Archive for the ‘copywriter’ Category
Sure. Not all business communication is a piece of marketing. You may not think of an account control letter or appointment reminder as needing a deft copywriter’s touch.
But consider why you’re putting the message out there in the first place. You want the reader to DO SOMETHING. That means you need to provide some compelling reason why they should.
That’s the best reason to use a copywriter. Because they write business communication that propels readers into action.
Copywriters structure your communication and choose words or language to motivate. Some of the key elements business writers use include:
- Sure fire winners
Some words and phrases just work better. Even everyday business writing can harnesses emotive language for better results. Take the proven performer, How to, for example.
Account activation … or How to activate your account
- The right offer
Yep. What’s in it for me … again. Any business writing can be couched in the context of a reader benefit:
Now you can forget about those dirty floors. Your Clean-A-Carpet booking is confirmed.
- Call to action
Every business letter has a purpose. If your business writing is up to speed, this can also be an opportunity.
Finished a job? Get referrals.
Spur the reader on to act. That’s the purpose of nearly every piece of business communication you will ever publish. Well written communication not improves your message quality and response level. It’s good business practice.
3 take away tips
- The purpose of most business communication is to get the reader to act.
- Even everyday business communication can benefit from a copywriter’s touch.
- Well written communication reflects positively on you and your business.
OK, so headlines are critical to your marketing communication. Whether that’s advertising, web content, brochures, direct mail … the list goes on. But what happens when you sit down to write, and draw a blank?
The thing is, some days top headlines fairly jump onto your screen. Then there are those other times. A bit of inspiration goes a long way toward writing power headlines.
Online news is a highly competitive space. Writers need to engage visitors within seconds. Most news sites feature a timeline where you’ll find catchy headlines and strong breakout text.
Newsmakers write this copy to grab attention and generate story click through. And they’re darn good at it. Great places to get some headline inspiration of your own include:
Check sites like Digg, Alltop and even Twitter for trending stories … and sharp headlines. These sites are rich pickings for content writers. Not only because they’re great for headline inspiration. Likes, shares and voting put them on the pulse of what’s popular too.
Think about it. Some clever copywriter created those subject lines. Something has to make readers open that e-marketing. Writing email headlines is art in itself. Compelling, benefit driven … AND character limited. Talk about short and sweet! Here’s a few samples:
- Is your video ready for prime time?
- Aussie backyard breaks from $99
- A double whammy for maximum website exposure
Sometimes factual, other times fantastic … it’s headlines that make magazines sell. In the cut-throat world of advertising by circulation, writers can’t afford to get it wrong. The great thing about magazines is their target audience orientation. Which means they’re not only a good place to find writing inspiration. The new ideas you come up with are market tested, like these:
100 perfect outfits that are already in your wardrobe ”
Blogging against the machine ”
More energy instantly! Your secret source ”
The ideas box
Mostly, there’s more junk than mail in my letterbox. But that’s not always a bad thing. Sometimes there’s a kooky or really cool flyer that gets my attention. Other times it’s a newspaper insert, or maybe and ad.
I save the best ones. They’re a great resource when it comes to coming up with headline ideas. Here’s a sample:
Hot, steamy and ready to be picked up. You guessed it, pizza!
3 take away tips
- Getting in the right headspace for writing headlines needs some inspiration.
- Don’t discount news services. They’ve been writing winning headlines for years.
- For short and punchy headline inspiration, try checking your inbox.
Headlines with stopping power flag down readers with a simple, benefit driven message. Writing headlines isn’t about reducing your business to a one liner. Great headlines reach out to capture audience interest. For maximum effect, copywriters use words and ideas proven to work.
Make it sound easy
We all love a short cut. If there’s a way to get there that costs less or happens sooner, who won’t be in that? Here’s an example where the copywriter worked in a number to draw readers right into the middle of the headline:
Learn how to read a 180 page book in just ten minutes
And how easy does this sound? Sign me up!
