What content marketing and Muhammad Ali have in common 1

Breezy yet provocative status updates, authoritative ghostwriting, teasers to longer articles that compel your customers to click through rather than scroll on by. If written content is a house, at the foundation of it has to be good, if not great, writing.

There are many “best practice” marketing articles espousing that “Content is King”, but fewer that focus on the actual writing of content. One that I came across recently did just that, and a part of it really struck a nerve with me.

Although Jason Miller’s article points out many valuable things — such as, marketers who want to improve their writing should read great writing and invest in Strunk and White’s classic, The Elements of Style — what got me was the article’s pull quote:

“Writing sucks, and it’s hard. The people who enjoy writing are already making a living from it, they are called authors. For the rest of us we have to try a bit harder.”

At the risk of reusing a word such as “sucks,” which is unprofessional content at best, I say it’s possible for your business to partner with content creators who actually love writing. Your business can hire content creators – dare I say, writers — who don’t lull the day away, dreaming of becoming the next Nicholas Sparks or JK Rowling, or writing as long as The Odyssey.

These writers approach your challenge in communicating to customers as a problem that they, with writing and storytelling, can solve. They use written content and other forms to entertain, educate, tantalize, and persuade. When it’s posted on your company’s Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn page, their writing can be a welcome, open door to your personalized space in the marketplace – your website. These content creators have the same reverence for their craft as anyone who strives to be a famous author. They have the same desire to have their final product shine just as brightly in the hands of your company’s communications director or C-level executive as they would a Hollywood screenplay agent.

 And here’s why you should hire a social marketing and content creation firm that will bring this talent to you:

  •  Real Writers Can Make Anything Interesting: I could give a lick about professional boxing, but David Remnick’s 2001 biography of Muhammad Ali, King of the World, kept me turning the pages and wishing it would never end. Remnick’s writing made Ali an intriguing character and the sociological landscape of his times something I felt I had to experience. It doesn’t matter what your business product or service is, a writer will think about the message you want to convey or people in your company worthy of portraying and build the drama, narrative and accessibility to keep your customers hooked.
  •   Real Writers Understand Your Audience: Are you trying to appeal to customers, competitors, first-time visitors to your site, or your own peers with your content? Professional writers with years of experience have appealed to them all, and probably some all at the same time. They find the juggling of demands and attention of each audience an intellectual exercise. The good news these days is – with the diversity of social media platforms, writing and other messaging can be tweaked or repurposed to fit the platform that best connects with your target audienc.
  • Real Writers See Negotiating Content and Language With You As A Meeting of Minds, Not A Clash of the Egos – Professional writers don’t take rejection, suggestions, and constructive criticism of their work personally – they want to know how they can help. That doesn’t mean they’ll lie down if you give them a misguided communications strategy or become married to an awkward turn of phrase. If your content creator is a professional, he or she will offer advice of how to make that strategy work better and turn that awkward writing into more active and clear copy that has essentially the same meaning and message.
  • Real Writers Will Measure Their Success By Your Results If your business doesn’t succeed, neither does the content creator you employ. Professional writers want results too. Your website or social media platform isn’t just a frame to showcase their words. It’s a way for you to succeed and for them to keep enjoy writing more for you.

In short, content creators want their writing and other storytelling tools to be an asset you or your business can’t live without. For some of us, that’s more important than seeing our name in print or the limelight.

Leslie Mladinich/SocialProseLeslie Mladinich is a contributor to SocialProse Media.

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