The internet, social media, and digital nomads have made content marketing a priority for businesses small and large. The change in the game is that content is now king and his majesty, Google, is the ultimate judge of all things search-worthy.
The rise of content marketing has been fueled by the decline of SEO. Search engine optimization (SEO) was once the clear and obvious route to gaining website traffic, especially for eCommerce websites. You simply needed to identify the keywords and match or beat your competitors in the search engine rankings.
The problem is that it isn’t as easy or as effective as it used to be. SEO is still vital, but it isn’t enough on its own. You also need to be engaging and interesting content to draw in and retain online audiences.
Nowadays, with the exception of very popular and established brands, the fight for rankings in the search engines becomes more and more difficult because there is so much content being produced. The battle for the mind and the heart of customers becomes a battle for attention in a world of endless streams of information.
While getting into bed with a writer isn’t a bad idea (considering the option isn’t that far-fetched), it’s not always the most effective or the best strategy. Sometimes getting out of bed is required so that you can write something that will make your audience think or feel something new or different. This leads to more engagement, more clicks, and hopefully, more business.
Broadcast Media Has A Negatively Impactful Effect On The Following:
- Web Design
- Marketing Charts
Here is the full list of what you need to avoid, or minimize, if you want to improve your copywriting and storytelling skills:
- Watching too much TV
- Going to movies frequently
- Reading fiction books
- Getting distracted by social media
- Having too much on your plate
- Wasting time playing video games
- Looking for instant effects
- Thrilling rides
- Going on holidays too often
- Going to amusement parks
- Taking weekends off
- Feeling bored
- Having the TV on all the time
- Keeping snacks and drinks next to your bedside
- Accepting gifts or awards
- Having interviews or speeches at inappropriate times
- Frequently eating meals at restaurants
- Going to concerts and sporting events
- Keeping trophies and awards won
- Going to games or plays
- Getting distracted by Twitter
- Going on expensive shopping sprees
- Getting plastic surgery to enhance your appearance
- Dressing in costume for Halloween parties
- Consuming large amounts of alcohol
Why Should You Avoid These Things?
This blog post will try to explore the reasons why you should avoid some of the things on this list, or at least, minimize your exposure to them.
One of the first things you should do if you want to become a better copywriter is to focus on the products you are actually promoting. Too often, students and professionals will get stuck on the idea of making fancy headlines or using big words when writing about something they have no real connection with or knowledge about. This can seriously hurt your credibility with your audience. Remember: your readers (or viewers, or listeners) are (or should be) the people you are writing to or about. Don’t assume you know everything about the product or service you are promoting. You can learn a lot from the experts (those you interview) and from people (like your customers) who are already familiar with the subject matter.
As a copywriter, you will inevitably be asked to write content for different services. It is therefore important that you establish a good relationship with the customer service department of the company you are working for. Avoid, or at least minimize the amount of times you have to get in touch with someone via email (or worse, phone) to get your questions answered. If possible, try to find the appropriate contact person (usually a manager or executive) and schedule a phone call or meeting with them so that you can get all the questions you have answered and avoid any unnecessary back-and-forth communications via email.
Another important area of improvement for any copywriter is information gathering. Remember: your readers (or viewers, or listeners) access and read what you write about, but they don’t know you. The more you know about your readers (or target audience), the better you will be able to write content that is useful and, hopefully, interesting.
There are three basic steps to successful information gathering:
- Explore the problem
- Gain consent
- Follow up with probing questions
Let’s look at each step in detail.
Explore The Problem
The first step in information gathering is to explore the problem. What is the exact problem you are trying to solve? What are your current limitations and constraints? What is the context of your problem?
As a copywriter, you will be asked to write content for different purposes and in different contexts. For example, a health and fitness website may be focused on weight loss and healthy living, while an eCommerce store may be selling products related to beauty and style. When you write for different purposes/contexts, you will inevitably run into problems because you will be thinking about different things. To get the most out of your copywriting efforts, it is important to first explore the problem you are trying to solve. What is the exact problem you are trying to solve? What are your current limitations and constraints? What is the context of your problem?
The second step in information gathering is to gain consent. The person (or people) you are writing to (or about) must give you their explicit consent to speak with them and include their thoughts in your content. The general rule of thumb is that you should not write content for others without their permission.
Sometimes you will have to pitch your ideas to different stakeholders and gain their consent to do so. For example, if you are writing about a new medical device and you pitch the idea to an insurance company, you will have to gain their consent to write about the device. This is a common problem for students and professionals who are still learning the ropes and wondering how to be effective in their writing without hurting their careers too much. Don’t worry: this is something you will learn as you progress in your writing career. Just remember: always ask for permission before you start writing and be sure to notify your audience (in your captions or story headers) that you are doing so. A good place to start is by asking the permission of those you interview for the article you are working on. You can also ask the permission of your company’s CEO or president to pitch an idea to him or her.
Follow Up With Probing Questions
The third step in information gathering is to follow up with probing questions. Once you have gained the reader’s (or viewer’s, or listener’s) consent and they have answered your initial questions, it is time to ask more probing questions. Consider the following example:
- Is there anything else you want to tell me about this subject?
- How did you feel about what you just read?
- Why did you choose to act in such a way? What did you learn from this situation?
- What would you do differently next time?