The Campaign That Left Me Speechless

'Time Machine' - one of the best pieces of content I've seen

‘Time Machine’ – one of the best pieces of content I’ve seen

Every once in a while, a piece of marketing comes along that is so breathtaking, all you can do is tip your hat and applaud. That’s how I felt watching this commercial from Breast Cancer Now, which is one of the most beautifully emotive pieces of content I’ve ever seen. Titled ‘Time Machine’, it tells the story of a young girl hoping to whisk her sick mother away to the year 2050, a time when there is a cure for breast cancer.

Watch the Ad:

Powerful stuff, right?

Great Campaigns Find A Way To Resonate

Firstly, video is the perfect medium to tell this story. Video is fast becoming one of the most powerful tools in the content marketing repertoire. It’s such an effective medium for storytelling that when executed well it can leave a lasting emotional imprint on its audience.

This effort reminds me of the fundraising campaign from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), which shone a spotlight on mistreated animals and to the soundtrack of the Sarah McLachlan song ‘Angel’.  It inspired tears from millions, but also achieved so much more. According to the New York Times, that ad when it aired in 2007 raised more than $30 million in just two years, making it the most successful fundraising initiative in ASPCA history. The subject matter is different, but they share an unshakeable emotional hook. These are great examples of how emotional storytelling can inspire action, persuade an audience and prompt them to open their hearts, minds and wallets.

So, How Did They Do It?

It’s beautiful. It’s emotive. It’s powerful. It inspires action. But how did they do it? Let’s take a closer look at the mechanics of this spellbinding piece of content:

It Tells A Story Beautifully

This story grabs our attention and holds it. Why is this young girl reading about Einstein and complicated mathematics? Did she just circle a complex physics equation? What is she hunting for in the shed? Just why is she doing hoarding all of this junk in her bedroom? Safety goggles? Seriously? We’re immediately thrown into the middle of the action. With no context or preamble, we’re compelled to stay until the end if we want to find out what this all means.

It Captures Our Hearts

There are infinite number of ways Breast Cancer Now could have constructed this story. We could have been bombarded with stats and facts, scientists and case studies and aspirational statements—but they specifically chose to focus the relationship between a child and parent, a relationship immediately familiar to most viewers.

We can’t help but be pulled into this scenario, to empathise with its characters, and find ourselves wishing alongside them that 2050 can hurry up and arrive so they can find their cure. Furthermore, the lengths that this little girl is willing to go to—literally constructing a time machine to save her mother’s life—makes the thought of donating a few dollars seem so simple by comparison.

The story’s particulars, in other words, constitute the vehicle through which the storyteller draws us in. In moving our emotions via the familiar parent/child relationship, the marketer makes us want to become part of the story, and part of the solution.

It Doesn’t Shout—It Whispers

If you want someone to pay closer attention to what you’re saying, sometimes it’s best to whisper. This storyteller, without any dialogue, has done something far more compelling: they’ve forced us to watch more intently, to willingly follow along to the story’s conclusion, and to identify more completely with the characters and the Breast Cancer Now cause.

It Collapses Time

Prompting people to donate to a cause that has a goal more than three decades into the future is a tough ask. Perhaps this story’s greatest achievement is in making the the distant future feel so immediate. Yes, 2050 may seem like a long way away, but breast cancer is an all-too-real reality for people in 2018. We walk away from this story with the sense that although time machines may be the stuff of childhood fantasy, finding a cure for breast cancer is not. The message is subtle yet clear: we can help by donating to the cause. By doing so, maybe we could even find the cure sooner, meaning little girls don’t have to dream of building time machines and we can help save the lives of young mothers like this one.

Marketing achievements of this magnitude don’t just happen, and video storytelling this compelling is rare—it requires the expertise of many content experts, not the least of which are writers with the talent and experience to create stories that resonate with an audience.

What story do you want to tell?

Are you ready to tell the story or your company, product or brand? Contact us and let’s get started on content that will help you connect with your audience.

The 4 Kinds of Customer Loyalty

What kind of 'loyal' are your customers?

What kind of ‘loyal’ are your customers?

