We know, we’ve made quite the statement here. But hiring writers really is one of the best investments you can make for your business. Once you have your product or service perfected and processes streamlined, you need to make sure your brand falls onto the right screens and catches the right eyes. Of course, we’re talking about content marketing here. And hiring the right writers can get you there.The content your business puts out in the world (digitally and literally) is crucial if you’ve any hopes of not just reaching potential customers – but turning them into actual clients too. And seeing as there’s no content without writers, it’s safe to say that makes them pretty damn important in growing your business.
The power of content is well-documented, so we won’t waste precious reading time explaining all the many benefits of creating content.
What we will go over is how content, and hiring writers, ties into the bigger picture of your business’ success. That, and what to look for when hiring writers to make sure the agency, content creation service, or freelancer that you go for is the perfect fit for your company.
Marketing: the foundation for success
So, when we talk about hiring writers, we’re talking about investing in your marketing department. If you don’t already have a team of in-house writers, you’re missing out on a significant opportunity to maximise your brand’s ability to reach and connect with new customers. No one can deny how fundamental marketing is in a business’s strategy to find and secure new customers. In fact, when it comes to growing your business, marketing is a hugely influential strategy.
The number one purpose of marketing is to capture people’s attention, right? No matter how amazing your product or service is, if no one knows about it, there’s no way you can enjoy the success your business deserves. Once you’ve got people’s attention, you can showcase your business’s magic and win those sales. Revenue is what will then allow your business to grow and expand – and there’s no way to do that unless you market your service or product.
So, we can look at marketing as the foundation of a good business. All of the aspects of your brand – personality, tone of voice, design elements – they come together to create something wholly unique and identifiable. That ‘something’ is what your customers want. It’s what they’ll connect with, and it’s what will give your business the chance to grow.
If we think of running a business as building a house, we can see where marketing, and later, hiring writers, comes into play. Before you start construction, you need to lay a strong foundation. It’s only after this point that you’re in a position to build. Stay with us here. And when you have a strong and unique brand as that foundation, you can start building your business from the ground up. Let’s look at what exactly that entails.
Building a brand
There is no separation between your brand and your business – your brand is an intrinsic part of your whole organisation. It’s built through your product or service, your values as a company and your culture. Marketing allows you to build that brand out: from just intentions for your business to a fully-fledged foundation which keeps your business activities aligned and stable.
Another benefit of having a living, breathing brand is that it will allow you to spark a connection and develop a long-lasting relationship with your customers. This is huge for any business and has long been documented as a pillar of long-term business success. When people can identify with and understand a business’ brand, they’re more likely to purchase from them, and to come back too. So, your brand – your name, logo, colours, designs, tone of voice, personality and more – it’s the thing that they’ll associate with your business, and the thing that they’ll connect with.
As we’ve already mentioned, content marketing allows you to bring your brand to life through your website, social media, storefront – wherever and however you connect with customers in the world. And to do this, consistency is key. That means that every piece of content you put out into the world, be it a tweet or e-book, customers need to be familiar with your brand if you want to develop that relationship and secure sales and recommendations from them.
Relationship-building is one of the most important parts of a successful marketing strategy. Every customer goes on a journey when they use your business, and no matter how short that journey is, it’s crucial to provide a meaningful experience if you want to boost your customer retention rate. Showing your customers the humans behind your brand is how you can foster these connections and relationships, which is best expressed through content.
Whether you solve customer queries through your blogs or crack jokes with them on the internet, showing up for your customers and adding value to their experience with you is a core part of relationship building. It isn’t enough to simply provide a product or service anymore. Even business transactions are about more than an exchange of money. In an increasingly conscious economy, where people choose to shop reflects on their own personal values as much as their desire to get a good deal. In fact, 71% of customers prefer to buy from businesses that share their own personal values.
And if values are important to customers, they have to be important to companies too. You can increase your chances of creating meaningful connections with customers when you effectively communicate your brand values through – you guessed it – content!
No one in the world starts a business with the intention of only running it for a few months. Long-term success is a goal for all businesses, and a decent marketing strategy contributes massively to achieving this.
When you think about your favourite brands and household names, one thing they all have in common is that they’re memorable. And that’s because they have strong brand presences in their industry and awareness with their customers. That stands the test of time, like the undying trust consumers have in tech giants like Apple. Their business will be everlasting because of the brand that people associate with them.
Content writers are the builders
So, if we think about our business as a house, and marketing and branding as the building’s strong foundation, then writers have to be the builders! They’re the ones who make things happen, and build the house. And with each piece of content your business puts out there, it’s another brick laid to keep your business strong and able to weather any storms that may come your way.
That’s why hiring writers is such an important decision that shouldn’t be made without thorough research and consideration. The writers you choose to craft your content can make the difference between your house being made of bricks or cards. And let’s face it – we all want bricks.
Bricks vs cards: what makes good content stand out?
If you’re new to the content marketing world, or have worked with writers before and aren’t sure whether they’ve crafted a brick or a card, it’s useful to know how to spot really good content. So let’s look at some of the characteristics of really good content.
Sounds like you
First and foremost, readers shouldn’t be able to tell if content has been written by a third party. The tone of voice of each piece should embody everything your brand is about – and match any existing content too. Of course, the tone of voice used in your content needs to be flexible and adapt to different settings (for more info on this, check out our guide here), but overall it needs to sound like your brand.
The most effective, engaging content lets a clear and defined brand personality shine through – and is essential for creating those all-important connections we covered earlier. So if you’re a playful indie skincare brand with uninspired, flat blogs, how will you engage your audience and prove that you are who you say you are?
