How Content Marketers Can Be More Thoughtful

Too often, content marketers set out to deliver value without taking the time to think about what that means. On one hand, it’s fair enough: we’re all busy people with a lot on our plates. On the other hand, if an idea is worth expressing, it’s worth thinking through and presenting carefully. 

But how do you know what makes a good piece of content? How can you be sure that something is going to work before you’ve even written it? Here are 23 ways successful content marketers approach their craft thoughtfully.

What is Content Marketing?
Thoughtful content considers the audience’s needs and preferences.
Personalizing content enhances engagement and connection.
Emphasize quality over quantity to provide value to readers.
Storytelling adds depth and relatability to content.
Active listening to feedback helps refine content strategies.
Ethical considerations in content creation build trust with readers.
Balancing promotional and educational content fosters credibility.
Empathy-driven content resonates with readers on a deeper level.
Authenticity and transparency create lasting audience relationships.
Continuously adapting content strategies leads to meaningful impact.

Give The Most Amazing Headline You’ve Got

“The headline is the most important part of a content marketing strategy,” says Nick Kolenda, Head of Content at Captiv8. “It’s what readers see first, it’s what they read first and it’s what they remember.”

That’s because headlines have been proven to be the gateway drug for readers. According to research from Buffer, nearly 50 percent of people will read an article based on its headline alone.

And that number jumps up if they see that someone else has shared it via social media or email. The takeaway? Your headline needs to be good enough that people can’t help but click through.

Be Useful And Useful Only

There’s a temptation to make content that’s clever or funny. You can do it, but don’t make it the primary focus of your content. Instead, focus on being useful and useful only otherwise you’ll leave readers with little more than a chuckle and an empty feeling in their stomachs (or brains).

Remember: your purpose should be clear at all times. If you haven’t defined it yet, this is the time to do so before you start writing anything else down. 

The number one reason why most businesses fail is because they weren’t focused enough on their mission statement or goals when they started.

And often neither were their leaders! So take some time now to get crystal clear on what outcome you want from this piece of content first…

Implementing creative strategies is essential for boosting sales and generating leads in the competitive marketing landscape. Discover insightful tips in our article on 15 Creative Marketing Tips to elevate your marketing game.

Deliver Value Rather Than “Features”

If you’re a content marketer, your job is to deliver value and that means focusing on the benefits of your product rather than its features.

You’ll find that people are more likely to take action when they understand how the benefit will improve their lives. For example, if you sell insurance and want prospects to sign up for an annual policy, don’t just tell them how much money they could save. 

Tell them exactly how much they could save each month by doing so (a financial planning tool like Mint can help you figure this out). The same goes for any other business: invest in research and data analysis so that whatever information you provide is accurate and trustworthy!

Love Your Audience More Than Yourself

The point of writing is for someone to read it. You don’t have to care about your audience, but you absolutely should. If you have a product or service to sell, here are some ways that caring about your audience can help:

You’ll write more relevant content. Caring about the reader means understanding what they care about and what’s important to them. 

This helps guide your writing toward topics they’re interested in reading about and keeps you from trying to sell them things they don’t need or want (or at least makes it less annoying).

You’ll write better headlines and calls-to-action (CTAs). When an article talks directly to the reader, as opposed to speaking at them or around them, they’re more likely pay attention because they feel like their needs are being addressed specifically. 

CTA buttons are clickable CTAs; great ones lead users through a clear path toward completing whatever action you want them take when visiting or arriving at a given page.

Always Publish A Headline And Summary

Your headline is the most important part of your content. It should be short, catchy and relevant to your audience.

There are lots of ways to write headlines, but you should always keep in mind that they should be able to stand alone they’re not just descriptions for what’s inside the article. This means it’s okay to use a question as a headline, or even something as simple as “Don’t Do This.” 

Just make sure your headline can still effectively communicate what you want it to convey when separated from the rest of the piece.