The Broadcaster. The Enthusiast. The Lazy Loyal. The Seeker. No, it’s not a band of superheroes. It’s the four kinds ‘customer loyalty’ described in a new report from software giants Oracle. It’s a fascinating insight, and has implications for businesses keen on creating engaging content for their customers.

Retail 2018: The Loyalty Divide details four typologies of consumer loyalty, including: The Broadcaster who may flit between brands but shouts about their experiences good or bad; The Enthusiast an engaged retail brand follower who is loyal but not loud; The Lazy Loyal typically disengaged but tend to be loyal to brands because it’s easy to be; and, The Seeker who likes to shop around for the best value and holds little affinity to retail brands.

Let’s take a look at the four different ‘types’ of consumer loyalty. Which categories do you consumers fit into? And more importantly, do you know how to reach to them?

The Broadcaster

  • 32 percent of consumers will recommend to others the retailers they are most loyal to
  • 41 percent would share photos on social media of great retail experiences in exchange for rewards
  • 47 percent would feature the retailer or its products on their social media accounts in exchange for offers / rewards
  • 42 percent would submit a product review through YouTube in exchange for an offer / reward

 The Enthusiast

  • 43 percent of consumers are most loyal to brands that they have a high opinion of
  • 1 in 5 consumers (20 percent) will follow their favorite brands on social media
  • 71 percent say product quality and 59 percent an enjoyable shopping experience are most important to them
  • 51 percent say it’s important that they can engage with new and exciting products from brands they are loyal to

 The Lazy Loyal

  • 60 percent say convenient store locations are most important to them
  • More than 1 in 3 (40 percent) will typically stick to the brands they like rather than shop around
  • 1 in 4 consumers would not find a loyalty program that can be used across multiple brands appealing
  • 72 percent think an effortless loyalty program where points are automatically redeemed is appealing

 The Seeker

  • 66 percent choose a retailer because of competitive prices / promotions
  • 56 percent would exchange personal details in exchange for a personalized offer or promotion
  • 53 percent of consumers would always ‘shop around’ for different retailers to shop with
  • Almost 1 in 5 (19 percent) would rarely sign up to retailer loyalty programs

Creating content for the different types of ‘Loyal’

One thing is clear, it’s becoming more difficult to paint our audiences with a single, broad stroke. In truth, we are marketing to different segments of people who each have unique needs, attitudes and perspectives. A one-size-fits-all approach to marketing is no longer an effective strategy.

The first step is to know who you’re marketing to. And I’m not talking generic demographics. I mean really know them. Who are they? What are their motivations? At what point in the buying process do they want to speak to a sales rep? Which information sources do they trust? What are their pain points? What are the barriers preventing them from buying your product or using your service?

Understanding this kind of information is critical in tailoring your content. It means you can identify the kind of information different audience segments are looking for. It could be Blogs, eBooks, Videos, LinkedIn Posts, White Papers, Infographics, Brochures or a combination of each.

Building a detailed Buyer Persona is the best place to start. This means talking to your customers and finding out why they bought your product or service. It also means having conversations with your leads and prospects and asking them why they didn’t buy your product or service. They can be tough conversations to have, but they’re vital.

Understanding the true nature of your audience helps you develop a content strategy that can nurture a customer through the sales process, and over time make them a loyal brand ambassador.

Not sure what a Buyer Persona is? Start with this 100-word definition from HubSpot

Want to build a loyal customer base?

Ink Copywriting is here to help. From initial strategy right through to final delivery, we can help develop content that will reach your audience and help build brand and business loyalty. Learn more.

You Might Also Find Helpful

More Than 50% of Businesses Rely on Content Marketing to Engage Customers, study finds

Pedigree’s Cause Marketing Masterclass

5 Reasons Why Blogging Is A Powerful Business Tool

More Than 50% of Businesses Rely on Content Marketing to Engage Customers, study finds

Content Marketing has become crucial to digital marketing strategies

Content Marketing has become crucial to digital marketing strategies

Content marketing is essential to more than half of businesses’ digital marketing strategies, according to a new survey from The Manifest.

More than half (53%) of businesses invest time and money in content marketing, and continued growth in this category is expected, industry experts say.

