Why Creativity Matters When You Hire Writers

April 20, 2021

Once upon a time, in a world before clickbait and keyword hackers, people created blogs simply to express themselves and share knowledge.

They did not care about getting more traffic or increasing the number of comments—bloggers just loved to write and poured their heart into it. If someone liked or commented, that was an added bonus.

But alas!

The algorithms became our rulers, and with SEO writers as their trusty foot soldiers, vast volumes of generic content flooded the internet.

There are thousands of freelance writers available on job sites today. Sadly, few of them actually help clients achieve their goals.

As a business owner, it’s not enough to hire writers who understand SEO techniques. You need creativity, flair, and new ideas if you want to hook your reader—engaging writers who can create unique, high-quality custom content.

This can mean the difference between the success and failure of your content marketing efforts and ultimately, your business. Here’s why.

SEO vs. Creativity: Which One Wins?

The true purpose of content marketing is to position your brand in front of your target audience and establish your business as a thought leader.

Although website copy, blog posts and case studies are an integral part of effective SEO, visibility alone won’t set you apart from your competitors.

Today, 90% of all organisations use content in their marketing efforts. However, only content that merges solid storytelling with the technical aspects of optimization drives engagement.

SEO writing attracts readers, creative writing keeps them interested… and lures them to your product page, landing page, or wherever you direct your visitors.

What Difference Does Creativity Make for Your Business

Creativity is the secret sauce that propels any marketing strategy to success, and it’s no different with content. 

Let’s break down why building a strong online presence for your brand requires adept, imaginative writers.

1. It Drives Traffic: the Foundation of Your Online Presence

Let’s get this one out of the way because businesses would not have websites if they did not want traffic. How does writing creatively have the edge over SEO when it comes to attracting visitors?

Good content writers are an asset right from the content ideation stage. While you can use SEO strategies like generating topics from keywords, it’s not easy to consistently come up with unique ideas that will pique your audience’s interest.

From your social media posts to your email newsletters to your blogs: Having a creative team of writers ensures consistent content that people online want to read—not forgetting that interesting headlines earn you that coveted click. 

Additionally, if visitors landing on your page love your content— Google will love your content. Visitors will share what you post and other websites will link back to it.

All these contribute to improved search result rankings and more traffic.

2. It Increases Dwell Time

People don’t interact with web page content in the same way they do a book or newspaper.

Readers on the web are impatient, time-poor, and weary of thin content. 

-Katrina McKinnon, CopySmiths

They will click the back button the second they sniff generic wisdom or the obvious platitudes common of SEO articles online.

The average user rushes through pages in their search results, scanning the text for less than a minute. So, unless your content is creative and engaging, little of what you spent so much time and effort preparing will get through to your customers.

It gets worse…

A high bounce rate tells Google your page does not have the information people are looking for.

This could lead to a lower page ranking or the worst-case scenario: your entire page being removed from Google’s cached search results.

On the other hand, variety in your writing and well-presented data maintain your reader’s interest and keep Google happy. The longer your visitor spends on your content, the more likely they are to click on your CTA button.

3. Your Content Marketing Converts More Leads

The goal of content marketing is not to get visitors but to convert customers. If you want your customer to subscribe to your email, share your blog post, or even buy a product, you need to give them value and engage with them through your content.

According to Forrester, “Consistent, high-quality, and engaging content impacts audience decision-making more than any other technique.”

Whether it’s entertaining or educational, good content leaves your customer wanting more, and this is how you lead them down the sales funnel to becoming a customer or client.

Consider the following statistics in HubSpot’s Not Another State of Marketing report:

  • 82% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content.
  • 70% of consumers feel closer to a company as a result of content marketing.
  • Content marketing gets 3X more leads than paid search advertising.
  • Marketers who prioritize blogging for their clients are 13X more likely to see positive ROI.

These numbers show that not only do consumers like content—they also want to read great content from brands before making a decision.

4. Your Readers Connect More With Your Brand

All the best advertisements in history connect with consumers because they have these factors in common:

  • They tell a story, creatively.
  • They hit on a universal truth that people can relate to.
  • They promise relief to a challenge the audience faces.
  • They portray the brand as genuine.

The same principles apply to content marketing. It’s not enough to draw the audience in; you must nurture your relationship with the prospective customer at the same time.

A good writer understands that the best way to create innovative content their reader will engage with is to use empathy. They come up with a user persona exploring everything about their client’s target audience, then apply themselves to creating a connection.

“A combination of intrinsic motivation and considering other people’s perspectives is the best route to creativity on the job.” 

-A publication by the American Psychological Association

For example, creative writing can include slang or other non-English words in social media posts, blogs, and other content channels. It all depends on who you’re writing for.

Though it’s become a buzzword in content creation circles, empathy genuinely opens the door for connection—which makes you more memorable to your website visitor.

5. It Sets You Apart From Your Competitor

There are a million businesses out there applying the same content strategy—freelancers on platforms like Upwork are churning out hundreds of articles every day for clients.

It’s easy to get a blog up and running with lots of articles. But think about it: Do you want to pay for a slapdash article written by somebody who knows nothing about you or your company?

What makes your brand different?

If your answer does not include hiring good freelance writers who can find creative ways to express your brand, be ready to fade into insignificance like other lifeless companies.

6. Increased Return on Investment

We get it; paying a mere $10 for a stack of articles seems way more attractive on a budget spreadsheet than paying the same amount (or more) for a single article.

Yes, the cost of hiring quality freelance writers will be much higher than the average rate. But choosing content-mill writers is anything but sensible.

You might think you will save money when you hire writers who can do it for less—but that content will be useless in the long run.

It could also hurt your brand and cost you much more in damage control.

Consider these three perspectives on ROI:

  • The better your content, the more organic traffic to your website and the better your website’s domain authority. 
  • A higher domain authority means you’ll spend less on paid advertising. On the other hand, the cost per click (CPC) of a Google ad with poor content is likely to be sky-high. 
  • Quality content means more sales—whether this is through affiliate links within your blog or effective CTAs that direct the visitor to your product descriptions page.

Creative Writer vs. SEO Content Writer: How to Find the Right Mix

Ultimately, high-performing, quality content requires a careful interplay of creativity and SEO knowledge. And though it’s easy to be wowed by creative portfolios, that’s not the only measuring stick.

When reading through writing samples from your candidates, look for content writers who display a strong understanding of the subject matter and the reader.

They don’t just stuff keywords or backlinks into the content. Instead, their writing shows careful consideration of user intent, presenting topics in a format the reader will enjoy.

This process can be confusing if you are not a seasoned content creator yourself—not to mention an arduous addition to your brimming to-do list.

Luckily, CopySmiths is here to do all the work for you.

CopySmiths

I'm Katrina McKinnon, founder of CopySmiths and Small Revolution. In my 20 years of experience, I have helped online businesses create high-performing content specifically on an eCommerce store's blog. Find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.