Good content will engage a reader and turn them into a potential customer. This is why an exceptional content writer is supremely important to a marketing team.
In this blog entry, we will look at
- what comprises good content writing
- how the content writer interacts with the client
- how the content writer interacts with the marketing team and,
- the value that good content writing brings to an advertising strategy.
Good Content Writing
Good content will positively connect the potential customer with the product or service being advertised. It will be emotive. By that, we mean that it will produce a response in the reader.
But what makes good content? In the most basic of terms, good content is good writing and good visuals. It is as simple as that, but it is also as complex as that.
So, what is good writing? For the purposes of marketing, this means
- Writing devoid of grammatical and spelling errors.
- Clean, well-structured paragraphs with sentences properly placed and constructed to engage the reader.
- Correct use of metaphors and descriptive phrases that will engage the reader in the subject matter.
- Accurate, documented information with links. Good content must be well-researched.
- Appropriate use of humor or drama to hook the reader.
The content writer will also slant his/her writing to the demographic the reader represents. For example, writing copy to attract an audience of senior citizen travelers will differ greatly from copy for an audience of teenage surfers. You must know their speech patterns, their preferences, their dislikes, etc., so you can connect with them on a visceral level.
Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals.
– David Ogilvy, advertising guru
Interacting With The Client
The content writer (CW) should always interact personally with the client. This may be an in person interview, a conversation over the phone or online. It should, at the very least, involve an exchange of emails and a survey. Why? The writer needs to understand clearly what exactly is the product or service about which she/her will be writing. The CW will have a series of questions for the client. These questions should include
- Who do you see as your primary customer?
- Why do you think your product will appeal to them?
- Who should I research for authoritative information on your product?
- Who is your best competitor? Why are they good? Or not good?
- Why are you better than they? What is unique about your product/service?
- How do you want a customer to feel after purchasing your product? What will they experience? Give me three key words to describe what you want them to feel?
This is not an exhaustive list of questions, by any means, but it is a start. These are the types of questions that will help you, the CW, to point yourself in the direction you will need to do research and to understand the demographic of people you are trying to reach.
Interacting With The Marketing Team
The content writer has a very specific job on the marketing team: to produce quality copy the team can use to sell the product. We have already covered that in part. Now, we want to talk about what copy the writer must create to into the overall marketing plan.
First of all, the marketing team must be clear what venues they intend to use. Will there be a blog or a complete website? Which social media platforms will be used, if any? Are there to be print ads, flyers, newsletters? How about radio or television spots, and video channel accounts such as You Tube? All of these will require copy writing. The content writer, will most likely be employed to blog or create content for the website and social media columns. However, a recent innovation in marketing called native advertising, requires the use of a skilled content writer.
Native advertising can take on several forms but always involves good content writing. A company may purchases space in a paper, journal or magazine and create an ad that appears to be just another article in the publication. Most often, it takes the form of a “share” on social media with a photo or video and a blurb with a click through to a blog, webpage, or advertisement.
A good marketing team will value their content writer and support him/her as clearly as possible with
- approximate word and page counts
- number and type of visuals to be included and if captions will be needed
- key words and phrases to imbed in the copy
- access to the client for key information.
Effective communication is 20% what you know and 80% how you feel about what you know. Jim Rohn, business man and motivational speaker
The Value of Content Writing
The importance of good content writing just cannot be over emphasized. The best ad campaign in the world will come and go. Good writing lasts for a long time and can be accessed again and again.
Consider a single blog post.
Let’s say Susie Q has started a blog on pie baking. Susie has a very specific niche: she bakes pies in large quantities for specific local clients (a few bakeries and a neighborhood market) and for caterers. She begins her blog by steadily posting on it once a week.
On one particular instance, Susie writes a blog about the delicious cherries grown in her area. She writes over 1000 words about cherries, cherry pie recipes, additions to the pie crust to highlight the flavor of the cherries, nostalgia about cherry pie and the health benefits of eating cherries. She also includes high quality photos.
Susie then adds a Facebook entry on her Pie Bakery page that links to her blog post. She does the same on her Instagram account.
Susie then goes on to other pies and other recipes and other blog posts. BUT…that post is still active and still draws traffic to her site. Each time someone comments and she permits the comment and answers it, it again puts the post out there into the blogger sphere.
Months after the post is published, a caterer for a political fund raising dinner is looking for someone to supply her with cherry pies (because, hey…what’s more American than that?). So she searches for “cherry pie baker” and Susie’s blog post on cherry pie pops us and as a result, Susie gets a new client.
So, you see how the addition of quality content can contribute traffic to your site long after it’s been published and you have moved on to other things.
The take away for you, the content creator, is that most business owners do not like or know how to write well.
Large firm or a small business owner, they are all in business to get more business. You, the content writer, have an important role to play by providing them good, quality writing that will get them seen and noticed both on the web and in print.