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How to Write a B2B eBook that Generates Leads.

How to Write a B2B eBook that Generates Leads

In recent years, eBooks have experienced a resurgence in popularity, particularly due to their effectiveness in generating leads, especially on platforms like LinkedIn. If you’re unfamiliar with eBooks and their potential for attracting interest in your business, this guide will provide you with valuable insights on what they are and how to write compelling eBooks that capture the attention of your B2B audience.

Understanding eBooks

To start, let’s clarify what an eBook actually is. An eBook is a digital publication that provides valuable content to readers in a longer, more in-depth format than a typical blog post or article. It offers valuable insights, knowledge, and solutions to a specific topic or problem. Unlike printed books, eBooks are distributed electronically and can be easily accessed and shared on various devices. Besides that, eBooks are much more sustainable and eco-friendly in both their usage and production. And if you haven’t realised already, they are great when it comes to growing your business, branding, and helping you attract interest – and attain customers.

Differentiating between eBooks and whitepapers?

One common question that arises is the difference between an eBook and a whitepaper. While both are valuable resources, they have distinct characteristics. A whitepaper is a detailed report that addresses a specific problem or presents a solution to a complex issue. It often includes statistical data, analysis, and technical information. On the other hand, an eBook is typically less formal and more conversational, designed to engage readers in a narrative-style format. It will quite literally feel more like a novel than an informational magazine, which is the purpose of it. It focuses on educating and entertaining the audience while providing actionable insights.

The power of lead magnets

Lead magnets are resources or incentives offered to potential customers in exchange for their contact information. They play a crucial role in lead generation strategies, attracting prospects, and nurturing them into qualified leads. EBooks make excellent lead magnets due to their comprehensive and informative nature. By offering valuable content in the form of an eBook, you can entice potential customers to provide their contact details, effectively expanding your lead database.

The popularity of eBooks for B2B audiences

eBooks have gained significant popularity among B2B audiences for several reasons. Firstly, B2B buyers are often seeking in-depth knowledge and insights to help them make informed decisions. EBooks provide the opportunity to present complex topics, industry trends, or solutions in a detailed and accessible manner. They are great for explaining difficult techy things in a simple and understandable way. Additionally, eBooks allow businesses to establish themselves as thought leaders and industry experts, enhancing their credibility and attracting potential customers.

The rise of eBook lead generation on LinkedIn

LinkedIn has emerged as a powerful platform for B2B lead generation, and eBooks play a vital role in this landscape. By leveraging LinkedIn’s targeting capabilities and professional user base, businesses can effectively promote their eBooks to a highly relevant audience. LinkedIn offers various advertising options, including sponsored content and sponsored InMail. This means businesses can reach their target audiences directly – and capture leads efficiently.

Key components of a successful eBook

To create an eBook that generates leads effectively, certain key components should be considered:

Compelling title: A captivating and relevant title grabs the reader’s attention and entices them to learn more about the content.

Well-researched content: Thorough research is essential to ensure the accuracy and credibility of the information provided. Incorporate industry data, case studies, expert opinions, and practical examples to support your arguments.

Engaging writing style: Write in a conversational and engaging tone to keep the reader hooked throughout the eBook. Avoid jargon and complex language that may alienate your audience.

Clear structure and organisation: Divide your eBook into sections or chapters with clear headings and subheadings. This enhances readability and enables readers to navigate the content more easily.

Visual appeal: Incorporate visually appealing elements – such as images, infographics, and charts to break up the text and make the content easier to comprehend.

Actionable takeaways: Provide practical, actionable advice or tips that readers can implement immediately. This adds value to the eBook and positions your business as a trusted resource.

Call-to-action (CTA): Include a clear and persuasive CTA at the end of the eBook to encourage readers to take the desired action, such as subscribing to a newsletter, or contacting your team.

Professional design: Invest in professional design to create an aesthetically appealing eBook that reflects your brand identity. A well-designed eBook enhances credibility and increases the likelihood of lead conversion.

