Hire a Writer Who Understands How to Build a Following

Not just a social following, but a readership-following

The goal of a marketing effort is to build a following and start conversations that include you. Hire a writer who understands how you want to go about it.

My friend and colleague John Bromhead is fond of saying,

Marketing is the process of starting a conversation.

David Meerman Scott is more specific:

Marketers, PR pros, advertisers, and salespeople are on the payroll for one reason: To generate attention.

Why do we want to generate attention?

In short, we’re all trying to generate attention to start conversations.

For a long time, we’ve assumed that the conversations would be between our prospects and us. But the most powerful attention and conversations take place in this following we build in our wake. That’s the big lesson of social media.

Your content marketing writers need to understand that. They should support your goal of delivering content that fits the way your organization tries to build a following.

Don’t most of your marketing pieces contain a section titled, “For More Information”? Why?

Your ideal readers have just met you, and you’ve just shoved a few hundred or thousand words of copy down their throats. Do you really think that most of them want more information? Do you think that they are ready to mail you a check now?

Don’t send information. Build a following.

Instead of “For More Information,” say “To Follow Us.” That’s what they’re ready to do now. They want to tune in to the conversations going on about you, to see how/whether you’re engaged with the audience. They want to see what kind of attention you’re generating, and what you’re doing with it.

Do your white papers, case studies, web content and blog posts still pump information at your readers so that they’ll buy from you? Or, does your content give readers enough value for them to want to follow you, then decide whether they want to buy from you when the time is ripe?

How have you made that change? Have your content marketing writers made it with you?

photo credit: Brianforbes37


Author: John White

John White of venTAJA Marketing is a content marketing writer for technology companies. He posts about technology writing from the perspective of the marketing manager. It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it. Download his eBook, “10 Questions to Ask When Hiring Your Content Marketing Writer.”

2 thoughts on “Hire a Writer Who Understands How to Build a Following

  1. Great points John. Too many marketers don’t think about the LOGICAL next step. In addition, it’s also true that viewers of your copy may be at different stages in the sales process. So in addition to a “follow us” option, always a good idea to consider a menu of specific offers — offers will help to motivate the next step.

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