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Inbound Marketing Age

Business Writing - 5 Components to Persuasive Content

Written by Jeremy Knight  |  13, February, 2020  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Editor's note: This blog was originally published in July 2012 and has since been updated for optimal accuracy and relevance. It was originally The Art Of Persuasive Business Writing - Copy vs content: from a conversion perspective

With business writing, people generally consider content and copy as two different things.

Well – they do have two different purposes: the purpose of content is to provide information of some subject – informative articles, long descriptive text, tutorials or even pictures and media.

Copy, on the other hand, seeks to incentivise.

Although in some cases copy can resemble content, its main objective is to engage your audience to take action – make a purchase, sign up for a newsletter, follow a link or add a page to bookmarks – whatever you want your visitor to do.

So, with business writing, while content informs, copy motivates.

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7 mistakes content writers make when writing for web

Written by Katie Hughes  |  22, November, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Writing for web isn’t easy. You can be a talented writer but still find yourself struggling to connect with an online audience. That’s because many of the usual rules go out the window.

Long introductions, elaborate descriptions and digressions don’t work for an online audience. They are surrounded by other distractions and temptations, so you need to make an impact fast.

So, let’s get straight to the point.

What are the common mistakes you need to avoid when writing for web?

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10 of the best content writing tools to improve your blog

Written by Katie Hughes  |  3, September, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Blogging remains one of the best ways to connect with your customers and prospects. But in an age of content saturation, most writers know they need to up their game.

You may have been blogging for years, but even the most seasoned writers need a little help sometimes.

Plus content writing isn't just about being able to write well. A good content writer will also be focused on ensuring they're writing about topics that resonate with their ideal customers and that their blog posts are getting found by those people.

We've compiled some of the best content writing tools that we use here at Equinet, to help you improve your blog and get noticed by the people looking for what you do.

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Why you need to be writing online content like a journalist

Written by Eric Swain  |  9, May, 2019  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Editor's note: This blog post was originally published in June 2014.

A few years back, I spoke to Anna Lawlor, who at the time was the writer and director of Social i Media, who offered some fascinating insights into why writing and thinking like a journalist can give content creators a real edge. Anna is now co-founder and Head of Content & PR at Luminescence Communications Ltd, a company specialising in creating high quality communications for professional services.

What Anna had to say back in 2014 still rings true today, and she offers some interesting thoughts on how content marketers should be thinking like journalists.

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Blog writer's tip: keep your blog on target with a brief

Written by Keith Errington  |  4, February, 2019  |  1 Comment  Subscribe

Editor's note: This post was originally written in 2014 and has since been updated for maximum relevance. 

I like to think of blog posts as arrows – powerful, accurate and effective – but only if they are targeted. In fact any weapon is only effective if properly targeted – and can cause huge damage if it’s pointing the wrong way.

Whilst forgiving the somewhat campaign/war like bent of this view, applying this analogy to a blog – you have to identify the overall nature of your enemy and then hit specific targets with your posts. So what you need is a brief and a targeting system.

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How to craft catchy and compelling headlines for your business blog

Written by Andrea Blades  |  17, October, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

One of the many advantages of working in an open-plan office is the opportunity to bounce around B2B blog ideas with fellow inbound content writers.

And a frequent topic of conversation is how to finesse our blog titles so they're pertinent, attention grabbing and search-engine friendly.

Why business blog titles matter

While the bulk of our creative efforts goes into constructing the blog post itself, it's surprising how much attention we also need to pay to those first few words that our potential customers are going to see - our headline.

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How to ensure your B2B blog posts hit the spot

Written by Andrea Blades  |  13, September, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Well-crafted, purposeful and informative B2B blog posts are essential tools to help build your community and create the foundations for long-lasting relationships.

But in the midst of a demanding blogging schedule it can be easy to lose sight of why it is you're doing what you're doing; who you're doing it for and what it is you're looking to achieve.

In this blog post, we highlight five key questions that can help keep your content creation efforts on-task and on track.

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Content vs. Copy: What's the difference?

Written by Nicola Risi  |  20, August, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

It’s natural for most people to assume that content and copy are one and the same.

After all, if you can write a decent blog you've surely got the skills to write a good email subject line, a CTA (call to action), and a white paper. Writing is writing... right?

Unfortunately, this is the kind of view that impedes marketers from getting the full value from their marketing strategies.

Marketers must have a handle on the nuances of both activities not just to aid in their growth strategies but to understand what skills are required from potential writing candidates to fulfil their brand’s needs.

