Consumers are drowning in a flood of content.
Everywhere you look, someone is writing an article about something or other. Some are great and well worth reading. Most are – well, not to put too finer point on it – crap.
When I read some of the stuff out there, I can almost visualise the person writing it.
They’re sat at their desk, bored to their back teeth, wondering what on earth they can write about.
Rather than looking at a computer screen, they’re gazing into a mirror, and that’s where the problems start.
They’re thinking: ‘what do I want to read about? What would I find useful? I know, I’ll write about that new machine we’ve just bought.’
Oh boy. Before they even start writing I know it’s not going to be worth reading?
They’ve forgotten the golden rule of content writing…
Who is reading your content?
Gazing into the mirror isn’t going to help you answer that question.
You see, your interests and those of your business are not worth writing about.
It’s not what your customers want to read.
They want information that’s going to help them.
I’m pretty sure that when settling down to write your post, a page of web copy or newsletter you think: Ok, what have we done recently that’s great?
Why do you think that?
Because you want to shout about your achievements and tell people how well your company is doing.
I get that.
The problem is your readers don’t.
There is only one thing they’re interested in, and that’s how you’re going to make their life easier.
That’s the difference between in-house produced content and outsourced content written by a professional copywriter.
In-house thought process:
- What have we achieved recently?
- We got an award last month, I’ll write about that
- We’ve just launched that new product, let’s tell them how great that is
Professional copywriter’s thought process:
- Who are your customers?
- What’s important to them?
- What benefits do they get from your new product?
- What problems are they facing?
- What information can we give them that will help them right now?
See the difference?
If you want your marketing to have a positive impact on your business (and ROI), you must make sure it’s written for your reader. Show them the benefits your product or service offers and how it’s going to make their life easier by solving the problem they are facing.
Every word you write must focus on your reader.
So next time you sit down to write something in-house (if this post hasn’t persuaded you to try a professional writer) don’t look in the mirror. Put yourself in the shoes of your customer and write from their point of view.
Sally Ormond is an international copywriter who enhances brands through customer-focused content and boosts employee engagement with red-hot internal comms.