“Content…is an important component of sales and marketing in a company.” – Flavian DeLima, Corporate Storyteller
This week, copywriter Flavian DeLima explains to The Inside View why corporate storytelling is an important part of any business’ overall marketing strategy.
1) Do small businesses have different challenges, in terms of content, than larger businesses?
Yes, the main difference is that small businesses often have several people performing more than one task. Small businesses have resource constraints and may not have systems and processes in place.
Regarding completing projects, when one person performs many tasks, it is challenging to meet deadlines. Deadlines get pushed back and quality often suffers due to lack of expertise internally. Today, customers expect quality content.
Content, whether a blog post, case study, article or white paper, is an important component of sales and marketing in a company. While large companies have internal communications people, they often outsource content creation and focus on other strategic initiatives.
Small businesses are busy and often less clear about content requirements. Their skills are often spread across various roles. When a company outsources projects to an outside writer, a higher degree of trust often develops. The writer works closely as a company expert and the company often views them as a strategic advantage of the company.
2) How do businesses strike that balance between writing enough copy to keep a reader interested without overloading or boring them with too much?
Writing is about doing needs assessments and identifying the customer and what motivates them to buy.
When you listen and pay attention to a company’s customers, they tell you how they want to receive information and learn in order to help them make the best decision. The copy reflects the top customer personas and their preferences.
3) What would you say is the single most important practice in copywriting for business, and why?
Pay attention to the customer personas. Customers want to engage with companies and want bi-directional communication. They will let a company know when they are happy and when they want improvement. Customers increasingly want the values of an organization to be in line with their own values. Customers also want to belong to communities, so it helps when SMBs are visible in the community as well as the having a presence on LinkedIn or other social media channels.
4) Copywriting clearly doesn’t involve just sitting down and writing. What steps should a good writer take when preparing to write great copy?
It starts with the business and their customers. It is very important to always be talking to customers in person and by telephone. Email and surveys are not as effective to gauge customer needs and wants. The closer one can get to the emotional reasons that motivate a customer to buy, the easier it is to write the copy.
5) Do you find that businesses tend to outsource their copywriting or do it in-house? Which would you say is a better practice?
Companies often try to do everything internally. If their business benefits from sharing expertise with prospects and existing customers, they recognize the value of outsourcing their copywriting.
A better practice is to have an objective external writer, who focuses on high valued content rather than writing sales oriented content. Objective quality content drives traffic to a website.
6) How would a business go about finding the perfect copywriter for them?
Successful business people believe in finding great people before they need them. One of the best ways to achieve this is to attend business and professional networking events. Meet people and follow them on LinkedIn and other relevant social networks. It will not take long for you to discover if you think alike and if you share similar values.
Questions about Corporate Storytelling? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reprinted from The Editor’s Desk series: The Inside View.
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Richard Todd is a novelist, screenwriter, and president at The Editor’s Desk. Visit him online at www.richard-todd.com.