“Even 10 years ago, content marketing was seen as a new buzzword,” said Lauren Fairbanks, partner and CEO of S&G Content Marketing. “But over the last few years, it’s really moved into the marketing mainstream. Marketers know that content marketing is essential for reaching consumers organically.”

Content Marketing Explained by Edge Media

Most Businesses Publish Content Daily

Fifty-one percent of businesses publish content daily, the survey found, although businesses need to ensure that their content publishing frequency doesn’t sacrifice quality, marketing experts advise.

“It’s all about putting out really good, thoroughly researched content,” said Aylin Cook, head of content marketing at digital marketing agency Single Grain. “If companies can publish that content every day, great. If not, rather than frequency it’s about quality and depth.”

Videos, Blog Posts, and Data Most Popular Content That Businesses Publish

Businesses publish a variety of content types. The most popular are videos (72%), blog posts (69%), and research and original data (60%).

Offering a variety of content helps businesses reach an expanded and diverse customer base.

“There’s a lot of content out there, and it’s good to mix it up a bit and diversify it,” said Jody Birch, director of marketing and communications at digital marketing agency Avalaunch Media. “Diverse content reaches the widest range of consumers.”

Content Improvements Businesses Want to Make

When asked what improvement they would like to make to their content, most businesses said they would create more original content (22%) and include more visual components (22%).

Creating more original content increases brand awareness, and including more visuals keeps consumers engaged.

Overall, the survey indicates that most businesses value and rely on content marketing, and it will continue to be part of an increasing number of companies’ digital marketing strategies.

The Manifest’s 2018 Content Marketing Survey included 501 digital marketers from U.S. companies around the world with more than 100 employees.

Read the full report here

Dog Day Afternoon: Pedigree’s ‘Cause Marketing’ Masterclass

Earlier this month, iconic dog food brand Pedigree partnered with agency CLM BBDO to use the power of Instagram on behalf of shelter dogs. In the ‘Dogs for Dogs’ campaign, France’s most popular Instagram dogs ‘loaned’ their accounts to shelter dogs of the same breed for a day. After following the replacement shelter dogs for a day, the unsuspecting followers were prompted to adopt the actual dog that had been featured in the feed all day. The single day of the campaign resulted in dozens of adoption requests for shelter dogs.

Watch the video:

Although it was only a single day, Dogs for Dogs combines several elements of a successful social campaign. Let’s take a closer look at why it was so successful.

Influencer marketing

In order for the campaign to be more visible and more successful, Pedigree recruited not a single Instagram influencer, but dozens of them. The strategy of leveraging existing, widely-followed accounts gave the brand more reach and engagement than they could generate with their own account, or by creating a new one devoted to the campaign. Importantly, these influencers were recruited not just for additional visibility, but for a purpose: dogs popular on the social network were deliberately paired with similar, adoptable dogs. This deliberate relationship made ‘Dogs for Dogs’ more meaningful and more effective than simply having influencers post similar content across multiple feeds.

Accurate targeting

Of course, the followers of these accounts are the ideal target of the message. Not only are they Instagram users who demonstrably like dogs, but they have shown that they like that specific breed of dog. They are a self-selecting group of people most likely to be receptive to the brand message, and most likely to take action based on the campaign.

Guerilla marketing

‘Dogs for Dogs’ employed elements of guerilla marketing to great effect. The Instagram influencer dog accounts were paired with visually similar dogs, who were presented in the same manner as the normal account. It was only after followers interacted with the photos and videos that the adoption offer appeared.

Clear call to action (CTA)

The CTA in ‘Dogs for Dogs’ was exceptional, and combined all the elements of a powerful CTA:

  • Strong design: the distinctive design unified the campaign across accounts, and separated the CTA from the content
  • Direct messaging: “If you like me, why not adopt me?” is clear and effective. Furthermore, it’s consistent with the “like” language of Instagram, but prompts the follower toward additional action.
  • Well-timed: By prompting further action after the follower has engaged with the content, it targets even more effectively, introducing the CTA when the follower is most likely to be receptive to it.
  • Easy to execute: Followers can act on the CTA with a single click.
  • An attractive call to action with a streamlined message and simple execution is the hallmark of a successful CTA. It’s Advertising101, extremely well-executed, and employed here to assist shelter dogs in finding forever homes.