The same goes for summaries: don’t let them be just reprints of what you’ve written before; instead use them as an opportunity for you (or someone else on your team) to offer a fresh perspective on whatever topic it is that you’re covering here today!

Crafting compelling content involves following expert-approved principles that resonate with your target audience. Learn more about these principles in our comprehensive guide: 17 Expert-Approved Principles for Content Creation.

Have A Clear, Memorable Purpose

A clear, memorable purpose helps you focus. It’s the reason why you started your content in the first place and what keeps it going. It reminds you of why you’re creating something that matters, who it matters to (and how), and how all of those things fit into a bigger picture.

It makes your content more meaningful because it serves a higher purpose than simply trying to sell something or get traffic one where people want what they see because it helps them solve a problem or achieve something important in life.

A clear purpose helps keep you focused on that goal throughout the entire process: from starting out with an idea until reaching its completion as actual content. 

When distractions come up whether they be other projects, meetings, social media platforms or even just having fun having an end goal in mind will help prioritize which ones are worth spending time on now.

So as not to waste any energy on unimportant things instead of focusing only on what needs doing now for ultimate success later down the line when others need this information too.

Don’t Leave Your Readers In The Dark

One of the best ways to connect with your audience and foster trust is by being clear about what you’re writing. Make sure that your readers know where they are and why, and don’t leave them hanging after every piece of content you publish.

Remember that sometimes people who read your stuff might not be familiar with the subject at hand, or may not normally be interested in it but are reading it because they want something from you (like an ebook). 

That means that if there’s something important, it needs more explanation but if there isn’t anything important, then say so! Be honest with yourself about what’s useful versus what just seems cool because of how unique it is. 

The more informed and relevant your content feels itself as being right off the bat, the happier your readers will be when they engage with it later on down the line.

When Possible, Run Your Experiments Rather Than Relying On Others’

When possible, run your own experiments rather than relying on others’.

Experiments can be run on your own website: You can conduct them in a number of ways, including A/B testing and multivariate testing.

Experiments can be run on other websites: 

For example, if you have an email list that is large enough to support a test and you’re also interested in seeing how different headlines perform for one audience versus another based on gender or age group, then try running an experiment like this yourself.

Experiments can be run on social media: This could include Facebook ads or Instagram ads that show different images with different copy to see which performs better. 

You could also conduct small live tests by posting something such as “Comments are closed but please comment below with your name and email address so we can send you our next blog post as soon as it goes live!” 

Sheer curiosity may be enough to get people responding before they realize what they’re doing because they don’t want any information about themselves shared publicly without asking first (that’s why there are no comments here!). 

That could give you some insight into what kind of messaging performs best under those circumstances; 

Plus there are multiple ways someone could respond without providing their name or email address just yet which means less time spent collecting data while still getting useful insights into customer behavior patterns.”

Leveraging content marketing can be a powerful strategy for effectively selling your services. Dive into our article on Using Content Marketing to Sell Your Services to discover how to connect with your audience and drive conversions.

Don’t Make Everything About You

While it’s important to be clear about your brand and its goals, don’t make everything about you. Don’t be self-centered or too self-promotional; don’t be too self-deprecating or too self-involved; don’t be too self-absorbed or too self-conscious.

Let me explain:

Selfishness, in all its forms, is an ineffective way of communicating with others because it doesn’t invite them into the conversation. 

If we want people to listen to us and engage with us in a meaningful way, then we need to give them a reason for doing so and that reason should not come from talking about ourselves for no good reason (or worse yet: just because we can).

The best content marketers think beyond themselves because they know that their audience cares more about what other people are thinking rather than what they themselves have been thinking about lately (which may not even be something worth sharing).

Write Shorter Sentences And Paragraphs

The best content is written in a way that is both concise and impactful. This means shorter sentences, shorter paragraphs, and fewer words overall. It’s important to write with purpose but without sacrificing the quality of your writing.

A good rule of thumb for sentence length is: Generally speaking, you should keep your sentences between 15-20 words long (although there are exceptions). 