Promotional strategy: Develop a comprehensive promotion plan to ensure your eBook reaches the right audience. Use various channels – such as your website, blog, email marketing, social media, and targeted advertising – to maximise exposure and lead generation.

Optimise for lead capture: Implement lead capture forms or landing pages to collect contact information from readers who wish to access the eBook. Keep the form simple and only ask for essential details – for more  conversion rates.

By incorporating these key components into your eBook, you can create a valuable resource that not only attracts attention but also generates qualified leads for your business.

In summary, eBooks have proven to be an effective tool for lead generation in the B2B space. By understanding what eBooks are, how they differ from whitepapers, and why they are popular among B2B audiences, you can leverage their power to attract and engage potential customers. Remember to focus on the key components of a successful eBook and implement a comprehensive promotional strategy to maximise lead generation and drive business growth.

Before you go, be sure to check out our collective of eBook writers here.

If you have any questions, visit our website and do get in touch: hello@thepowerofwords.co.uk

Does your audience feel seen? The power of words and images in business comms…

By Julia Edwards, About Equality

We are constantly bombarded by images. Through social media, on television, in magazines and across billboards. It is estimated that the average person sees up to 10,000 adverts every single day[1]. That’s a huge space for showcasing our wonderfully diverse population, for representing copious cultures, and celebrating unique identities. But are we getting it right? Are we using pictures to their full potential and recognising our entire audience?

The power of images

Marketers and communicators have significant power over who is seen, how they’re seen, and whether unhelpful stereotypes are allowed to live on and grow in our conscious and unconscious minds.

Global stock-image library, Getty Images, has been researching the importance of authentic representation for over 20 years[2]. They found that a massive 72% of global customers expect brands they buy from to support diversity and inclusion, and that a whopping 80% of consumers are loyal to brands whose businesses support their own values. Getty’s data shows that the world is shifting, and customers are looking for a more inclusive view of people.

As culture shifts, imagery and communications also need to evolve to better represent the population. When consumers see themselves represented in brand and marketing visuals, they feel seen, and understood, and valued – which leads to deeper brand affinity.

Who’s missing?

So, what’s “normal” and who’s missing in our visuals for advertising and marketing?

  • Firstly, bald men! Less than 1% of images show bald men whilst, remarkably, 39% of men in the UK are in fact representing hair-free heads.
  • Similarly, the average woman in the UK is 5 foot 3 inches and dress size 14-16. This is still not the image adorning the pages of women’s magazines and Instagram profiles, suggesting that authentic diversity of body type is seriously lacking.  
  • And elsewhere, the 21% of people in the UK who identify as having a disability, our over 60s population, and our members of the LGBTQ+ community, if represented at all, are often portrayed in highly stereotypical ways.

So, what can you do?

Meeting our customers’ growing awareness requires authentic imagery and real people. Using strong visual content provides the chance to represent people who haven’t seen themselves in certain spaces before – which in turn opens up new consumer bases.

Building cultural intelligence means increasing our awareness of cultural biases and assumptions. Brands with better cultural intelligence will be more effective at navigating the nuances that make people feel seen, rather than stereotyped.

As content creators we have huge opportunities for storytelling to break down barriers. We can move beyond ‘tokenism’ and making a symbolic effort. Instead, we can use our visual language to tell robust, authentic stories that actively represent people in the most appropriate and engaging way.

We need to ask who’s missing from the images we use, who’s repeatedly centre of the story, and who is lacking in positive and empowering representation? If our customers do not see themselves, or who they aspire to be, they are far less likely to buy, follow, collaborate, or engage.

And more widely, images create a strong narrative that can change views, conversations, and actions. And if we get it right, our businesses and brands will be where they should be – focused on belonging, with our audiences hearing “we see you”.

To discover how TPW can make sure your audience is seen – and your business truly heard – get in touch: hello@thepowerofwords.co.uk


[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2017/08/25/finding-brand-success-in-the-digital-world/?sh=7d28c8b6626e

[2] https://creativeinsights.gettyimages.com/en/collections/our-collections/dei-toolkits

A leading Data Scientist’s take on ChatGPT…

There’s a ton of talk about ChatGPT right now. Our industry is in a spin. It’s forcing a re-think. And at TPW, we believe it’s an enabler, not a threat. Disruption gives way to evolution; that’s a good thing.

