Let’s say you’re about to start a new SEO copywriting project, and as always, your mission is to write appealing sales copy that turns site visitors into customers.
Sure, you’ve worked on a creative brief with your client (or in-house team). Plus you’ve poured over company brochures, existing content, trade show materials and other helpful information. And yes, you’ve had meetings with the marketing manager, creative director or web team. That’s all great for getting ready to write excellent SEO content.
But it’s not quite enough.
To write authentic, powerful content that truly resonates with prospects and converts them into customers — you need to go beyond “arm’s length” research.
You want to get on the phone with the company’s top sales representatives; the folks on the front lines with customers every day.
Let’s look at all the advantages of talking directly with sales professionals, whether you’re writing for a B2B manufacturing company, a non-profit association or a company selling wedding gowns.
- Sales reps are calling on prospects every day via email, on the phone, through web conferences and in person. They know exactly how prospects talk about goals, products, services, customers, industry trends, competition, hurdles and other points of context. They can share these prospect insights with you.
- When sales reps talk with prospects, they work hard to connect and establish strong, trusting relationships. This is accomplished by showing a deep understanding of the prospects’ world and educating prospects, using the same language and even jargon used in that industry. In manufacturing, prospects might talk about excess inventory or cloud storage security. An association might talk about member benefits or retention vs. acquisition. Wedding gown buyers might mention taffeta or tulle fabric. Sales reps can pass along that language (and jargon) to you, to make your copy stronger.
- Sales rep can give you the lowdown on exactly what happens during sales calls. For instance, what are prospects worried about? Skeptical about? Excited about? What’s their main problem? How do the sales reps explain company solutions? And what objections do sales reps overcome to win the sale? This is great stuff for you to know! It can make a huge difference in the relevance and persuasiveness of your SEO copy.
- Sales reps can give you typical real-world scenarios prospects face in that industry. For example, I recently wrote a blog post about an emerging market for my client; an exciting new direction for their product line. The marketing manager asked me to talk with their sales rep who handles that product area, so he could tell me about the big trend, how it works, the ideal prospects and how to set his company’s solutions apart from all others. This type of conversation can clarify your understanding of how to describe various scenarios in your copy.
- Sales reps can brainstorm copy ideas with you. They’re experts at thinking on their feet! For instance if you’re struggling to come up with blog topics for your client (or company), the sales reps will likely have all kinds of ideas based on their day-to-day interactions with prospects. The reps may tell you funny or fascinating stories you can use in your content, bringing your content to life.
- Each industry has its own language, and the best way to learn that language is to talk with someone who speaks it every day. Sales reps can give you a treasure trove, not to be overlooked, for keyword research and more. More than once, I’ve been given a list of potential keywords to research. But then, after talking with a sales rep, I discovered a few more keywords that were absolute gems. Sales reps can bring you new keyword ideas that are worth gold.
- Sales reps can review your drafts to make sure they’re on-target. After all, who knows better when it comes to converting prospects into customers? Recently I wrote a blog series with the sales rep reviewing my drafts. She recommended a few minor adjustment changes that made a world of difference in content authenticity. And, she helped me nail the call-to-action copy using her extensive experience in closing deals. If possible, have sales reps review your copy to make it more successful.
As you get ready to work on your next SEO copywriting project, request a phone call with at least one top “front lines” sales representative. Your copy will be much better for it.
Here’s to your web success!
Guest blogger Pam Foster is a SuccessWorks Certified SEO Copywriter and the owner of ContentClear Marketing and PetCopywriter.com. She works mainly in the pet-veterinary industry and enjoys speaking the industry’s language in her work — woof!