positive – the posts that get the most likes, comments and shares are usually inspirational or funny.

And don’t forget to include an engaging image. Click here for tips from Facebook to help you select the right images for ads and posts.

If your goal is to post content that drives conversions (like click-throughs to your website or newsletter sign-ups), make sure you keep your posts short (no more than 200 characters) with a clear call to action. Offer enough valuable information in your Facebook post to catch your audience’s attention, but only enough to entice them to click your website link for more. Make sure you include the URL to the site you want to direct them to.

Expert tip: Eighty-eight percent of Facebook users access their accounts from a mobile device, so keep this in mind when creating your content. Always test your post on a mobile device before going live to ensure your imagery displays properly and your text lays out correctly. Consider including a vertically filmed video for easier viewing on mobile devices.

Twitter

Twitter is a highly personal platform designed for mobile users

and is intended to promote short (240 maximum characters per tweet) conversations. “Conversational” is the key to keep in mind when you’re tweeting and retweeting – be professional without being overly formal and reply to @mentions and direct messages quickly. Most Twitter users expect a response to their requests within 24 hours. Having a sense of humor is a big plus for using Twitter, as long as you keep it appropriate.

Use a tool like Bitly to shorten URLs without giving up too much space in your character count-limited tweet. You’ll want to leave room for trending hashtags to make it easier for other Twitter users to find and interact with you. Add an image, video or GIF to help boost performance.

Expert tip: Because Twitter is so conversational, try to connect the content you want to publish with current events or trending searches whenever possible. As mentioned above, make sure you include hashtags. Check Google Trends for ideas, but stay away from topics that could potentially generate negative comments and engagement, like politics.  

Instagram

You may be asking, “Why do I need to know how to write for Instagram if it’s all about the pictures?”

And that’s a good question. The quality of your Instagram images can be a big differentiator in gaining followers and generating interest in your brand. But the caption is where you can give a voice to the visuals and include calls to action.

According to HubSpot, more than 83% of Instagram users have discovered a new product or service on the platform. If this were your product or service, you’d want to attract prospects with beautiful imagery and then tell them the steps to take to buy or use your product or service. Keep in mind that you’re unable to include URLs in your captions on Instagram, so make sure to include a “click link in bio” call to action and place the desired URL in your bio.

Expert tip: Although the maximum character count for an Instagram caption is 2,200 characters, try to keep your character count to 125 or less to avoid truncation. Captions usually cut off in users’ feeds after three or four lines of text.

LinkedIn

Per day, people spend an average of almost an hour on YouTube, more than 30 minutes on Facebook, and more than 30 minutes on Instagram.

LinkedIn is different, with most users spending less than two hours per week on the platform. But don’t give up on your LinkedIn posts just yet! People are still there; they just tend to use this platform more quickly and efficiently.

Because LinkedIn is a social platform for business professionals, save your cat photos for Facebook (unless your business is a cat café). In fact, save all of your photos for other platforms. Basic text posts tend to generate more likes, comments and views than any other form of content on LinkedIn. But don’t leave out the emojis. When you’re creating a post, try a list format with eye-catching emoji bullet points, similar to this one from Mindi Zissman. Also, double-space the lines – it keeps people on your post longer. 

Expert tip: Generate conversations and engagement by including a question at the end of your post or by mentioning connections and other LinkedIn members.

Print Collateral

Even in the digital era, print collateral isn’t dead.

Everyone prefers to receive their information differently, so it’s important to have well-written printed materials that complement your digital messages.

A great print piece shows customers that you take pride in your business, products or services. You should also make sure it conveys the benefits of your services to them, so feature those clearly and prominently. Including helpful information in your printed piece will encourage your customers to hold on to it longer or share it with others. A great example of this is the Fearless Flyer from Trader Joe’s – a mix of product promotions, recipes and copy that’s downright fun.

Expert Tip: Don’t forget to link your physical collateral to your digital messages with a QR code or URL. It gives your customers and prospects a call to action and helps you determine the effectiveness of your print marketing efforts.

Email

You can create the most well-written, visually engaging email in the world,

but it’s critical to make sure your subject line is equally engaging. No one will read your email if you didn’t pique enough interest to open it. Keep your subject line to 50 characters or less, using actionable information and personalizing when possible. And don’t forget to include a super subject line, the line of text above the “view it in your browser” copy. If an email doesn’t load, your super subject line will sum up the main message and link to the URL you designate.

Once readers get past the subject line (yay!), keep them engaged with relevant copy written in the second person. Use the pronouns you, your and yours to orient copy toward the reader. Be sure to talk about the benefits your products and services can offer to the reader rather than focusing on the features.

Expert tip: Keep your message concise, clickable and mobile-friendly. Emails that display incorrectly on mobile are likely to be deleted within three seconds and could potentially cause as many as 15% of your readers to unsubscribe.

Blogs

Blogging on relevant topics will help you build relevance

so you rank for more search queries and build authority so you rank higher in search engines. Every new blog post is one more indexed page on your website. It’s also one more place to rank in the search engines and drive organic traffic to your website. People naturally want to share blog posts on social media.

When writing a blog post, mention your keyword at a normal cadence throughout the body of your post, or consider writing synonyms of your keyword to avoid keyword stuffing. Use subheads and bullet points or numbered lists, which are easier for readers to digest and also help your SEO, as subheads signal to Google what the section is about. Use visuals and multimedia as a featured image and throughout the blog post to break up paragraphs.

Expert Tip: Bold important text to help your readers understand key takeaways.

 

If you need help adjusting your messaging to different platforms, contact Vela today. Our copywriters and digital strategists are well-versed in reaching audiences across many mediums.

Keep an eye on our blog here for the last post in our Content Marketing series on November 24, which will cover content promotion and reporting.

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