The ‘Dogs for Dogs’ campaign is a fantastic example of cause marketing. Effective cause marketing can reap big benefits for a brand, with as many as 55% of consumers saying they are willing to pay more for products and services provided by companies that have a positive impact. And Pedigree avoided the greatest pitfall of cause marketing: disconnect between the brand and the cause.

For cause marketing to be effective, consumers (particularly millennials) have to feel a direct relationship between the brand and the cause. It’s not enough to simply adopt the cause-of-the-month; consumers react negatively to inauthenticity, particularly in their social feeds. But ‘Dogs for Dogs’ matched the right brand, with the right influencers, for the right cause.

31 percent of people ready to #DeleteFacebook, survey finds

Are people ready to turn their back on Facebook?

Are people ready to turn their back on Facebook?

The recent Facebook data breach scandal — which revealed over 87 million users’ data had potentially been improperly obtained and used by a political consultancy Cambridge Analytica to target U.S. and British voters in the close-run elections of Brexit and the U.S. Presidency — has placed a global spotlight on the value of our personal data.

To discover how this revelation has affected public sentiment around their trust in Facebook, and the use of their personal data in general, global media and technology company Pureprofile conducted nationally representative surveys across its Australian, New Zealand, British and U.S panelists, to discover if the #DeleteFacebook movement will take hold.

Results revealed that over a third (34 percent) of respondents from both the U.S. and New Zealand said they are considering closing their Facebook accounts due to the data breach scandal, along with 29 percent of British respondents.

In Australia, over a quarter (27 percent) of respondents have considered closing their Facebook account due to the data scandal, with those aged 25-34 years old the most likely to take action (37 percent).

When asked how they felt about the use of their personal data by companies who then use this to target campaigns and advertising, 43 percent of Brits, 41 percent of Australians, 39 percent of New Zealanders and 37 percent of Americans said they felt anxious about this.

The next question made it clear that the issue is not about companies getting access to people’s data, it’s more about the consumer being able to choose who they want to share this with. 38 percent of New Zealanders, 33 percent of Americans, 30 percent of Brits and 28 percent of Australians responded that they don’t mind their personal data being used by companies to target them with advertising, as long as they have opted in to its use in this way.

Pureprofile CEO, Nic Jones said: “This survey is incredibly interesting as it reveals that consumers are beginning to really understand the value of their personal data and are willing to take a stand against companies who use this without their consent. Many of our respondents revealed that they are not averse to companies using their personal data to curate advertising for them, with over a third of people saying they welcome this, providing they have opted in to receive it.

“It’s now clearer than ever that this new consumer-led personal data push back means brands need to be transparent about how they access and use personal data. We’re entering the age of the Personal Information Economy, where consumers are taking ownership of their personal data and will punish brands that use this inappropriately.”

Green Waste: Is Our Sustainability Content Being Missed?

A new study suggests consumers aren't seeing on-packaging sustainability messages

A new study suggests consumers aren’t seeing on-packaging sustainability messages

As content writers, we’re always thinking of new and creative ways to promote the sustainability efforts of our clients. On-package messaging is perhaps the hardest. The limited space and competing visuals of branded products makes writing engaging copy that also communicates a serious message a tricky proposition. Yet new research reveals that even our best efforts might be going to waste.

While most consumers admit that sustainability influences their purchases, most aren’t noticing sustainability branding on the packaging, according to a new study by QuadPackaging (QP) and Package InSight.

The research examined whether or not shoppers’ behaviours are influenced by a visual sustainability rating system placed on the front of packaging.

Ninety-two percent of the study participants did not notice sustainability logos on the packages despite 53 percent of participants saying that a simple rating system would impact their purchase and over 40 percent claiming sustainability influences their buying decisions.

“These results are not surprising if you take into account the barrage of logos, seals and stamps found on consumer package goods claiming some form of sustainability,” said Paul Nowak, senior director of sales strategy and business development at QP, a division of Quad/Graphics. “Consumers have become numb to all the messaging on packaging which hinders the penetration of sustainability claims.”

