Problem: I need to reach more customers, while keeping my costs low. According to Forrester research, today’s customers distrust and resent marketing that interrupts or intercepts them. Engaging content marketing should be part of a natural conversation with current and potential customers, be relevant to their interests and behaviors, and build a continuous story over time. Content marketing pays dividends for a very long time, and this effect multiplies as you build out your content library.
Read Joe Pulizzi's excellent book Epic Content Marketing. I started reading it after I wrote this post and it confirmed and expanded what I already knew about content marketing, with much more detail than I could ever go into here. Something Pulizzi emphasizes which I originally left out was the importance of focusing on producing mobile-friendly content, since smartphones are becoming the dominant way in which most of our customers access content. Also read Michael Hyatt's Platform, mentioned above. Frequent websites like those of Content Marketing Institute, Ragan, Copyblogger, Michael Hyatt, and Gary Vaynerchuk and sign up for their email newsletters. It won't take you long to become not just familiar with content marketing, but an expert.
The key word here is “valuable.” It’s what changes this definition from one that could describe almost any form of advertising or marketing. You can tell if a piece of content is the sort that could be part of a content marketing campaign if people seek it out, if people want to consume it, rather than avoiding it. So was VW’s 2014 “Game Day” commercial, which has been viewed on YouTube almost 18 million times as of the writing of this post, an ad, or content marketing? The answer is it’s both, depending on how it’s received by each individual who is exposed to it. The same will apply to any piece of content marketing you create, depending on whether the recipient received value from it or not. Of course the goal is to provide as much value from your content marketing to as much of your target audience as possible. At this point, despite this definition and explanation, you’re probably still wondering what exactly content marketing is. We can get more clarity by considering a few examples.
Regardless of team size, it's common for visual content to be created by nearly everyone except, perhaps, the SEO specialist. While designers will do the bulk of the advanced creative work, bloggers, content creators, and social media managers will all get involved in lighter-weight design. Often, designers will also create templates for the writers on the team so they can be more independent -- like creating ebook templates so premium content can be laid out by just about anyone with an InDesign license.
Some companies may have marketing teams of far more than 18. Here at HubSpot, for example, we have a team of nearly 100. Even so, we stick to a team structure quite similar to the structure an 18-person marketing team might use -- with one modification. Design is broken off of the Content Team, and relegated to a separate team. This might make sense for your organization, too, if you find that:
I write copy for the things around my house (my fridge, car, bed, the more boring the better) and try to sell them by their most unique characteristic. I’ll add in some storytelling and emotional appeal and see how many responses (conversions) I get. I’ll even do split testing by advertising in different cities. Whenever someone calls I say I already sold it. It’s a great way to see what people respond to!
This is an amazing article! When I started maternity leave I decided to start a blog and to my surprise I discovered that I love writing. I’m now attempting to make writing pay before I return to work so that I can stay home with my beautiful baby. Your article is the most helpful thing I have read so far and I’m sure that your tips and pointers will help me achieve my goal. Thank you!
As a beginner, you want to study the work of other copywriters. Study the master copywriters’ work. You’ll start picking up patterns by studying master copywriters’ work. You’ll notice headlines that work, and note their style and flow. It’s not that you’re copying their work, you’re only learning styles of writing that work and formatting that works.
I guess I’ve never had a real gig yet… I’ve written website content for clients many, many times. I’ve also had gigs writing SEO content. But I’ve never really truly had a copywriting gig yet. Thanks for this article. To be honest, I’ve only buzzed through it quickly just now (#MeWantsTShirt), but it actually looks really good and I plan to re-read it carefully, following all the helpful links (especially the ones on the copywriting resources… I really want to be good, no… GOODER, at the art of written persuasion), and bookmarking it. (By the way, offering a paid service to rewrite websites is brilliant. I’ve offered to review and improve websites from a CRO perspective… but I never thought of offering a “better copy” only approach. Nice!
Building this page I try to keep in mind Seth Godin’s saying in The Purple Cow : “Marketing is not done to the product, Marketing is the product”. I believe this apply also to copywriting as you’re not only trying to sell something, the copy itself is providing (or should, from what I learn from you) some valuable information. Somehow, the copy is a product itself.
Premium or gated assets are typically longer form, and/or more time-intensive pieces that don't exist on a blog. They might be used to generate leads or contacts, or for brand-building purposes. These are typically created by the dedicated long-form content creator if your team is large enough to have one, but sometimes bloggers get involved too, as blog posts are good testing grounds for what performs well and is thus worth investing in.
A cool way to increase your value and income as a copy writer is to learn another language. In an economy that is both global and digital, companies need writers who can write copy fluently in different languages for web & landing pages, blogs, emails, white papers, video scripts, etc… I’m finally buckling down and learning Spanish and hope to market goods and services to businesses in Spanish speaking countries (and maybe realize my dream of retiring and living in Spain someday soon).
I’m a mom to twins and my background is Psychology and education. But you know what? I pitched to several job ads and landed a gig writing about car seats, road trips and and gas prices. I wasn’t going to say no to that and plus they were looking for a writer that was a mom. Here’s my posts on my first freelance writing gig. http://www.wheels.ca/author/elna-cain/
After all, if you don’t really understand the product and why it’s so good, what makes you think you can write compelling copy for others to read? In advertising, they stress that you need to sell benefits, not features. Features are what the product has, but benefits are what the product will do for you. In other words, sell the sizzle, not the steak.
You'll need some analytics for your website and blog so you can measure your content marketing performance against your goals. Some content marketing teams rely on Google Analytics, others rely on more robust closed-loop solutions that make it easy to tie content marketing activities at the top of the funnel to revenue. I recommend the latter if you want to use metrics to prove the success of your content marketing program so you can secure more budget and grow the team. If you're looking for an easy way to share numbers across your organization, look into DataHero. This tool integrates with the HubSpot software and allows you to track, visualize, and share your analytics through customized dashboards and charts.
The situation presented in this ad is realistic and something I’ve thought of before. It shows that Citi understands that wealth means different things for different people. It displays a sense of humor without being too self-aware. This ad appeals to your average middle-class citizen without alienating any other party. It benefits from being oddly specific because it makes it that much more relatable, especially as the price of a movie ticket continues to rise.