A content article is a well written editorial type article that generally sits between 700 and 1200 words and is often in written in the third person.
As it is often commissioned by a commercial client, it does inherently contain bias and is used as a soft sales tool but is written in a way that still retains credibility, resources and can be mistaken for
A good content article will contain quality pull quotes, statistics, links, sources and genuine information and is relevant and employees a number of best practice SEO techniques. It also uses impeccable grammar and spelling and follows an editorial style. I also take the liberty of highlighting a few HTML/formatting tags including headings, sub headings, pull quotes, call to actions and so forth.
Content articles will be written to a specific content plan/strategy that has been created by your marketing department/consultant that adheres to the customer buyer journey or your SEO research and keyword/search term list.
Content writers ‘...produce content to entice and engage visitors so they continue browsing the current website. The longer a visitor stays on a particular site, the greater the likelihood they will eventually become clients or customers,’ Wikipedia.
It’s unwise to engage a content writer that has no SEO training and doesn’t keep abreast of SEO updates and changes.
Email marketing campaign packages could include kickbacks, autoresponders, automated campaign emails and prompters.
Automated emails are set up via specialised platform (such as Mailchimp, Aweber, Campaign Monitor etc) that are sequential and have their own trigger.
Check out my email marketing campaign template here.
Stay tuned... more to follow.
It's a Jones-iversary!
The 31 October was exactly a year since I took the plunge and made my copywriting business, Jones the Writer, fulltime (after playing with it on the side for more than six years). Happy Jones day (and Halloween) to me!
I was working in a job that was near perfect for me. I was surrounded by writers all day, I worked in marketing in a role that I partially created to suit my strengths, it was a fun role, a relaxed and flexible working environment and everyone supported my writing because that was the aim of the organisation. o leaving was not only a huge risk but a confusing time.
I didn't really know if it was the right decision for me but I felt so compelled to and my client load just kept increasing, so a lot of it made sense. One evening I encouraged myself to make a firm decision and I asked the beach I was walking on to tell me what I should do and a dolphin literally shot up out of the water and tumbled forward. So that was a sign enough for me!
And here I am a year later, working with some of the most impressive brands including Alisa and Lysandra, Australian Institute of Business, Southern Cross Care, Rivergum Homes, Flinders University and so many more!
I want my next twelve months to be similar and I want my clients to have a lot of success. I also want to finish writing my second novel. Here... we... go!
In other exciting news, I have launched another creative project about my one true love: TELEVISION. Take a look at She Watched here.
Putting a case study on your website is such a valuable thing to do. As we've looked at, social proof is a powerful technique to help get new clients and customers over the line.
Case studies help potential clients put themselves in the place of your existing clients and visualise how you can successfully help them overcome similar challenges with your product or service. Here are five reasons why case studies should be on your website.
To make your life easier, I have created a useful case study template which you can download and fill in to help you write the perfect case study to tell the story of client success!
Don't forget to include a glowing testimonial. Here's an example of a case study that I have written for a client.
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There are many great reasons for hiring a specialist and outsourcing project work, particularly when it comes to copywriting. Here's the first few (stay tuned as they get updated):
1. It is a specialised skill
A copywriter is a specialist and copywriting isn’t journalism. It’s not an unbiased piece of content that provides you with direct news. It’s a marketing tool to help you widen your customers and sell the services and products that you bring to the world.
Sure, a lot of people may be able to write. They can even sound incredibly professional or quirky. But copywriting is a very specific skill in that it combines high level professional writing to speak directly to your target audience, for the medium intended.
Copywriting is a persuasive art, often disguised as being so subtle that readers don’t even know they are being sold to! This takes the mind of a magician.
Good copywriters know to how capture exactly what you want (or should be) saying and how to position your business almost instantly (well, okay… maybe after you have filled out the brief). This is one of their honed skills in their magic bag of tricks.
2. It saves you time
The time it takes for your staff members to write something, say a blog post or a media release or even to rewrite a whole new website, is time taken away from their core duties.
It can take around five hours to write one blog post, longer if your staff are not experienced. That’s essentially a day’s work on a blog post. Can any of your team afford to lose a day with their current work load?