This will make them easier to read because they don’t get too long or complex but they also don’t get short enough that they lose clarity or impact!

For paragraph length: The ideal number of sentences per paragraph varies depending on what kind of content you’re publishing. 

For example some types of posts can get away with only one or two strong sentences per paragraph if there’s enough context provided by previous paragraphs; 

Other types will require at least three full-blown sentences before readers have been given all the information necessary about a topic before moving onto another one altogether!

Don’t Confuse Synonyms For Alternatives

When you’re writing an article and you’re struggling to find synonyms for a word, it’s easy to get lost in the search and end up with a paragraph that reads:

This is not an alternative. It’s just another way to say something that has already been said. If you have already said something like “you should do this” or “this will make things better,” then what you’ve written is basically a variation on those two sentences. 

You don’t need another variation; instead, try providing some new information or at least emphasize what makes this option different from your other suggestions.

Excelling in B2C marketing without compromising customer trust requires a delicate balance. Explore strategies in our insightful piece: The Art of Making the Most Out of B2C Marketing Without Losing Customer Trust to strengthen your marketing approach.

Make It Easier For Your Reader To Get To The Point In Two Clicks Or Less

In order to get your reader to the point, you’ll have to make it easier for them. How? By giving the most important information first and making it easy for the reader to get there in two clicks or less.

The first two things that readers look at on any piece of content are those calls-to-action (CTAs). So if all you have on your page is a beautiful headline and then an enormous infographic or video, chances are they won’t be interested in clicking through further. 

They want a reason to read more! Give them one by making sure that all the CTAs are visible from their spot on your page; if they can see a CTA without scrolling down too much, then you’ll catch more eyes than if it’s hidden behind another element.

Next up: trust signals. This includes social proof like testimonials or quotes from experts or industry leaders who trust what you’re saying enough to endorse it with their name attached (and maybe even some evidence!). 

If someone else has already given his stamp of approval before me…this must be good!

Summarize All Your Ideas And Arguments Before Presenting Them

It’s incredibly important to summarize the main points of your article when you’re writing it, but it’s also important to do this mentally before you begin writing. 

You should take a few minutes to think about what you want to say, and make sure that everything is organized well enough for people who are reading quickly (if there are any) or casually skimming through articles online (most likely). 

This will help ensure that you don’t leave anything out because it was on the tip of your tongue while typing up an article which can lead readers astray or give them an incomplete idea of what they’re reading.

Summarizing is also useful if someone else needs your content in another format: maybe they need a shorter summary of something longer, or perhaps they only want certain parts discussed in detail instead of everything being summed up into one big paragraph at once. 

Either way, taking some time beforehand will help immensely when converting information into other formats later on down the line!

Swallow Your Pride And Use Simple Words

Use Simple Words

That’s it, really. When you’re writing content for your audience, don’t use complicated words that only a few people will understand. 

Instead, use simple words so that everyone can read and understand what you have to say without having to dig too deeply into the dictionary or Google search results for vocabulary explanations.

This is important: when we use simple language, we’re making sure our readers are able to easily comprehend what we’re saying and this makes it easier for them to remember what they’ve read!

Why? Well, if they have an easier time understanding us (and remember us), then they’ll be more likely come back again in future articles or products from us as loyal customers.

Because they feel like we “get” them as humans with real lives and emotions just like anyone else would want from any other variety of business relationship out there today.”

Avoid Adverbs That Don’t Add Meaning To Adjectives

Adverbs are words that modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. They can be used to add emphasis to a sentence, give clarity to the meaning of what you’re saying, or convey emotion.

Most adverbs don’t need to be there and they often do more harm than good by making your sentences feel bloated and cluttered.

Here are some examples:

  • “You should absolutely go see this movie! It is so funny and touching at the same time!”
  • “I am so happy for him! He has worked so hard on his startup and it is finally paying off!”

