When you are vying for a spot on a marketing team, especially one that heavily focuses on content marketing, you’ll often be asked to provide marketing writing samples to showcase your work. This is an opportunity for you to exhibit your abilities as a marketer. However, many feel deep dread at the possibility of providing a selection of their writing.
At the end of the day, your writing samples should only serve one purpose: to market the person behind the work. You can showcase yourself the best by presenting how you’ve made other companies shine.
If you’re applying for entry-level positions, you’ll have to start from scratch and craft a few samples to show exactly what you’re capable of.
Are you planning on applying for a new position in the marketing industry? If so, you should have a set of writing samples ready to go.
What Is a Marketing Writing Sample?
In short, a writing sample is an exhibition of your writing style and ability. It’s submitted as a supplemental document in addition to your application.
When you’re applying for a marketing position, your writing sample may take the shape of a range of different forms, be it a blog post, product description, whitepaper, or something else entirely.
What Do Employers Look For in a Marketing Writing Sample?
Above everything else, employers want to see that you get the necessary information across efficiently and clearly.
Your writing sample should be free of any grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. On top of your basic writing ability, employers will also look at your tone of voice and style to see if it will fit with their brand’s image.
Marketing has made a massive shift towards content marketing in the last decade. Marketers are trying to help businesses become trustworthy sources in their industry by offering more than their central product or service. An employer may want to see that you understand this trend and provide more than a sales pitch for a product.
Of course, employers also want to know that you can sell their products/services as well.
In some cases, the employer will give you specific tasks or detailed instructions for a writing sample. They may say “1,000 words maximum,” “Write a short post to sell a toy lightsaber to an adult who hasn’t seen Star Wars in 20 years,” or anything in between. If they make a point to include instructions, they want to see that you follow them to the letter.
Whenever you’re writing a completely new writing sample with no instructions from the employer, the best thing you can do is stick to the main idea and make sure it flows all the way through. If you go off on a tangent and lose the main idea, the employer may look at this negatively and move on to the next sample.
What Should I Use as a Marketing Writing Sample?
If you are allowed one writing sample per application, pick a sample that best aligns with the company’s voice, topics, and target audience.
The writing sample you use will likely vary from application to application, so it may be beneficial to begin building an arsenal of your best work. Think of it like you’re compiling your greatest hits album, and each track is wildly different from the others.
You can keep your samples ready to be sent off in a folder on your laptop, or you can create an online portfolio for yourself that allows employers to peruse all your work. Either way, the more samples you have ready to go, the faster you can send off applications.
Your collection of marketing writing samples should include at least some of the following:
- Blog posts
- Longform content
- Email marketing templates
- Social media posts
- Product descriptions
- Relationship marketing content
- Sponsorship letters
- Press releases
- Announcements or memorandums
- Website content
- SEO Content
- Marketing report
You can also include the same type of content if they showcase variations in:
- Industry Knowledge
- B2B VS B2C
And unless you’re creating a sample for an extremely niche industry, it’s good practice to stay away from:
- Sensitive topics such as politics or religion
- Personal information
- Confidential information
How Do I Create a Marketing Writing Sample?
If you’ve already worked in the marketing industry, chances are you have writing samples that are ready to go. Creating a writing sample can be as easy as taking a trip down memory lane if you’re a seasoned professional.
Even if you’re fresh out of college with a degree in marketing, you can begin by using some of the work you did in class as your writing samples.
However, if you’re making a major career change and are entering the marketing field for the first time, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure where to start.
The good news is you have a few options to get the ball rolling. The bad news is you’ll probably have to do some work for no pay.
- Phone a Friend
If you need to start developing a writing sample but you’re not sure where to start, you can ask a friend who owns a small business if you can do a guest post on their blog (or something similar). They’ll likely be grateful for the extra help, and you’ll gain valuable experience.
- Free Write
Brainstorm some topics you’re passionate about. Pick one that you feel confident writing about, and do your research. You can create a how-to, list, or general article about the subject. If you’re completely stumped on where to begin, Hubspot offers a blog idea generator to help you start writing.
- Imitate an Article You Like
If you want your writing to look like a post you read on a website, you can create your own piece with a similar flow and feel. Don’t copy and paste it word for word, but recognizing writing you enjoy reading can guide the copy you wish to produce.