An angle we haven’t seen much of yet is what data scientists have to say. And that’s precisely why TPW’s Founder and Chief Editor called on Tessa Jones, Chief Data Scientist at Calligo (data and cloud experts), to give her take on the hype (hyperbole, in fact) surrounding AI as a writing tool.

In these short video clips you’ll find out why:

It’s a toy, as much as a tool

It’s a re-gurgitator, not an originator

Credibility is dubious

And you can watch the full version of Tessa’s interview with Tessa Jones here:

As always, please let us know your thoughts: hello@thepowerofwords.co.uk.

Why ‘Diversity & Inclusion’ starts and ends with words…

TPW is thrilled to welcome guest writer, Julia Edwards PhD from About Equality. Here she delves into how your organisation can level up your language to achieve greater equality and belonging for everyone involved in your business.

Back in 2020 Diversity & Inclusion leapt into common conversation with full force. With a powerful business case, and an undeniable moral one too, it’s an escalating and empowering dialogue that has grown massively in the past three years. Cutting across generations, today’s audiences and customers are seeking to spend their money and align their values with those who place D&I or DEI high on the agenda. Everyone, it seems, is talking about it. Yet progress towards desired outcomes has been slow. Is it perhaps time to look more closely at how we’re talking the talk? Is it time to look past the quotas, targets, and tick boxes – to level up our language and to look to words for the wins?

Beware leaving people at the door…

Welcome aboard, take a seat, make yourself comfortable! There is great power in the language we use to create inclusive and diverse cultures and opportunities. In a few seemingly simple phrases, the words that we choose have the power to either bring someone in or leave them at the door. Quite simply, words will attract our customers, clients, partners, employees, buyers, clickers, and followers. Or they will turn them away in search of our competitors.

We all want to be seen and heard for who we are, and we all want to be recognised in the spaces we move through. Language can have a huge impact if we feel that it is not referencing us. In 2021 British Airways followed a new wave of companies ditching the term ‘ladies and gentleman’ in favour of more gender-inclusive language. It may seem like a minor move but if you don’t identify with a commonly used term, then you are excluded every single day; every time you hop on a train, board a plane, take a seat.

Opportunities, not barriers

Words have the power make people feel visible, valuable, and included. When we use gender neutral announcements, we extend our services to more people. When we write about, for example, accessibility rather than disability we create opportunities rather than barriers. When we understand who is missing we can create the words that will welcome, include and attract. And when we fully appreciate the stories of the underrepresented, or the negatively represented, we can learn to speak their language and change the narrative on inequality.

Beware unconscious bias

In our collective responsibility to do better at D&I we can all learn to better flex our inclusive language. A good place to start is finding out key terms and how to use them. Language evolves to become more inclusive, not more confusing. We need to keep up with it – like we would with advances in technology. Learn the stories behind the labels and get to know the people you are writing for. What will bring them in or leave them out? Be aware of any bias – we all have unconscious bias – it creeps in silently and unannounced. Look out for the stereotypes, cultural appropriations and micro-aggressions that creep into our dialogue. Think about the narrative that you are creating. Who’s missing? Who’s being represented and how? Finally, not everyone will know or agree with the same terms as you and not every term fits for every person. But writing with awareness, respect and understanding means we’re keeping the doors open for a much wider audience, a much fairer representation, and in turn, a much bigger slice of the market. Welcome on board everyone!

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on this important topic – or any others in our newsletter series or on The Power of Words’ content page. Do get in touch: hello@thepowerofwords.co.uk

Thought Leadership Strategies: The Ultimate Guide

Many of TPW’s clients have expressed an interest in developing their business’ thought leadership. And that’s great because it means they’re into the latest trends. They’re also invested in making a name for themselves in their industry.

But this impressive-sounding buzzword is too often misunderstood. Despite its popularity,  the public definition of “thought leadership” is still somewhat unclear.

