The following is guest post by Paul Roetzer, founder and president of PR 20/20, an inbound marketing agency and PR firm specializing in search marketing, social media, content marketing and public relations. You can find Paul on Twitter @ paulroetzer , and the PR 20/20 blog .
Powerful, action-oriented content has become an essential part of every inbound marketing strategy , and offers an enormous opportunity to differentiate and grow your business.
There are undisputed benefits to blogging — more indexed pages, inbound links, website visitors and social media reach — and tremendous lead-generating potential in ebooks, case studies, webinars, white papers and original reports.
The general rule is: the greater the value of your content, the greater the return on your investment.
However, continually producing premium content worthy of links and leads is not easy. It requires significant time and resources, executive support, long-term vision, internal expertise and often a willingness to share the knowledge businesses once held sacred.
Effective Business Copywriting
So let’s take a look at seven core elements of effective business copywriting, and some tips on how to hire writers that produce results:
1. Strategic - Online content has to connect to your business goals and brand. Hire writers that understand marketing strategy, and how to deliver copy that integrates across web, search, social and public relations strategies.
2. Brand Centric - Your brand is a sum of experiences and perceptions. Words, images and actions define your brand everyday, and with inbound marketing, your website and content may often serve as the first (and possibly only) opportunity to make an impression. Business copywriting must convey core brand messages, tell your organization’s story and create positive perceptions that motivate action.
3. Buyer Persona Focused - Great copy writing makes personal connections with readers. Copy needs to speak directly to buyer personas , address their pain points and bring value . Therefore, your copywriters — whether internal or outsourced — must have a clear understanding of your organization’s target audiences, and know how to engage them.
4. Optimized for Search Engines - Online content must be crafted for visitors, but optimized for search engines. Ideally , business copywriters will have core SEO knowledge and capabilities.
5. Technically Sound - Technically sound copy is concise and powerful. It uses proper grammar and is written at the appropr iate reading level. It is also consistent in person, voice, tone and format. Copywriters need strong technical writing skills, and the ability to apply these s kills whatever the task, medium or subject matter.
6. Creative - Never underestimate the value of quality creative writing. While many of the other elements we’ve discussed can be learned, b usiness-savvy creative writers are in high demand and scarce supply , and can be an invaluable asset to your organization.
7. Results Driven - Copywriting needs to be tied to your organization’s objectives, and should play a key role in delivering results (e.g. generating leads, educating key audiences, positioning as an industry leader, etc.).
Copywriters should be invested in tracking the content’s success through metrics such as: page views, content downloads, leads and social media reach. This enables future content to be strategized based on past performance, and can encourage the incorporation of new ideas and topics , to drive traffic and capture audiences.
How Do You Resource Business Copywriting?
While marketing professionals and agencies fight over who owns social media, there is a larger and more important battle looming over content creation.
There are many talented writers and content services available, but few that possess the wide range of capabilities needed to satisfy the seven elements of effective business copywriting.
Public relations agencies, communications pros, freelancers, former journalists and traditional publishers are all in the conversation as possible sources, but many have yet to step up and evolve their capabilities to meet the growing demand for results-driven online content.
Use the list presented above to evaluate potential writers, and find the professionals that are right for your business.
What has been your experience with business copywriting? Where do you turn for support? Is your copywriting helping to generate leads and build customer loyalty?
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Originally published Jun 21, 2010 5:00:00 PM, updated July 17 2018