Good writing is so much more than simply good writing – it builds professionalism, a strong brand, customer trust, loyalty and sales.
The business offering
Expertly crafted text, written by an experienced copywriter, will outline the services and messages you want to present in a clear and concise manner. It will demonstrate that you are a professional business and build trust in your brand, leading to what every company wants: sales and, hopefully, repeat sales from satisfied customers.
So where do you start with developing your content strategy? Consider your business from the point of view of your customers.
Do they know what you are offering? What are the skills and experience you can provide? What makes your business stand out against the competition? In short, why should they choose you?
A clear presentation of your unique selling proposition (USP) will encourage customers to select you, rather than an apparently similar provider.
If you are lucky enough to work in a specialised field, with little competition, perhaps more detailed information on the service you provide will help potential customers understand the time and effort required to create your product, or demonstrate why you have the right experience to offer help and advice on their project. Coupled with excellent photography, this is a powerful and effective tool to encourage engagement.
If you work in a competitive arena, the right content and presentation can help you appear better than the rest. Do you offer excellent customer service, perhaps? Or can you help customers by providing articles and insights on a related topic, for example, which they will find useful and present you as more knowledgeable in the sector – even more caring – than the rest?
When customers are faced with a lot of choice, they tend to select the most professionally-presented website or communication, which features clear signposting to help them view, compare and buy via a smooth and seamless process.
Think of your own experience and what you like to see in a website or promotional email. Which companies seem to have it right? Could you emulate their approach for your own business? Conversely, who is doing it wrong? Make sure you don’t repeat their mistakes.
In a world where everyone has a website and a social presence online, it may seem a hard task to make your voice heard.
However, a strong, unified brand, featuring bold imagery and logo, can go a long way towards making your offering memorable and connect all your content, in whichever format. The advertising industry often cites the idea that customers need to see something advertised seven times before it registers with them, and even more times before they buy. Therefore if you have an image or colour that you can repeat across your content – both physical and online – then your company branding will start to resonate with every communication you make.
The tone of voice you use will vary depending on the type of company you are and the customers you wish to attract. If you are selling fashion to a young market, for example, a friendly, fun approach using the language they relate to, accompanied by images of young people doing fun activities in your clothes, is a great approach. If you are selling something more expensive, such as exclusive jewellery or cars, you may want to use more sophisticated language, which sells the aspirational dream. If you are a plumber or electrician, you may want to use straightforward language to stress your trustworthiness through the swiftness of your response and the reliability of your work. If you are a small, creative business you may want to adopt a friendly, personal, chatty style to engage your readers and build a relationship. Again, consider your customer and what will encourage them to choose you.
Types of content
Every company has different content requirements governed by what the business does. It is safe to say that all need an online presence, even if it is simply a landing page with contact details. However, customers are increasingly sophisticated and demanding in the online space and expect to find the information they want quickly, and a smooth path to purchasing, where appropriate.
Working with a copywriter will help you clarify your product and service offerings into easily navigable categories, each of which can be populated with interesting, relevant, well-written content that is optimised for web search through clever use of keywords.
Do you have an interesting story about how or why you established the business? Can you include examples of projects you have done? What were the challenges faced and how did you overcome them? Do you undertake special commissions? Can you tell the stories behind them and build engagement with visitors to your site? Can you include testimonials or product reviews? Think of your own experience and how many times you read others’ reviews of items before you buy.
Do you want to include a Shop facility? If so, top quality images are vital, showing the items for sale full size, plus from different angles. Accompanying the images, measurements, colours, materials used and any other useful details should be included. Clear, informative explanations and a button to buy alongside, present the product in the best way and increase the likelihood of an immediate purchase.
You may also want to write a blog, which will keep content on your site fresh and interest visitors. It can help improve your ranking with search engines and help to keep organic traffic engaged. Again, a copywriter can work with you on topics to consider – and even write the blog on your behalf.
Comprehensive marketing campaign
Beyond the website, I strongly recommend that you consider a comprehensive marketing campaign. Nobody makes the effort to visit a website every day, so you need to create interest in your site and reasons for customers and potential customers to visit and revisit your site.
Think about creating a regular newsletter to send out to your contacts, featuring your branding and links to new articles, news, events or products that may be of interest. Keep the newsletter short and simple, with links to longer text on your site that clients can click through to if they choose.
Plus, bear in mind that increasing numbers of people are accessing content from their mobile phones. Take into account that, unless you site is optimised for mobile view, it may not load or present well, reducing your professionalism.
In parallel with a newsletter, news should be presented on social media. Think about where your customers are likely to be on social media channels. If you have a creative business, visual channels may work best, such as Pinterest and Instagram. If longer articles or blogs work better for your audience, perhaps Facebook, Clipboard or Medium is the right choice. LinkedIn can also be a good environment in which to present your business and services. If you are not sure, choose a few channels and see which generate the most engagement over a period of a few months.
It is always worth researching publishers in your field, many of whom have digital outputs and welcome interesting news and features from knowledgeable specialists. They can help amplify your presence and add kudos to your business. Copywriters can help you create a professional press release or work with you to create an informative article or blog post – whether for your own website or another publisher.
The bigger picture
Going beyond the virtual environment, there is still an important place for physical content to help increase your business presence and reinforce marketing initiatives. Trade shows, exhibitions and conferences provide an opportunity to build relationships with customers and new contacts. Again your branding must follow through in your stand livery, leaflets and literature. Have you thought about repurposing content you have used elsewhere? Can you print out copies of an article you used online to hand out, for example? Leaflets and other materials should match your virtual presence in terms of colour and tone of voice to reinforce a comprehensive message through all channels.
Think about adding value for customers who have bought products or services in the past. When you send a parcel to a customer, make sure you include a thank you. Can you make the experience memorable and make them feel valued with a special offer coupon for the next purchase, or include a leaflet about courses or new products?
Whether presented physically or digitally, expertly written content, tailored to the target audience, is essential to a professional business and can enhance the prospect of a sale at every engagement point. Different people have different preferences for where and how they consume content and successful companies recognise where their customers are and design their approaches to suit them. A copywriter can see your business from the customer’s perspective and work with you to extract the gems and insights that will help you build trust in your business and, hence, increase sales.