Another staple of well-written content is if it’s unique. That means your writer hasn’t just googled your competitors and regurgitated their blogs or web copy. A good writer will use other content to benchmark their work, but nothing more. All the ideas, creativity and flair will come from them – so even the most standard pages on your site will have that extra something special.
Like any other marketing practice, content needs to produce results and achieve the goals of your wider marketing plan. So if you want your content to perform, then your content needs to rank on search engines. A fully-optimised article will do its job: to put your website on the screens of people looking for your product or service.
Captures the reader’s interest
Finally, good content doesn’t just get your audience’s attention, but keeps it. A lot of content, whether it’s an email or web page, has calls to action (CTAs) towards the end of the piece. And that’s where you want to get your customers – to your sign up link, contact form or online. It’s here where the value of content marketing lies, because it gets users on your site.
Engaging content gives you the best chance of enticing your readers to convert and become customers – no matter your industry or niche. And with people’s attention spans getting shorter and shorter, the window to impress your readers is small. You need to make sure that each part of your content: from headline to sign off, contributes to that overarching goal.
When your content ticks all those boxes, you know that your precious resources are going into a strategy that’ll give you real results and help your business flourish. So, now you know what success-defining content looks like, it’s time to focus on how to get your hands on it – through hiring writers.
What to look for when hiring writers
Anyone can be a writer, but to be a good one is a whole different ball game. Writing is an art, and just because content writers pen blogs rather than novels, it doesn’t take anything away from the skill required to do this job. Like any other creative art form, we believe that what sets good writers aside from the rest is an innate affinity for the written word. Well, that and the following points!
It can be difficult to differentiate between a run-of-the-mill and talented writer – especially if you don’t have heaps of experience in this area. So think of this next section as a checklist to use when you’re hiring writers. When a
writer possesses all of these skills, you can trust that they’ll be able to craft content that truly embodies your business, values and brand personality. And that has the potential to truly transform your company.
Expertise in your industry
If you want your content to not sound like it’s been written by a third party, then make sure that the writer you go for knows their stuff. Across industries, language varies – and different vocabulary and jargon means the content you post and produce should speak that language.
There’s no room for inconsistencies or knowledge gaps in specialised industries, and to effectively come across as a thought leader, your content needs to be accurate and well-informed. So your writer needs to be well-informed too. Make sure you choose someone who knows your industry inside and out, and can pen blogs that sound like they’re right out of your CEO’s mind.
Attention to detail
This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many writers lack this skill. When we talk about attention to detail, we’re not just referring to spelling errors and grammatical oversights. Having a high level of attention to detail as a writer means that you’ll be able to notice the little things and make sure that the content you create is consistent for the client.
That means being able to choose the right words and use the right punctuation – depending on the brief, brand and audience. For example, no one wants to read a blog post about life insurance that’s littered with exclamation marks. Even something small can change the whole feel of a post, and you need someone who’s aware of it and knows what calls to make.
We’ll let you in on an industry secret here – a lot of writers and agencies put a priority on efficiency above all else, and unfortunately, a lot of the time that means that quality and originality suffers. There’s a lot of duplicate content on the internet, especially when it comes to common blog topics, which won’t just hinder your chances of ranking on search engines, but your reputation too.
You might be thinking, surely that’s inevitable because facts are facts and they can’t be changed. And you’re right – if you need a blog written about private health insurance, you can’t expect a writer to create brand new illnesses out of thin air or change the rules of an insurance policy. But what you can expect is for them to find a new angle or way of explaining the topic that is refreshing and engaging. They can do this through a myriad of techniques, including:
- writing with a strong tone of voice
- injecting some creativity into the piece
- choosing a unique angle.
Seamless tone of voice
Well written content doesn’t sound like it’s been written by someone else – it sounds and feels like your brand. And a good writer will know this. We hate to say it, but if you go to a content creation service or freelancer and they don’t mention tone of voice before starting your piece, expect generic and boring content.
In order to really tailor your content to your brand and make it sound like it actually belongs on your site or profile, it needs to be written in a specific, and strong tone of voice. This is what will make a difference to your readers and secure you the clicks, sales or sign ups you’re looking for. A strong tone of voice also ties into the notion of providing your customers with a consistent, familiar and engaging experience each time they open an email, or like a post. And when they have that, they’ll be able to actually connect with your business and have a reason to come back.
Varied content skills
Copywriters are known for wearing many hats, and this is exactly what you want when it comes to hiring writers. The more experience your writers have, the broader their knowledge base. Content writers often are experienced in a whole range of mediums – social media, video scripts, blogs, product descriptions, and web copy to name a few.
The great thing about that is they’ll be able to clearly distinguish between each content type and know what skills they need to apply, depending on the brief. For example, with an experienced, talented writer, you won’t find microcopy for social media that’s been copied and pasted from your blog. The microcopy will be completely unique and much more engaging and snappier than blog content.
Content writing isn’t just about being able to type out a 1000-word blog either. There are so many other practises that fall under the umbrella of digital marketing that copywriters can draw on, to make sure the content they produce will deliver:
- user experience
- search engine optimisation (SEO)
So, where can you hire really good content writers?
Great question, and one not-so-obvious answer – us! At writefully, we tick all the boxes when it comes to hiring writers that really know their stuff. And on top of that, we genuinely love writing – our team is made up of poets and dreamers who love nothing more than turning their ideas into beautifully crafted content.
When you choose writefully, you’re choosing:
- quick turnarounds
- expertly researched and written content
- bespoke content that sounds and feels like your brand
- expertise in your industry
- flexible content packages to fit your brand’s needs
- new, original ideas that’ll make your business stand out
- your own dedicated writer who will really get to know your business
- genuine people who create human-led content.