How to create engaging content for your products’ use cases
As a material supplier, an essential part of your marketing strategy, be it for brand awareness or product use cases, is content creation. Content is arguably the most effective way to reach, inform, and educate engineers, designers, and product developers. It plays a significant role in converting them into potential leads.
In this guide, we explain to you the value of content and provide you with tips and guidelines for writing a content piece.
Tip #1: Read this guide carefully.
The fundamental value of content creation is demonstrating thought leadership. Using your content, you can creatively present your company as an expert and provide the reader with the needed information to make informed decisions.
Research has shown that over a third of engineering professionals say they would request a proposal from a supplier particularly based on thought leadership content. High-quality content and proper content marketing can help you build trustworthy relationships with your audience.
“Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.”
Andrew M. Davis
Author of Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships
With content, you can inform readers about your materials, including their properties, processing, applications, successful use cases, sustainability, and more. You can highlight your materials’ quality and usability and showcase your services as a material supplier.
In addition to that, content is where you can unleash your creativity. A content piece that resonates with your audience is the best way to attract their attention to your materials.
At Matmatch, we believe that content is king. Over the past three years, we have created hundreds of long-form content pieces and thousands of short-form material descriptions. These helped bring significant exposure to many materials listed on the platform. Various material suppliers have been able to boost their visibility in highly qualified engineering circles via well-written content.
And now we are here to help you.
The 10 Golden Rules of Content Writing
After we’ve covered the why, it’s time to cover the how.
Creating content is easy. Creating the right content is the challenge. With the barrage of daily information that can reach a person online, the average person’s attention span today has fallen to under 10 seconds. That means, by the time you finish reading this sentence, your very likely to have started looking at the guidelines below that you probably missed my grammatical mistake of using “your” instead of “you’re”.
To capture a reader’s interest, your content should make the reader believe that they have come to the right place. That is why we have compiled for you the 10 most important guidelines to create your content. We call them the 10 golden rules of content writing.
Follow these, and you have set yourself up for a successful writing process.
1. Know your audience
Before you set out to write, ask yourself, “Who is going to read this content?” Estimate what level of knowledge they need to have in order to understand your content. Is it non-experts, students, junior-level engineers, or experienced engineering professionals? Make sure the tone and structure of your content are intelligible to your audience.
2. Inform before you advertise
It may be tempting to start your writing from the perspective of promoting your product. However, such an approach will cause the reader to lose interest very quickly. People landing on your content page are searching for particular information. If your content does not clearly show that information, the reader will have left the page before even reading about your product.
Understand the search intent of the person landing on your page and create the necessary information they need so they stick around and read about your product.
3. Write in your readers’ language
People reading your content are complete strangers, not your colleagues. So – and I can’t stress this enough – avoid the internal jargon. Use language that is easily understandable to your target audience. Your safest option is wording understood by an educated non-expert.
Also, make sure you clearly explain complex words. Spell out abbreviations and acronyms when first mentioned. And if necessary, give the reader the option to check other content for more background information.
4. Follow the inverted pyramid model
It’s simple. General and most important information go first, and then you gradually narrow it down to the specifics and supplementary information. This goes in line with Rule #2, where you first inform (most important information) and then advertise (specifics). With their short attention span, readers will leave in seconds if they decide your content does not quickly offer them the necessary information.
5. Use relevant keywords, but don’t get carried away
Being involved in content, you probably have heard about search engine optimisation, commonly referred to as SEO. Let me refresh your mind. SEO is the process of trying to get a webpage to rank high in search engines (like Google) and get more organic traffic as a result.
And what’s the first word that comes to your mind when you read “SEO”? Yes, keywords. Finding the right keywords for your content is vital to attract the right audience because these are the ones searching for information using these keywords. However, there’s a risk.
It is easy to get carried away by inserting as many keywords as possible into your content. This is detrimental to your content quality and would lower your chances to rank on search engines.
Here’s our tip: Treat search engines as human readers. If the content is valuable to a reader, it is valuable to a search engine.
It is not the number that is important but the context. Optimise your content so it becomes the most useful piece of content it can be for its intended audience. Think from a topic perspective rather than a keyword perspective. This means, create content around your main keyword that explains everything that is needed to understand the topic.
