Relax. You’re not alone in hating the copy on your website. I’ve worked with businesses of all types, and every single one of them had a content problem. And they usually knew it. Take a look at your own site and see if you find yourself saying things like:
“This doesn’t really sound like us.”
“I don’t even want to read this.”
“This makes us sound like everyone else!”
“Why is it so complicated?”
Fear not. Acknowledging that you have a problem is step one. And it’s a vital one if you plan on embarking into the world of content marketing. Let’s not forget that this copy didn’t just materialize on your website. It was bought and paid for. In fact it went through an entire internal approval process. So we can’t plan on doing the same thing — adding more trash to the world’s most boring dumpster fire. Instead, let’s create a new plan. It’s time to get strategic.
How to start writing things you’d actually want to read — and maybe even share.
It’s a trick question. You might say something like, “To improve SEO, increase site traffic and boost direct consumer conversions.” That sounds great! It’s also exactly how you should pitch content marketing to your executive team. However, between you and me, this doesn’t really say anything that will lead to good writing. That sentence tells us why content marketing exists in today’s world. But it doesn’t tell us why content marketing will work for you. Instead, use this question to dig deeper.
The answer can’t be just, “content marketing.” This is where we start digging and establishing tangible needs of the company. Maybe you’re also looking to increase brand awareness. Perhaps this content is intended to warm up leads for your sales team. Maybe it’s about thought leadership that generates respect and admiration amongst your peers. Maybe it’s all about recruiting. By locking in on some targets we can begin to build a strategy to hit them.
Your target is busy. They have a lot on their plate and they don’t have time. They’re concerned about price points. And they just want the facts. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard these words! This is true for almost every industry and every company. Do not be discouraged. All this means is that your target is not looking to waste their time on bad content. They want to know that they can trust you. And they want to know what differentiates you and justifies your price point. So with that in mind, who cares if they’re “busy?” Focus on who they are and what they need.
Let’s get deep here. Don’t get too excited about product benefits, superior service and personal relationships with customers. Instead, truly think about the person you want to reach. Now solve a problem for them. Is your target a stressed out middle aged man looking for the right vendor but is also concerned about the state of the supply chain? Then perhaps writing an article on the supply chain and how it’s uncertainty could be mitigated might be of interest. Perhaps your target is locked indoors with a houseful of kids and no headspace to concern themselves with your points of differentiation. They might however appreciate your Stuck At Home Playlist which they could listen to while ordering one of three family meal packs.
Don’t beat yourself up. Creating good content is hard. It takes vision. And creativity. It’s looking beyond the immediate and reaching for a message that extends your brand. Believe me, the most exciting companies get stuck sometimes. Moreover, even the most seemingly boring companies we’ve worked with were able to find their voice. Try to dig deeper, and see if you can find yours. And if you get stuck, we’re here to help.