Most people are already stretched thin in their job as it is, if you throw an extra task or project into the mix, something (either the employee’s wellbeing and/or other facets of their job responsibilities) will be negatively impacted.
Being overworked and over extended is an epidemic in this day and age. In fact, it can lead to costly mistakes at work and serious health issues. Nearly thirty per cent of workers feel that they are overworked.
‘Poor work–life outcomes are associated with poorer health, more use of prescription medications, more stress and more dissatisfaction with close personal relationships.’
You can start to alleviate some of this strain simply by outsourcing your copywriting and improving your bottom line. You may even find your employees’ performance improve.
‘In the 19th century, when organized [sic] labor first compelled factory owners to limit workdays to 10 (and then eight) hours, management was surprised to discover that output actually increased – and that expensive mistakes and accidents decreased.
3. It will be well written
Since '45% of marketers say blogging is the #1 most important piece of their content strategy,' (source) it's crucial that your blogging content well exceeds mediocre.
Not only will a professional copywriter make sure the copy is expertly written to sound intriguing enough to keep reading, whilst pushing a soft sell or direct sales techniques, but will incorporate fundamental writing practices.
‘A word after a word after a word is power,’ Margaret Atwood.
4. It will master your tone of voice
The art of copywriting comprises of absolutely “nailing” the voice of a company. Voice is a powerful way to give your brand a personality and once your brand is personalised, people will automatically and subconsciously connect to it. Words are often the first step or level of establishing a relationship with someone or something. And as your sales team will tell you, selling is all about relationships!
'47% of buyers viewed three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep,' (Demand Gen Report, 2016).
5. It will improve your SEO
Sterling copywriting will ensure you are super discoverable online by enhancing your copy with SEO best practices. SEO specialist copywriters will conscientiously keep abreast of Google’s ever changing algorithms and know how to write well and optimise your content.
Good grammar, clear formatting and the way the writing is structured (as well as internal and external links) will all enhance your SEO.
6. It will help with your content strategy
You know that you should be blog posting regularly to improve your SEO but you have no idea what to write about and what would make great content that will increase your search results. A decent SEO copywriter will be able to guide you in your content plan by suggesting blog topics and content ideas in alignment with your keyword research and marketing plan. Some may even have the skills necessary to do the SEO research necessary.
'Websites with a blog have tend to have 434% more indexed pages,' (source).
They’ll also guide you in the right direction in terms of which assets work for which purpose. Not sure whether you need a flyer or some email marketing? A copywriter will help you determine which medium will suit your purpose and audience.
7. It will save you money
‘I have been working on this for weeks but I just can’t get it to sound right,’ is one of the most frequent comments I get when new clients hire me. And just like above where I have outlined how hiring a writer can save you copious amounts of time, saving time always equals saving money.
Having a copywriter on staff can be costly process, especially if you only need them for project work.
8. It will give you a whole lot more than you expect
This may not be the case with every copywriter but often they can have a generous skillset. For example, I have been a publicist, project coordinator and marketing manager so I can bring a lot more than “just” words to the table. I know how the media thinks and responds, so I can write really effective media releases and I have a deep understanding of concepts like “sales funnel” and lead gen and customer journey map, when clients throw those terms my way.
Additionally, I am a trained yoga teacher, have studied creative writing, psychology and philosophy at university and professional writing psychology at TAFE. Besides meaning that I’m an education junkie, this suggests that I am fascinated by the human mind and have a profound understanding of how people work, making it easier to communicate directly with them. I appreciate the personal and emotional facets of where people want their money to go, even at a corporate and government level.
I’ve also written a marketing book, a novel, a book of short stories and a book of poetry (and another two books on the way) and everything I learn in the process of writing those mammoth projects are brought into my client work.
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As we’ve looked at previously, writing well is a key player in drawing in more customers and leads via organic searches.
If you’re not getting the organic traffic that you expect, it’s likely time to start including better written content on your site. To do this, it’s essential to know what Google determines as good content. You'll need to know what to avoid, how to make it engaging and readable to your target audience with an insight to the importance of setting business goals in order for marketing success!
