You might have noticed that, here at The Yardstick Agency, we’re all about sharing knowledge.
Since I joined the company almost 18 months ago (that time has absolutely flown by!) I’ve been lucky to work alongside a team full of talented marketers who are all generous about sharing their expertise. As a result, I’ve become a better copywriter, and I’m learning more every day.
So, in the spirit of sharing, I thought I’d pass on some of my favourite copywriting tips that I’ve learnt from the content team here at Yardstick. Read on to discover how you can improve your blog articles and encourage more of your clients to take that important next step in your customer journey.
1. Collaborate with your team members to generate endless topic ideas
Every month, the content team writes around 250 blogs in total so we have a few tricks up our sleeves to ensure we never run out of ideas.
One of these is collaboration. As writers, we’re always on the lookout for news stories, trends, and industry updates that might be relevant for our clients. As well as compiling these for our own use, we share them with each other so that we always have plenty of inspiration.
Trying to be creative in a vacuum can be hard work. By sharing your ideas and asking your team for their input too, you’ll always have a new perspective or story to write about. This might be based on news stories you’ve read, or it could be as simple as a conversation that you had with a client.
2. Make sure your content is written for your reader, not for your business
When you’re excited to share all the opportunities that financial planning offers, it can be easy to slip into talking about your business and everything you can do to help your clients.
While there is certainly a place for sharing these details in your marketing, for the majority of the people reading your content, there’s something else that they’re looking for. They want to see evidence that you understand their challenges and that you can help to solve those challenges – in the first instance, they’re less bothered about how you’ll do this.
So, try replacing “we can provide information about relevant financial protection” with “you can feel confident that your family would be able to manage financially even if you fell ill or passed away”. See how that second sentence says virtually the same thing but frames it in a way that your reader can relate to?
When you can count the word “you” more than the word “we” in your content, you’re on the right track.
3. Switch your sentences to active voice as much as possible
This tip is a little more technical, but get it right and your content will instantly become 10 times easier to read, and consequently, much more effective in generating leads.
Put simply, active voice means putting the subject of the sentence (the person or thing performing the action) first. Here’s an example to show what I mean:
Active voice: Your planner will review your portfolio regularly.
Passive voice: Your investment portfolio will be reviewed regularly by your planner.
As you can see, it’s much easier to read the sentence that is written in active voice.
So, take the time to read through your article and swap as many sentences as possible into this structure. Your readers will thank you, and you’ll likely notice that your blogs generate more enquiries as a result.
4. Structure your blog so that there is a narrative arc
It’s not just novels and screenplays that need to follow a narrative – your articles about financial planning can benefit from a thoughtful structure that tells a story too.
Let’s use the example of an article that explains the benefits of financial planning. You might plan to discuss the way that financial planning helps you to achieve your goals, protect your income, and feel confident about the future.
You could introduce a narrative to the blog in the following ways.
- Order the points starting with the most obvious benefits and ending with the less obvious ones.
- Begin by sharing some of the common problems that your reader may be experiencing and then explain how financial planning solves those problems.
- Structure the blog chronologically with the benefits that will affect readers at different stages of their lives, starting with the benefits for readers who are at the beginning of their career and ending with those who are already in retirement.
As you can see, there are lots of ways you can introduce narrative to your blogs. In doing so, you ensure that your writing will flow easily from one point to the next, making any subject engaging for your reader.
5. Use subheadings to make it easier to skim-read your articles
Subheadings help to break up your article into more manageable chunks, but they have another important function: helping your reader to skim-read.
For a lot of readers, time is of the essence, so being able to take a quick glance through the article and still derive value is important. You can help your readers to do this by summarising the key points of your article in your subheadings.
If you flick back through this article, you’ll see what I mean. The paragraphs in each section expand on the subheadings with more detail, but you’d still be better informed by the end of the blog even if you had only read the subheadings.
So, make sure your subheadings provide plenty of value in their own right – your article will have a bigger impact and reach more people.
Our team is here to help you create effective content without the faff
The tips I’ve given above are just a small flavour of the expertise that the content team here at Yardstick possesses. If you’d like our help creating content that helps your financial planning business to grow, please get in touch and we’ll be delighted to speak to you.
To start the conversation, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0115 8965 300.