Content is becoming more and more important in modern day marketing, partly because more and more customers use it to inform their purchasing decisions. From video product reviews to influencer posts on Instagram, the modern consumer is using more tools than ever to establish opinions and ideas on what they should buy before even making direct contact with a business.97% of consumers now use online media when researching products and services in their local market. 93% of all B2B purchases start with an internet search, and 84% of buyers engage in online information consumption and education. The landscape of selling has changed, not because of technology, but because of the power that technology has handed consumers.
With more information at their disposal, consumers are more informed of what they want and what they don’t want before they connect with a salesperson.
How does writing influence readers?
Writing can occur in many different forms - from social media posts and blogs, to emails, website copy and downloadable content. Knowing who you're targeting with your writing, what you want them to do with your content, when they'll be reading and where, will all influence the effectiveness of your writing. Content serves a purpose, and so does the writing within the content. Understanding the role, and the importance, of the writing needed is based on the person you’re writing for (persona) and the decisions they’re trying to make (buyer journey).
B2B marketers that write relevant blogs get 67% more leads than those that do not (and this was back in 2015). Website copy is crucial for how your website is indexed on search engines and can help to educate your audience and guide them through the buying journey.
Writing is also incredibly important because it is an excellent way of getting your brand personality across to the reader, and connecting with them emotionally.
The types of questions you answer, the type of language you use and the next steps you direct someone to take are all defined by your content marketing strategy, and all are executed by the written content.
The writing forms an argument, discussion and summary of questions your persona has, and offers a chance for you to build rapport with them as a solution provider.
Consumers look for brands that add value to the relationship before the transactional part of the relationship. For some businesses, this is offering free hints and tips that guide people to appropriate solutions. For other businesses this is explaining their offering in a context the consumer understands, to add it into the mix of potential solutions. For businesses really embracing content marketing, the writing achieves both!
What should you consider when writing for your brand?
There are a number of considerations that should be made before writing for your audience. It’s all too easy for a business to decide that they need to write blogs or long-form guides, but without first setting a purpose and measurable outcomes these will quickly become a waste of valuable resources (and will be very difficult to track how well they're performing).
So what are the main things to consider when writing content?
- Who - who is your target audience and are they familiar with the topic. Are you using appropriate language that they’ll relate to and understand?
- Why - why are they coming to you for information? Are you helping them tackle a problem or are you helping them make a decision?
- What - what is the purpose of your content? Are you convincing them to take a specific action? Is there a specific take home from this content that adds value to their life?
- Where - where are they going to read the content? Will it be on social media, your website, a third party site, their email inbox or somewhere different. Be sure to also optimise your website for mobile, in case your audience prefers to do their research away from their computer.
- When - when in their buying journey are they reading this content? Is it very early when they have little knowledge, in which case does it effectively explain all pain points and goals related to the topic? Is it closer to buying, in which case does it focus on explaining what to look for in an effective solution provider?
Factoring in all of the above will enable you to write content that is relevant and valuable to a visitor. Beyond those key points, you will also need to decide on how you will find the resource to have content written and how you will measure the success of the content.
By setting SMART goals for your content marketing, you will have the ability to see if your writing is doing a great job of supporting your content marketing strategy.
You can download our template for setting SMART goals here to get you started on your journey to writing great content that your audience can't get enough of!