72% of marketers say relevant content creation was the most effective SEO tactic. (Ascend2, 2015).
In this article we’re discussing great content. Content can mean a number of things in marketing but in this article I am focusing on discussing content articles, which are online articles that are informative and well written but as they are often commissioned by a business an organisation, they play a part in the sales process. They are not as obvious and glaring as advertorials, they are more closely related to editorial. Although not overtly “salesy” they can occasionally contain bias and will avoid mentioning competitors. We’ll also touch on static website copy (all the other text that sits on your website) and the part that plays in sales and conversions.
Before you consider creating exciting features or content for your website, brainstorm your business goals and what you want to happen when people visit your website. To get the results you desire, set marketing goals from the outset in order to develop an effective marketing strategy that is easy to follow and execute. Identifying clear goals and your “why” will help you understand the motivation behind every marketing activity and help you simplify your decisions.
If your goal is to increase sales, you might consider in your plan to focus on having a user friendly site with clear calls to action to increase conversion rate. Conversion rates indicate the amount of people who visit your site who then follow your call to action which include making a purchase on your site, subscribing to your enewsletter or contacting your business. Find out more about calls to action here.
Other goals include becoming an authoritative resource in your industry or on your area of expertise, improving interaction with your customers and nurturing new leads to eventually convert them into new customers or sales. To achieve these goals you'll want to establish trust on your website with the content you provide and way you present your knowledge. You’ll particularly want to give your customers a reason to come back to your site.
‘On average, consumers visited at least three online stores before making their purchase.’ Minewhat and 81 percent of shoppers conduct online research before making a purchase.
And in the travel industry, 'buyers can visit up to thirty eight sites to plan their holiday.'
To capture those people who are ready to make a purchase upon first viewing of your site or to increase the chances of people coming back, it’s imperative that you foster a sense of trust and knowledge on your product or services. Having compelling content articles and static website copy will instil confidence and security in your potential buyer.
Kissmetrics tells us that ‘Approximately 96% of visitors that come to your website are not ready to buy.’ Give them a reason to come back!
If you're looking to establish your brand and its credibility, you'll also need to look at producing great content.
Keywords: the base of your content articles
Good content is optimised content (SEO stands for search engine optimised), which uses intentional keywords in your content. Keywords are the words or phrases people typically search for whilst using a search engine. For example, if you've set up a business selling BMX bikes in Sydney, ensure that you use these keywords and variations of in your content. Avoid overusing the terms, make it readable and enjoyable and importantly informative for your audience, as Google’s ranking system is hyper savvy and will know when you are “keyword stuffing”. Keyword stuffing is the practice of throwing in a bunch of keywords in your content at the expense of good writing.
You can research the top keywords on sites such as Google Adwords, Google Trends, Keyword Tool, Hubspot’s guide to keyword research to find the best key words to attract your audience to your site. To get a good idea of which key words will work, check out your high ranking competitors and the type of content and keywords that they use.
Tip: don’t forget to include locations in your keywords, particularly if you are a location based service. For example, one of my search terms is “Adelaide copywriter”, given that I am based in Adelaide.
Once you've figured out your key words, get a feel for what people like to read about and care about. Using our BMX shop example, you might want to write about competitions and races that are taking place in the local area, or you might want to write about exciting new and upcoming products that you'll be stocking. Never pad out or over use keywords as this will detract from the quality of your writing and as we’ve discussed here, Google search rankings favours well written material.
‘Sixty percent begin by using a search engine to find the products they want’.
‘Everyone is not your customer,’ Seth Godin
You probably have a terrific product or service that you have refined and you’re ready to tell the world. But where is your money, time and marketing efforts better spent: telling the entire world in a diluted scattergun approach? Or specifically targeting and blitzing people that are almost guaranteed to buy your product/service? Or at the very least buying similar from your competitors, have a need for what you offer or will likely to want it.
Here’s how you can discover the people (and psychographics) that you need to be speaking to directly. Knowing who these people are will shape how you talk to them, what kind of language and tone you use, what platforms you use and what images they will want to see. Remembering that '2pm on a Tuesday could be a very different moment from 2pm on a Saturday for the same person.'