Package InSight, which studies package performance, consumer attention and shelf impact, conducted the research in Clemson’s retail lab. QP and Package InSight collaborated to create generic packaging for food, beverage and health categories and a sustainability logo that replicated an inspection or grading concept – similar to the A-B-C grading of restaurants and the idea of validation of that grade by a larger industry association (e.g. Craft Brewer Seal).

Participants “shopped” in a typical grocery store experience using mobile eye-tracking –the latest in biometric technology.

“People buy with their eyes,” said Dr. Julie Rice, associate director at Package InSight. “Using the eye-tracking technology in this study allowed us to provide insight into what draws an observer’s attention and cognitive process; in this case, there was little interest in the sustainability logos.”

QuadPackaging and Package InSight instead recommend that companies focus more on integrated marketing campaigns to educate customers about the efforts they are making and what their sustainability claims mean.

“It might be important to your brand to include these logos, but you don’t need prime packaging real estate – awareness and education are more important to get through to consumers,” recommended Nowak.

5 Ways to Boost Your Google Ranking

Google rankings can be make or break for small businesses

Google rankings can be make or break for small businesses

You may have heard about search engine optimisation (SEO), the strategic process of making sure your business website appears when potential customers search Google for related terms. Getting that coveted #1 ranking for a relevant keyword or search term can be the catalyst that boosts your business to prominence in your industry.

Of course, achieving that goal can be difficult. SEO is a complex topic, and one that can be difficult for small business owners and even marketing managers to fully grasp. Improving your Google rankings requires not just time, but also an understanding of how the ranking process actually works. With that in mind, here are five ways you can boost your Google rankings over time and improve your business marketing efforts.

1) Find the Right Keywords

Every SEO effort has to start with keyword research. Stated differently, before you begin to optimize your website, you need to know what words and phrases to optimise it for.

A number of free and paid tools help you find the right keywords for your audience. The key to success is finding middle ground between the two most common metrics in this area, search frequency (how many searches for that keyword occur within a given month) and competitiveness (how many other companies are trying to rank for the same keyword). 

2) Create Relevant Content

Based on the keyword(s) you found in the first step, it’s time to create your content. Here, it’s vital to stay focused on a singular goal: relevance for your audience.

Trying to include the keyword as many times as possible in a blog post or landing page is considered keyword stuffing, and can actually incur ranking penalties. Instead, try to build unique content that is relevant both to the keyword for which you are trying to optimise, and the audience you’re looking to attract.

3) Establish a Link Profile

External links to your website are a major ranking factor for Google and other search engines. The more other websites link to you, the more credible your website appears, and the higher its chances of increased rankings will become.

You can establish a link profile by encouraging others to link to your blog posts or other content. However, stay away from ethically questionable practices such as link buying, which can result in penalties and lower rankings for your website.

4) Amplify Your Content

One way to establish a link profile is to simply increase its visibility – which is where your digital presence comes into play. Social media in particular is a great way to link to new blog posts, or post excerpts of your content that your audience finds interesting enough to click and read more.

Simple posts may be enough to achieve that amplification. In addition, networks like Facebook and Twitter offer brands the opportunity to boost their posts and increase their reach, which might be another possibility depending on your digital marketing budget.

5) Take the Necessary Technical Steps

SEO, in many ways, is a content-based tactic. If you build great content, and strategically amplify it, you will have a high chance of success. But without the technical background, the impact on your Google rankings might still be limited.

To start, you need to submit a sitemap to Google to help the search engine better understand the structure of your website. It also makes sense to make sure your site loads quickly, and all images have ALT text included. This guide by Search Engine Land can help you take the technical steps you need to let your content do the talking and boost your Google rankings.

In the end, SEO is a complex process that takes time and expertise to accomplish. But it can also be broken down into more manageable steps, which help you more easily boost your Google ranking and increase your visibility. These steps, from finding the right keywords to amplifying your content using social media, are available and accessible even to small business owners with little to no marketing expertise. With patience and consistent effort, your business will benefit from increased rankings in the long run.

Need help producing SEO optimised content? Contact Ink Copywriting to get your content strategy started.

