Pull up a chair and sit down. Ann Handley is one of the world’s leading content marketing experts, and her mission is to help businesses create content that has value. She’s written one of the key books on content marketing: Content Rules, and she’s also the author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller Everybody Writes. She also happens to have been given the honor of the most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine. Ann Handley has content marketing credibility. If you were to ask her for some wisdom for your business, what would she tell you?

It’s All About the Story

Ann says that “each of you has your own unique voice and look at the world.” Your content is about telling your story and sharing your views of the world with others. Consider what stories you have to tell. In her blog, she describes a favorite restaurant: “the scallops are presented tableside, still quivering.” She builds a storyline that links that restaurant with a strong brand identity. Every piece of content should invite your readers in with its story, slowly building the brand’s character and inviting your readers into your secrets.

Keep the Meat on Those Bones

Short and sweet is the name of the internet game, right? Right and wrong. According to Ann Handley’s website, “long-form news articles get roughly the same number of mobile visitors as short-form articles, but they garner twice as much engaged time.” Don’t be afraid to keep the meat on the content you create. It will not appeal to everyone, but those who love it will love you more for creating rich, meaty content.

Write Like a Real Human

You may be writing your content so that you can cultivate sales, but you don’t need to write it that way. Ann Handley’s Content Rules Book tells the scary story of Frankenspeak: “Frankenspeak is convoluted text that doesn’t sound like it was spoken by a human, but instead sounds like it was created in a laboratory.” It involves words like “mission-critical,” which sound pretentious and don’t add any value to the discussion. Instead of writing only to sell, woo your readers with engaging writing that speaks to them, human to human.

ice cream cone

Mmmm… a delicious cone of Nope.

It’s Not All Or Nothing

Recently, Ann took apart an article that stated that Facebook was going to go all video, all the time. The article spelled out the death of the written word in favor of visuals, particularly video. However, Ann gave this statement a triple scoop Nope cone. Video and writing and photos should all mix together, providing a balanced diet in your content stream. Producing content isn’t all about the writing or all about the visuals: it’s a little bit of both that makes your content more engaging.

When you’re seeking exceptional content, contact Media Shower. We’ll be here for you in every step of the content development process, from your initial strategies and ideas to editing the final product. Request a free content marketing assessment today.