The Importance of Words versus Pictures - Content for Marketing
The same is true for businesses selling a product or service. An attractive image for your website or marketing materials isn’t enough. The written content on your company website or print collateral is equally important as the image.
Most businesses who want a professional image are willing to hire a graphic designer to create it for them. However, many companies won’t go the extra mile to hire a copywriter to ensure that their content is written well, accurate, persuasive (if desired), grammatically correct, and conveys the messages that the company wants to communicate to clients. Why is that? Do they think no one reads any more so the words don’t matter?
When I read marketing collateral or web content that contains spelling errors, incorrect use of words, improper grammar, or poorly written explanations, I am always surprised that a company would allow it to be “good enough” to publish. They have quality control for their products but not for the “face” of their business? This is a poor reflection on their professionalism. It makes me not want to do business with them. It sets up this expectation in my mind: if they don’t pay attention to the details in their own marketing and don’t care about everything being done right, will they make mistakes and cut corners on my order or my job?
Here are 8 helpful tips for making sure that your content passes muster:
- If writing isn’t your forte, hire a professional writer or get a wordsmith at your company to proofread and edit content.
- Have an objective party from outside your industry read your text to see if it’s clear to a layperson. Does it sound like a doctor or engineer wrote it?
- Avoid overuse of industry jargon and abbreviations. These can alienate potential customers who don’t understand them.
- Look at the marketing that your competitors do. What do they deem important to mention?
- What can you say to differentiate yourself and your company from the competition?
- Read the content out loud, preferably to someone else. Does it flow well? Are there run-on sentences? Is it easy to understand?
- Include a “call to action,” if appropriate (call now, mention this ad, save by doing this).
- Write content in the “voice of your customer.” It should be written to appeal to the target market who will read it. Hillbilly slang won’t sell diamond jewelry to brides.
- Consider whether the content could have interest and meaning to a broader audience than your customer base. If something is newsworthy, write about it in your company newsletter, post it on your Facebook page, and also send it to the media in a press release.
Mary Bahus-Meyer - Guest Blogger for Loveland Center for Business Development
As the copywriter and marketing director for Full Circle Creative, Mary Bahus-Meyer writes content for websites and print collateral for many clients. She’s been a copywriter for the Smithsonian Gift Catalog, Kaiser Crow Gatherings, and Art & Artifact mail order catalogs, and contributes and edits articles for Loveland ARTSource, an annual guide to local arts and culture in Loveland, Colorado.