I’m loving Content Rules, a how to guide for creating killer digital media.
Right now, I’m on chapter 4–Who are you? The authors discuss the importance of knowing who you are as an organisation, blogger, writer and effectively conveying your personality in order to engage, stimulate and excite your audience.
Below, I highlight some main points from the chapter.
1. Develop a distinct voice. Your personality as a blogger or a company must be clearly conveyed through the choice of words, word arrangement and punctuation. I definitely believe that Victoria Secret is a young, flirty, blonde with her tweets, “Check out these gorge pics.” Or her product copy that tells customers to ’embrace her inner vixen’ with a picture of a scantily clad model. The 2nd rule in content writing is to know yourself. Victoria Secret knows that she is about image. Thus she pumps out youtube videos and beauty how-tos to address the body-image concerns of her audience.
2. Your voice contributes to your brand and its attributes. Customers will feel like they are talking to a human versus a textbook. I came across this blog this past weekend. The author calls himself the ‘Atheist Pastor’ and one of his blogs begins, ‘Ever prayed more for someone just because they’re hot?’ . I’m intrigued. He sounds honest, refreshing and not like the stereotypical pastor. The posts aligns itself with the mission of the blog which a cry for honesty and transparency among Christians.
3.Voice is something you craft. Voice is created because of who you are as a company but is also based on the audience that you are pursuing. Therefore, know who you are talking to. The writer of the above blog that I listed above used words that people around 15 to 30 use ‘ hot’, ‘dude’, ‘cred’ (not to sure about this one) . He crafts his voice by using the content rule, show; don’t tell. He uses narratives from his own life as a high school student as well as examples of skateboarders and cheerleaders. We definitely know he is aiming at a young audience.
4. Don’t be blah bland. Admit it, you stop reading after ‘diagnostic’:
“Communicative Health Care Associates (CHCA) specializes in full speech-language diagnostic services, therapeutic care, and hearing screenings and through our division, Allied Rehabilitation Associates (ARA)we offer comprehensive, multidisciplinary rehabilitation services…
Yawn. Reads like a legal document.
One of the rules for digital writing is to speak like a human. Have a conversation with your customers or audience. This means avoiding jargon. Write or speak like you are talking to a friend. And tell a story.
5. Take a stand. Audiences respond to someone who has a fresh or different perspective. This can engage, stimulate and excite audiences. Writer Rym Tina Ghazal defends the wearing of the abaya, a covering worn by Muslim women. She doesn’t scream oppression but illustrates in her piece the practical uses for this covering. She is applying the 8th rule of content writing, doing something unexpected by Westerners, and defending the abaya.
Please find below a power point presentation of the above points: