In this blog, we cover:
- How to create engaging and clear content for complex products.
- Best practices for storytelling, reader focus, infographics and content formatting.
- A quick step-by-step guide to the ‘content cluster’ approach.
Especially for B2B marketers, your company’s products can sometimes seem complex and hard to put into words. Whether you are marketing complex products like SaaS, strategic consulting or conversion rate optimization, it’s important to find clear, concise ways to quickly communicate your product’s benefits.
After all, you have only a few seconds to make a good impression on your reader or they will probably click over to a competitor’s site that offers them the information they’re looking for in a clearer, easier-to-read form.
So, how can you ensure your content is clear and engaging, even when dealing with difficult, abstract topics? Here are some best practices that our top freelance content creators at Contentoo recommend.
Tip #1: Leverage storytelling
Arranging content into a story is a proven method for making your content more memorable and easier to understand. This does not mean that you should start every product text with “Once upon a time…” Storytelling elements can be incorporated very subtly into your text. Here are a few best practices to remember:
- Use facts and figures near the beginning of each piece to immediately show the relevance or importance of the topic.
- Arrange information into a logical sequence with a clear beginning, clear steps in between, and a clear ending.
- Stay focused on the topic and avoid side-tracking to other topics.
- Briefly refer to scenarios that your reader will immediately relate to.
Tip #2: Make it reader-focused
If your content is a story, then the lead character should always be your reader. Always put the reader in the starring role and write content that appeals directly to them. This helps readers feel more at home within your text, even if the topics are complex.
- Hit upon pain points and emotional drivers that resonate with your target audience.
- Stay focused on benefits (what’s in it for your reader?).
- Speak directly to your reader (say ‘you’).
- Use polite, helpful and positive language (avoid drawing attention to how complex a topic is, and instead focus on how easy it is to understand with the right approach).
Tip #3: Use infographics
Visualisations such as infographics make complex topics easier to understand. Instead of having to read through lengthy texts, your readers can quickly grasp core concepts at a glance. Just remember that your infographics also need to be clearly structured. Otherwise, they may only add more confusion. Here are some best practices for creating professional, engaging infographics:
- Avoid clutter and stick to a minimalist layout and colour scheme.
- If the infographic contains more than 5 elements, consider breaking this information into multiple infographics, each one covering smaller topics.
- Use easily recognisable pictograms and symbols (like arrows or stop signs) to replace text.
- Do not include too much text. Keep labels down to 2 or 3 words.
Tip #4: Use clear formatting
When writing about complex topics, it can be tempting to write in longer sentences and paragraphs. Yet this makes the text less inviting and increases the likelihood that your reader will turn away. The right formatting choices make your text easier to navigate (and help boost your SEO ranking.)
- Include clear headers that immediately communicate what each section is about.
- Phrase headers in the form of common questions, like ‘What is search engine optimisation?’
- Use bullet points and numbered lists to break up text and make it easier to skim.
- Include plenty of white space to make the text feel lighter.
Tip #5: Cluster your content
Breaking complex information into smaller topics is a great way to keep your content clearer. That is the idea behind the ‘content cluster’ strategy. This approach has many benefits. Most of all, it makes your content clearer. It also enables you to create more content or campaigns around specific topics, which helps generate organic traffic. And it turns your website into a trusted Wikipedia-style resource which boosts your authority and strengthens brand equity.
Here’s what a common content cluster strategy looks like:
- Identify complex topics that are suitable for content clustering. As a rule, any topic that contains two subtopics or more can be turned into a content cluster.
- Create a landing page that briefly introduces the main topic and lists the subtopics.
- Create subpages (cluster pages) for each subtopic.
- Add internal links to connect the various topics to the landing page and each other.
- Continually add new pages whenever new subtopics become relevant or you discover information gaps.
Get more inspiration
For more best practices from our top international content creators, be sure to check out these 5 tips for content creation excellence and how to improve your content’s quality and performance.
To get up to date on the latest trends shaping the content marketing world, be sure to also download our free eBook: State of Content Creation 2022.
And to learn how our unique approach to content marketing can help your business scale its content output, get in touch with one of our content advisors and book your free demo today.