If you’ve read marketing blogs for any time at all (mine included) you’ll hear over and over about the importance of providing value. It makes sense when you think about it.
If you want people to read something you’ve written, you have to provide them a reason.
What does that really mean?
What’s the takeaway?
How do you make people care about what you have to say?
There’s a couple ways to write copy with value.
- Do it different. What is the unique perspective that you provide? What makes your business different than the competition? How does your story differ from the competition? Not every carpenter specializes in the same type of projects. Not every restaurant makes their food with the same type of ingredients. Not every copywriter has a journalism background. Figure out what makes you different, and utilize it to your advantage. When it comes to blog posts, show a little of that unique personality in your writing. Don’t regurgitate the same old industry tips that appear everywhere else.
- Do it better. First, study what your competition puts out there. Add to the conversation. Be thorough. Back up the points that you make in your writing with actual data. This gives readers the impression you may actually know what you’re talking about. Keep up with what’s being written in the industry. Disagree with something? Write an opposing piece. Keep publishing new ideas. Find out what your readers want to know, and give it to them.
Here’s the thing. To do this, you have to write like you care. You have to write for people and not search engines. It’s not enough to simply pass through the motions, or hand it off to someone who always enjoyed writing in high school.
Your blog, your content, your marketing are often the first impression that readers and customers will have of your business. Mistake-filled copy is the equivalent of messy store shelves. It’s the equivalent of hiring a lawyer or accountant with files and papers strewn all over their office.
You’re taking money for what you do, which by definition makes you a professional. It’s time to treat your marketing efforts that way.
My goal as a journalist has always been to write the story readers will rip out of the paper and stick on their fridge. Or to write the story that they’ll repost on Facebook.
In marketing it’s not all that different.
It takes a good story. It takes a subject that matters. And it takes doing it better and different.
Matt Brennan is a Chicago-area marketing writer and copy editor. He is also the author of Write Right-Sell Now.