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What can the rise of video teach us about great writing?

Written by Andrea Blades  |  15, August, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Video continues to dominate the digital landscape - from its prevalence on company websites, social media and news sites to the popularity of online streaming services.

And according to research from Wyzowl in ‘The State of Video Marketing 2018,’ video has established itself as a highly-rated and successful medium for increasing traffic, engaging with B2B prospects and encouraging action.

Among the report’s key findings was the fact that eighty-one per cent of businesses have used video content as a marketing tool.

Of these, a substantial 97% of respondents said that video had helped them to increase user understanding of their product or service. And 76% confirmed that the use of video had helped them to increase sales.

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Why tone of voice matters in blogging for manufacturing

Written by Andrea Blades  |  29, May, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

At the heart of a successful strategy for blogging for manufacturing is the ability to be able to write about often highly technical subjects in a way that communicates your expertise, but that remains fresh, accessible and enjoyable to read.

A key element of this process is to agree on a clear and consistent ‘tone of voice’ for your company or brand.

But what exactly is your tone of voice? 

And how can it help you to engage with your audience, increase rapport and better tell your story?

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How to create a B2B website homepage your buyer personas will love

Written by Katie Hughes  |  5, April, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

If you’re using an inbound methodology you may have all the right strategies in place to get your buyer personas to your website. You might be using the right keywords, blogging regularly, and promoting your content on social media.

But how good a job is your homepage doing to convince your prospects that they’ve come to the right place?

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Why content writing works for B2B lead generation

Written by Nicola Risi  |  8, February, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

In an age of content fatigue, we’re becoming less tolerant of intrusive and interruptive marketing.

Cold calls, spam emails and TV ads can all be blocked at the click of a button, and the power is truly back in the hands of the consumer.

When we have a problem or a question, we set up our chosen device and begin the quest for content.

We flick from article to article, blog to blog, white paper to ebook, trying to find the answer we’re looking for.

We choose where to go next, and who to give our precious information to in exchange for more content. We're completely in control.

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Keeping it green - how to ensure your content writing has legs

Written by Andrea Blades  |  11, January, 2018  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Creating evergreen content is a proven strategy for upping your search rankings and driving traffic to your site. But what exactly is it? Why is it so useful? And how do we go about creating it?

In this blog post we explore what makes certain content “evergreen”, why it’s so worthwhile, what differentiates it from other types of online content and how we can harness its benefits for our content writing efforts.

What makes content evergreen?

Evergreen content, as its name suggests, is any form of online content that is long-lasting (eternal or sustainable,) that is not time-sensitive, that offers tangible value and that addresses the needs of your audience.

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The pros and cons of outsourcing your B2B content writing

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  29, November, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

B2B Content marketing focuses on creating, publishing and distributing content for a targeted audience online. If inbound marketing is the engine, then content is the fuel.

In a previous post, we discussed whether you should recruit internally or hire an inbound agency partner. If you do decide to go it alone it is likely you are still going to need a content writer. In fact, according to Content Marketing Institute’s (CMIs) research, over half (56 per cent) of B2B companies outsource at least part of their content marketing.

Implementing inbound is time consuming. B2B content writing is time consuming. Without someone dedicated to both, you will end up with excellent content but no marketing activity to share it, or excellent marketing activity but with the same tired, sparse content offers.

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7 common blogging mistakes you need to stop now

Written by Nicola Risi  |  20, November, 2017  |  3 Comments  Subscribe

With over a million blog posts written every day, it’s crucial your blogging strategy does nothing but propel you to the front of the crowd.

Silly mistakes can have a negative impact on your online visibility.

If you’re frustrated that your blogging efforts are having little discernible effect on conversion rates, it’s worth checking you haven’t fallen into the trap of committing some of the biggest blogging mistakes.

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How to craft a winning B2B tone of voice

Written by Nicola Risi  |  29, September, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Look to B2C brands such as Innocent Drinks, Coca Cola, and Apple, and you’ll see tone of voice done right.

We know their voices like we know the unmistakable fonts and colours so akin to their identities.

Whether it’s with distinctive simplicity, phonetic vocabulary, or inspirational language, each has mastered the ability to connect with their audiences in a parallel voice that yields trust and brand loyalty.

Their values dictate every word choice, every message, and retains the recognisable personality that’s present in every packaging label, website page and social media post.  

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How to write excellent microcopy that maximises conversion rates

Written by Nicola Risi  |  13, September, 2017  |  1 Comment  Subscribe

We’ve written about optimisation strategies and SEO before. And sure, they are some of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your website. But what happens after you’ve been found? The goal changes, right?

