Let’s face it, your customer doesn’t care about you.
They don’t care about your products, about your logo design, about your workload or your website, about your two point four children, your staff or your ingrowing toenail.
They don’t care that your Skoda just got pranged by a Porsche. They don’t care that you want to save the environment, they don’t particularly care that you work 17 hours every Monday through to Sunday, and they certainly don’t care that you haven’t pulled a sickie in the last ten years.
Neither do they care that you prefer red wine to white, have a dog called Boo and your favourite colour is taupe or that you treat your staff with respect.
They’re selfish. They care only about themselves. That’s all. Nothing else.
Only when you realise this can you begin to make sense of the purpose of content marketing.
Okay, we may have gone a little overboard here with the pathologically selfish thing. We’re talking about your customer in relation to your product or service, not their entire lives. And they do have standards.
The point is this: You customer comes to your site to get something. It’s a simple equation.
They gotta have it…right now. Right here. Okay? You have it. Right here, right now.
What is good content writing?
There’s content and then there’s good content. You can fill your web pages with all sorts of wonderful stuff. You can wax lyrical on every topic under the sun.
But does it really give your customer what they want?
According to the Content Marketing Institute:
“Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
And just so you’ve got it, this is what WebSiteDesigns.com say about it:
“Your audience don’t care about you, your products, or your services. They care about themselves, their wants, and their problems. Content marketing is about creating interesting information your audience is passionate about, so they seek you out and actually pay attention to what you have to say.”
Why you think you don’t need a content writer
You know how to write. Of course you do. You’ve been doing it for years – writing letters, emails, even the odd tweet now and again. You’re proficient at it. If not remarkable.
Before we go any further: Yes, there are business owners who are good writers, know exactly what content marketing is all about and can deliver it without breaking into a sweat.
But there are plenty who aren’t good content writers. They fill their pages with too much stuff, confuse their customers with badly constructed sentences and half the time don’t even bother to check grandma and spilling. Then, to cap it all, they publish it to the web without even a hint of a proofread.
There are plenty of reasons why you might want to write your own content:
- It’s cheaper.
- Who knows better how to make your online pitch than you…the entrepreneur?
- People don’t actually read that stuff anyway.
- It’s just for show, right? Something to fill up a blank page.
The benefits of hiring a good content writer
Notice I said GOOD content writer there. It’s an important point. With every indie writer and would-be marketing guru believing they have the skills to write great copy, the major problem business owners have is sifting through the rubbish to find a content writer who delivers quality work on time.
Here are the benefits if you manage to do just that:
- You get better written, more focused copy for your website.
- You get the right balance between features and benefits for your product or service.
- You get expert opinion on what works and what doesn’t.
- You get someone who has worked at their craft and knows what they are doing.
- You get quality, okay?
- Finally, you get more time for yourself. And we all know how valuable that is.
If you want your business website to look professional and attract and retain more customers, then you need to employ the services of a content writer who can deliver.
Take some advice from copywriter Susan Green:
“In today’s media-rich world, there’s no shortage of messages competing for your customers’ attention. You don’t want to lose out because your copy is ineffective. Quality content written by a professional copywriter may cost you money up front, but your return on investment in sales should make it well worth the expense.”
What you want your writer to do
You want your content writer to work with you closely and produce the kind of copy that attracts customers and keeps them coming back for more.
Business owners often worry they haven’t filled enough of that digital space with content – it leads them to throw everything but the kitchen sink onto each web page. Rather than making it easier for customers to buy their product, it merely confuses the hell out of them. A good content writer can focus and pare down your content so that it is fit for purpose.
And sells more.
Another problem you find on many websites is that they are so feature rich it’s difficult to find the benefits. A good content writer will be able to look at your product and see it from the customer’s point of view – that old marketing mantra What’s In It For Me? is important:
“It’s not what’s on offer but how it can help transform your customer’s life that helps you sell and you need to bring that across in your online content.”
Where to Find Your Content Writer
There are plenty of platforms that showcase freelancers available to work on projects for your business, including People Per Hour and Elance. Most provide customer feedback and star ratings so you can find out who’s good and not so good, though it makes sense to start off with a small job before you part with too much of your hard earned cash.
Another way to find freelancers is to do a local search on Google, especially if you want that personal contact which is often lacking in the online world.
However you do it, the advice is to build a strong relationship with your chosen content writer and treat them with respect. Good ones are hard to find and even harder to replace.
The Difference Between Site Content and Blog Content
Finally, there is a world of difference between your main site content and the stuff you put into a blog.
Content marketing for your product needs to be slick and to the point, designed to give the customer what they want and not distract them with information that doesn’t matter. It’s about pushing the benefits of doing business with your company, not discussing the pros and cons of trout fishing or listing the top twenty things to do with a bar of soap.
When it comes to your main site the mantra is quick and easy to understand. In other words: KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID.
Your blog on the other hand is less about selling and more about providing value added extra information and building your reputation. It’s a key tool in attracting customers to your site with entertaining and enlightening articles.
They may not buy from your straight away but they’ll keep coming back because your information is so darned good. And if they do that, they’ll eventually engage more profitably.
According to the Guardian:
“The key to a successful business blog is giving your readers valuable content. That is how you establish your website’s authority in your industry. In addition, if you give your readers valuable content, they will reward you by becoming return visitors and also parting with their money.”
You Get What You Pay For
If you are a business owner then you should be familiar with the old adage: You get what you pay for. Low cost jobs generally deliver low cost results and bad writing can be catastrophic for your business.
I’ll leave the last word on that to Contender Content:
“In an increasingly content-centric industry, copywriting can be the decisive factor in determining the efficacy of your marketing efforts. Business blogging, website copy, landing pages, email copywriting and asset creation are the building blocks of a successful marketing campaign – and your copywriter has a huge hand in the creation of each. If corners are to be cut, content is not the place to do so.”