Top Tips from Sookio – Comms in the time of Covid


Published 11th February 2021

Working from home means writing to sell like never before. Sookio’s Chief Copywriter breaks down some big wins to make you stand out.

In times like these, there are three types of brands. You’ve got the ostriches who bury their heads in the sand and pretend we’re not living through the most significant global event since WW2. They’re marketing as though nothing’s happening.

Then you’ve got the milkmaids, engaged in squeezing as much collateral from the pandemic as their cynical little brains can manage. We cannot judge them, but history surely will.

Finally, there’s the rest of us. We’re just trying to adapt and survive, accepting the reality of the situation without glorifying in it. In a recent LinkedIn post I spoke about the biggest change I’m seeing people struggle with: written comms.

Nowadays, everyone is in eCommerce in ways they weren’t two months ago. No more networking, no more shaking hands, no more wheeling and dealing on the golf course. Your digital market stall is everything.

Every email is now a product description. Every tweet is now an elevator pitch. Everyone is now a copywriter but as always, not everyone is a good one.

Here are three ways you can add precision and clarity to your written business comms and adapt to challenging times.

Carry out a content audit

Even relatively new websites quickly accumulate a lot of content. This often comes from multiple teams containing tens of people all over the country (if not the world). Now’s the time to make sure it’s consistent.

Is all your web content adhering to one clear style? If you don’t have a style guide, pinch one from GOV.UK or the Guardian. We’ve written a whole other blog on why style guides are great.

If your site reads like it was thrown together by a bunch of Kyrgyzstani freelancers on Fiverr, trust will be damaged and you have no physical means to rebuild trust right now.

Check your blog. Are you keeping it updated? Might be time to pen that masterpiece you’ve had on the back burner. If someone sees you haven’t released any content since 2014, they might question if you’re still in business.

If you don’t have the time to write new content, see if old stuff can be repurposed. Two or three old blogs on similar themes can be combined into one megablog, giving people more relevant info in one place.

Show SEO some love

In calmer days, you could perhaps muddle through with minimal attention paid to search engine optimisation. New leads could come from networking or other physical avenues.

Now, everyone’s been forced into one crowded digital space. It’s never been more important to cast a critical glance over the keywords you’re targeting and where they appear.

Tools like the Moz keyword researcher give you a cheeky 30-day trial. Now would be a good time to use that and get some data to back up your hunches and guesses. Google’s suggested searches can help expand on those seed keywords.

When you know what you’re targeting, make sure your heaviest-hitting keywords appear as high up in the page as possible. Make sure one appears in the title to every page and in as many subheadings as possible.

Of course, don’t go stuffing them in willy-nilly. Match keywords to the topic of each page for maximum relevance. Google is a mighty god and can tell when you’re trying to cheat it.

Beef up your brand messaging

It doesn’t look like we’re coming out of lockdown any time soon. That means your team will be selling with their keyboards for the foreseeable. It’s critical that they’re all on-message and communicating as one coherent team.

Do you have a brand messaging document in place? If so, see if it needs updating to reflect the new realities of daily business before you resend it around the team.

If you don’t have such a document, it’s time to create one. It need only be two pages or so, detailing things like:

·       What are your core values?

·       Who are your key audiences?

·       How do you speak in the right tone?

·       What style guide do you use?

Far from being some authoritarian exercise, brand guidelines let your team express themselves more easily and with more confidence, wherever they find themselves representing you.

The case for a copywriter

These are just three simple (ish) things you can do today to help shore up your business’ digital presence in perilous times.

…or we could do it for you.

We’d be hypocrites if we weren’t able to carry out our own advice to a world-class standard. With everyone and his dog now competing for attention in a written medium, now would be a shocking time to get your nephew with an A-Level in English lit to do it all on the cheap.

Engaging the services of a professional copywriter will give you a business edge. Don’t make the mistake of thinking writing marketing copy is a subjective exercise, it isn’t. There’s enormous amounts of research, study, and practice behind what we do to get results.

Another great article by Sookio – for further information on this topic or their training courses, please contact the team directly – Sookio today.