Regardless of your business entity’s status; a start-up or seasoned, when it comes to content creation, you may need some coaching at the beginning. Here are some easy tips to consider when the beginner of an inbound marketing strategy takes on the role of copywriter.
Start with the end in mind
No matter the effort, it is the results we are all after. Effective copywriting must be directly focused on the organization’s key objectives and goals. Remember, your goal is primary, so if it is to generate more leads, one must consider your present generation methodology and results, and therefore, what you need to do to reach your company targets. If your goal is to simply educate your audiences rather than directly generate leads, you may have different strategic and tactical ideas on how to achieve these types of goals. Regardless, it is the end result that should dictate how to proceed.
Your business “ship” must have a solid knowledge of its current position to determine what must be done to reach your destination; to chart a course. This must be measured, recorded and evaluated on a regular basis. Your oars in the water may not have anyone pulling in a coordinated effort unless you have clear directives. A disjointed rowing strategy will send your ship crashing on the rocks unless you have and give clear direction to those doing the work. The best way to develop goals and objectives is to first analyze what you are doing, and what you wish to accomplish. Metrics relative to goal attainment with the necessary modification to maintain a steady course and movement are mandatory.
As stated above, your online content creation must be tied to your business goals and the message you wish to convey to the public, concerning your brand and its core meaning. When goals are enumerated, understanding what it will take to make them a success is crucial to the overall process. It has been said by much smarter individuals than this writer; “One cannot get to where they desire without a map and a plan.” Market strategy, content delivery methodologies, content integration into web, social, PR and advertising are all aspects of a proper strategic plan.
Prepare Some Strong Tactical Planning
A strategic plan is useless unless a strong tactical plan is included. Strategic is the what, whereas tactics are the how. Mapping out a comprehensive tactical plan will not only provide a better metrics platform, it will also keep all participants in the loop if it is used as it is intended.
For Example; If your goal is to generate 10 leads per week, that is the What. It may take writing 3 blog posts a week for the first 6 weeks, then adding an eBook each week until you reach your target. These actions are the How. However, you won’t know what to do unless you analyze what you have done in the past and compare it to what will be necessary for the future.
Focus On Quality, Creativity and Multiplicity
First and foremost, quality of the content produced by anyone on the team must be first rate. If you suspect you do not have the ability to write compelling quality content, find someone who can. Although everyone in business knows how to write, few can actually write business-savvy copy.
Secondly, your content should be creative, avoiding industry jargon and terms that the average consumer may not understand. Nothing will kill an interest faster than speaking over the heads of your audience. Some of the best business content is stories of present or past customers and their successes with your product or service. People want to be able to relate to a company as they search for the correct business with which to work. Heart-felt sincere stories of small successes provide the reassurances that most consumers are looking for.
Finally, your content should be capable of multiple uses and formats. Not everyone likes to read, so provide different communication vehicles of learning. Take a past article that produced good results and repurpose or re-format the information into a video or slide presentation. Infographics are a great way to take a small library of information and put it into a string of content in the form of a visual and written document. The use of images is another great way to increase the affect of your copy and its message delivery. Remember, people learn in different ways; no two are exactly the same, so vary your delivery methods.
Understand the Target Buyer
In the content business we call this knowing the Buyer-Persona. Your content must connect with its intended target audience or it is useless words or pictures. When you know the audience’s wants, desires, points of contention and inherent needs, you stand a much greater chance of tailoring your marketing content that will strike home quickly. Learning as much about your Buyer-Persona will enable you to “rifle” your content towards its target rather than “shotgun” your approach. Efficacy is key to hastening the sales funnel process.
Knowing where your buyer is in the sales funnel process will also enable you to deliver nurturing content along the path to sales. Content that initially grabs the buyer’s attention is clearly different than the content that is required to keep them interested, and answer questions that come up along the discovery process.
Use a Brand Focused Delivery System
Effective copy constantly reinforces the company brand, and therefore, every bit of content your firm disperses into the marketplace must be cohesively crafted to support your brand. Your brand is perceived in a certain light, and can be either enhanced or diminished at any moment. Outside forces such as competitive actions can take a toll on your brand, so doing unintentional harm with the wrong type of content must be avoided at all costs.
Consider your brand as a sound that echoes across the marketplace each time it is viewed, recited, read or heard. What type of sound does it make? Is it loud, soft, inaudible, harsh or harmonious? Every action or inaction affects your company brand. When someone refers to your brand, or your marketing message is reviewed by someone, how do they react? In a world of fierce competition, your brand is the only asset that cannot be easily replaced. Your content, in all its forms must reinforce the positives of your brand, and widen its market reach.
Don’t Overlook Command and Control
Your copywriting must be powerful and engaging. It must grab the attention of the buyer persona for which it is intended, and keep it. Copy must be concise and well written, as stated above. Remember what was said about industry jargon; it typically speaks above the reader, so avoid it. The proper use of grammar, punctuation, inflection, tone and style are all indicative of your brand. If your content is visual, ensure that it meets quality standards and is politically correct, so as not to negatively impress your audience in any way.
Make It Search Engine Optimized
This may be one of the most difficult aspects of effective copywriting, as the search engines, especially Google, have such an impact on your content’s visibility in the marketplace. Your content must be developed for the site visitor, and it also must be accessible easily when performing an online search. Recent changes known as Panda and Penguin have turned the SEO field on its ear, so this is no easy feat. It takes training, up to date knowledge of the methodology and concerted effort.
Zen Marketing is your source for compelling, engaging content, and is at your service to assist in all aspects of your lead generation and content creation needs. Our staff of highly competent copywriters is at your disposal to not only assess your present marketing efforts, but provide a no obligation 500 word article as an introduction to our marketing services. Feel free to contact us to discuss your needs.
Let the second half of 2013 be the time for dramatic change in your business.