Writing content for marketing – 4 essential tips. EP 007 of “The Marketing Hub” podcast with guest, Stephen Flanagan

Writing content for marketing – 4 essential tips. EP 007 of “The Marketing Hub” series with guest, Stephen Flanagan from TalentAttract.
Four points we discuss are: your target recipient, your message, being concise, proofread.
We also hear about Stephen’s journey as a copywriter and a marketer.
Stephen is giving a course in UCD Professional Academy – Content Writing For Marketing, which starts tomorrow evening, which I highly recommend.

The Marketing Hub series has experienced marketing professionals sharing their expertise, helping you to improve your marketing knowledge and grow your business. The host, Paul McDermott, owner of video agency, Social Video HQ is right there with you learning and hopefully demystifying marketing along the way.

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Today’s topic is the importance of good quality writing in marketing.

Welcome to the marketing hub.

And I’m delighted to say, today we have Stephen Flanagan from

TalentAttract here to talk to us about this topic.

Hi, Stephen.

How are you doing, Paul?

Thanks for having us on.

Stephen, great to have you on. So.

how important is good quality writing in marketing,

like if I have a nice video or imagery,

or some content, surely as long as I get

the grammar correct. It’s OK?

Well, if we were to use that argument, Paul,

that would mean that

if somebody had their grammar right

in a great album or a great novel or,

you know, the script of a great movie,

then that that’s what makes it great.

But we know that that’s not the case.

You know, it’s it’s creative writing.

And I would argue that there is

creative writing within marketing,

and that’s because

we use marketing to sell. On a lot of occasions

It has to be emotional,

but equally, on all occasions, it needs to be clear,

concise and effective.

And that’s never been more important

than within the last 20 months.

You know, if you take the governments from around the world,

they have all been running marketing campaigns, instructing us

and informing us on how to deal with the global pandemic.

Yeah, that’s that’s

fairly obvious, actually, because you could see that

some governments were getting it right and some weren’t,

and they were learning from each other.

So what got you involved with this type of writing?

Well, I did a marketing course when I finished school,

and at that stage I just knew that marketing

was the career that I wanted, and I’ve been lucky enough

over the years that I’ve worked across a wide range of industries

for large companies and small companies.

And it’s allowed me to get very hands on with the

marketing, including writing.

So for example, even back in 1999,

I was writing copy for websites

and for email marketing as well.

So then in 2004, I have a light bulb moment.

I was working for the direct marketing department, Ulster Bank

and I realised at that stage to be an effective marketer.

My writing had to be the best that it possibly could be.

So I did a course in copywriting

and up until that point you could say, you know,

I had an idea that if you’re writing a direct mail letter

about mortgages to a 35 year old

versus putting copy on a website that’s attracting

15 year olds around video games.

The content would be different.

But what this course allowed me to do was be able

to look at how different it could be across

various target markets, across various channels

and looking at tone and style.

So it really was a game changer for me

and help me with the rest of my marketing career to date,

including in the last five years where I’ve been

running my own business within the recruitment space.

As you said, at the start it’s called Talent Attract.

It’s around recruitment marketing, and as part of that,

I write a lot of job advertisements.

That’s great, Stephen, and I believe you have four points

that people should consider when writing content for marketing.

That’s correct. So number one, Paul.

We should always think about the recipient of our communication.

I mean, yes, within marketing, we talk about target markets,

but we should actually try and visualise somebody

and actually write for them.

And number two is what is the message

that we’re trying to convey to the recipient?

We need to consider, is it that we’re that way or are

informing them, persuading them or entertaining them?

And if we’re not doing any of those,

then we’re not achieving our goals.

Number three. Brings it back to what I was chatting about earlier,

which is it has to be as concise as possible

because people’s attention spans,

including ourselves, has got less and less over the years.

And finally, number four brings it back to your first question.

So when we are writing, we have to be absolutely 100% sure

that the work is grammatically correct

and that there’s no mistakes in it.

So we need to proofread.

And what I would say is if you can get somebody else to look

at your work and proofread it for you, it’s so much better.

They’re really good point, Stephen.

A lot of them I would talk about in video production as well.

And also on social media posts, it’s the worst thing ever

to see a really good post

and a grammatical error on it because you just fixate on it.

So they’re they’re fantastic points.

So, Stephen, I know you’re actually running

giving a course on content writing for marketing.

Could you tell us about that?

Yeah, Paul, just by pure coincidence, the course starts

next Thursday, Thursday, the 18th, so it’s run

through UCD Professional Academy.

It’s part of the marketing group

of courses and it’s called Content Writing Flor Marketing.

It runs from half six to half nine for twelve weeks.

And if people are still people are interested,

you can go on, look at the website and look for Content

Writing For Marketing and sign up before Thursday.

Love to have you.

And like having worked with you, Stephen,

I know your dedication to quality writing

so , I would give my my recommendation on that.

And Stephen, just before we go,

if people want to get in contact, you view your website.

Can you just give us the details there?

Yeah, sure. So the website is

talentattract.ie, my email address is


That’s great, Stephen.

Thanks for coming on today.