You need conversions.

Converting your visitors into leads, your leads into customers, and your customers into promoters takes time and investment. And perhaps one of the biggest investments is your microcopy.

We're talking about those small blocks of text in highly trafficked areas of your site, including CTA buttons, instructional copy and messages of reassurance. They tell users what to do (“Write your full name here”), alleviate concerns ("Don’t worry, we’ll only use your email address once”), and move them deeper into your site (“Learn more”).

Get these right, and your chances of converting can increase tenfold. 

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5 tips to help B2B content writers make an impact

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  28, March, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

According to Internet Live Stats, Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average - or over 3.5 billion searches per day. That's a lot of people looking for content and, while those searches will incorporate a huge range of questions, the sheer volume indicates that there is an audience hungry for content.

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4 myths about B2B content writing

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  2, February, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

"Myth: a widely held but false belief or idea."

Oxford Dictionaries

B2B content writing is a topic ripe for discussion. There's tons of information and advice out there, which you could spend hours reading and digesting. But, you might still find yourself scratching your head over what denotes best practice. 

So, in the age of the "post-truth" society, it's time to put to bed a few lingering myths about creating B2B content. 

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4 simple productivity techniques to help B2B content writers

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  26, January, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

"We'll publish a blog post every day this month"; "this quarter, we'll create a top-of-the-funnel eBook and a middle-of-the-funnel whitepaper": it's easy to be ambitious about your B2B content strategy, but achieving your goals can often be a different story.

When there's so much to do and distractions at every turn, it can be difficult for B2B content writers to be as productive as they would like. However, successful content marketing relies on consistently creating useful and valuable content for your target audience.

So, here are five simple productivity techniques, to help you power through your to-do list and create the great content you have planned.

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Why B2B content writers should embrace their writing voice

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  11, January, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

"Writing is the painting of the voice" - Voltaire

We all have unique voices: deep and rich, breathy, high-pitched, soft and honeyed. And when we write, we also have unique voices. However, sometimes we stymie our voices, shackling our personalities to produce flat, impersonal writing. We resort to tired templates and worn-out clichés, jargon and meaninglessness.

This is all too easily done in the context of B2B content writing, where much of what is created is dismissed as "boring". After all, if what you're writing about is dull, then why bother to inject some individuality?

The answer is, because it matters. When you're writing for a business, your audience is still made up of real people, with real problems – and you might just be able to solve them. But first, you need to embrace your writing voice.

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5 motivational tips for struggling B2B content writers

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  20, December, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

"This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it's done. It's that easy, and that hard."

Neil Gaiman

Motivation isn't always easy to come by as we slide into Christmas. And, while the festive season provides a bit of an excuse, a lack of motivation is problematic for B2B content writers - whatever time of year it strikes. Successful content marketing is dependent on both quality and consistency, both of which require a degree of good, old-fashioned, nose-to-the-grindstone work.

There are various reasons behind a lack of motivation. Some are serious, but others are easier to address – for instance, feeling unmotivated because you are overwhelmed by a task and simply don't know where to start.

So, what can B2B content writers do when the muse proves elusive and doing almost anything else but writing seems appealing?

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How to reuse and repurpose when writing B2B content

Written by Keith Errington  |  24, November, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Writing B2B content is hard – and often the most difficult part is repeatedly creating new content on a regular basis. Coming up with ideas, searching for new topics to cover; all the while ensuring that they are popular enough that your audience will be out there looking for them.

Once you have been blogging for a while it becomes a lot easier. Partly because you naturally become better at it, but partly because you can use the previous body of content you've created to produce new articles and to create content in other formats. You can even just publish it again – provided a few simple rules are followed.

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Securing a second date: how to craft copy for B2B landing pages

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  17, November, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

"Copy is so pivotal to the success or failure of your landing page that it's easy to take it for granted. No matter how valuable your offer or beautiful your design, it's the actual words on the page that will ultimately persuade prospects to click, or drive them to bounce."

Dan Levy, Unbounce

As B2B marketers, we're probably all guilty of treating landing pages as a bit of an afterthought – an add-on to the main content creation process.

For example, we write an eBook and then want to share it with our target audience and acquire new leads. So, having set up our landing page, we swiftly write a couple of paragraphs of copy and send our content out into the world.

However, this is clearly not best practice. And that's because a landing page acts as the gateway to your content.

