7 months ago on
Although content writing is the buzzword for some years now, it is not something new. Content is communicating information and we have been communicating for eons in many forms.
Our ways and platforms of communication have changed drastically over the last two decades. Content writer is anyone who develops original content and puts it in a form understandable by others. If you have created posts for Facebook or written a blog or tweeted, then you are a content writer too! Of course being a professional content writer entails something more. But we all do what a content writer does in a professional way.
Content for business marketing was implemented as far back in the eighteenth century by Benjamin Franklin when he published his yearly paper. In early 2000s search engines gave birth to SEO copywriters who finally evolved into content writers. As Google rewarded quality content and penalized spammy content people now wanted professionals to write content.
What do Content Writers Do?
Content writers research on the topic they have been given. Information gathering and research is a big part of content writing and takes up more time than writing the article. Content writers may also conduct interview and read through academic papers for information not available online. Sometimes content strategy may also be a part of their role.
Content writers also have to be content curators. This means that they have to know all the sources of interesting and credible information. They can either re-post them or arrange it at one place for readers.
Content writers can specialize in various platforms. A content writer could write for business blogs, websites, corporate communication, PR articles, product descriptions etc. Content is also developed for videos and podcasts as they are popular forms of media now.
One can also hire content writer based on his or her knowledge on a particular topic. Some content writers specialize in ecommerce, technology, health & beauty, finance etc.
Importance of Quality Content
Digital marketing has changed the rules of traditional marketing. A professional content writer has to develop content that is engaging and drives people to the desired action. Content is the foundation of digital marketing. Marketers no more invest in invasive marketing like distracting banners and print ads as people totally ignore them. The focus is rather on providing value added content to attract target market. Content is at the heart of this new strategy. Businesses want to provide a lot of value content to their prospects before asking them to buy their products.
Scope of Content Writing in India
Because of the reasons stated above, ever increasing number of businesses are hiring content writing agencies to manage their content. Consider the below stats to understand the scope of content writing and its importance:
1. Content leaders drive 7.8 times more traffic than others according to Neil Patel
2. 56% of marketers believe that customized content leads to higher engagement rates and increases brand recall. (IBM Digital Experience survey, 2015)
3. Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing is three times more effective (DemandMetric)
4. Brands that invest in content marketing have a six times higher conversion rate.
5. 73% of organizations hire content strategist to manage their content.
These statistics makes clear that content is in high demand and the opportunity for a content writer is tremendous.
Attributes of Quality Content
Following are indicators of good quality content. Great content is:
Simple and understood by the people. A good content writer explains even the most complex concept in a lucid style.
Credible – All information must be factually correct and free of any plagiarism. Sources of all statistics and data must be given.
Interesting – It must grip the audience and command their attention
Personalized – Content is always directed towards a target audience. The content must represent the brand it speaks for and speak directly to the visitors.
Engaging – Audience engagement is measured by shares, likes and comments on the post. For this the content must be valuable to the readers and worth sharing with their friends who have similar interests.
There are some additional skills that are helpful for website content writing. Knowledge of SEO and link building will ensure that the content written will rank better on search engines. Skill of copywriting will also give better results for content marketing.
Content writing is part of content marketing as a whole. The more the content writer knows about marketing, strategy, social media and inbound sales funnel the better it is.
The Future of Content Writing
This is what the future holds for content writers in India
People today prefer to consume content in visual format. Videos and infographics are preferred over text. Youtube is the second largest search engine in the world and gets more than 3 billion searches a month! Infographics are three times more likely to be shared on the social media.
This is the reason why all of the major blogs are shifting to short videos or podcasts instead of text post. This is only a change in the presentation of content and the content developed by content writers remains same. However, having knowledge of video production and storyboarding will help content writers to write for visual formats.
There is no doubt that AI is going to replace many job functions in near future. AI also has solutions for content writing. There are already software like Spinnerchief that write complete articles within minutes for you. They even scan web articles for best keywords to come up with search optimized article.
Serious content marketers are not using these software currently as they are not up to the mark in human readability and quality. However, some content writers are using such software to support their writing in research and SEO efforts.
We may see AI supporting or even completely taking over content writing in near future. Content writers will have to grow their capabilities to creative content strategy and storytelling in such a world.