You can use services such as Grammarly or the Hemingway app to check your writing style and act as a second pair of eyes to ensure your writing sample is as clean as possible.
Other things to consider when reviewing or writing your sample(s):
- Do you have a clear call to action?
- Do you include links (or places where links can be inserted)?
- Can your content be skimmed for the main idea?
- Is your content near a 9th-grade reading level?
- Do you use headlines and images when appropriate?
- Do you know who your reader is?
- Is your topic relatable?
- Do you know where the customer is in the sales funnel (if applicable)?
- Do you follow a problem-to-solution narrative?
Once you’ve drafted your writing samples, it may help to have someone proofread them just in case you missed something on your first look. They can also give you feedback as a potential customer engaging with your content.
Your marketing writing sample is your chance to show your personality and put your best foot forward. Employers will want to see that you can be a major asset to their team, and the best way for you to do that is to show them how unique you are as a person and as a marketer.
Let’s Look at Some Marketing Writing Samples Examples
So, now you probably have a good idea of what a marketing sample is.
In this next section, we will go over some of the most popular marketing writing samples and how best to write them.
As we mentioned earlier, blog posts are great for including in your marketing writing portfolio. As this form of marketing is used in many websites around the world, being able to showcase your blog writing skills is a major asset.
If you are starting out in the marketing writing industry, then there are a few things that you need to be aware of when writing a blog post.
- Captivate Your Audience
To create a truly great blog post, first, you need to think about who you are writing the blog post for. After thinking about this, write blogs in a way that will appeal to your target audience the most to capture their attention.
You need to think of a topic that will intrigue your audience. With that out of the way, the next thing to do is come up with a headline.
- Great Headlines
A great headline can be the sole reason for someone to click on your blog post or a competitor’s post. But how do you create a great headline?
There are several tried and tested ways that will guarantee that you get viewers to your post.
Buzzsumo recently conducted a study in an attempt to find which headline types ranked the highest. In this study, they found that the following headline types ranked the highest:
- Simple, straight-to-the-point headlines
- Why, when, and how headlines
- Headlines with numbers
When creating headlines, remember to think about your audience and make ones that you know will grab them straight away.
- Add Visuals
In the modern world, lines, and lines of text, no matter how enticing, are sometimes not enough. People want visual elements as well as written content to keep them engaged for longer. A recent study found that visual content received 94% more views than standard written content.
Littering images throughout the copy helps break up the walls of text, making it much more readable for your audience.
A quick tip: When adding images to your articles, always ensure that the visual cues are high quality and relevant to the content.
To cement yourself as a thought leader in your field, you need to back up your facts with data from reputable sources. This is vital for Google to see you as credible and give you a higher ranking. Marketing businesses will also see that you know exactly what is necessary to create great blog posts.
Bonus points if your blog and article samples have infographics!
- Avoid Grammar and Punctuation Issues
This is key. If someone sees a grammatical error or a punctuation mistake, this could lead them to not look at any more of your marketing writing samples and find someone else instead. Make sure to always proofread your documents to ensure that they are inch-perfect and without any potentially damaging errors.
Finally, you have CTAs. This is one of the most important aspects of a blog and is where you can really shine in persuading potential customers to make an action on their website. Ensure to include some great CTAs in your marketing writing samples to show that you are adept at persuasive writing. This can include trying to get readers to do the following:
- Newsletter subscriptions
- Contacting the company
- Using one of their discount coupons
- Buying one of their products
- Downloading a free PDF
- And much more
Marketing Writing Samples: Blogs
Take a look at some of these great blog post examples to give you a good idea of how to write one:
Email marketing is still an essential part of marketing, and being able to write great emails for cold and warm outreach is crucial. Because of this, you should have email marketing samples in your portfolio.
Here are a few things which you need to know about when writing email marketing campaign samples.
- Have an Enticing Yet Short Subject
When it comes to email marketing, the subject is of the highest importance. It is the first thing they see, and if it isn’t enticing enough, they may not even click on it. Listing one of the benefits in the subject line can go a long way in reaching more potential customers.
You’ve also got to consider the length. Make it too long, and the target audience won’t be able to see the whole thing in their inbox until clicking on it, so aim for under 30 characters to keep it short but sweet.
