Today I was listening to a podcast from Deloitte University Press, as you do. This was my relaxation after a tough day; strange but true. My content marketing hat was definitely jammed on my head as I listened to the following item:
The city of Philadelphia used behavioural economics and the idea of nudges to get more people to pay their property taxes. Originally letters to taxpayers were stuffed with jargon, legal terms and threats about penalties. About 10 per cent of property owners were delinquent. That’s a pretty high number. But when the City rewrote the letters to appeal to residents’ civic duty saying, ‘here are specific public services like garbage collection and schools and so forth the property taxes paid for,’ more people paid their bills. The city of Philadelphia was able to reduce unpaid taxes by one third in just two years, just by changing much of the language and how they set up the argument for payment—which is a pretty huge number for seemingly small tweaks.
But it’s the seemingly small tweaks that earn the money. Working with a big tech company in Shoreditch, London, I spent hours with the head of marketing poring over web content. We literally focused forensically on a couple of lines and even single words at a time. Isolating phrases, we asked one another what they actually meant and how we felt about specific clauses and calls to action. It was painstaking but a very worthwhile exercise. We questioned everything. All flabby content was surgically removed. As a consequence we saw an immediate uplift from 4% to 10% conversion on one landing page alone. It would be indelicate of me to say just how much additional revenue that was worth. You see, effective content marketing really does pay off.
Bearing in mind that mindset dictates action, the content you write should be appropriate for the space your clients or potential customers occupy. Emails to current clients or advocates are different in tone than prospecting emails for example. Posts on Pinterest, LinkedIn or Twitter should be crafted appropriately. They all possess a different aesthetic, so automatic postings from one to another is like using the same knife and chopping board after you’ve chopped raw chicken and garlic to prepare a banana sandwich! Chew on that if you will!
Effective content marketing and the art of great writing
In fact, a talented writer with current industry knowledge should be able to repurpose your content effectively and you will see a difference on ROI. It’s easy to think that everyone can write, sure they can. Most people can ride a bike. Actually I love riding my bike but could I stand in for Laura Trott in an Olympic velodrome? I think you know the answer.
Of course there are thousands of writers on the market. You can source content mega cheaply but will it really fulfil the function you intend? What you should be considering is effective content marketing.
A writer should empathise with the consumer.
They should understand your product, brand or service and know what touch points your audience uses.
A writer should be able to create a variety of personas, understand the milieu of the platform and use the minimum number of words for the maximum effect.
So if you ever wonder whether it’s actually worth paying a professional copy or content writing consultant to work on your copy, wherever it appears, then the answer is a resounding yes.
At VKN Digital we have a stable of highly creative and knowledgeable wordsmiths. We are all post graduates in journalism, marketing and creative writing. Wew focus on producing effective content marketing. If you need:
- White papers
- Micro blogging
- Web content
- Email content
- Press releases or
- Web content audits,
Vivienne Neale is a digital marketer and director of VKN Digital, which is a digital marketing agency in Hertfordshire, UK. We aim to help SMEs overcome marketing hurdles and create compelling digital content that drives results. If your website needs a refresh, new content, a rebrand, some general housekeeping – or perhaps you’re looking to build a new one from scratch – please get in touch via our contact page for a free Skype consultation. We can also help with SEO, design and social media.