The importance of hiring a professional copywriter to drive customer engagement and sales is emphasised very often now. The proofs and statistics are so compelling, that some business owners have started to think of a copywriter as of magical solution to low sales. Nevertheless, many owners are eventually not satisfied with the results and, then, ask themselves what mistakes they might have done when hiring a copywriter. This is why VAfromEurope have compiled a comprehensive list of crucial things business owners should know to make the most of their copy.
The basis of good copywriting is good marketing
First of all, you need to take it for granted that copywriting does not work without a good marketing plan. To provide an effective text, your copywriter should know what audience you want to target and what actions you would like readers to take.
Although business owners often associate copywriting with writing content for a corporate blog, it is just one of the tasks you can delegate to a copywriter. It is also necessary and, probably, even more important to hire a professional copywriter
- to create text for your website pages
- to write product and service descriptions
- to create text for marketing campaigns and calls to actions
- to work out custom letters (confirmation of a purchase, welcome letter upon subscription, etc.) and mass mailing campaigns
Each page of your website, each blog post, each letter, each lead form needs to have a definite goal, and copywriting should be the tool that helps you achieve this goal. If you do not have a well-thought marketing strategy, copywriting will unlikely produce any change to your bottom line.
Hire a copywriter, not a wordsmith
It is important that understand the difference between writing as such and writing a copy and make sure you hire a person that understands this difference too. A copy is a written communication with people, the ultimate goal of which is to persuade them to make a purchase. Thus, before hiring a copywriter, make sure he understands the key concepts of his trade and knows how to deliver value, not just stuff your website with words. In particular, here is the list of questions to ask an applicant for the position of a copywriter:
- What techniques are used to make a text user-friendly?
- What techniques are used to make a page SEO-optimised?
- What is an anchor text?
- What are internal and external links? Why are they important? In what cases, external links may be preferable or forbidden?
- How do you understand the concept of “customer pain points”? Why is it important for copywriting?
- What tools do you use to research keywords or assess the effectiveness of your copy? (The applicant should name at least Google Keyword Planner, Google Analytics and Search Console and explain what information he can get from these tools)
Provide ample time for research
It is a mistake to think that a copywriter needs time to wait for inspiration or find a writer’s muse. Copywriting is rather a technical process than a creative one. At the same time, quality copywriting requires much time for research. Namely, a copywriter needs to research
- the audience: Is necessary to adopt the voice and the content to the audience’s demographics, interests, pain points, concerns, etc., which the writer needs to research first
- competitors: Analysis of competitors will help to determine the unique benefits of your product, service or company, which should be stressed in the copy
- covered topic: It is not enough for a blog post to be original and staffed with keywords, as new search engines algorithms place more value to the links to your content, time spent reading it and social engagement. This way, the key to success is providing relevant and helpful content people will read, like and share, which, unlike wordsmithing, requires much research
- previous content to link to: A copywriter should research previous articles on your blog and your products to determine how they may be linked to in the article or letter he is to produce
- keywords: Even if you give the main keyword to use in the text, a copywriter should better research the competition for it and search for additional long-tail keywords, which may be included in the copy
If you do not want to pay for the time a writer will spend on research, you should either provide all the information on your own or agree to a lower quality of content and, possibly, revise it on your own.
Make a copywriter your business partner
What we suggest here is not actually giving your copywriter a share in your business, but listening to what your copywriter has to say (as long as he knows his trade). A professional copywriter will analyse your sales funnels and will point to the weak points of your website or your marketing strategy. The question is, will you be responsive to his comments? Will you encourage him to produce reports on the effectiveness and revise previous content to make it more effective? If you do not encourage your copywriter to become your business partner and think of sales first, he will unlikely produce the results you hope for.
Choose the hiring option that serves your business best
There is a number of advantages and disadvantages to outsourcing your content. On the one hand, it is good to have an in-house copywriter that will understand the specifics of your business and will be readily available for a writing task. On the other hand, after your website receives quality text for all pages, the writing needs often drop dramatically. Thus, many business owners find themselves in the situation when they have to invent work to delegate to a full-time copywriter and regret hiring one at all. At the same time, a freelancer occasionally writing content for you may be not available for work when you need it. This way, it is best to cooperate with an agency like VAfromEurope that will make sure a professional copywriter, knowledgeable in your business and content strategy, is always available to you but works as many hours per week as you need it.
Copywriting is not some kind of magic that will solve all issues of your business, nor is it “just another blog post” you should have to keep up to the Jones. Copywriting is a tool that can help you reach your marketing goals and it is important that you hire a copywriter having this definition in mind.