Fast Company: 14 Steps to Elevate Business Content and Improve Conversion Rates
January 6, 2023
We are syndicating the original article from the Fast Company Executive Board.
Here’s how to write winning word copy that encourages a call to action.
To engage your audience even further through a broader range of platforms, it’s beneficial to speak directly to their needs and provide them with the expert information they are seeking to overcome business challenges and improve their client success rates.
If you dread the copywriting aspects of your business, 14 Fast Company Executive Board members are here to help you get started, whether you’re writing content for your website, social media platforms, email marketing, or advertising.
1. ADDRESS THE PROBLEMS YOUR CUSTOMERS WANT TO SOLVE.
Most companies run into the problem of falling in love with their own ideas, but the North Star for brand copy should always be customers and what they need. This starts by speaking directly with your customers more often to hear exactly what problems they are trying to address and how they can use your product or service to solve them. Use your customers to inform copy, not the other way around. – Lyndon Brown, Pondurance
2. BE CONFIDENT AND UNEXPECTEDLY WILLING TO TAKE RISKS.
Be unexpected. Rather than walk in the middle of the road to either cast a wide net or not step out of line, be a little weird. Customers actually remember the marketing strategies of risk takers, the content that is a little out there in left field. Being more unexpected is a sign of confidence and makes people stop and look. Create unique copy that feels fresh and unexpected. – Leigh Dow, Identiv
3. APPLY ML FOR WRITING ASSISTANCE.
The democratization of machine learning has created a new type of writing assistant that uses large data sets of marketing content to automatically generate original blog posts, ads, sales copy, emails, and more. While it does not replace the human writer, staring at a blank page is a thing of the past. It’s not always great copy in the beginning, but the trend is clear. – Steve Anderson, Catalyit LLC
4. FOCUS ON THE ADDED VALUE OF PRODUCTS AND SERVICES.
Compelling copy comes from offering compelling products and services. Brand leaders know that effective copywriting develops from having an authentic message backed up by tangible results. Engaging content flows freely wherever there’s a service-oriented mindset. “What are we selling?” is the wrong question to be asking. Instead, ask yourself what value can be provided to others. This will help put your copywriting on the right track. – John Hall, Calendar
5. DEVELOP ENGAGING CONTENT WITH A CALL TO ACTION.
Compelling copy should either be entertaining, educational, or informative to your target audience. The content should either fill a need or help solve an immediate, pressing problem or answer a question. But, it should always include a simple, but direct call-to-action once the initial “freebie” information is provided. – Tyrone Foster, InvestNet, LLC
6. INCORPORATE EMOTIONAL WORDS IN THE COPY.
One method that can be utilized is by using emotional words, which are more impactful than other words. Additionally, incorporating a CTA can help drive more traffic to your content as well. – Kristin Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC
7. INSERT ACTIVE VERBS AND SEO BEST PRACTICES.
There are really two questions here. How do you write concise, compelling copy? How can you drive more traffic to your content? First, take a hard look at the verbs you use. If you want something concise and compelling, use only active verbs. Second, if you want to drive traffic to content, do your research. Use SEO to learn what your target audience is looking for and write content about that. – Bruno Guicardi, CI&T
8. DELIVER INSIGHTS FROM COMPANY EXPERTS AND GUEST SPEAKERS.
Brand leaders have a point of view and know the pain points of their customers inside and out. This knowledge empowers them to have content that draws in the customer and partners. The key is to be delivering insights, research, featured company experts, and guest speakers that address those concerns and provide content no one else is delivering. The homework and editorial strategy are essential. – Kathleen Lucente, Red Fan Communications
9. FIGURE OUT WHAT’S WORKING AND KEEP TESTING.
So many people fail to do the simple step of actually reviewing the rich and often free data from your various metrics dashboards that can tell you what copy is working across different platforms and which messages are leaving your audiences flat and uninspired. Figure out what’s working, test more of that content, rinse, repeat. “Build, Measure, Learn” is The Lean Startup philosophy that works. – Cheryl Contee, The Impact Seat Foundation
10. LET CUSTOMERS CHOOSE HOW TO ENGAGE WITH THE BRAND.
Remember the “choose your own adventure” stories, where you could literally pick a variety of flips and turns and create your own story? A story about the solutions your business provides and how it can meet the needs of the customer with a variety of options puts them in control of the narrative. But don’t tell the whole story at once. Think of it as chapters, just like a story you would read in a novel. – Kristi Melani, Telesign
11. GENEROUSLY SHARE YOUR KNOWLEDGE.
Many businesses are scared to give away valuable tips. They think their customers won’t need them anymore, or their competitors will steal their secrets. Trust me, only a tiny percent of your readers will take the info and implement it immediately. Most people won’t do anything, but they will remember you as an expert. And they will come back to you when they need you. – Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS
12. DESIGN CONTENT THAT IS MOBILE-FRIENDLY.
Add value to the customer first and get to your point. In today’s tsunami of information and mobile devices, you only have three seconds to capture someone’s attention. If it’s not readable and compelling on a mobile device, you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities for activation and engagement. – Dean Calhoun, Affygility Solutions
13. ASK AN OUTSIDER TO REVIEW YOUR FINAL EDITINGS.
Have someone who knows nothing about your product or service do all of your final editing. If your copy is not clear enough for someone with no previous exposure to understanding your business, then you must simplify. – Brandon Rigoni, Gallup
14. QUESTION HOW YOUR BUSINESS MAKES A DIFFERENCE.
After drafting the initial copy, ask yourself, “So what?” Keep asking yourself that until you’ve boiled the narrative down to the very essence of what your offering does and what’s meaningful about it. You typically will hit on only a handful of benefits: how it saves time or money, how it makes money, how it improves the reader’s status or reputation, and how it benefits the readers’ customers. – Lisa Bichsel, Bichsel Medical Marketing Group