Both of these sentences use four different kinds of adverbs (absolutely, really; happily; really; really). 

Your readers don’t need all those extra words for them to understand what you’re trying to say in your copy — just choose one or two that work best with your context, such as “This movie is hilarious!” or “He deserves this success.”

Preferably Avoid Adverbs That Don’t Add Value To Verbs Either

Adverbs are usually unnecessary in content marketing, especially when it comes to verbs. If you can add more meaning or clarity with a verb, then go that route instead of adding an adverb that doesn’t add much value to the sentence. For example:

  • “I will be running for hours.” vs “I am going to run for hours.”
  • “She eats bread constantly.” vs “She eats bread all day long.”
  • “I’m feeling happy today!” vs “I’m very happy today!”

The same goes for adjectives. If possible, try and remove any unnecessary adverbs from your writing and replace them with stronger words or phrases that provide more information about what you’re trying to say:

Don’t Overuse Clichés Or Tired Phrases Like “Kind Of” Or “Sort Of

Avoid clichés and tired phrases that can diminish your content’s appeal. For example, avoid using the word “literally” to mean figuratively (e.g., “I literally died when I saw this”). Instead of saying “kind of,” use a more specific phrase (e.g., “It kind of reminds me of my childhood.”). 

Don’t say “sort of” when you mean some other word or phrase (e.g., don’t say “I’m sort of happy today” when you mean that you’re happy). Avoid using any overused words or phrases at all costs!

Injecting enjoyment into your marketing efforts can lead to improved results and a more fulfilling experience. Check out our article on 11 Ways to Make Marketing More Enjoyable to discover strategies for infusing positivity into your marketing journey.

If An Idea Is Worth Expressing, It’s Worth Taking Time Over It

This is the first of a three-part series exploring how content marketers can be more thoughtful. The more time you take to create your content, the better it will be, and the better it is, the more likely it’s going to get shared.

Here are four ways you can get started:

  • Think about what you’re trying to say before writing/recording/filming it
  • Think about how you’re going to say it before writing/recording/filming it
  • Think about how you’re going to say it before showing someone else your work in progress (i.e., send them an email or show them a script)


In the wake of all this, it can be difficult to ask ourselves whether we’ve been paying enough attention to the content we’re creating. 

But, as a content marketer, one of your many jobs is to help your company stand out from the crowd and make a positive impression on potential customers and that starts with thoughtfulness. 

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about how being more thoughtful in your marketing strategy and content creation process can help you build a lasting relationship with your audience.

Further Reading

Explore more insights on content marketing from these reputable sources:

SEMrush Content Marketing Blog: Stay updated with the latest trends and strategies in content marketing through SEMrush’s informative blog.

Deskera Blog: Content Marketing: Dive into Deskera’s blog to discover valuable tips and tricks for optimizing your content marketing efforts.

Brafton Blog: How Content Marketing Works in 2019: Learn about the intricacies of content marketing and how it evolves over time in Brafton’s insightful blog post.


What is content marketing and why is it important?

Content marketing involves creating and distributing valuable, relevant content to attract and engage a target audience. It’s crucial because it helps build brand awareness, establish authority, and drive customer engagement.

How do I measure the effectiveness of my content marketing efforts?

To measure content marketing effectiveness, track metrics like website traffic, engagement rates, conversion rates, and social shares. These indicators provide insights into your content’s impact on your audience.

What are some content marketing strategies for increasing brand visibility?

Consider strategies like creating high-quality blog posts, producing engaging videos, leveraging social media platforms, collaborating with influencers, and optimizing your content for search engines.

How can storytelling enhance content marketing?

Storytelling humanizes your brand and creates an emotional connection with your audience. It helps convey your message in a relatable way, making your content more memorable and impactful.

What role does SEO play in content marketing?

Search engine optimization (SEO) ensures that your content is discoverable by search engines and appears in relevant search results. It involves using relevant keywords, optimizing meta tags, and improving your website’s overall structure for better visibility.