The key to content marketing success is keeping it simple.

Content marketing initiatives are a great way to provide value to your target audience by helping them solve a problem or learn more about a subject of interest. But if you can’t offer a simple and straightforward solution, chances are they will look elsewhere for answers.

Keep your content simple and to the point with these ten tips:

1. Communicate Clearly

Your readers won’t always be savvy to the latest industry jargon, so keep that in mind as you choose how to communicate your message. Although your target audience may have a basic understanding of the topic at hand, it’s best to pretend you are speaking to someone who is brand new to the industry.

If the most novice member of your audience can easily comprehend your content, a more seasoned professional can most certainly do the same.

2. Use Subheadings

Readers want to be able to scan content and digest it easily. Subheadings are useful for breaking up long blocks of text and organizing your thoughts more coherently. While multi-page articles can be intimidating, a clean writing structure can make complex explanations more approachable.

3. Use a Metaphor or Analogy

Your content should be simple and straightforward, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Metaphors and analogies can bring life to your writing while helping you translate obscure or abstract concepts into real-world situations.

4. Ask an Industry Expert

With experience comes clarity. Writing about a complex issue requires a thorough understanding of said issue — so who better to ask for clarification than an industry insider who’s intimately acquainted with its ins and outs? Often, hearing an explanation from an expert sheds new light on the issue, making it easier to relay your message to others.

5. Visualize it

When you find it difficult to define a concept using words alone, visual support can go a long way. Today’s consumers are more likely to scan an infographic or watch a webinar than read a lengthy article sans visual aids.

6. Tell a Story

Marketing is shifting away from traditional sales pitches, with a focus instead on weaving compelling stories. Personalizing your content makes it more relatable and easier to understand.

By incorporating storytelling into your marketing strategy, you can create narratives that speak to your brand’s personality and build stronger relationships with prospective clients.

7. Link to Additional Resources

If you must use industry terms to explain a concept, be sure to provide additional resources for clarification. It’s also a good idea to back up your facts and figures with links to reputable sources as necessary, giving readers the opportunity to learn more after they’ve read your content and grasped the basic concepts you’ve presented.

8. Use Humor

Before you can wow your audience with your knowledge and clarity, you must first gain their undivided attention. A clever introduction is a great way to frame the rest of your content, giving you an opportunity to weave humor throughout your piece and end on a witty note.

Lighthearted language also tends to resonate with consumers who are tired of scrolling through pages of stiff, long-winded explanations.

9. Add Historical Context

Some concepts are complicated to explain simply because they have not occurred in a vacuum, and a requisite knowledge of the context surrounding them is necessary for full comprehension. Creating a timeline of events that led to or influenced a development gives readers a more comprehensive perspective.

10. Be Concise

Make sure your content goes through a rigorous editing process before it’s published. Avoid repetitive or superfluous sentences that don’t add value. Anything that makes your communication less clear should be omitted.

It’s easy to go off on tangents when you’re writing about a particularly complex topic, but resist the urge and stick to the point instead. Your readers will thank you.

Longneck and Thunderfoot offer content marketing services and strategies to transform your company blog into an authoritative trade publication. Click to learn more about how to produce great content and prove ROI on your marketing efforts.

Author Hilary Krutt

A graduate of Dartmouth College, Hilary joined L&T after several years in the publishing industry at Simon & Schuster. As a member of the editorial board for the Off the Shelf book blog, her writing has been featured on the Huffington Post, among other major publications. At L&T, Hilary manages content quality and production, collaborating directly with writers, content managers, and clients to ensure every piece we write hits the mark every time. In her free time, Hilary is an avid reader and live music enthusiast. She hails from Boston but currently calls Brooklyn home.

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