Sharp copywriting is the foundation of killer content. Custom content that is regularly updated, relevant and engaging is what will turn casual browsers into repeat readers and buyers. After the mining task of keyword research is done, it is your copywriter who polishes these rough diamonds into sparkly jewels to adorn your website.
Let's take a look at some characteristics that distinguish a good copywriter.
A good copywriter knows your audience well. Does your industry or audience call for a formal tone, or one that is more relaxed and conversational? What are the current buzzwords being used amongst this crowd?
Well-written articles are crafted with an understanding of who is reading and what their concerns are. Online publications, forums, guest postings, and opinion pieces are many possible approaches to building your credibility and influence in the communities you move in.
Ask your potential copywriter how they would present your brand's opinion on a competing product. A good copywriter will be able to pitch sample responses to current events in the news, and explain to you why they chose to reply a certain way to a topic you bring up with them.
A good copywriter knows your brand by heart. Your copywriter is the person who gives your brand its voice. Creating content that communicates the tone of how you wish to be perceived is what will separate your brand from that of its competitors.
In order to do this, creating a good foundation of blog posts and other content you have made yourself will usually get the ball rolling. Some clarificatory questions may be volleyed back and forth until you, the business owner, are comfortable with your copywriter getting a good grasp on the image you want to present.
From here, creating reader-friendly copy combined with good SEO will start translating your readership into conversions.
Having a seamless experience with the website, social media marketing and even after sales service is what will help win customer loyalty. Having a copywriter who understands your brand's DNA is often the missing ingredient to a company's success.
A good copywriter is comfortable with social media. Nowhere is knowing your audience response more critical than in social media marketing. Crafting a post, tweet or putting up images that are pithy and on point is a necessary skill for social media success.
You want to hire a person who combines creative writing with empathy for the audience being written for. This is especially true when being careful with sensitive topics such as a product recall, or if a buyer has a complaint. A good copywriter deftly navigates potential hazards and is respectful of your customer.
Depending on how you wish to present your brand to the public, ask your potential copywriter questions like "how would you propose to send out a humorous tweet on the weekend?"
A good copywriter has fantastic research skills. Let's face it. Behind every genius post lies hard-earned facts brought about through hours of sifting through other mundane stuff. For every idea that eventually goes into a published blog, essay or article, ninety-nine may have been discarded in its wake.
A good creative writer is not afraid of research and the results show in the text. In the context of online marketing, we are referring to two kinds-- content research and keyword research.
Content research takes into account what your competitors are doing, upcoming trends for your market, and even unusual points brought up by customers that may have been missed out on by others in your team. Once the data is assembled, the process of editing what's useful from what isn't begins. Your copywriter will sort out the relevant research together with the keyword research and take it from there.
SEO research is also a matter of creativity when looking for the searches people are typing in their browsers. How many ways can you describe your product? What are the currently trending words people refer to in social media? Good copy actually begins in the tweets, posts and likes of a majority of your customers and finds its way eventually into their browsers.
Writing for online businesses is both an art and a science. Having a beautifully written article won't matter if it doesn't include keywords your audience is typing into their browsers. A fine balance must be struck between content as content, and writing to rank well in SEO. Juggling these aspects in just one article requires skill and all the previous traits we've mentioned.
Conversions are ultimately decided by the user on your website. How does good copywriting turn a casual browser into a sure buyer? No one knows exactly. But there are strong indicators that point to the answer, and having good content is part of it.
Ensuring your copy is carefully crafted, speaks well to your audience and is up to date on industry trends, and also communicates your unique brand presence will lead to higher potential buyers on your ecommerce site. The first step in achieving these targets lies in hiring a skilled copywriter who will work with you to get your message across.
Catherine is president & executive director of 20four7va, a global eCommerce virtual assistance service provider. She is into strategic planning, product development, brand management, and digital marketing.