For thousands of years, humans have used the written word to tell stories, express ideas and communicate perspectives. It’s no wonder then that copy plays a substantial role from a marketing standpoint. Think of copywriting as a sales strategy, with you, the writer, as the salesperson. Your copy needs to sell, otherwise, there’s no point. Yet, many writers make mistakes that lead to lower conversion rates. Below are 5 common content marketing mistakes and how to avoid them.
Beating Around the Bush
As a writer, I know first-hand how tempting it can be to elaborate. One of the toughest challenges writers face is taming the urge to be verbose. While a flowery, poetic style may work (to an extent) when drafting creative copy, it will almost certainly backfire when composing copy for marketing purposes. If you take too long to relay your intended message, you will lose the reader’s attention. When it comes to content marketing, adopt a “less is more” approach. Avoid long-winded copy by focusing on one point instead of jamming too many ideas into one page. Be clear and concise to ensure you get the point across without resorting to generalities. Let the reader know why they should purchase the product or service and how exactly said product or service can help them.
Failing to Connect With the Audience
Your copy may be teeming with all the bells and whistles that glorify the product or service, but if it doesn’t speak to the reader, your efforts were in vain. Your copy needs to establish a real connection with the potential customer or client. Instead of making the advertiser or product the focus of the copy, spotlight the actual buyer. Create a relationship with your audience by identifying with their needs, goals and concerns, and providing real solutions they can relate to. Aim your message at the prospective customer and speak to them from their point of view.
Offering No Clear Benefit
The point of content marketing is to ultimately encourage a potential buyer or client to purchase a product or retain a service. Just as you wouldn’t buy a product based solely off of its “cool factor,” you wouldn’t hire someone just because they tell you to. Your copy needs to convey a clear benefit, convincing readers that you understand their concerns, will address their needs and most importantly, will get them favorable results. The benefit acts as an incentive, informing the potential buyer or client of what you can do for them specifically and motivating them to purchase your product or retain your services. By highlighting the benefit off the bat, you’ll offer a reason to continue reading and ultimately, a reason to buy.
Poor Content Organization
We’ve all seen advertisements that are all over the place. The purpose of the copy is lost amid an endless sea of unintelligible jargon that bounces from one topic to another with no clear resolution. Copy should always have a logical order or flow. One of the most successful ways to ensure this is to break up copy into sections using headers. Headers serve as an intro or summary to the point you are about to convey and make the copy easier to read overall. Begin with headers that describe the product or service and its benefits, elaborate on those points with supporting details and finish with a strong closing argument.
No Call to Action
Because a copywriter is essentially salesperson, it’s important to understand that the copy itself needs to sell – bottom line. The point of content marketing isn’t to be informative, it’s to generate sales. Even if you’ve created clear, compelling copy that speaks to the reader and offers benefits, it won’t make a difference unless you make the sale. That’s where the call to action (CTA) comes into play. The CTA can vary, with examples like “call us” or “buy now.” However, it should always provide a reason to do so, such as saving money or time.
By creating copy with the actual prospect in mind, bringing their needs and concerns to the forefront and effectively explaining how your product or service can benefit them, you’ll make a solid claim and be on your way to securing the sale.