Hey little business- when it comes time to market your business, I can forgive you for looking over your competitor’s fence and drawing inspiration from their blog. I know blog writing and content marketing may not be your thing.
However, when it comes to a copywriter (especially one passing themselves off as a creative copywriter) giving you this advice, all bets are off.
Stop offering to pinch blogs off competing websites and re-write them!
No, you shouldn’t be re-writing the blogs of the company down the road, or the good examples from overseas that offer the same business as you.
Here’s why original is always best when it comes time to market your business via your blog
You can’t stand out in the crowd
Think about how you market your business from a customer’s perspective. They may not even know who you are having arrived from search, social media, online directory or countless other advertising medium. They are pawing through your website- looking at what you offer, comparing prices, and getting a feel of you from your blog and website.
In the next window of their browser, they have your competitor’s website.
And the window next to that.
And the window next to that.
Do you really think you’ll be chosen out of those choices if you sound exactly like the guy down the road? If you are all the same, you’re boring.
There’s no point in having a blog as part of the selection process if you are wearing the same beige blogging as your competitor.
When you market your business, your aim with marketing is to stand out. Re-writes don’t allow you to do that.
It makes Google more competitive, not less
Google is an amazing thing when you think about it. All the little itty bitty bits of pictures, videos, writing and whatever else come together to form the internet, and Google is the clever little program that sorts through it all to give you what you need.
Usually in 3 words.
How clever is that?!
Think about your washing for a moment. Imagine you have several sets of the same colour, design and shape sock. Now, those socks will do your head in because you are hell bent on re-uniting the socks. Or near enough will be good enough and you wouldn’t have a clue if the original sock was really paired correctly.
It may not matter with a bunch of socks, but would you want either of these routes to reflect your content?
A good creative copywriter won’t lean on what other writers have written about your type of business. They’ll ask questions until they get to know your business well enough to write about it. They are meant to market your business. Not cough up a hairball tribute to your rival.
Copying means you’ve forgotten your customers
Blogging should be a process about identifying your customers commonly asked questions. It should be about overcoming their common objections to buying or reinvesting in your product. Your creative copywriter should be looking for opportunities to show off what is unique and special about your product, why you are a better option to your competitors, and be weaving in a little behind the scenes magic to keep the story bubbling.
You can’t get any of that from rehashing the blog of another company.
Yes, you may treat your customers the same with basically the same product and may have even gotten into business for the exact same reason as your competitor.
But what you should be looking for is what sets you apart and makes you a better choice.
Your focus should be on answering your customers concerns, allaying their fears, building a rapport and closing the next sale. You need to be there for your customers at the time they need you. Market your business by solving your customers problems with content.
And that means listening to your customers and writing what they need to read.
You don’t even know if their blog works!
A blog’s existence doesn’t mean the blog is working.
Think about this for a second. You’ve seen their blog, you like what they are doing, but do you really know if it’s generating sales or bringing your competitors new customers?
You don’t know if that blog is an amazing sales and community building tool, or if it’s one missed apostrophe from Canned-ville.
Blogging needs a structure, it needs a content plan. That way, you have a roadmap you are following with the content production, and are able to measure how effective it is when you do the reporting.
If your consultant thinks stealing other people’s stuff and re-writing their blogs will cut the mustard, you’re in big trouble. It means they have no roadmap, and in my experience, haven’t considered reporting the results with you.
Do not choose a creative copywriter for an ongoing gig that doesn’t start with a plan or offer reporting on the results. That’s no way to have a relationship designed to market your business.
Instead, here is what you can do to ensure you make the most out of your creative copywriter.
- Use the Buying Cycle: you can see this puppy in play in my eBook, Age of Word Love.
- Gather blogs for inspiration and rant-spiration: Look at what else is out there, but look for the things your competitors are missing. Look for the better ways to explain the problems that appear common. And don’t be afraid to point out when a company is feeding your potential customer a load of pollywaffle.
- Collect your customer feedback: The richest (and probably most untapped) area for true blog fodder is asking your customers. Ask them on social media, re-read their emails to customer service, and look for opportunities to fill in the blanks. Customers love being listened to. They will reward you for writing up their input.
- Conduct research: Hold a survey, identify a group of customers you wish to speak to and arrange interviews, look through databases and see what information you can extrapolate. Get to know your customers in an in-depth manner, and the ideas for blogging will present themselves.
And above all else, hire a creative copywriter who is going to take the time to plan out the content so they can market your business!
Make sure there is a reason for your blogging that ties in with your overall marketing plan. Ensure it serves your purposes.
Just because someone loves to write doesn’t mean they know how to persuade and lure customers with copy. And ranking well in search engines or having a high output of the same thing as your competitor doesn’t win you customers. There’s a delicacy to sales copy that is lost on a lot of copywriters out there. Make sure the one you choose is not one of them.
Need a hand? I have a specific content plan that outlines my process to blogging that you can use yourself to blog. Or you can have me along for the ride. I also offer private company training on how blog effectively.