As more and more companies jump on the “Content is King” bandwagon, brands can no longer afford to publish a compilation of words on a page, sprinkled with keywords, and call it copywriting. In the sea of online content, prospects are going to become conversions only if the words speak directly to them, and draw them in to take that next step.
Companies just beginning the process of content creation, especially medium- to large-sized businesses, often find it easiest to create engaging content when marketing teams collaborate and work with a variety of copywriters to move campaigns along.
However, once the perfect copy is received and uploaded to the blog or landing page, many marketers stop there. But the value in the content lies in the information it produces. If the content falls flat in terms of conversions, why didn’t it work? Why didn't the copy convince visitors to take the next step?
It's time to review the process for perfecting your call-to-action copy. Let’s take a look at the steps for creating content when working with copywriters.
Information typically given to a copywriter:
Missing from this list:
Did anyone tell the copywriter the target audience is already in the sales funnel and is researching trial options? Does the copywriter know the landing page will have a CTA button on it, or are they assuming that the CTA needs to be identified within the text?
If the copywriter received the right information, the final product could look like this:
Notice the copy:
If copy is falling flat in terms of conversions, everyone on the content team should be using a mandatory checklist of items when assigning work to copywriters.
Let’s look at each item on the list, and clearly define what is meant by each term.
This is obvious, right? Does your copywriter know there is too much of a good thing? Maybe not. SEO has changed, and keyword density has changed with it. Along with the keyword target and density suggestions, consider giving some phrases from Google Related Searches, as long as it doesn’t cannibalize other keyword targets. (Keyword cannibalism: Targeting the same keywords on more than one page of your website).
Have you given the copywriter enough direction to justify 1,000 or 1,500 words? If you don’t like “filler text” or copy that speaks to search engines rather than people, but you need an extended word count, give your writer something to improve the copy. In addition to the keyword target, do you have any suggestions for sub-headings? Are there any questions that need to be answered for the reader? Is it safe to lead readers to other sections of the website within the copy and, if so, where?
The layout of the copy should be designed for the average internet user’s attention span. Regardless of which study you reference, it’s attention spans are short. This should translate to shortened headlines, shortened paragraphs. Don’t be afraid to address formatting within the revision period. A good copywriter knows that collaboration is important.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to generate some internal links for your website. Most copywriters are familiar with this concept, but you have to identify which pages to include as a hyperlink. You can also help the copywriter by identifying photos, charts or graphs that will be used to break up the copy and improve the messaging.
The difference between average conversion rates and rockstar conversion rates is related to the messaging and hitting the target. The audience will also include information on Voice. First, look at the rest of the website and the assets that have already been created. Identify the voice as 1st person, 2nd person or 3rd person, and give this information to the copywriter along with a buyer persona for this particular copy. Need help with Persona creation? Hubspot just released MakeMyPersona.com.
If you have a web page published that mirrors the placement for your new project, give it to the copywriter. Will any other CTA’s be located on the page? If so, tell the copywriter. This will give your new page synergy; everything will flow together.
Be specific. Combine this information with the target audience information. Does the reader already know and trust your brand? Does the reader have advanced knowledge of your industry? What exactly would you like them to do when they arrive? Do you want the asset shared on social media? Tell the copywriter as much as you can.
When your marketing team is divided into segments—SEO, development, PR & branding, directors, associates, assistants and freelancers—it’s common for all of the segmentation to cause a hiccup in the flow, leading to less than optimal results. The most important question is often overlooked: Did the copy invite the reader to engage? If the audience is sophisticated, will design work alone, or should the words build up to that specific CTA with the right words?
The shortcut? Working with a content marketing agency that has perfected this process. When hiring an agency to drive your content campaign, ask about their content creation processes. Partner with the right team that has the right processes in place, and watch your content efforts soar. Move forward. Strategically. Successfully.
Markelle Harden serves as chief matchmaker for clients and copywriters at>Get A Copywriter, and createsResources for businesses who are chipping away at their content goals. Follow@getacopywriter.