I do a lot of writing for printers’ blogs, white papers, and, increasingly, their websites. There is a trend that I’m noticing that I think is very telling.
When it comes to blogs, I am starting to hear printers ask the question, “Why are we doing this? Who are we writing for? Are they reading what we’re posting?” A number of companies I work with are updating their websites as well, and I’m starting to hear them ask the same questions. “Do I really want to put out an online capabilities brochure like I’ve had for years? Or do I want something different? Who are we writing for? Is our website going to attract the kinds of buyers I really want?”
There are lots of clean, informative printers’ websites out there now. They talk about marketing services, they talk about variable data and database management, they talk about the benefits of sheetfed and inkjet printing. But they all sound pretty much the same. If I were to pull the copy off a dozen printers’ sites, even the best ones, I would be hard pressed to tell one print shop from another.
I have been going through an interesting exercise with one of my clients lately. They are updating their website and they contacted me about writing copy. But I had a suggestion first. Before I start writing, why don’t I interview key people within the company about who they sell to, how they sell, and what makes them different? When prospects contact them, what department are they calling from and at what level? Once I know these things, I can write copy that speaks directly to the kind of buyer they are looking for.
The more interviews I do, the more I am discovering that this company does, in fact, have a very distinct personality. They also have a sweet spot that’s not the same as other printers. It’s been a fun exercise, not just for me, but for the company, as well. They knew they had a company personality, but they hadn’t attempted to define it before. Now that understanding is driving the content on the site.
How about you? When someone comes to your website, what are they going to see?A company that is as unique as the people who comprise it? Or a company that looks pretty much like every other great company out there?