Unless you've been lost in the Himalayas for the past few years, you most probably heard about copywriting, content writing, or content marketing. In this day and age, these three phrases seem to be quite the rage in digital marketing, and certainly not by accident. You see, people are becoming more fond of technology by the day, and that also calls for the growing use of online marketplaces and services. Users spend more and more time on the internet with the sole purpose of buying. However, having a great product or service is not nearly enough to convince them anymore. A company must meet a whole bundle of other requirements in order to bear fruit. Having outstanding content is one of these requirements. But let's not rush ahead of ourselves just yet. First, let's see what content itself is.
Content – The Ever So Versatile Information Medium
Speaking in terms of content marketing, content delivers information about a company, a product, a service, an industry, a team, etc., all in a fashion that aims to draw people's affection towards the brand. Content may refer to any kind of textual, graphic, audio, video or interactive element presented on a digital platform, and is specifically created to target the audience or end-user. Content is a fascinating play with words and creative ideas that has the ultimate goal to ripen the voice of a brand, make it understandable by the audience, and transmit its values. Let's go one step further, and see what place content writing holds in all this.
Content Writing Demystified
I would say that content writing is the foundation of content marketing and come to that, digital marketing efforts too. Combined with other forms of content, content writing provides the necessary context and guidance for your potential audience. Think of it like this: a video cannot ever be meaningful without a well-thought-out script, an improvised talk or voiceover has a high chance of ending in some babbling and bumbling, and an otherwise brilliant graphic becomes incomprehensible without the proper explanation. In other words, featuring any of the above content types as part of a digital strategy without having them supported by sensible copy, is a lot like trying to start an engine without fuel.
Nevertheless, if you fill your tank of digital marketing with the fuel of carefully assembled words, your brand can acquire a truly unique identity in the online world, expand its reach, earn new visitors, and ultimately, increase its conversion rate. In the next few paragraphs, I would like to guide you through the 7 ways content writing can contribute to all that. By looking at them one-by-one, we can get a better grasp of content writing in general and learn why it helps businesses flourish.
Why is Content Writing Worth the Trouble
1. Content helps build brand awareness
As a brand, your main priority is for potential prospects to know you. Know you, recognise you, associate you with particular products or services, and distinguish you from your competitors. Now, this kind of thing takes time, but pushing the right content on your various channels can help you speed it up big time. Using social channels, newsletters, blogs and websites to create engaging, well-written and relevant content that relates to your brand and values will show your audience that you are present and in position for them. Ultimately, your content will decide whether they can connect to the brand or not.
2. Content offers information to your audience
Besides elevating your brand and trying to resonate with your target audience, content writing is the single best way to deliver first-hand information about your products and services. Or even beyond. Allow me to elevate on this a little with an example.
SodaStream, established distributor of sparkling water makers, has a pretty neat website. By browsing it, one can find all the information about features, usage and prices that they might want to know as a potential buyer. The main goal has therefore been achieved, hasn't it? Well, not quite, because consumers still don't know why would it be worth for them to purchase one of SodaStream's products. They have a faint notion that making their beloved sparkling water at home would be more environmentally friendly than buying it from the store all bottled up in plastic, but that's about it. SodaStream, however, offers practical information that may contribute to customers taking the right buying decisions.
A single SodaStream bottle corresponds to 3,070 disposable bottles.
A plastic bottle has a life cycle of 450 years.
Of all plastic ever produced, only 9% has ever been recycled.
These are all essential pieces of information that customers are able to learn just by going to the website of SodaStream, not having to run a search on them individually. To wrap it up, by creating content aimed at informing the audience, SodaStream helps first-time buyers make a well-founded decision, helps them assess the weight of plastic waste production, and even saves them time.
3. Content helps Search Engine Optimisation
A lot of businesses are practically running a race to acquire a top position on a search engine page. Well, to be fair and square, we talk mostly about Google as it's the world's biggest search engine that fields over and above 1 trillion searches each year. Knowing this, it's downright unquestionable that each business has at least a few people in their area researching their industry with the help of Google. In reaching those potential customers, the primary role is played by content writing as one of the most significant on-page ranking factors. Posting captivating, keyword-rich content to one's website with the right CTA (call-to-action) helps in earning qualified organic traffic, and encourages readers to convert into leads or customers.