A demographic is a group of people that you are aiming your message towards. They are defined by their characteristics, purchasing habits and other factors.
Here are three types of demographic groups. Within each group you can further filter into more specific demographics.
Also known as your existing or primary group, these are the people who are already addressable and interested in what you have to offer and have knowledge of your product/service. Although smaller, this group are easier to influence. The one thing you will have to provide is a unique selling point or a reason why they should continue to choose you above their existing practitioners or suppliers.
Also known as your secondary group, these people are more likely to be potential clients/customers. They may have never tried your product or service or have little or no knowledge about your business but are open to taking that step or have been referred to you but are yet to “cross that line” and make contact with you. They may also have signed up to your enews or have enquired about you in the past without taking it further. Although a larger group they will require more energy and work to encourage them to move into the engaged group.
This is a wide group of people, also known as the wishful or bonus group, that have no interest in your topic and are not open to learning or hearing about it and are unlikely to (however, if they do open up at some point, they automatically swap into the new group, then may convert to the engaged group). Needless to say, the return on effort (and there might be a lot of effort involved) is not worth reaching out to this group.
Your target demographic will be the people that you want to communicate directly with who are most likely to buy your service or product. This is not about excluding anyone from your marketing prowess but is about honing in on the people most likely to buy from you so you save your time and resources and get a better result.
I’m going to help you simplify this process so that you will find a useful and helpful way to use this knowledge, rather than overwhelm you with possibilities. My intention is not to dumb this down for you but to find a way of melding common sense and technical marketing knowledge in a useable and workable concept. By all means, do some extensive research on demographics and how to identify and reach them. You can even go so far as to boil it down to a sample person (known as a customer avatar) based on all the median research that has been done. A lot of larger consumer companies do this, so they know who they are targeting and can personify their demographic in the hope of really speaking to them.
Remember: don’t fall into a seductive trap of thinking that your product or service is best marketed to everyone. It is simply not the case that your product or service will be wanted or accommodates everyone, so it’s better to maximise your time and effort and really hone in on the target demographic that will make your business thrive. Be aware that this might only be five people that purchase a hundred thousand dollars worth of product from you each year. Or it might be twenty thousand people that buy ten dollars worth of product from you each month. Download your free demographic template here.
How to identify who is in your existing and new groups:
Resources for finding data:
The internet is wonderful, of course, but there may be a lot of information you have to wade through. Ensure you put aside enough time to do so.
Here is a simplified example of demographics broken down into three groups.
BUSINESS NAME sells an organic cotton clothing range in a dedicated retail store in Byron Bay. They also sell their range online, via their website. Primary demographic: females aged from 20 to 45 years, who live in suburban areas and mostly come from Victoria and New South Wales. They prefer to buy their clothing in-store but will often research the product thoroughly online first. They go to yoga and meditation classes, prefer to shop and eat organic and most of the group are mothers and work for themselves in some capacity.
Curious? Check out Victoria Secret’s identified marketing demographics here.
This cohort includes the primary group’s partners, parents, friends or children that buy for this group and might also include wholesalers that act as a middle man for BUSINESS NAME’s product.
Maybe you have a dream that your business reaches the over 50s market. Perhaps there needs to be some alterations to your product or service to suit this demographics’ lifestyle (and you’ll know what that looks like because you’ve done your research!) Perhaps your product or service already suits this group but you need to alter your branding so it really speaks to them. In this example, you might consider creating an “Over 50s” range with more classic branding.
Tip: to successfully communicate with any of your demographics, find out what they want through customer segregation. You can’t do this by guessing or assuming what they want. You can do this by asking them, perhaps as an incentivised survey (try SurveyMonkey) or by doing your research and monitoring people’s behaviours, trends and attitudes towards other products and services.
Remember: people’s behaviours and wants change regularly, so you will need to reassess who your target demographics are at least once a year.
The better you understand your customer, the faster your business will grow.
This has been adapted from an excerpt of my marketing book Promote Your Spiritual Business.