If a prospect doesn't enter through the gate, they won't ever reap the benefits of your carefully-crafted work. But to unlock the gate, prospects don't need a key – it's their contact details the gatekeeper is after. Therefore, it's vital to spend time honing copy for your B2B landing pages.

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4 useful (and mostly free) online tools for the best content writers

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  10, August, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Content writers are the builders of your B2B content marketing strategy. The content that they create enables you to connect with - and build lasting relationships with - the people for whom your business was made.

But even the best content writers need a little help sometimes. Whether freelance, in-house or part of an agency, they usually have lots to do and not quite enough time to do it

So we've identified four useful online tools that will enable the content creation process to run that little bit smoother - and add even more brilliance to the work of the best content writers.

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Social media - pros and cons for professional services marketing

Written by Keith Errington  |  18, May, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Professional services marketing is not immune to the broader changes transforming the marketing techniques of the current generation of marketers. In every sector, marketing has changed. Older techniques, such as advertising, direct mail, flyers and trade shows, are not producing the same results they did in the past and are proving expensive and uneconomical. And while some traditional techniques, such as business networking, are still delivering new clients, they are time-consuming and require a physical presence that limits their scope and range.

So the newer channels of digital marketing – social media, opt-in newsletters, blogging and the like – are becoming the most effective way for any business to reach new and existing clients.

But these new marketing opportunities are not without their pitfalls; social media, in particular, is a potential minefield for the professional services firm. And even some of the biggest of corporates can get it wrong.  But we know that high-growth professional services firms focus more on social media than average growth firms. So in this post, we will look at the social media pros and cons for professional services marketing.

FREE Checklist: Your common sense guide to getting posts right on social

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Is your law firm full of valuable content writers?

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  25, April, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

More and more professions are coming round to the idea of inbound marketing. And law firms are among those businesses really embracing the power of content.

At the end of last year, Contently published an article in which they addressed this growing trend. Julia Schur wrote about how John Corey, president and co-founder of communications firm Greentarget, had been speaking to law firms across the US about content. His findings? He predicted that "between 30 and 50 percent of law firms will have a dedicated of content strategy by the end of the year [2015]."

Whether those figures are an accurate reflection of the situation currently, there’s no denying the value of an inbound approach in the legal arena. Inbound marketing is a strategy that fits with the way in which buyers today make decisions on purchasing goods or services from businesses; it reflects how prospective clients move from awareness to consideration to decision – and it is all centred on content.

So, in terms of marketing for law firms, let's consider how you can adopt an inbound approach more in keeping with the clients of today. And, do you already have a head start on others with valuable content writers in your ranks?

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5 simple ways content writers keep their readers hooked

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  25, November, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

"We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master." That quote is attributed to Ernest Hemingway. On the contrary, many people would argue that the novelist was a "master" of his craft. 

Nevertheless, his words raise an important question: what makes a writer great? The answer is a myriad of things, many of which can’t be pinned down. And many others which are subjective.

As a content writer, you don’t have to be a master - it's perfectly okay to feel that you're learning as you go. But you do have to keep your readers’ attention.

In previous posts, I’ve discussed how to attract people’s attention in the first place. But once your post, eBook or the like is in front of them, how do you keep them hooked? Here are five tips for keeping your reader engaged.

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This is why your content marketing plan doesn’t have to be original

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  29, October, 2015  |  1 Comment  Subscribe

“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination.” Those are famous words from American film director and scriptwriter, Jim Jarmusch. And they can apply to any endeavour.

Originality is overrated. The best ideas are informed by what’s gone before - even the most astounding invention or find will have been built on years of previous research. Take the discovery of electricity, for example.

So when it comes to formulating your content marketing plan, don't succumb to fear that you have nothing new to say. The process is not about coming up with entirely new ideas, it's about reshaping them; putting your spin on them, and providing information that will resonate with your audience. 

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How to write your first B2B blog post

Written by Keith Errington  |  26, October, 2015  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

With the rise of blogging as a proven and profitable inbound marketing tactic, more business people than ever before are laying their hands on a computer keyboard and publishing their words of wisdom online.

For a few this is a natural process, and they will feel entirely comfortable with it. Many more will struggle, but with perseverance they will be able to blog relatively easily. But then there will always be some who will find it difficult to start and may well abandon the enterprise at the first hurdle.

But as a valuable – we would say essential – method of marketing, you cannot afford to let your fears or lack of experience stop you from blogging.

So in this article we are looking at your first B2B blog post. Everyone has to start somewhere, so here is some help with that initial step.

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