Good Writing Is Good Marketing
Good writing is good marketing. Good writing is not interchangeable with bad or adequate writing. There’s a real difference, not only in the writing per se, but in its effect.
Some people think that the product or service they sell really speaks for itself. They look at copywriting, social media, and other communications as something they need just to fill a space or satisfy some marketing convention (like producing a brochure because everyone else has one). When seeking a writer, their sole criterion is price.
This attitude ensures that they’ll have a harder time standing out from their competitors. Assuming they have the absolute best product in the field, if they cannot communicate this fact convincingly, their superiority may not translate into higher sales/business success.
It’s also a mistake to think that effective SEO writing is equivalent to good writing. Improved search ranking and site traffic is just an opening; you also need to close. Good SEO writing that cannot make a persuasive case for your product or service is ultimately not good writing. It’s a well paved road that leads to a derelict shack.
What about “content” and social media marketing? The writing in these areas cannot come across as overt marketing. In blogs, Twitter, and other vehicles, you have to actually add value (not just appear to), by providing services/information that complement what you sell.
As marketing gets more subtle, more sophisticated, more UBIQUITOUS, consumers or “targets” get more sophisticated, too. People are more wary than ever of being marketing to. That’s why the content you provide, even if it has an ulterior motive, must contain some kernel of meaningfulness.
Good writing is more than just words on a page or screen. Good writing is a vehicle for ideas, which takes it beyond the space it fills and creates another dimension. This is no abstraction, especially in marketing, where words must drive action and produce concrete results. A typical copywriter will likely produce typical results, while a writer with genuine passion can make his excitement for a subject contagious . . . In order to make your products/services speak for themselves, you need a writer who can give voice to them.
To learn more about writing and strategic communications that can amplify your voice, contact me at ajeisenstat[at]gmail[dot]com, or visit my portfolio AdamEisenstat.com and LinkedIn profile.
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Adam - you are so very right (or should I say write?). I have been increasingly disillusioned by content strategies that fail to deliver on the promise of clear, strong writing skills.
Case in point is Kristina Halvorson's Content Strategy for the Web - a nearly ubiquitious text that contains a chapter on good writing, 9 pages that manage to say nothing about the craft of writing itself.
And of all the social media courses that I've reviewed, none address the the heart and soul of the medium - the written message.
There are a myriad of vehicles through which we can communicate with our potential clients. Most of them rely, at their base, on clear written communication. And if that's not your strong point, you're going to struggle as a business owner.
Your post is right on target. Good writing for the Internet is combining good copy that is informative, useful and current, written in an engaging style, with knowledge of seo that goes far beyond key word use.
SEO writing means weaving key words into the content almost so they go unnoticed, using images, and other media for tagging purposes and doing everything possible to have a high SER.
Good SEO writing gets a business or product found, good content writing makes a compelling case to get a potential customer or client to take an action, be it clicking through to a website, signing up for a newsletter or, best of all, buying goods and services.
Clients who hire professional Internet writers often want their key words stuffed - that is the sum total of their seo knowledge. They are unaware of tags, links and other tricks of the seo trade. They are difficult to deal with and tend to micromanage their work. Not realizing the complexity of good writing and good seo they also tend to pay poorly. I try very hard to avoid clients like these, but do get fooled every now and then.
I've learned that once when I searched for some answers on the internet for the same query you had. And much of the following realizations followed after realizing one answer. Even for me, as already a part of the market, I'm most likely lured in when there are ready descriptions of the products posted with the photo of the product itself, and of course other more specific details in purchasing.
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