As a business owner or manager, you are often called upon to get up on a “digital soap box” and create online content about your company. Creating blogs, marketing brochures, or landing pages can be uncomfortable if business communication and writing for executive audiences isn’t your strong suit.
If you’re a creative person, or even if you tend to be more of a left-brain, logical type, you’ll know what it’s like to work on something for someone and present it to them for feedback. It could be an architectural design for a building, user experience mockups for a website, custom software or a marketing strategy for a customer.
If you’re passionate about your business, and you take the time to do your best work, client feedback can be the highlight of your day, or it might feel like a kick in the ribs when you get a negative review. As a freelance writer, I’m familiar with both of these experiences.
Writing web content for technology companies is a lot like being a speechwriter for a presidential candidate. You want to make the words and sentences sound like they blend well with the client’s brand messaging. The content needs to build industry credibility and authority. You don’t want to make the content sound like what all the other companies are saying (like a certain candidate for FLOTUS mimicked Michelle Obama). The content should be original, engaging and suitable for the audience you are targeting. Whitepapers, like campaign speeches, should inspire action. You want prospects to show support with their technology budgets as much as Democratic and/or Republican candidates want Americans to show support on election day.
Delivering your Platform Content
Donald Trump’s behavior in the 2016 presidential race was full of lessons for media professionals, content marketers, and social media enthusiasts:
- Don’t write posts on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn when you are emotionally charged on an issue. Write content you wouldn’t be ashamed if your grandmother were to read it.
- Time marches on, but digital video and audio lasts forever. Watch what you say, even if you think it’s off the record.
- Just like Hillary Clinton did during the 2016 election race, make your website the central source for your data, and refer prospects and customers to it often. Socialize the information from your website across social media channels, but as Jay Baer said, “Your website is fire, social media is gasoline”. Make sure to fact-check and quality check your content for quality and cohesiveness.
- Just like a good campaign manager, a competent editor is great to keep you on message, and to fine-tune your copy. There are great tools like Atomic Writer and Grammarly to evaluate the mechanics of your writing, but a second set of human eyes is the best way to ensure your content is ready for prime time.
- Marshall McLuhan said, “The medium is the message”. If you are promoting your products, services, or candidacy on Twitter, be prepared for faceless trolls, low-value followers, and your message may be drowned out entirely. Finding the best channel for your content is vital.
How to Be an Effective Digital Debater
When you publish content on the internet, you need to be prepared for contrary opinions, often from people who are looking to draw you into an argument for fun. Just like in the presidential debates, getting goaded into an emotional debate and lashing out in anger is dangerous to your reputation. Ensure your website content is accurate and truthful, your online conversations are classy, and don’t feed the trolls.
You likely don’t have any interest in running for public office, though partnering with a freelance digital marketing writer will ensure your business is well represented online. You can focus on running your business in the physical world, and be confident those who find you on the internet will be confident in doing business with you offline.