The subject line is the first thing that people will see when it hits their inbox. According to Chadwick Martin Bailey, 64% of people say they open an email because of the subject line. Crafting the perfect subject line is an art form, a rewarding one, which can entice people to open the email and read the content. Your mission: to write an appealing subject line that will make people want to keep reading. The subject line is really worth investing time and energy into getting right. This is going to be the device that encourages people to open your email and read it (and then, hopefully, click on the call to action).
Most importantly, the subject line needs to indicate or foreshadow what is in the email and what the readers can expect to get out of it. Be sure not to misrepresent your email’s content. Much like a headline the subject line will need to have a great hook in it. Give specific reasons why someone should open the email (as that one hundred per cent the aim of a great subject line). Which sounds more specific?
The answer is 2. Number one is too vague and number three is too "salesy". Remember: it’s much more effective if you tell your readership what the email contains, rather than give them the “sell”.
Just like headlines, you might want to employ one of the psychological techniques in your subject line (as long as you adhere to the other success principles):
Although there has been some preliminary research into how many words affect the open rate of an email, there seems to be no consistent number of words that prove best practice when it comes to wheedling opens. An older study from Adestra suggests that subject lines fewer than ten characters long had an open rate of 58%.
This is more of a personal opinion than professional opinion but I detest the sight of an emoji in a subject line, no matter the industry or brand. It cheapens the look and detracts from the offer or information. This may not always be the case for your target demographic, however, so it is best to do some thorough research and understanding of your target demographic groups (my book has more details about those groups) to know how to directly speak to them. If you’re communicating B2B I would strongly recommend not using emojis in your subject lines or email body copy. World Emoji Day on 17 July might be the only exception to this rule.
Most email platforms have something called A/B split testing. This is the ability to send your email to your mailing list with two or three minor changes, so you can ascertain which gets more of a response. It’s worth your time to try A/B split testing for subject lines. Don’t just guess what people will respond to – test the waters! These test results will be useful for the next time you send out an email campaign and you’ll be able to see whether your email list responds better to questions or giveaways or rewards or whatever you decide to test!
Craft the language to be personal (not at the expense of professionalism though). You may also like to include the recipient’s name in the subject line. Mailchimp discovered that including your company name in the subject line increased open rates. For example, Jones the Writer really wants you to learn about this today…
So how many people should be opening your emails? How do you know if your subject lines are doing well? Although it is industry dependent, Mailchimp purports that between 15% and 29% of your entire mailing list opening your emails are standard. Check out where your industry lies here.
Here are a few industries that most of my audience fall within. These figures are up to date as at 1 February 2017.
Technically it is both correct if you capitalise the first letter of every word (known as title case) but my grammatical preference is to only capitalise the first letter of the first word (known as sentence case). I find it is easier read and promotes a flow that the eyes can follow easily. As with any great writing, avoid excessive capitalisation and overuse of syntax (keep the exclamation marks away). Read more about grammar for blog posts here.
In a nutshell
Keep the subject line copy very clear, medium to short in length, professional and as a precursor to what the email contains. As with most copywriting, it’s better to aim for brevity and clarity over and above being to creatively “clever”. Although it may seem a little on the conservative side, it’s better to opt for something that works.
'64% of people say they open an email because of the subject line.'
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A call to action [CTA] is a concise phrase that you include in your copywriting and marketing material that not only encourage your readers to do something but it demands it! The term itself gives it away – it’s a strong directive that ensures action. The action that you want taken are practical steps that will ultimately lead to a sale, a booking or a purchase.
Examples of call to actions include:
An effective call to action offers urgency. Create urgency to play up to the natural instinct that humans have – the fear of time running out or missing out on something (also known as the scarcity principle). Tell your audience exactly what to do and when – words like today, now, straight away, before too late…
Pick one of your benefits (not a feature) to the consumer and use that as a call to action. For example, a benefit of good copywriting would be that it improves your SEO ranking. Therefore, I could use this benefit in my CTA like this:
Check out this video from Marketing Experiments on the power of a "micro yes" when it comes to call to actions.
Where do you include call to actions?