In this two-part blog series, we’re going to get to the crux of this content type. This way, you’ll know what to do (and what not to do) when developing your thought-leadership strategy.

Then you can tap into this trend like a pro.

What is thought leadership, anyway?

Thought leadership is often promoted as content marketing, but the two are pretty different. Thought leadership articles fit into your wider content marketing plan, but this content type has a particular set of goals and targets different audiences.

Getting clear on content marketing

Simply put, content marketing answers your audience’s questions. Thought leadership asks your audience questions instead.

Content marketing is closed-ended. Thought leadership is open-ended.

Each content type has different goals, too.

Different destinations

When creating general content, you want your clients to think as little as possible. This might sound silly, but hear us out.

A general content marketer’s goal is to get the client to the end of the sales funnel smoothly. This content aptly engages and absorbs the reader’s interest. As a result, they’re guided to a distinct destination.

That is, press the “Subscribe”, “Like”, or “Follow” button. Alternatively, they’re encouraged to make a purchase or get in touch with your team. Easy-peasy.

But thought leadership works differently. We’ll explain this next.

Thought leadership vs. content marketing

Thought leadership falls under the umbrella of a business content marketing strategy. Despite this, the two have distinct differences.

These differences are the following:

  • Goal
  • Style
  • Audience

Let’s look at the scenarios below to clarify.

Scenario 1

A business explores its customers’ current problems. Research shows that rising energy costs are decreasing their clients’ internet usage. As an internet provider, they opt to offer strategies online. The content is titled “How to Maximise Your Office’s Electric Mileage.”

Scenario 2

A competitor business notices that alternative energy sources are trending. As a result, their team creates a LinkedIn poll. This poll asks the audience how they plan to enter a more energy-efficient future. It also encourages them to contribute by sharing their own solutions.

Conversations or conversions?

Which scenario falls under thought leadership? If you picked scenario 2, you’ve earned yourself some brownie points.

The distinction?

Content marketing is internally directed. It attracts and brings clients to their company page or inbox and encourages conversions.

On the other hand, thought leadership is open-ended. It encourages engagement by sparking conversations instead.

To tie it all up

When done well, thought leadership-styled content is incredibly powerful. In a survey carried out earlier this year, up to 64 per cent of the respondents claimed that this content form is more influential than generic marketing materials.

It has the power to inform positive purchasing and partnership decisions. What’s more, two-thirds of marketers prioritise thought leadership in their overall strategy. This means it’s a trend worth tapping into.

But how?

Speaking to an expert can help. Alternatively, you can create this content yourself. In the next part of this two-series article, we’ll comb through the steps you can take to create a sound leadership strategy that’s sure to inspire – and influence – your audience.

Three ways to boost your brand’s tone of voice

In this article on tone of voice, you’ll discover:

  • Why you need a compelling tone of voice to catch the attention of customers in 2022
  • Why authenticity beats whacky
  • Why everyone in your organisation needs a shared tone of voice

It’s easy to get so caught up in communicating all the great things you do and forget to pay attention to the way you speak to your audience. 

Read back some marketing copy or that new description you just wrote for your website – how does it make you feel? If you were stifling a yawn mid-sentence, it’s probably time to re-think your written tone of voice. Because if you’re bored, the chances are you’ve already lost the people you’re talking to.

What is tone of voice?

Tone of voice is the way in which you express yourself in writing. It’s your brand’s personality, communicated. Getting the right brand voice is about knowing who you are and what you stand for, knowing who you’re talking to, and working out how to best showcase what makes you stand out.

Why should you care about tone of voice?

Have you ever met someone you thought you could just listen to forever? While they may have had interesting tales to tell, it’s likely that it’s the way they told them that had you hooked. That’s who you want to be for your ideal customer.

Connection 

The main purpose of your written communication should be to create feelings in your target audience (if you missed our blog on creating powerful messaging to trigger emotion, you might want to check it out here). And there’s solid research to back this up: a 2015 Harvard Business Review article found that “fully connected” customers are worth 52% more than “highly satisfied” customers. According to a two-year study of 100,000 retail customers, “emotionally connected customers have a 306 percent higher lifetime value (LTV), stay with a brand for an average of 5.1 years, and will recommend brands at a much higher rate.”