You Might Also Find Helpful

The Secrets of Successful eBooks
From Sales to Solutions: Content Marketing Explained
10 Topic Ideas For Your Business Blog

How To Write A Landing Page

How to write a great landing page

Writing a great Landing Page is like walking a tightrope

Landing Pages. The problem child of the marketing world. Include too little information and people leave confused and uncertain, offer too much and they become overwhelmed and run away. Writing them is like walking a tightrope—easy to over-balance and topple into marketing oblivion.

That’s why crafting great Landing Pages takes time and careful planning. When written correctly they capture attention and drive action, but when written poorly they achieve not much at all.

This week we take a look at those pesky Landing Pages, and what you can do increase engagement and conversions using as few words as possible.

What are Landing Pages?

In simple terms, Landing Pages are purpose-built webpages used by companies and organisations to promote a particular product, service or offer. While still a part of the website, their purpose is more specific, and usually aimed at trying to encourage a website visitor to hand over their contact information in exchange for a piece of content, discount, product or service being offered by the company. This simple transaction creates a new qualified lead for the business who can then use-follow up marketing to nurture that lead through the sales funnel.

Need Landing Page inspiration? Check out these great Landing Page examples over at HubSpot.

Why Are Landing Pages Important?

Because they convert simple web visitors into genuine business leads. Anyone can drive traffic to their website, but the real magic is getting those visitors to engage with you in some way—either through buying, opting-in, signing up or downloading something from your website.

Yet according to WordStream, about 75% of businesses have a problem finding someone who can write landing page copy that does its job—which in most cases, is increasing conversions.

So, how do you craft great Landing Page content? It’s a combination of creativity, strategy and clear writing. Here’s how to get started:

Start with a Killer Headline

When it comes to Landing Pages, your headline is make-or-break. Visitors tend to scan the words rather than read them, so a strong, clear and compelling headline captures attention from the outset. Create a header that speaks to your readers, and clearly articulates the benefit of your offer. Practical tips include:

  • Keeping it short and precise
  • Don’t tell, pitch
  • Use the headline to focus on one main benefit, then use the page copy to elaborate on others
  • Triple check the spelling
  • A/B test to see which headlines get the most open rates and click throughs from your visitors, then tweak future headlines accordingly

Write About Benefits, Not Features

When someone arrives on your Landing Page, they do so with a ‘what’s in it for me?’ mentality. In little more than a glance, they want to know how your products will make their lives easier. That’s the difference between features and benefits.

If you write about CRM software on a Landing Page, you’ll be tempted to talk about its functionality and superiority, but that shouldn’t be your primary focus. Instead, talk about the ways it will help companies boost their marketing power, improve customer service and how those benefits will help them increase conversions and sales.

Remember, when you’re talking about features, you’re focusing on you and your product. When you’re talking about benefits, your focus is where it should be—on your customers.

Break Up The Copy

Remember, people only have a 7-second attention span when viewing a webpage. Greeting them with a wall of text is a sure-fire way to send them packing.

Instead, break up the copy into more digestible chunks. Use headlines and sub-headlines, shorten your sentences and paragraphs and use bullet lists to make the key take-aways of your page punchy and interesting. The Call to Action button should be highly visible and, if possible, consider using imagery and video to support the text.

Keep It Simple

Your web visitors are busy, time-poor people who don’t need any extra reason to jump to your competitor a Google listing away. When it comes to Landing Page copy, the simplest words are the best.

You want to say what you need to say—and no more—and you want to say it in language that’s easy to understand and immediately accessible.

Take Optimizely for example, which creates some of the most compelling Landing Pages on the market. Their own landing page copy is surprisingly simple, but quickly manages to make its point.

Welcome to Optimizely. Sign up for a free account and test out the most popular Landing Page Optimization Tool on the planet!

They focus their message, avoiding telling their audience what their tool does that others don’t, or precisely why it’s the most popular. That’s not their objective. They simply want readers to provide contact details. All the other juicy benefits and features can come later once they start nurturing them down the sales funnel.