Include them on each page of your website, each blog post or content article, videos, social media posts, enewsletters and direct email campaigns and in person. Each of your webpages and marketing emails should have between one and three call to actions.
Place one within the first half of your webpage/email/marketing collateral but not directly at the top, as your readers will want to read some credible information first. It's also wise to place one at the end of your copy, to remind and instil your message.
Tips on writing a great call to action:
Don’t forget to include your call to action on your webinars, infographics and presentations or slide shows. You can also verbalise one if you are giving a talk but don’t give more than one. It will most likely be ‘go to my website for more details’.
Here are two clear call to action examples on big business's landing pages:
Do you think email marketing (that’s your email newsletters, EDM and email automated campaigns) is dead? Are you mistakenly believing that you need to invest all your time into your social media marketing?
You might be doing your business a disservice because according to MarketingSherpa, '72% people prefer to receive promotional content through email, compared to 17% who prefer social media.' Those kind of stats are just too hard to not experiment with, let alone ignore. Not only does an enewsletter provide an effective way of communicating new and existing services or products you have but it will ensure clients/customers feel connected, attended to and will encourage click throughs to your website and social media channels. Here's six reasons why email marketing is important.
But almost everyone has an inbox overflowing with various enewsletters, so it’s important to fill yours with interesting and relevant content. Not sure what to include in your enews?
You may like to experiment with this formula
30 per cent teasers
50 per cent quality information
20 per cent direct promotion
Examples of what to include in an enews
Make sure you set up your template so that every enews includes:
Here's two more important factors to a good enewsletter:
Sporadically—every four to six months—make your enews purely about the readers, cut out the promotion and offer quality content and/or a free product or service or ask them a question to invite conversation.
Include a clear call to action. Make your readers do something. That could include going to your website, booking an appointment or providing you with feedback. Aim to have at least three calls to action per enews—even if they are the same. Read my enewsletters here.
Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter. – McKinsey
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A copywriter is a professional writer that will write your marketing material (whether that be for your website, blog posts, brochures, social media marketing, enewsletters, media releases, adverts and a whole range of things). A copywriter is an expert in writing and will pen persuasive words in a way that is potent for your marketing plan.
Why hire a copywriter?
I’m going to be straight up here: almost everybody thinks they can write. This isn’t the truth. Let’s get real about this so you don’t do your business a disservice. An exceptional copywriter can position your business, services and products as memorable and leading the way, outshining your competitors and as something that people just MUST HAVE. With the art of the persuasive word, professionally written copy can increase sales.
The beauty of a copywriter is that they are able to step back from you and see the best in what you offer and know how to tell the world about it. Often, you can be too close to your own offerings to effectively describe what you do.
Copywriters are more than just writers. I come from a marketing background, so I know how to effectively promote something – whether it’s yoga classes, property or balsa wood – directly to your potential or existing customers, influence their decisions. I also have a genuine understanding of SEO, making you more easily discoverable online.
An awesome copywriter can make anything – and everything – sound thrilling.
Perhaps best of all, in my view, a copywriter will write with great grammar and spelling, giving you more credibility and readability. If the first contact new customers have with you is a poorly written website or Facebook page, how can they expect you to be professional when delivering your services? Go on – choose three websites at random and you will easily be able to tell which has been professionally written and which has been written in haste by the business owner.
Although this may not be the case for all copywriters (and is certainly not a requirement), I am also an award winning creative writer (having written many short stories, poems and a novel), so the art of storytelling is in my veins. And as customers become more and more saturated by content these days, they are craving authenticity and genuine storytelling. See also: how to keep your content crispy.
Most of what we are commissioned to write is written to sell. We believe in and live the “art of the sell” using only so much as our words.
When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it “creative”. I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product,’ David Ogilvy.
This may vary mildly depending on what you want written but the most likely process will go like this:
Then you can relax as I squirrel away for a time and work on the copy to the deadline we’ve agreed upon. This is the “go time” for me and where I spend hours researching, taking notes, writing and rewriting, proofreading and editing and maybe, just maybe, watching Netflix (some of my best ideas have come from television shows!)
