September 25, 2020
In today’s uncertain new world, agencies are vying for new clients in an already competitive and sometimes overcrowded marketplace. Any new business pitches your market research agency makes or new approaches for existing clients, have to be underpinned with solid research and insights. Part of that is ensuring that all your written marketing content is of a high standard.
Here are our six dos and don’t of writing marketing content such as blog posts, articles and white papers, etc. Follow these guidelines, and we're confident you'll amp up your agency’s promotional efforts.
Remember, it’s such written content that’s often the focal point for any insight marketing activity your agency undertakes.
If you want to write high-quality content, then it stands to reason that reading high-quality content is part of your daily diet. Dig around to find the best writers, read them, learn from them and apply that knowledge to your own writing.
By reading marketing and insights industry-relevant content, you’re not only staying on top of your game but organically developing your skills as a writer.
You’ll absorb what your audience wants to read about and have the insight to know where there are gaps in your content. This should give you the inspiration to write fresh content from a unique perspective.
A standard error that experienced and inexperienced writers make all the time is not thinking about their target audience. No writer worth their salt can produce exciting and relevant content without knowing exactly who they are writing for. It matters.
Why is this so important? Two reasons:
First, by knowing your audience, you can decide if a publication’s audience will help you meet your content marketing objectives. In other words, there's no point in writing for a publication that doesn’t reach your target audience.
Second, if you know your audience, you know what content is most valuable to them. For example, they may be advertisers who want to know about your approach to creative testing. Or, they could be client-side researchers who are interested in methodological innovation.
Audiences interested in insight marketing want to get something out of everything they read. For you, as a writer, this means the onus is on you to tell your audience at the start what it stands to gain from reading your content.
Use your headlines to engage your audience by telling them how they will benefit from reading your content. Once you have their attention, create content that’s relevant to their interests and concerns and provide solutions that can help meet their needs. You can only do this if you know who your audience is (see point 2).
Keep your content short, with subheadings and formatting that aids fast reading.
You don’t need to use jargon, acronyms and overly technical language to impress. This is hard because like many industries, marketing is full of jargon, and its research methodologies are stuffed with overly-academic terminologies.
Assume your audience needs to read content in the most straightforward and most concise terms possible. Simplifying writing doesn’t have to mean you’re being patronizing. You’re being clearer.
Language aside, keep to a clear structure and formatting so that your audience finds it easy to navigate your content. Simple hacks such as spacing and bolding to make critical points and not using large blocks of text will help you to make your content easy to read.
Of course, your content is there to eventually and hopefully attract new clients. That means like all insight marketers, you want to inject your agency’s message into your content. However, this shouldn't be done at the expense of your audience’s enjoyment (see points 2 and 3).
Avoid continual references to your own work, agency name and an OTT call to action is an audience turn-off. You face the likelihood they will neither read nor share your work in the future.
Your written work should focus on insights, benefits and new perspectives to your audience, not an unwanted sales pitch.
If you follow points 1, 2 and 3, then ensure you don’t over exaggerate on the promises you’ve made in your headline and opening paragraphs. Your audience won’t thank you for it.
Write your content first, then your headlines can follow. Don’t use hyperbole in your headlines or opening paragraphs to gain your audience’s attention. It will have the opposite effect and deter your audience from regularly engaging with your content.
Remember to keep your eye on the prize, which is that your aim is that your audience contacts you to discuss a working relationship. They won’t do that if you’re already breaking promises at the point of contact.
A well-written word is an essential tool for all insight marketers working in an increasingly competitive marketplace. DO use your written words wisely and carefully to deliver content that’s beneficial to your target audience. DON’T compromise your long-term relationship with your audience with irrelevant and pushy content.
Let us know how you get on! We’d love to hear from you.