Trust

An increasing number of consumers want to have trust in an organisation’s values before doing business. One survey found that it was important to a massive 81% of respondents that they spent their money with brands that shared their values. One way to build trust is through a consistent and value-driven tone of voice.

Makes your message stand out

There’s no doubt that the UK market in 2022 is challenging: inflationary pressures, availability of experienced employees, energy prices and increased competition were the most significant challenges reported by a recent ONS survey. Brands that blur into the background are unlikely to win new business.

Three tips to get clear on your written tone of voice

Be afraid to be boring

Nick Parker at Voicebox (who was our guest on June’s TPW vodcast ‘Fine tuning your tone of voice’ – catch up here), says that he always makes his clients read their content aloud: “it means that they can have that moment of ‘oh wow, this is extremely tedious’ and they realise they can’t bear to read their own brand’s writing. If content is boring, you might as well not bother writing it in the first place.”

But the opposite of boring doesn’t have to be whacky. “There are more ways of being interesting than being a clown. There are great examples of content out there that’s interesting and still delivering a serious message – take the CIA website for example.” Nick believes you have to dig deep into the impact of what you do in order to find the interesting angles. “People sometimes forget if you make metal alloys that they can be bits in the Mars Rover or a part of a bridge that’s a really essential part of national infrastructure. Get used to talking about what you do, in a way that means people will care.”

Your tone of voice should embody your brand personality

Just as you don’t have to be whacky in order to avoid bland and boring copy, don’t be tempted to be something you’re not in order to become more interesting, because today’s consumers cherish authenticity. In a survey, 90% of customers said that authenticity was an important factor in deciding which brands they like and support. As Nick said on the TPW vodcast, “It’s the Dolly Parton theory of branding. She says: ‘find out who you are, then do it on purpose’.” Let your values shine out so your perfect customers can find you. 

Get buy-in from all your teams and senior leaders

As tone of voice is about your brand’s personality, it should be consistent across literally everything you do. From the way employees speak to customers, to the employee profiles on your website, your marketing emails and the way you write your annual report. It’s not just a way of writing back-of-pack descriptions, but a living expression of who you are as an organisation. And it needs to be at the heart of every part of your business.

Your tone of voice should reflect your brand personality, which in turn reflects the values you hold most dear. This creates the trust that Gen Z and Millennial consumers want to feel. Consistency and buy in from senior leadership, teams across the business and all types of content is crucial. Nick’s advice is “don’t get overwhelmed, but start with the words that are most relevant to customers and go from there.”

Hone your distinctive tone of voice so your content can shine

Developing a tone of voice that is true to your vision and is authentic will help you engage customers. By making sure your brand voice is consistent, your audience will get a better sense of what you stand for and what they have in common with your brand.

Timely tips for creating a smashing 2024 content plan

Our clients tell us that they’ve been up against it throughout December – and now into January. A combination of pre-Christmas deadlines plus the expectations and aspirations a new year brings, can lead to important tasks being put on the backburner. Like your 2022 content strategy. 

Perhaps you’ve been procrastinating on your content plan for 2022 and pushing it to the bottom of your to-do list? Or maybe you think you don’t have time? You might also think you’ve left it too late, as the month flies by…

The good news is:

  • While December may seem like the ideal time to plan for 2022, it’s a totally unrealistic time of year to squeeze this in.
  • Content planning doesn’t have to take long or be overly complicated.
  • A strong strategy doesn’t need to involve new ideas or content every single day of the year; far from it.

Follow our five top tips for creating a content plan that will see you through 2022 and make this your year for brilliant content!

Take time to save time

Every single client we’ve spoken to is snowed in under with work. And the year has only just kicked-off. There’s the festive backlog to deal with, alongside regular workload and new ambitions, targets – and pressure.

Prioritising time for your 2022 content plan against this backdrop may sound like a pain in the proverbial. But, hear us out: if you take the time now to plan and map out your content strategy for the next year, it will save you so much time as the year progresses.