You’ll be emailed the work (usually in a Word document) to review. I offer a revision with all quotes but I rarely, if ever, have to do it but I want you to know that the option is there because there’s no point with you being unhappy with the copy.
Then you can do whatever you need to do with the writing – upload it to your website, email merger, letterhead, social media platforms. It's then time to enjoy the benefits of meticulously crafted copy.
Now be honest, that was a lot less painful than you thought, right? Certainly a lot less painful than agonising for weeks or months over writing your homepage or blog posts. There we have it – the mysteries of working with a copywriter solved! If you have any more questions, drop a comment below or send me an email.
‘Let us prove to the world that good taste, good art, and good writing can be good selling,’ William Bernbach.
Copywriting and business writing is markedly different to writing a poem or writing something sweet in your grandmother's birthday card. It has a specific focus and uses a particular set of skills to increase sales, draw in new customers or clients or set you apart from your competition by demonstrating that you really know what you're talking about.
We've already looked at why content writing (and blogging) is excruciatingly important for your marketing plan, so now we're going to discuss how you can write really well in all your professional marketing communications (such as your website, blog posts, enewsletters, social media posts etc, because you're doing these all regularly… right?)
Writing well to promote your business is crucial to its success. In a digital era of fast paced communications, you need to get your message "bang on" immediately or clients will drift elsewhere along the fast paced current of the online communications river. Below are some starter guidelines for both online and off line writing. Keep these in mind the next time you write something that the public will see.
Use persuasive words
Ideally, you want people to do be doing something, to take action. Even clicking on a link is taking action. Use words as your triggers and cues.
According to Copyblogger, the top five most persuasive words in the English language are:
Here's a really comprehensive list of influential words you can use.
Correct grammar and spelling enhances your credibility and affords trust in what you are saying, ensuring a smooth read that will not distract readers from absorbing your message. If you neglect to take care of your proofreading, potential and current clients may wonder where else you neglect attention to detail.
Let it breathe
Put your writing aside for at least twenty four hours – a week if you can afford the time. Putting distance between you and your writing only improves its quality. You may learn something new that is pertinent to the topic at hand in that time- especially since it will be the forefront of the mind. And you will easily identify errors and poor structure once you've had a chance to have some distance from it.
Write in the second person
Write as if you are directly speaking to one person/client, rather than a group of people or nobody. Direct what you're saying by using terms such as "you", "your" etc, which will not only personalise your message but give the reader the ability to "try on" what you are saying to them and they will be more readily willing to absorb your message – particularly if you are persuading them to invest in your product or service.
Use confidence in your language. Replace terms such as ‘you may' with ‘you will' or ‘why not try' with ‘invest now'. Refer to the list of persuasive words above if you get stuck.
If you're not completely (three hundred and twenty per cent) sold on your product or service and the results that it will deliver, how can you expect a potential customer to be?
Twitter is a charming tool for this as it forces you to convey a message in less than 140 characters. To enhance your brevity, imagine how you would turn any message you are writing into a tweet.
Be clear, get to the point immediately and ensure you cap off your communications with a short summary of what you have written.
Be clear with yourself throughout the process - from the start (or before) of writing until releasing it into the world. What is the exact purpose of what you are writing? Be excruciatingly clear with yourself. Is it to attract another ten clients? Is it to be recognised in your field of expertise? Is it to voice your opinion on a current issue? Write this purpose at the top of your page or on a sticky note where you can see it and keep referring back to it as you write. Clarity = better results.
If you incorporate all these tips into your business writing and copywriting, you'll soon see more success than you thought possible!
You can write the most epic blog content that could set off a bunch of life changing insights for your readership but without a tantalising headline, few people will bother to click through and read it.
Ensure you have a compelling heading for each blog post. Make sure it’s a bit of a tease and that people will want to click on it and read more. Include why someone absolutely must read this post; explain why it will change their life/business/mind etc. The headline must be about the reader and how it can benefit them. For example, How Garlic Will Make You Lose Weight.
‘With [blog post] titles, it's best to under promise and over deliver. So if you're choosing between uber-compelling and accurate, choose accuracy every time,’ Corey Eridon, Hubspot Marketing Blog.