- The Preheader
This is yet another part of email marketing that you need to get right in your samples to ensure companies take you seriously. In short, the preheader is the small amount of text underneath the subject which you will often see when checking out your inbox. Ensure this section is interesting to read and persuasive.
- The Text
Now that you’ve done the heavy lifting with the subject line and preheaders, it’s now time for the content. Ensure to use simple terminology for this one to make your audience understand and be interested in the product or service you are selling. This is vital because if it is too complicated, the audience won’t understand and will exit the email.
Once again, the CTA, also known as a ‘‘button,’’ is where you try and persuade your potential customers to make an action. You need to have a good CTA in your email samples so that your future employers know that you have this key writing skill in your toolbox.
Marketing Writing Samples: Email Marketing
Take a look at some of these great email marketing samples here.
Social Media Marketing
Writing for social media may sound easy on the surface, but it is a difficult job to get right. There are strict character limits to persuade your target audience and often short deadlines; it’s not for the faint of heart.
With the average American adult spending at least 2.5 hours on social media daily, it’s a lucrative marketing avenue to be a part of.
When you’re creating a portfolio, social media content samples are always necessary to have. However, you can’t just have one sample to fit all social media content. You’ll need one for each as each social media is different and requires varying writing techniques to perform well with their individual target audiences.
Take a look at some of these social media marketing samples.
Product descriptions are tricky for many writers to execute well. With only a small number of words, you need to effectively get across exactly what the customer will gain from buying the product.
A recent study found that over 20% of unsuccessful purchases are because of product descriptions not providing the user with the information they want. So how do you write great ones?
- Highlight the Benefits
Highlighting the benefits is one of the most important things you can do as a product description writer. It is likely to be the first thing marketing companies want to see in your product description samples.
And, after all, it’s the main thing that buyers get excited about. What do they gain by buying this product? Write about the pain points of not having the product and the benefits it will bring in these descriptions for the most success.
- Make It Easy to Read
The majority of readers skim through product descriptions. Although that may sound hurtful to hear after you’ve spent plenty of blood, sweat, and tears on the perfect copy, it’s the truth.
Because of this, you want to make it as easy to read as possible. This means short paragraphs, great headlines, and lots of bullet points.
Marketing Writing Samples: Product Description Writing
Take a look at some of these fantastic product description samples for an idea of what you should do.
Gaining interest from viewers isn’t easy. The majority of visitors spend no more than a sprinkling of seconds on a website before moving on to a competitor. Due to this, capturing their attention is key. But is it possible?
Quality website writing is the most essential factor for gaining their interest and keeping them on the page for as long as possible to eventually result in an action (whether it is contacting the company or buying their products/services).
What’s more, you often have to take into account SEO practices to ensure web pages get to the top of search results and are seen in the first place.
Take a look at these tips below for writing high-quality website content samples to wow your potential clients.
- Who’s Your Audience
I know, I know, we’ve said this many times throughout the blog. However, this point cannot be stressed enough, no matter the copy you produce.
Not only do you need to know your audience, but you need to be consistent with the tone of voice and the overall way you write your website content.
Taking these points into consideration is vital for ensuring the target audience stays on the website and is one of the first things companies will look for when scanning through your samples.
- A Bewitching First Line
Time is of the essence when it comes to website content. Because of this, you need to hook the reader within about 10 seconds. How can you do this? With a great first line, of course!
Whether it is an interesting snippet of data, a short one-sentence story, or a compelling question, you need to do something to keep your audience engaged.
- Easy-to-Understand Sentences
We’re in the age of information, and as such, no one has time to read every single little word. So, in order to counteract this issue, we recommend making website content scannable. This means short sentences, clear sections, bullet points/numbered lists, and plenty of white space.
It’s also a good idea to use an active voice. By writing more directly and succinctly, your audience will be more engaged in the text and are more likely to read it.
- Avoid Spelling and Grammar Mistakes
Everyone knows that spelling and grammar errors put off the majority of customers due to connotations of unprofessionalism. So double-check, and then triple-check your samples to ensure they are as perfect as possible.
Marketing Writing Samples: Website Content
Are you interested in seeing some great website content? Check out our home page.
Marketing Writing Samples: Conclusion
Now you should have a good idea of what you need to do to create incredible marketing writing samples that will wow your potential employers.
Writing marketing content isn’t easy; it is often a long and arduous process, especially if you’re doing it for the first time.