This is an inexhaustible way of content creation. Marketing teams can continuously work on new content to rank in Google. The more fresh and original material one has, the more visitors they will attract to their site. But hey, showing up on Google is merely the beginning. Content writing gives you another key advantage related to search engines.
4. Good content attracts links from other websites
One of the biggest targets for content marketers is attracting links, be them from blogs, news publications, social media, or virtually anything in-between. Why, you might ask. Well, because in the eyes of Google, earning links to your website is equal to a vote of confidence. Links also represent key ranking factors in SEO, which means that the more sites link your page, the higher its SERP (Search Engine Results Page) rating will be.
Of course, the peak of the results page is often reserved for the leading websites of the world like Facebook, Twitter, BBC, and other highly profitable brands. Still, if a business targets the occasional long-tail keywords that are less competitive, it'll probably have an easier time getting to the top of those search results. Also, being open to creating content that targets different kinds of publications and authors might help in broadening the variety of links one earns and get them ahead of their competitors.
5. Social Media is the El Dorado of content
The benefits of content writing go beyond search engines. Social media, as we know, is such a prominent aspect of marketing and content creation. That being the case, if you run a digital marketing strategy, you should always have social media profiles and try to exploit their full potential.
Social media enables you to engage with your audience in a whole lot of fascinating ways. Regarding the total number of active users, Facebook and YouTube are the social services in chief, but Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Snapchat may also hold a lot of possibilities, depending on the industry you established yourself in. Most of these networks allow brands to promote content from their webpage and earn additional traffic by sharing it on their profiles. However, if they're not looking for that, they can always make efforts to expose their name and gain valuable followers by coming up with inventive social posts.
6. Written content drives conversions & builds retention
A. As you'd expect, the ultimate purpose of content writing is to earn new leads and customers. Practically, each step a visitor takes towards becoming a customer can be considered a conversion. From a business perspective, getting content out in the open is the very first step to obtaining conversions. The question remains: once it's out there, how do you use it to get the highest amount of customers possible? Well, primarily through the use of CTAs. Those are the most prominent and efficient ways to tell visitors what to do after they're done with a piece of content.
Shop Now, Read More, Join Us, Subscribe – these are the tried and tested CTAs that we can see on a daily basis. However, there are more out-of-the-common instances that radiate creativity, thus attracting our attention. Allow me to return to our previous example, SodaStream. They, as well, have a more classic approach to their CTAs, but they also have some pretty original ones. Get Bubbles. How easy-going, how airy that phrase is. Just like bubbles. And who wouldn't want some bubbles? Well, I certainly do.
B. Aside from driving conversions, written content is also a crucial factor in building and maintaining customer retention. Established businesses must consider that too, and having an excellent content strategy might just be the way to go. After all, if we think about why we usually take a liking to a brand, chances are that it has something to do with its digital strategy. It may be a killer Instagram feed, an intuitive website, or a consistent brand image. Writing always plays a huge part in all that because it keeps users interested.
7. Content strengthens your expert role
Creating content for any of your online platforms is basically telling the world that you have extensive knowledge about a particular topic. That topic is the industry you established yourself in. Beauty professionals may discuss the pros and cons of microdermabrasion. Event planners may choose to assemble a list of the most hyped catering companies available in their area. Delivery services may elaborate on package handling safety. All of these topics confer expertise in a line of activity and are therefore viable and infinitely expandable options.
That expertise can get any business a long way into success. By reinforcing your role as an industry leader, you'll earn trust from people. That trust can manifest in obtaining links, in getting more social media exposure, an increase in overall conversions, and eventually, in revenue growth.
Solid Ground for Digital Marketing Strategies
If we managed to lay down any principles in this article, I hope the first one is that there's no digital marketing without content writing. Content makes your brand visible. It makes sure that your products and services are recognised and understood by the masses. It is the base for SEO and attracts links from other websites. It is the beating heart of social media fame. It is at the bottom of bringing conversions and customer retention about. It is your second certificate of excellence.
On a more pragmatic note, content is affordable, relatively easy to create (well, sometimes more than others), and always dependable for long-term results. Don't miss out on its potential!
Written by: Rebeka Kovács-Ungvári, Creative Content Creator @CognitiveCreators