Here are some things to add that will create punch in your headline:
A great headline should make a reader curious and want more. Here are some types of headlines that have proven themselves to work time and time again:
'Most people will share content based on the headline alone.'
How many words should your headline be?
There's been many different discoveries when it comes to the ultimate headline length for maximum readers. The platform you are sharing on does make a difference but to summarise, Outbrain has found that seven words is an ideal length.
Coschedule similarly suggests that 60-100 characters is ideal.
Do you want to know whether your headline hits the mark? This is my favourite tool when deciding between headlines to use. Try this headline analyser.
Here's how I decided on the headline for this post:
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So, you want to be a beefcake of the social media world? Even an amateur bodybuilder or lifter will tell you that your body adapts crazy quickly. So you have to switch up your routine if you ever want to progress – or avoid deterioration. Even as much as changing it up every month. The same theory can be applied to your social media strategy to give it a bit of muscle.
Sure, posting the same content for the past three years has seen you well but be prepared to switch it up at the very least once a month – if not once a week. Whilst you don’t have to out and out shock your audience you DO need to propel your them into action, thinking, conversation and prod them to ask questions. It’s not enough to pander any more, it’s time to jolt your audience awake and add something of value.
'FOR ME, LIFE IS CONTINUOUSLY BEING HUNGRY. THE MEANING OF LIFE IS NOT SIMPLY TO EXIST, TO SURVIVE, BUT TO MOVE AHEAD, TO GO UP, TO ACHIEVE, TO CONQUER,'
Provide them with content that they will still be thinking about by the end of the day or that they tell at least one other person about or that makes them question something about themselves or their lives.
Additionally, you need to keep growing your ambitions. Otherwise you will stagnate.
‘As soon as a milestone is passed, its significance fades, and the focus is shifted to some other marker further down the road. No matter what you do or how satisfying it is in that beautiful moment in time, immediately you want more. You have to, if you want to find out how good you can be,’ Glenn Pendlay.
Just before you’ve hit your target reach or perhaps you have three quarters sold out a program or course, start to move the goal posts further away for your next project or target and then begin to aim! A bulky action plan will soon have you “getting the gains”.
If you need goal orientated social media marketing, check out my packages.
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If you want your business to succeed – that means a lot of sales or high end sales to companies with deep pockets, then you already know you need to be marketing online. But it’s certainly not enough to just have a website and some social media marketing anymore. You need to incorporate content marketing and content writing in your marketing plan – namely content writing or articles.
Online, thе written wоrd drives a lаrgе сhunk оf аnу business's mаrkеting ѕtrаtеgу. Whеthеr you’re ѕеlling jаm frоm hоmе оr a multinаtiоnаl соmраnу ѕеlling branded ѕроrtѕwеаr, the right kind оf wеb соntеnt iѕ imреrаtivе to nоt juѕt driving nеw buѕinеѕѕ, but аlѕо to keep your current buѕinеѕѕ rоаring.
So what are content articles? They are professionally written articles that sit mainly in the digital space, on your website, blog, or ezines. The articles are not only well written but add credibility by incorporating thorough research, quotes, statistics and expert commentary about topics or trends that are relevant to the modern consumer, in particular your audience or current or potential customer base.
‘Traditional marketing talks at people. Content marketing talks with them,’ Doug Kessler.
Why content articles are vital for your marketing arsenal:
My 2017 prediction:
My prediction for content writing and marketing in 2017? Content will start to get more personalised and - thanks to the advances in data mining and programmatic advertising – will really speak to audiences in alignment with their preferences, lifestyle, hobbies and personality.
Brands will replace traditional advertising processes with high quality content to satisfy a content hungry audience.
And from Jason Demers via Soap Media:
'...in 2017, we’re going to see the rise of ‘dense’ content. Dense content isn’t necessarily long or short, but it packs as much valuable info into as small of a space as possible. Users are tired of fluff content and their attention spans are continuing to decline, which will lead to a preference for denser content, which provides value while eating up as little time as possible.' Read more SEO predictions from Soap Media here.
‘To be momentous, create content with purpose,’ Russell Sparkman.