How to boss your business content
Writing engaging business copy has never been more important and valuable than right now. Google’s recent core web vital updates has put engaging, relevant and quality website content as a major factor in it’s search criteria. And Linkedin has been issuing consistent directives about the importance of rich, informative content to engage target audiences - paid or organic.
The rules for writing engaging copy are the same, whether you're writing from a B2B or B2C perspective. Essentially, ask yourself: what does your audience really want or need to know? What is useful to share, interesting or relevant? And how can your copy content help inform customers so they recognise your business as a valuable resource and re-visit your website when fact finding. Then, focus on finding the right time and topical moment to share your narrative.
As one of the copywriting team at Somebody, I’ve been writing for businesses for over 20 years. First as a journalist and then as a business and tech marketing expert. I've learned that the most engaging content generally follows a similar thought process and structure.
"When you're stare-ing at a blank space - it's hard to start writing and can feel really overwhelming"
The good news is that there are just a few simple rules to follow, that will make your copy easy to frame, interesting to write, enticing to read and potentially award winning! So whether you’re writing long form blog copy for your own website, Linkedin articles or writing for third party platforms to optimise backlinks, here’s our top tips for making sure your copy cuts through.
Who are you writing for?
Understanding your audience is a fundamental first step. A useful exercise before commissioning or writing content is to analyse your customers and their needs. Are you writing to impress academics or is the purpose to translate complex product technicalities for investors? Perhaps you need to question whether your in-depth product technology messaging is even relevant for your audience. From a consumer perspective, it’s often best to focus on the product or service benefits that are relevant for them rather than the tech features that are relevant for you.
Have a conversation
Even if you represent a complex, deep tech business, form a writing style that's not too formal or dry by avoiding long winded descriptions or the over use of industry jargon. Even deep tech content will benefit from a lighter, illustrative approach. Always start with the mindset -'what do my readers want to know' balanced with 'what do I need to share?' And at the core of your thinking - ‘how can I make it interesting enough to read?’
Feel free to scope out your content first in a super scrappy way. Almost like the outline of a painting. That way you won't get paralysed with thinking about perfecting structure. Write 5 individual main points you want to convey. That will help you avoid repetition and also ensure you have enough to share that's interesting and informative to read!
Ahead of the article or blog, reach out to other experts for wider insights. Integrating comments and quotes from other experts is a great way to expand the reach of your content - particularly if you write an article for Linkedin or package the highlights of the piece on your social media platforms by tagging in others. When sharing content for Linkedin articles, tagging in other business experts who have contributed to a topic is a smart way to deepen expertise and widen share-ability.
Topicality & timing
Often the timing of your content is as valuable as the content itself. Is there something that has recently impacted your industry or customers? Has a recent government or legislative announcement affected the future of your industry? Creating first thoughts or guidance to help customers navigate changing times is often very useful for optimising engagement. Think about creating top tips or instigating a conversation that polls questions and encourages answers.
'How To' or ‘5 Tips’ headlines for blog articles engage well - particularly when tackling topical issues. Check out Google Trends or Buzzsumo to help find trending topics that are currently engaging or expected to engage your customers.
How long is too long?
I generally find content length of a minimum of 800 -1,000 words is key for authority & reader engagement. But the rule of thumb for SEO is that blog posts should be approximately 2,000 words to optimise visibility. However! Avoid ‘padding’ articles just to reach the required 2,000 word length. That is equally counter productive and will turn away time poor audiences.
A good mix of keywords in your headers and website metatags will help people find your page content. Use your Google Console to find the keywords relevant for your industry as these will help guide the type of articles you should be creating. Do maintain a balance between using relevant keywords but not over stuffing keywords to enhance visibility. Google does’nt like this keyword pattern and won’t reward you with ranking.
Second Set of Eyes
When you're in forest - its often hard to see all the trees! Reach out to a trusted colleague to preview your content and be wide open to suggested change or comment. Its always incredibly helpful to hear thoughts and observations from others. Don't be offended though! Sometimes it's just not possible to see all of these views yourself.
Plan a calendar
Don't make your blog piece a one off. Google loves blog content that will help people find the products, services or resources they need. So rich informative content will enhance better search results. The best content strategy is linked to a planned calendar that blends topicality, new product, service or business announcements. There is so much informative content being shared by experts in your industry so utilise conferences and webinars to wrap up findings and re-share with your audience.
Watch out for content repeat though! Some companies are prone to write several articles about the same topic and this could create confusion for search engines. Instead of helping, it would actually hurt SEO so diversity has to be factored in when planning the content calendar.
How to know if your content is working? Use all the tools available to analyse the impact of what you are sharing. Use your Google analytics platform to figure out which of your website blogs received the most amount of views, engagement and re-sharing. This will help you plan better for the future. All of your social media platforms come with a set of analytical tools that you can utilise to establish what type of content lands well and appeals to your readers.