Often it’s easy to think about content-planning time as ‘wasted’ or non-revenue-generating. And yet, a public-facing platform like LinkedIn is your most powerful (and free!) marketing tool. It offers you an enormous return on investment for each and every piece of content you share with your audience. As long as said content is stellar, of course. Maximising this resource by planning content in advance is a no-brainer for your business. 

More often than not, the greater the legwork up front, the simpler it is to create great content when the time comes – that really resonates. And let’s face it, you’re more likely to do it, if there’s a plan to stick to.

Repackage existing content

None of your content should be a one-hit wonder. Every article you write, video you post, infographic you design can be repurposed and re-formatted to make the most of what you’ve created. This way you get the best value for your time or money.

For articles such as listicles, you can re-use each point of your piece as separate social media posts, or expand on them to create a new article series. 

And you needn’t confine your content to one medium. Think creatively about how you can transform your written words and elevate them further. Infographics, podcasts, videos, articles, social media, e-books, blogs, editorial, Q&As, 60 seconds with – the mix can be as colourful as you like. And it sure does pack a punch to be varied and keep your audiences on their toes.

If you’ve released a report, why not create a short video of your CEO or expert thought leader, discussing the main findings ‘in person’ – and importantly, how those findings might affect your clients or customers. This is a fantastic way to get more collateral from your content. For longer reports, you could invite various contributors to dissect different themes on-camera, as a series. Or even packaged up as a podcast.

If we look at some of the statistics on podcasts and videos, it’s clear that they represent huge opportunities:

  • Podcasts are becoming more popular – 61.2% of people spend more time listening to podcasts than they do consuming TV shows; 59% of people spend more time listening to podcasts than on social media
  • COVID has made video more important – 68% of consumers say the pandemic has impacted the amount of video content they’ve watched online, with the overwhelming majority (96%) saying this has increased
  • Video marketing works – 78% of video marketers report that video marketing has improved their company’s bottom line

Be bold. Introduce a blend of media into your content plan to maximise the benefits of content marketing. 

Piggyback other events

Use the events within your company, region, industry or in the news to inform your content plan – and ride that wave.

Events like International Women’s Day are an opportunity for you to talk about the progress you’ve made with getting more women onto your Board or the steps you’ve taken to remove unconscious bias from your recruitment processes. Or how you tackle ageism in your workplace.

Perhaps someone is joining your team – that’s also an opportunity. Do a Q&A video with them (recorded on zoom or an iPhone is totally fine these days) or ask them to write a blog piece on their area of expertise. Again – the key here being about how their expertise will enhance your client or customer’s lives.

Is your business or team up for an award? Use that as a chance to shout about how much you value your people and celebrate their successes. And also, as validation that your clients or customers are in safe hands.

The important thing about any event you choose to incorporate into your content calendar is that it must be relevant to your business, industry and audience. Planning ahead should allow you to line up the most relevant contributors from across your business, rather than forcing you to react on the morning of International Women’s Day with that obligatory photo of the two or three women who were working in person in the office that morning.

Seriously, just don’t do this!

Tap into your inner quirky

The more colourful and quirky your ideas are, the better. The way people consume content has changed dramatically over the course of the pandemic. We know, yawn. But – it has changed things somewhat.

During the pandemic, Britons spent more time online than on anything else in their day, filling the void left by the removal of socialising face-to-face. There’s been a continued uplift in time spent on video streaming, listening to podcasts and scrolling social media.

One third (32%) of online adults now spend more time viewing video-sharing services than broadcast television.

People are spending more of their waking hours online than ever before. That may seem like obvious news. But, they’re perpetually saturated with content and marketing, so the competition is huge. 

To stop the scroll, it pays to plan and think cleverly and colourfully about your content marketing ideas. 

Be reactive AND proactive

All our tips up to now have been focused on planning, planning, planning. But remember not to let creativity be stifled by too much rigidity. Yes, we are in fact saying: have a plan, but also don’t….let us explain..