Give It The Pub Test

When chatting with our colleagues or friends about our latest passion projects, the conversation often sparkles. Our energy leaps forth. Yet when we try to describe it in an email to them later, our language becomes verbose and passive, usually stemming from a lack of confidence in our own words and fear of being judged for them.

The result is disastrous, and we end up not saying much of anything at all. Such an approach with a Landing Page would spell its demise before you ever hit ‘publish’.

People like getting advice and guidance from other human beings, so make sure you write like one. That means writing the way you speak, using simple words and short sentences, not being afraid to use humour from time to time, and making ‘proper grammar’ your tool, not your master.

When you’ve done some drafting give your Landing Page copy the Pub Test. Read it and ask yourself, ‘is this how I would describe it to a friend at the bar?’ If not, start editing.

Need a hand?

Writing Landing Pages that work can be tricky. It’s part craft, part art, part strategy, all working together to capture and hold the attention of your website visitors. If you need a hand crafting your next Landing Page, give Ink Copywriting a call.

You Might Also Find Helpful

The Fundamentals of Great Web Writing

5 Ways to Boost Your Google Ranking

The Principles of Plain English

The Fundamentals of Great Web Writing

Writing great web copy is a craft, but it can be done

Writing great web copy is a craft, but it can be done

Want to get the attention of someone visiting your website? Then you have seven seconds.

Yep, that’s it. According to Tribute Media the average website visitor decides whether they want to stay on a website within seven seconds of arriving on a page.

And when you only have seven seconds to capture your buyer’s attention, you need to hit them with something powerful if you want them to take action. That’s why effective web copy is essential.

But writing great web copy is a tricky proposition. People’s ever shortening attention spans coupled with their tendency to scan webpages rather that actually read them makes crafting great web copy an art form. But it is achievable. Here’s how:

Stay in a ‘buyer-centric’ mindset.

When writing about our own businesses or organisations, the natural inclination is to talk about ourselves. How great and trusted and responsive we are. The thing is, people visiting our websites don’t necessarily care about us. Their primary concern is about themselves. They want to know how you’re going to make their lives easier, and they want to know quickly.

The solution? Stop writing about you and start writing about them. First, articulate their problem, then talk about how your business can solve it.

Here’s a fictional example of a company trying to sell their revolutionary shoe insert, the HappyHeel, to a busy professional battling chronic foot inflammation. Let’s take a look at a standard example:

Our soft-sole technology has been scientifically proven to support the heel and surrounding foot tendons, offering relief to the ankle and calf. Perfect for casual and professional wear, the HappyHeel can reduce foot pain by up to 70%.

Yawn. How about this instead:

It’s been a long day. Meetings. Presentations. Running around after the kids. You’re dead on your feet, and you have to do it all again tomorrow. But your feet are blazing and you’re not sure can do it.

We’re here to tell you that you can, with the HappyHeel.

Jab with the problem and right hook with the solution.

Tip: Aim to write as much as possible in the second person (you, your, you are). By doing so, your copy will naturally focus on the audience. The notable exception to this rule would be your ‘About’ page where it’s ok to talk more about yourself and your business.

Sell benefits, not features.

When most businesses write web copy, they focus on the features of their product or service. How many times have we seen examples like these?

  • Our oven heats to 400 degrees in less than 5 minutes.
  • We have 50 hours of online tutorials available.
  • We build the best email marketing strategies.

They’re all great features, but features alone don’t compel your audience to take action. That’s what benefits are for.

When you write web copy, don’t tell your buyers what your product or service does. Instead, show them how it’s going to make their lives easier. Let’s take another look at the examples above, but this time focusing on benefits:

  • Great dinners cooked faster than ever.
  • A learning program with unprecedented versatility and variety.
  • Effective and efficient email marketing solutions, made with precision.

The emphasis is placed on the benefit of your feature, not the feature itself. With this subtle change your visitors are coaxed further into your website, and along the sales funnel.

Address every objection.

Buyers, across every industry, will have a natural objection or barrier stopping them from buying your product or signing up for your service. It’s part of doing business. The role of your website is to help them overcome those barriers, and subtly answer any objections they might be secretly harbouring. Let’s take a look at some common scenarios:

Objection: Are they worried your product is too expensive?