Prepare a fully blown marketing plan in a tenth of the time
Share an experience
There’s a reason social media is huge. People love sharing and, as it turns out, they aren’t too shy about doing that with the whole world! In the right context, a shared experience can really personalise your headline, like this one:
Most women don’t feel relaxed about facial hair
Here, the copywriter has left the headline open to be resolved in the subhead or opening body content:
You’ve probably thought about growing your business
Ask a question
Questions and challenges fall into similar territory. Some of the best power headlines are questions. But writers always treat this territory with caution. Ask anything to which the reader can answer No and your communication dies there and then. Here’s a couple of well written examples:
How to you fare in this kitchen hygiene test?
Which one of these advertising mistakes do you make?
Solve a problem
I know, I know … it’s marketing 101. But so many businesses look past the customer need and write ‘all about me’ headlines. Customer is king (or queen). All your copywriting should reflect how your product or service fulfils customer needs.
These copywriters have tapped the target market psyche beautifully:
Great news for PMS sufferers
How to double your power to learn
Last … but not least, reassurance is a powerful motivator. Almost every buying decision is emotive. Connect with a desire to feel safe, healthy, clever, rich etc.
More beautiful than you ever imagined
Sales results guaranteed or your money back
3 take away tips
- Compelling headlines attract readers with powerful benefits.
- Some of the all time best headlines are questions.
- Always, always write communication that solves the readers need.
Most business owners get them every day. Unsolicited emails about the ‘one true SEO tactic’. Tada! Inbound link building. Yes, you can buy links by the thousand … and yes, you can do that cheaply. But is it a smart move?
All links are good links
Let’s just come straight out with it and say, not so. All links are not created equal.
Search engines use inbound links to establish site credibility and influence. That’s why page origin, context and anchor text are important. But there’s more. As much as authority site back-links help online performance, low quality in-links can cause harm. That takes the form a site demotion.
Many purchased links are of the low value ‘no follow’ variety originating from poor authority sites. That means search engines never arrive at the linked content. Often, these low authority links are simply ignored anyway.
Will a few low quality links cause your site to be demoted? Probably not. But is it worth the risk? Here’s an idea … concentrate on quality link creation from the outset.
Content is king
This old chestnut has been doing the rounds for ages. It is true sites with lots of topical content do well. That’s not because they create masses of web content. It’s because they publish interesting, relevant material.
Authoring masses of web content is not the goal of any online business presence. Engaging visitors and converting prospects is. You do that by adopting web copywriting conventions and gaining attention with appealing web content.
Why? Because content isn’t king. Your customer is.
On site SEO doesn’t matter
Without on page SEO, search engines only get half the picture. Just think about this logically:
- Why do search engines trawl websites? To discover what they’re about.
- How do they determine that? By crawling the web content.
- Why do they do it? To decide site relevance to given search terms.
Information architecture, SEO copywriting and optimised code all contribute to helping search engines understand your website context. Flying without on-the-page SEO isn’t a strategy, it’s shooting yourself in the foot.
Page titles and meta tags don’t matter
Yes they do. But not just for the reason you might think.
OK, search engines place less emphasis on this data than they used to. But they aren’t irrelevant. That’s point number one.
More importantly, think about what shows up in a search engine results page. Bells and whistles if you said the page title and meta description. These two pieces of content need a deft copywriter’s hand. Why? Because they have the biggest influence on click through. And that’s a fact.
There’s no such thing as too many keywords
Oh yes there is. There are two reasons you really don’t want to go there.
- Firstly, intense keyword repetitions detract from the quality of the read. That’s another way of saying appalling copywriting that visitors don’t read. Of course, that means they don’t engage or buy either.
- Secondly, search engines actually don’t like this practice. There’s even a name for it. It’s called keyword stuffing. It’s actually a good way to cause negative impact and get your site demoted.
High Google page rank is the goal
Winner! Page one position one gets the most traffic. But do they convert? What if capturing a coveted high organic search rank doesn’t reflect in your bottom line?
If your SEO campaign is solely about driving traffic, you need a rethink. Any effort your business puts into online marketing has one clear goal. To make sales.
You do that with great copywriting and presenting compelling web content to visitors … once they arrive.
3 take away tips
- Look out! All inbound links are not created equal.
- Web content isn’t king. Your customers should be.
- You’re not winning if high search position doesn’t drive sales.