Your content should be the beating heart of your brand.
It has the power to educate, to persuade and to incentivise your audience, no matter where they are on the buyer's journey.
When it comes to written content, or "copy", every blog, newsletter, white-paper and page of web-copy you publish is a direct representation of the company you and your colleagues have spent precious time building.
Get it wrong, the consequences can be serious… get it right and you’ve got a powerful weapon in your marketing arsenal.
With so much written content online though, competition is tough, no matter the industry you’re in.
A specialised approach is required, and this is what we draw on when client’s approach us wanting to adopt a content strategy that can make an impact.
What does this process look like?
Let’s get into it…
Getting under the bonnetWe’ll start by making sure we understand you, your brand voice and what you want to accomplish.
Each of our clients will have very specific objectives and priorities, such as:
- Driving conversions,
- Building brand awareness,
- Gaining brand authority,
- Boosting their visibility on search engine,
The work that will come later will be driven by these motivations. Every time we write and publish a blog, we’ll look back at your objectives, and ask ourselves whether the work meets that objective.
Understanding your audienceIt’s also really important to keep the end user in mind when writing content, so we’ll work to find out who your audience is and what makes them tick. For example:
- How old are they?
- How much do they earn?
- What are their lifestyle goals?
- What are their hobbies?
- What media do they consume?
- What are their specific pain points that you can address?
We’ll also research what people are searching for online, to increase the chances of your target audience finding your website while they’re seeking answers to their questions.
Building a new strategyOnce we understand your brand, your goals and your target audience, we can create a content strategy that brings all this together, and write engaging content that can help you achieve your targets.
You may be seeking to attract more than one type of person (or brand persona), in which case, we can create content for end users at different stages of the marketing flywheel. It’s important to remember which stage people are at, as this affects not only what we say, but how we say it.
- Awareness - helping your audience know who you are and what you do, rather than going for a hard sell.
- Interest - building your credibility and showcasing your expertise, so your target audience knows your business can help address their issues.
- Desire - leads and prospects will be comparing you with other brands, so you need to show what makes you different.
- Action - your lead is ready to make a purchase, so you must focus on meeting their needs, expectations and say why buying from you is the best option.
- Loyalty - driving repeat purchases and turning a one-time customer into a loyal client.
A word on formatting
Did you know that a typical web user only reads about 20 percent of a web page?
That’s not a surprise when you think about it.
After all, the way we scroll down a web page on a phone is quite different to how we read the page of a book, magazine or newspaper.
With a print publication, you’ve made a commitment to reading it properly by buying it. But with a web page, you haven’t, so you can easily click away and look elsewhere.
That means we have to think carefully about how each piece of content we write is laid out, so the key pieces of information still get put across.
Here are a few techniques we use:
These allow the reader to skim through the page, so they know what a section is about before they decide to read it.
Lists and bullet points
These help to break down large chunks of text into something a bit more digestible.
It’s hard to skim read long paragraphs, so these should be avoided when writing web copy.
Putting key information at the top
By front-loading content with the main points, a person can click away quickly and still leave with the message you wanted to convey.
Cutting words you don’t need
With a book or newspaper, you might appreciate the odd linguistic or rhetorical flourish. But web copy has to be concise and easy to scan, so removing unnecessary words adds rather than removes value.
Web copy is often designed to motivate readers into carrying out a specific action, so it’s important to make sure your Call to Action (CTA) is compelling, appropriate and feels like the natural way to end your copy.
Specialised terminology can be hugely off-putting and confusing, so make sure you’re using terms that your target audience understands.
Good spelling and correct grammar
You don’t have to be a copywriter to care about typos and missing apostrophes. According to a report from Real Business, 59 percent of adults click away from websites if they have poor spelling and grammar.
So once a piece of copy has been written, it will be sent to our proofreader for a final check to make sure any minor issues are picked up before it goes live.
We hope this article sheds some light on our thinking and processes.
We don’t believe web content is something that’s just nice to have. It’s a crucial part of your marketing mix, so it’s really important to us that the content we produce on our clients’ behalf reflects their priorities and objectives, and offers genuine value to those who read it.
Ready to unleash to power of content? Start your journey today.