Solution: Show them how another one of your customers saved the purchase price in a short time after buying, or used the extra time your product gave them to finish a long neglected project.

Objection: Do they think your product is unnecessary, and can do it themselves?

Solution: Again, sell the benefits and how it will make their lives easier, and how the finished product would be far superior to anything your prospective customer could do themselves.

Objection: Are they questioning your skills or capabilities?

Solution: Show them testimonials from other customers who have loved your services.

Give your buyers every reason to buy what you’re offering, and help them justify their purchase in every relevant way. If you don’t, your competitor is just a Google listing away.

Another great strategy is to develop a content marketing plan that will allow your business to build relationships with customers over time, and through carefully crafted and planned content, allay any concerns or barriers.

Need Great Web Copy?

Need some help producing web copy that grabs your readers’ attention? Contact Ink Copywriting for help.

You Might Also Find Helpful

4 Marketing Trends to Watch in 2018
The Principles of Plain English
Small business websites are more important than ever. Here’s why.

5 New Year’s Resolutions to Kick-Start Your Content Marketing for 2018

Is 2018 the year to take your content marketing efforts to the next level?

Is 2018 the year to take your content marketing efforts to the next level?

2018 is almost here, and with it comes new opportunities to grow your business and tackle the marketing challenges that slipped away in 2017.

If you’re ready to take your content marketing efforts to another level in 2018, these five New Year’s resolutions are the perfect way to get started.

Resolution #1: In 2018, I will invest in my website.

Your website should be your star marketer. It’s the first experience that many potential customers have with your brand. As such, your website is every bit as important as a brick and mortar storefront.

You want customers who visit your website to have a great experience with your brand. This can mean everything from ensuring that you have enough white space to highlight the most important parts of your website, to checking to make sure all of your pages are up-to-date.

But it also means converting your website into a lead generation and conversion powerhouse that works for you 24/7. By committing to producing frequent content, offering free resources like eBooks and creating landing pages that can capture and convert visitors, your website can transform from a static tool to your most effective marketing weapon.

Related: Small business websites are more important than ever. Here’s why.

Resolution #2: In 2018, I will take the time to understand my target audience.

If you haven’t created buyer personas for all the potential customers who could visit your website, 2018 is the time to do it. Buyer personas allow you to understand your customers’ needs, their pain points, and their likes and dislikes. The better you understand your target audience, the better you can craft content that will address their needs and concerns while positioning your business as a trusted industry expert.

Resolution #3: In 2018, I will focus on the social media platforms that work for me.

It’s easy to get caught up in trying to sample everything at the social media buffet, but for many businesses­—especially small businesses or those with a tight marketing budget—it’s unrealistic to think that you can have an effective account on every available platform. Instead, choose to focus on the social media platforms that work best for your business and are actually being used by your target audience.

Ask yourself; Where can your clients be found? How can you connect most effectively with your customers? When you focus your social media efforts, you’re able to provide better value for your clients and use your marketing dollars more efficiently.

Related: How To Choose The Best Social Media Platform For Your Business

Resolution #4: In 2018, I will produce engaging, helpful content for my customers and leads.

Your content is the ticket to engaging your customers and letting them know that your business can offer them something that they need. Whether you’re creating regular videos or growing your content library through a weekly blog post, your content should be genuinely useful to your customers. Address their concerns, solve their problems, and walk them through products and services that are genuinely useful to them. The better your content, the more you’ll build trust with your customers and the more leads you will be able to generate.

Resolution #5: In 2018, my marketing tactics will be strategic and measurable.

If you really want to see new marketing success in 2018, you need to be able to define what success looks like to you.

Good marketing isn’t a hit-or-miss strategy that leaves you simply hoping that you’ll be able to build more leads or create more conversions. Instead, it’s a systematic approach that lets you clearly define your goals, measure the effect of your marketing strategy, and discover how you can adjust your efforts to better reach your goals.

2018 is the year to take your content marketing to new heights. If you need some help planning or producing your content for next year, contact Ink Copywriting.

You Might Also Find Helpful

From Sales to Solutions: Content Marketing Explained

10 Topic Ideas For Your Business Blog

4 Marketing Trends to Watch in 2018