“Content is king.”
You’ve likely heard it once or twice before (it was Bill Gates that coined the famous phrase, after all), but as a business owner, you’ve likely never given much thought about what it could mean for your business.
But perhaps it’s time you should.
More than ever before, content marketing does more than give people something to idly scroll through while they’re on their phones.
Not only does it help businesses establish authority, project legitimacy and build trust between them and those they are trying to reach, content marketing can also generate brand awareness, convince customers to take action and drive revenue. Pretty powerful stuff, right?
If you need some convincing, the numbers speak for themselves. According to WordStream, businesses that use content marketing have conversion rates six times higher on average than those who do not.
Not only that, it’s cost effective. In fact, it costs 62 per cent less than traditional marketing and generates about three times as many leads.
The trick? Getting the content written. We know your day-to-day task list is already overwhelming and adding one more thing to it just might not be feasible. On top of that, you might be good at whatever it is you do for a living, but you might lack the skill that content writing and careful editing requires. (It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: not everyone was a fan of English class in high school!).
This is where a professional comes in. Trained in the art of writing, professional writers can lift the heavy burden of successful content marketing off your back and let you focus on what matters: running your business.
Wondering whether or not a professional writer is right for you? Here, we break down why it’s a good move to make.
They Can Write to the AIDA Model
You’re very likely wondering what AIDA means, so we’ll start there.
AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action, with each term representing a stage of a consumer’s buying journey. It is perhaps one of the most well-known marketing strategies out there, and for good reason.
HubSpot has said it’s a “proven framework for converting strangers into customers” and that those who leverage this methodology can get more control over prospects’ paths to a purchasing decision.
While we cover it more in-depth in this article, we’ll break down the basics here for you.
It starts with grabbing your readers’ attention and getting them engaged to the point where they can’t help but keep reading. From there, you build up their interest in whatever you have to offer, whether it’s a product or service. At this point, you want the reader to relate to the product and how it might benefit them and impact their lives.
Then, you begin to build up the desire. It’s now that you want to motivate them to take action, whether it’s getting in touch with you, buying something, learning more, making a donation, etc.
Finally, the action stage. This is the point at which you “close the deal” so to speak, with a Call-to-Action (CTA.) Everything you write needs a strong CTA, otherwise, what’s the point? This article lists the top 50 CTAs people “can’t help but click.” Take a look and get inspired!
While the AIDA model is great in theory – especially knowing you can use it to your advantage on everything from your website, to your company’s landing pages, to your monthly newsletters – it’s often easier said than done. As a business owner or marketer, you might find yourself scratching your head wondering how to execute the framework for your own business’ writing successfully.
A professional writer has you covered, especially when it comes to this sometimes-tricky-to-master formula. As this article by Entrepreneur says, “Professional writers can strike that perfect balance between information and inspiration while drafting content. They write to inform, engage and encourage consumers to act, and in doing so, help bolster your business.”
Bolstering your business sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?
At the end of the day, it takes time, practice and patience to master the AIDA model, and it isn’t something you’re going to master on your first shot. Why take the chance on your own content? Leave it to a pro that knows, and set your worries aside knowing they’ll successfully take your customer on a journey they’ll remember.
Pros Know the Ins and Outs of “Tone of Voice” Copywriting
Every brand has a personality, and that personality determines how you speak to your customers in all of your marketing initiatives. The world’s most well-known brands – companies like Nike, Chanel and Coca-Cola – do it really well.
Where Nike adopts an inspirational tone, Chanel speaks to its customers in a sophisticated and glamorous tone. With Coca-Cola, meanwhile, consumers can’t help but think of happiness and joy.
Check out these commercials to get a clearer sense of what we’re talking about:
Not sure what your brand’s personality even is?
Grab a cup of coffee or tea and take some time to answer these questions. The answers will help guide you to get a clearer sense of “who” your company is and help you define your brand’s tone of voice:
- How old are the people most likely to be using your product or service?
- Where do they live? Are they navigating life in the urban jungle or are they country mice with acres of land? Do they live in their own homes, rent an apartment, or are they still cramping mom and dad’s style?
- What do they do? Are they busy, working professionals? Are they starving students? Retirees? Do they like to travel, or are they homebodies?
- What are their interests?
- What are they looking for?
- Are they mostly men or women? Teens or children?
- How do they get their information? A millennial, for example, is going to get their news much differently (via social media) than someone older than 75 (print newspapers).
- What is their net income?
- Are they married or single?
- What are their values?
Once you have a tone of voice nailed down, the next question becomes: “Ok, great. Now how do I use it?” Are we ever glad you asked! This is where a pro comes in.
Professional writers are able to seamlessly switch “voices” depending on who they’re writing for. It’s almost like they know how to become someone else! It might sound strange, but it can be compared to acting on stage. They have a knack for adopting a personality and sticking with it through all of your marketing efforts.
A professional writer will ensure your brand becomes distinctive and recognizable and your marketing efforts will be able to successfully cut through the digital noise to make a lasting impression on your current customers and prospective clients.
They Understand Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Whenever we say “SEO”, it’s not uncommon for us to watch our clients’ eyes glaze over. But it’s a critical factor when it comes to successful marketing.
Let’s start off with what exactly SEO is, as some of you may not be familiar. In its simplest terms, SEO helps ensure your organic visibility online. This means Google can find your business. Over time, it can be more cost-effective than paid advertising and help you stand out among your competitors.
While a niche writer can provide your audience with engaging content that grabs the attention of your intended audience, an SEO writer will ensure it reaches that audience in the first place.
But it’s not for the faint of heart! One article even says, “SEO writing requires analytics proficiency and high-quality copy skills. It’s the convergence of data, science and art.”