6. Be a storyteller but concise
Storytelling is an extremely effective technique when it comes to use cases. It enables you to position your product/service as the “protagonist” or “hero” in your story, i.e., the solution needed in that particular case. So, consider using storytelling as your way of communication as it helps your content stand out and be more memorable.
However, you must remain concise in your delivery, so the reader does not lose the plot or lose interest. Writing is one thing, but simplifying your writing down to the most valuable information is the crème de la crème.
Here are our tips:
- Be direct, clear, and efficient.
- Make your sentences short and easy to read.
- Limit your paragraphs to three or four sentences. Less is better.
- Remove words and phrases that do not add sufficient value to your content.
- Use the active voice rather than the passive voice; it makes your content more engaging.
Basically, be your content’s sculptor!
7. Give particular attention to your title and headings
When you first started reading this guide, your eyes were most likely jumping from the title to the headings and subheadings throughout the text. This is completely normal as you want to understand quickly what kind of content you are about to read.
We all rely on headers for quick understanding and navigation through the page. So, pay attention to the words you are using in your headings. They should clearly explain the content below them. It is also important for SEO, as your title will attract people to click on the link and land on your page.
Do not shy away from using common words; useful is better than clever.
Tip: Use H1 text style for your title, H2 for your headings (sections), and H3 for your subheadings (subsections and finer points).
Tip: If possible, limit your title to 60-70 characters so it shows fully and clearly on search engines and social media.
8. Make your text easy to skim
Everybody landing on a particular webpage tends to skim the page until they find the information they are looking for. Skimming is an efficient way of reading. That’s why, as a writer, you should not expect readers to read every single word you write.
Instead, enable your readers to scan your content easily and access the information they need quickly. Here’s how:
- Use bulleted or numbered lists when possible.
- Avoid long paragraphs that are heavy with text and difficult terms.
- Divide your content into sections and subsections. Use clear subheadings.
- Include white space. It is your reader’s friend because it helps them read more comfortably.
9. Include at least one useful visual
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But this is a little too modest. In fact, the human brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than textual information. If this does not blow your mind already, visuals can also help enhance learning by up to 400%.
Using at least one relevant visual – picture, video, chart, graph, schematic, infographic, etc. – will help your readers understand and remember your content for a longer period of time.
It depends on the type and size of your content, but 1000-1200 words would be best complemented with 1-3 visuals.
10. Add valuable links and productive CTAs wisely
If you want to leave your readers wanting more – maybe continue reading and find more information about your topic, product, or company – the best way is to add links. You can add them as hyperlinks throughout the text or Call to Actions (CTAs) at specific locations on the page.
- Hyperlinks are where you link a word or phrase to another page that explains it in more detail. These can help your reader develop an understanding of the background information that is relevant to your content’s topic.
- CTAs are where you define the reader’s next step in their journey. By clicking on your CTA, the reader will have already understood where he wants to go and what he expects to see. CTAs should be concise messages with action verbs, like explore, learn more, join, download, visit, etc.
However, adding links is not enough. Finding the right place to add links is very important. For example, say you add a CTA at the beginning of your page telling people to click through and go elsewhere. By doing so, you are indirectly telling them that your content on this page is not valuable enough to read – especially if you are directing them to your products or services.
Remember Rule #2: Inform before you advertise. Links and CTAs are best positioned in places where the reader feels they have found the information they needed. This usually is around the middle and the end of your text.
We understand that these 10 guidelines might be a little too overwhelming. So, to make it easier for you, we have prepared a checklist for you to use every step of the way while creating your content.
Why publish on Matmatch?
Now that we have covered everything you need to start your writing process, all that is left is to help you find out where to publish your content.
You might prefer publishing on your own company’s website, and we encourage you to do so. But here is why Matmatch has been the preferred platform by many material suppliers to publish their content.
Matmatch has a global audience of over 2 million users, mainly engineers and product developers seeking engineering materials, information, and technical data. We are trusted by more than 1450 suppliers who have chosen Matmatch to expand their reach. By publishing on Matmatch, you can reach the whole Matmatch community of qualified users. And that’s not all.
We help you with your content. Our in-house editors can support you with proofreading, editing, publishing, and optimising your content for search engines. We can guide you through the whole process.
So, what are you waiting for?
Let’s start writing!
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