If there’s something to shout about, make sure you have the flexibility to do just that. Your strategy shouldn’t mean that you can’t celebrate when you launch a new product or service, something major happens in the world or or your industry you need to comment on or you send some of your team to space. (Ok, the last bit is unlikely, but we are emphasising the point).

Being proactive creates as yet unknown opportunities; being reactive allows you to be part of topical discussions that naturally occur and positions you as a thought leader. A great content plan will allow for a mix of the two. 

And that’s surely, where your business or brand wants to be?

Make January your time to plan for a great year of content

Perhaps December would have been the ideal time to create your 2022 content plan. But, with all the best intentions in the world, it’ll never happen. We know, because the same happens to TPW. Here we are writing a blog about content planning in January, when it should, of course, have been done in December 2021.

Right now is still the best time. Setting aside some hours before the month is up will allow you to create great content for the rest of the year.

So, stop reading this and strike while the iron is hot….

AMENDageddon: Are you sabotaging your own content?

I have just submitted the gazillionth round of copy for a project I am working on. It’s not something I am proud of; in fact, I’m embarrassed about it. Why, then, would I share this uncomfortable truth with the world, I hear you say? Well, it’s a good reminder to myself, as a writer, not to get sucked into doing things any way other than the TPW way, and standing firm on that. More importantly, the following three lessons should also help you, as a business or an agency, get the most out of the content you commission every time, instead of inadvertently sabotaging it from the get-go.

How to avoid AMENDAGEDDON & get the very most out of your content – and your copywriter:

  1. It’s all about the brief, ‘bout the brief – no trouble.

In our experience at TPW, the brief or the brainstorm stage of a project is THE most important step. It’s what we often spend most of my time on with our clients. It’s an opportunity to delve into the depths of the stories you’re trying to tell and why they matter. Using our investigative journalistic powers, it’s also the chance to get into the nooks and crannies of your business. What makes your organisation tick – and above all, how can it can change habits, opinions or trends.

The trouble with the current project I mentioned is that I was brought to the table after the initial brief. Worst. Decision. Ever. I blame the maelstrom of recent home schooling for my schoolgirl error. But I should have known better after all these years as a copywriter and journalist. It soon turns out that the initial brief was woolly, at best. After many, many rounds of amends, with small, unnecessary tweaks each time, I can’t say the content is now any richer for it. This brings me swiftly on to my next point…

2. Too many cooks: a way to add inefficiency & confusion into the mix

This can be particularly complicated when an agency – or multiple agencies – are involved, acting as bridges in between an end client and the content creator. In our opinion, when too many ‘stakeholders’ (please try not to use this word) are part of the content journey, it’s the main ingredient in creating inefficiencies and confusion. More often than not, no-one is singing from the same song-sheet (brief, messaging and tone of voice). I would go as far as to say that, as a writer, I have never been involved in content creation involving many different contributors that has gone smoothly. It’s stressful, convoluted and time-consuming (not to mention budget-consuming) for everyone.

So, how can this change, given that different groups may need to have their say? Firstly, I would recommend an agency and an end client to dedicate just one marketing expert to each particular project. Add in the writer or content creator, and you have a small trio of professionals only that need to check in with each other. These designated people can brief the wider teams their end. Check-in targets also help. Rather than sending ad-hoc Teams meets, have weekly calls, limited to half an hour, to discuss succinctly feedback, amends and any changing expectations.

3. Trust in the experts – or do it yourself

This is a little confronting, I know. More so than my usual style. However, if you’re outsourcing content to an ‘expert’, it’s time to let go of the reins a little and trust in them to do a good job. Otherwise, what’s the point? You might as well handle it in-house.

I understand: you’re about to spend a wedge of your (possibly tight) marketing budget and you want to be in control. In this way, you can ensure it’ll pay off.  However, during our time as content creators, micromanagement has the adverse effect. If the brief is thorough enough – including alignment on messaging and tone of voice – the rest should be plain sailing. In the words of one client: “TPW understands our business and the messages we want the world to hear.” And that’s because they’ve put their trust in us to do just that.

So, there you have it: three simple steps to avoiding copy limbo and amendageddon – and unleashing smashing content.