Four Content Writing Hacks for Small Businesses

Small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of our economy, making up more than 99% of all private sector businesses in the UK and employing some 16 million people[1].

Unfortunately, for some, the past few years have been tough, with the fallout from Covid and the current financial squeeze affecting businesses up and down the country. So in these fragile economic times, how do you stay competitive, productive, and above all, profitable? One way to give yourself an edge is to maximise your content.

To help you improve your company’s online presence and get the most out of your website, blog or brochure, here are four simple content writing hacks.

1. Look after the basics

Your online content is usually the first point of contact for potential customers, whether that’s your website, social media posts or email campaigns, and typos, bad grammar, or poorly written copy can be damaging.

According to a report by the BBC, grammatical errors could be costing UK businesses millions of pounds in lost revenue, with one expert claiming that a single spelling mistake can cut online sales in half[2].

So when it comes to your web copy, blog or socials, it pays to be accurate. Take the time to create clear, concise content, and your business will reap the benefits.

2. Make an impact

Ensuring your content is free from typos is a good start, but if you want your voice to resonate with your audience, it’s going to take more than a keen eye for detail.

We’re visual creatures, and building an appealing, eye-catching website is a great way to capture new clients; but it’s no good spending thousands of pounds on the look and feel of a site if you then proceed to populate it with flabby, uninspiring text.

Consumers can have short attention spans, and if you don’t spark their interest someone else will. Make your copy impactful, purposeful and engaging, and you’ll turn browsers into buyers.

3. Keep it simple

A good way to engage potential customers and nudge them a little further along the sales funnel is to make your copy simple and accessible.

Write short, punchy sentences to grab your reader’s attention and keep things conversational by using contractions – ‘you’re’ instead of ‘you are’, ‘don’t’ instead of ‘do not’. This way, potential customers will feel like you’re talking directly to them, putting them at ease and creating a sense of trust.

Remember, you’re not writing for an English Literature professor. As long as your copy is captivating and compelling, people will forgive the odd misplaced comma. Get the fundamentals right, and you’re good to go.

4. Give yourself a voice

As we’ve established, a conversational tone can be far more impactful than bland, formulaic prose. Marry it with a bold, distinctive tone of voice (TOV), and you’ll really begin to cut through the noise.

Before you start reeling off page after page of copy, think carefully about your TOV. It should be unique to you, appropriate for your products and services, and above all, it should speak to your target audience.

For example, if you’re an online clothing retailer focusing on 18-35-year-olds, you might want to keep things light and breezy; whereas, if you’re dealing in finance, you might choose to adopt a more professional tone.

Whatever you decide, if you truly want your content to drive sales and help you stand out from the crowd, you need a clear, well-defined tone of voice.

Start a conversation

Carefully crafted copy is a simple, cost-effective way to engage your audience and mark you out from your competition. And if you’re not making the most of your online content, you could be missing out.

For more content writing hints, tips and insights, check out the rest of my blog. Or, if you’d like to start a conversation, give me a call or ping me an email and let’s get things rolling.

[1] Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (2021) Business population estimates for the UK

[2] BBC (2011) Spelling mistakes ‘cost millions’ in lost online sales