Ever wonder how some brands seem to have the most unique and engaging content? Odds are, it’s because they have a copywriter on staff, or because they’ve hired a professional to do their writing for them.
Obviously, right? But here’s the thing: A lot of companies out there are hesitant to hand over their brand to a copywriter, regardless of whether that writer is a full-time employee or representing an agency, because there’s always the risk of their not getting it right, of misrepresenting the brand, or wasting valuable time and dollars on what feels like a never-ending project.
So, instead of having fresh content, that brand’s website sits untouched, with content created by someone who knows the brand really well, but maybe isn’t as well-suited to engage their audiences in this particular format.
If you’re someone who has that fear that a professional writer couldn’t possibly capture their brand’s voice, let me share with you just a few of the techniques that we use to capture and often elevate your brand’s voice across the mediums that matter most to you and your audience.
We don’t make assumptions
Honestly, this is probably one of the things that truly differentiates us from our competitors. We take the concept of a “discovery call” really seriously. We’re not going to show up with an off-the-shelf deck filled with stock suggestions about how our content services can support and grow your business.
In fact, we’re not going to show up with a deck at all. We’re showing up to listen. We’re showing up to gain an understanding of your goals, your experiences in creating publishing content to-date, and what success looks like for you.
So not only are we capturing as much information as we can from you in the discovery process, we’re also supplying you with a Brand Discovery Survey designed to help you articulate the nuances of your brand, the unique positioning of your products and services, the ways in which you solve problems for your customers, and a whole host of other details that will help us further differentiate you from your competitors.
But what about SEO?
I knew you were gonna ask that! In addition to the information that we gleaned in your discovery call and the Brand Discovery Survey, we also do keyword research on your industry, specific products or services, your competitors, and more.
This helps us do a few things. One, it helps us identify any content gaps your brand might have. Two, we can get a clearer picture of how your competition is ranking in terms of their content. Third (but certainly not last), this process will also show us content opportunities we might not have considered in the first place.
SEO is always evolving. Simply stuffing your content with keywords isn’t going to help you rank. In fact, it might actually ding your credibility in the eyes of certain search engines.
Despite this constant evolution in SEO, there are some constants. One of those constants is creating original, thoughtful, and useful content — content that your end-user can actually benefit from.
Original. Thoughtful. Useful.
Original content matters, because you’re giving your readers something unique for them to consider, whether it be an aspect of a topic that isn’t covered by other brands and is relevant to their needs, or if it’s offering a different perspective on a topic that’s been written about ad nauseam by other publishers.
Thoughtful matters, because it shows that you’re thinking beyond that writing itself.
- Are you organizing your content to make it more readable?
- Are you including internal and external links?
- Have you given consideration to the structure of your URLs?
- Instead of solely focusing on the most competitive keywords in this subject, have you found ways to use longtail keywords in your content?
These tactics also help web crawlers analyze and identify your content as being relevant to a searcher’s query.
Useful matters, because the content isn’t for you. Your content, whether it be ad copy, blog content, a landing page, a social post, or a web page, is for a specific audience.
When creating content for them, you need to think about a number of things, including adapting your voice for the medium you’re in, helping them to better understand a concept, and, perhaps most importantly, tell them what you want them to do!
Though all three of these factors are important, the latter two are probably the most missed opportunities for brands.
When it comes to creating content for your brand, never limit yourself to subjects that pertain specifically to selling your products or services. Honestly, covering the subjects that exist in, around, and beyond your products or services will probably help you increase your sales!
Here’s what I mean: Say you have a business that sells pencils. A limited way in which you could create content about your pencils would be to simply describe the pencil — it’s size, color, graphite weight, etc. After all, it’s just a pencil, right? But what if you were to write blogs about:
- The pros and cons of using traditional vs. mechanical pencils
- Why graphite? The history of pencils and their construction.
- Do you know how a pencil is made? An in-depth look at how we manufacture ours.
- Ever wonder why pencils are yellow? Here’s why!
- 3 clever ways to sharpen your pencils when you can’t find your sharpener
Okay, so I purposely chose a silly subject to prove a point: No matter what your business is selling, there’s a universe of ways in which you can promote it, speak to the many interests of your customers, and establish your authority on the subject. Maybe they’re not buying a pencil every single day, but when they want some, you’re who they think of, because in their minds, you are the pencil destination.
You’re giving them something to connect to beyond the object. There’s an emotional tie. You’re capturing their imagination. That’s potent, powerful stuff.
Now, in terms of telling them what to do, I’m talking about including clear calls to action. What do you want them to do? Call you? Fill out a form? Subscribe to your newsletter? Like? Share?
They need to know specifically what you want them to do, and you need to be unafraid to ask.
Can’t AI just do all of this for my business?
Given how prevalent the discussion around AI tools has become lately, I would be remiss if I didn’t briefly touch on this topic. (In the coming weeks, we’ll be publishing a long-form essay on AI tools.)
Simply put, I think that we have a healthy sense of cautious optimism and cautious skepticism regarding these tools.
One, AI tools for writing have already been around for some time. Grammarly and predictive text, for example, are both AI tools.
Second, while the sophistication of these tools will no doubt grow over the next several years, at this point in time, their use is still better suited for helping writers and content creators generate new ideas, reframe certain concepts, or reorganize existing content. Our goal is to continue to employ more people to do more great writing for our client base while giving consideration to these tools in ways we feel align with our values and goals. More on all that later.
In summary, working with a professional writer can help give you an objective perspective on your brand voice, elevating it to not only capture its essence but also to embrace opportunities you haven’t yet taken advantage of.
The trick is partnering with an agency who is dedicated to listening and doing the work required to support your brand’s goals.
SEO is so much more than keywords. Find a partner who can create content for your brand and your audience that is original, thoughtful, and useful.
Don’t limit your content opportunities. There are so many different ways in which you can approach a subject. You’re giving your audience different perspectives, which gives you more data, which gives you more insight on what you can do next.
Lastly, always remember to help people understand precisely what you want them to do. Speaking of, I would love for you to contact us. You deserve a marketing partner who will take the time to understand your goals and create meaningful solutions that support them. Isn’t it worth finding out if we’re the right fit?