How to empower the writer in your inbound marketing team
“I’m a writer”…if I ask somebody what their job is and they give me that answer, then I’ll usually ask them what they write about and who they do it for. As I listen to their responses, I also automatically pigeonhole them as being a “creative”, and if I’ve read anything they’ve written, then I usually keep quiet. Why? Because I assume they’re brimming with great ideas, that writing well always comes naturally to them, and that the last thing they need is my input. Here’s the kicker: consistently writing brilliant content and coming up with original ideas, and managing to marry that with your business’s goals is insanely difficult. For marketing departments following an inbound strategy, that’s the challenge their content creators face each day. Here’s some practical advice to work alongside the writers in your team (or the writer within yourself!) and empower them to bring out that creative spark.
Before we start…understand what an inbound marketing writer is
Inbound marketing is a method of marketing that involves creating content specifically designed to appeal to your ideal customers. It draws on the customer trend of researching extensively online before deciding to buy – something that’s particularly apparent in B2B where the order values tend to be high and often involve long, research-based sales cycles. To be effective, the content has to be valuable to its audience. The writer’s role is at the heart of the of the content creation process – it’s their responsibility to use their words and ideas to add that value. They should be able to write engaging short, mid-length and long copy, whether for blog posts, emails, eBooks, case studies or video storyboards. If you don’t have that kind of writer, then you’re not giving your audience any value…and if you don’t have that, then your inbound marketing strategy is doomed to fail.
Collaborate during the creative process
Just because somebody has a “creative” job, it doesn’t mean they’re always feeling particularly creative. Writer’s block is most definitely a condition! Also, some topics are simpler harder to get your head round, let alone get inspired about. So the next time the content creation process stutters, remember that it might be time to collaborate and bounce ideas off each other.
Agree some deadlines and targets together (and be reasonable with them)
When it comes to writing, it’s oh so easy to mull things over for too long. While perfecting copy and having high standards are both excellent habits, it’s important to remember that other departments are relying on your work so sometimes “done is better than perfect”. Now nobody should expect you to write 24/7 or for that next blog to rack up millions of view overnight, but there’s a happy compromise to be had. Look at how your last couple of pieces performed and use that as a guide to inform what you should aim for next.
Share the analytics
The great thing about analytics is that they’re a measure of how well you’re writing. They’re by no means the only way to look at it, but they give you a sense of what is and isn’t resonating with your audience. So if you see that a piece of a how-to blog has been retweeted a lot or an email with a listicle has an excellent click-through rate, let the writer know! They can analyse like there’s no tomorrow and get an idea of what their audience wants from them.
Keeping the writing in perspective
Most of the content written by inbound marketing teams exists online and it’s important to remember that the digital space is pretty close to being unlimited, so the competition is fierce. For an inbound marketing strategy to succeed, the writing needs to add value to the audience and working out whether you’re doing that or not is a collaborative process. Some of the most useful feedback you can get as a writer doesn’t happen in the comments section of a blog or the replies box on a tweet, but in person from clients, colleagues, and customers. So the next time I speak to a writer, I’m going to give them feedback on their writing. For more advice on inbound marketing, download our How To Build A Winning Inbound Marketing Team guide Download How To Build A Winning Inbound Marketing Team