This article was originally published on Business2Community on November 29, 2019.
Good writing is the difference between a campaign that drifts drearily by and a campaign that sings through the noise and makes your leads sit up and listen.
It’s a commonly overlooked skill. When creating a lot of content, it can be easy to rely on familiar patterns. That’s why so many campaigns end up sounding alike. It’s also why companies that send well-written emails and content to their leads immediately stand out. A company that imbues its brand with an intelligent, witty, and relatable voice differentiates it from the millions of copycat voices skittering around.
What Good and Bad Writing Can Do for Your Brand
According to BuzzSumo research, posts that elicit the most social shares are in-depth and long-form, and they take an average of 3.5 hours to write. Good marketing writers can produce results, but it takes time and effort. They will need to address the pain points of your audience while also keeping the content light and approachable.
Excellent writing clarifies complex concepts without losing depth. Instead of haphazardly using abstract terms like “optimization,” “strategy,” and “innovation,” a good writer will make those concepts concrete for the reader by tying them to images, analogies, and real-world examples. This clarity defines your brand by telling consumers that your company is intelligent and empathetic. Ultimately, it builds trust.
The reverse is also true: Bad writing can hamper a company’s goals, often without its leadership realizing. Marketers who string together technical jargon and abstract industry terms confuse readers. If a writer can’t simplify and explain what you’re offering, then possible prospects won’t see your value. You can’t bamboozle readers with hot buzzwords and expect conversion.
Nurture a Writer Who Has These 3 Qualities
So you’re on the hunt for writers who can become assets to your brand. What qualities should you look for?
Good marketing writers will have their own personal voice, but they should also be adaptable. You want them to embody your brand and step into customers’ shoes. They should also bring subject matter expertise, although it’s not necessary for them to be born and raised in your specific industry. The ability to learn quickly and meet the demands of different clients and industries is more important than encyclopedic knowledge.
When it comes to cultivating this top writer profile at your company, you should look for three vital traits during the hiring and onboarding processes. If nurtured properly, a writer who embodies these characteristics will bring life to your marketing department:
Ingenuity is a special blend of skills. It combines a capacity for logic with a taste for the unknown and mixes creativity with resilience. Those who possess and practice ingenuity are more likely to find solutions to problems and write outside the box.
Ingenuity isn’t a common quality. Discover it in candidates at the hiring stage with a trial task that asks them to solve a problem with their prose. Promote it further by trusting employees to take risks on their own.
Successful marketing writer candidates must adapt the style and structure of their writing. Bad writers often stick to familiar and easy patterns and templates, but the innovative writer will make new shapes to suit your unique audience and message.
Encourage this at hiring and in your team by implementing a balance between structure and freedom. For instance, maybe every company email needs to offer a value proposition, address a pain point, and include a call to action, but the rest can be open to interpretation. Allow the writer space to imagine.
Not every writer can be funny, although many try very hard. Humor is a gift that can work wonders for your content by breaking down the readers’ reservations and endearing them to your brand. Get the audience laughing, and they’ll want to come back.
You can test for humor in an interview or writing test — it should be pretty obvious who has the funny bone. But you can also encourage humor in your writing team by opening up your parameters. Try giving writers free rein to be ridiculous (within reason) and see what they come up with.
Writers are vital to successful campaigns, so it’s time we started treating writing as the business driver it is. Writers can talk directly to leads, communicate ideas, stimulate shared passions, reassure, relate, and spark emotion. If we nurture writers with the necessary skills and qualities, then they’ll delight our consumers with every word.
Want to learn more about how the right content and messaging can drive business growth?
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