And it’s an art that helps your business stand out from the crowd; it takes talent to skillfully weave keywords into your website’s copy and to incorporate keyword phrases into headlines, subheadings and website URLs. It’s not a matter of keyword stuffing (the frowned-upon practice of inserting a large number of keywords into web content and meta tags to “increase” a page’s ranking in search results and drive more traffic to the site.) It’s about incorporating them subtly throughout the copy.
Our conversion copywriter likens writing to putting a puzzle together. Part of that puzzle is successfully piecing together SEO words in a way that tells an engaging story without all the nonsense and jargon that some writers fall victim to when they’re writing copy.
So how do you find an SEO copywriter that’s suitable for your business? Start by asking around, check out their website and request to see a portfolio of their work. Like anyone else that works for you, you want to hear and see good things before you enlist their services.
And don’t be fooled by a way with words. As we said earlier, while a great writer will have the ability to keep your readers’ attention, you need to be able to get it in the first place, so ensure you hire a writer that specializes in SEO content to get the most bang for your buck.
Consistency is Critical
As a business owner, chances are pretty good that you have a to-do list that overwhelms you day in and day out. We know there’s no respite when you’re an entrepreneur.
But as with most things in life, consistency is key.
Let’s say you start a blog with the best of intentions. Starting out, you’re prioritizing it weekly and your website is starting to see some traction. You’re proud to be gaining momentum and followers, so you keep it up. Your efforts begin to result in comments, likes and shares on social media, which you’re also producing content for regularly. After some time, loyal followers come to not only enjoy, but expect your content.
And then life happens and your responsibilities as a business owner start to get in the way. The regularly-happening blogs begin to be pushed down the bottom of your endless to-do list, the social media posts become infrequent, and eventually, both fall off of it completely.
We get it – it happens. You’re busy! But as this article in Forbes points out, “Many factors contribute to a brand’s success, but perhaps one of the most valuable is content consistency.”
This means that whatever your publishing schedule is – monthly, daily, or weekly – it’s important to stick to it. Failure to do this could result not only in confused customers, but it could also hurt your brand reputation, credibility and brand trust.
As this article states, “Consistency in brand messaging is one of the many factors that determine the growth and success of your business. Big brands know how to portray their brand consistently and at every customer touch point.”
And here’s the real kicker: content marketing is not optional. At one point in history, it was just posters and traditional ads on television and in newsprint. But these days, it’s a whole different beast as businesses vie for attention and compete against one another online. Those who don’t adapt and adopt will almost certainly be left behind.
This means that even though you’re short on time and have a million things to do, you need to find a way to make it happen.
This is where a professional copywriter comes in. They’ll be able to utilize tools such as Google Analytics to monitor and track when engagement is at its highest and begin to publish content when it’s going to have the best performance. They’ll also be able to monitor your social media and define the types of content that are engaging readers the most. From there, they will create and stick to a consistent posting schedule that your readers will come to not only enjoy, but perhaps even rely on. And as a business owner, that’s a pretty satisfying experience.
It’s Hard to Write About Yourself
Let’s say you’re having a new website built. You’ve decided to tackle the content writing yourself in an effort to save some money. You think, “I’ve got this. I know my own business better than any writer ever will.” And so you sit down eager to put pen to paper, so to speak, and get ready to write the content for the homepage.
And then you freeze. Nothing happens. Eventually, you manage to write a few sentences down, but end up rewriting over and over. Hours pass by, and you’ve gotten precisely nowhere.
First of all, take heart in knowing this: you’re not alone! Writing personal or company messaging is one of the toughest processes that everyone running a business has to go through. Why? It’s all too easy to get hung up on every little detail and go a little too hard on ourselves when push comes to shove. We also tend to be perfectionists when it comes to our own companies and doubt every single word we write is up to snuff.
When you think of all the content a business requires for marketing to be successful – social media posts, blogs, newsletters, white-papers, etc. – it can be nothing short of panic-inducing wondering how you’ll ever manage.
A professional writer can take all these worries and problems away. Because they’re able to separate themselves, content generation comes much easier to them. Through information-gathering (think interviews, research, etc.) writers are able to speedily produce content that will help you get the results you’re after.
Sure, it might be a tough pill to swallow at first. We know handing over the reins to a total stranger can be an intimidating prospect. But as long as you take the time to properly prep your writer and work with them to get them the information they need to write, it’ll be smooth sailing.
Our advice? Be open to sitting down for an interview or two and dig deep to find them any resources that might be helpful. You might need to spend more time upfront gathering information, but it will be worth it in the long run.
Here are some things you could pass along to a writer in order to ensure a smooth writing process:
- Website links
- Previous blogs
- Company newsletters
- Client testimonials
- Employee testimonials
Even if you think something might not be useful, send it along anyways! You’d be surprised at what pro writers can pull from whatever documents you send along, and any additional information passed their way can help inspire even more questions that will help with the copy.
Our final advice: remember to think objectively. We know it’s hard to write about yourself, but it can be just as tricky to read about yourself! Try to think with an outsider’s perspective and don’t be shy in asking others (colleagues, family, and friends, and even some of your favourite customers!), to review whatever content is sent your way. They’ll be able to help you look at the copy in a new light and ensure that you’re not overthinking what it is you’re reading.
The Bottom Line
It doesn’t matter what type of content you are producing – website copy, blog content, social media posts, etc. – the important thing to remember is that your audience not only expects, but wants, to read good copy.
These days, readers are spoiled with rich, helpful and insightful content every time they pick up their phones, tablets and computers, so it’s your job to engage them from the very first sentence. An experienced writer can make that mountain of a task a little easier to accomplish and help you come across as more professional and help to generate more trust.