Building Writing Expertise
By Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, RDBA Contributing Editor
Most retail dietitians need to be proficient writers as a means of reaching their target shopper audience. Whether it’s authoring blog articles, ad copy, media scripts or social posts, being able to communicate concise, meaningful messages is vital. However, becoming a good writer takes time and practice. Below are some tips and tools to improve your writing skills to ensure your content is engaging and actionable.
- Figure out your target audience first. Who are they? How can you best reach them? What do they want/need to know? Keep a running list of questions you get asked by consumers to get some topic ideas.
- Use a writing outline. Introduce the issue; relate with a story; provide a list of solutions and leave readers with action steps. Remember to create an engaging title and add graphics for visual appeal.
- Get started. Writing is definitely easier on some days than others. Just get started even if your first drafts are not ideal. Visit http://750words.com to practice daily writing skills that will help you create valuable content.
- Make your content relatable. What are your shoppers struggling with the most? What does your typical consumer want to know about? Remember you are the expert and can help sort the fiction from the facts. Use personal stories to show how you have tackled similar issues.
- Link content to seasonal retail promotions. Take advantage of key retail promotional time periods to enhance your messaging. Compliment promotions by providing solutions to consumer behaviors and needs during different times of the year and combine promotional topics with your communication strategy on a content calendar.
- Highlight the expertise of your team. Does someone on your team of dietitians have a specific training as a culinary expert, or has a fitness background? Promote their expertise and the depth of your wellness program by featuring their advice.
- Be social with content. Post blogs on social media with infographics to extend the reach. Add links to your content in online ads and instore signage.
- Consider other ways to get your content out. Yes, there is blogging and social media but what about local magazines, health newsletters, fitness center e-newsletters? Is there a partnership you could form to share content with key audiences?
- Create an eBook. If there is a key consumer topic that needs solutions you may consider writing an eBook. There are great tools to guide you in this process such as www.canva.com. Canva is a tool loaded with enough easy-to-use features and functionality that anyone can create a variety of engaging content that gets shared and there are eBook templates. The tools can help you produce engaging, consistent content that can make your retailer and team shine as the trusted source for solutions.