Category

Writing

Is writing still important?

By Copywriting, Writing No Comments

In a world full of images, photographs and videos, text still counts. Text is a major driving force used by search engine algorithms.

Today, when someone wants an answer, they are likely to Google it. The words that you have written online may well serve as the answer to their question.

As well as helping people to find you, text sways opinions about countries, enterprises, brands, products and services. It can come in many forms including web pages, landing pages, blogs, social media content, online adverts, e-newsletters and push notifications.

Having the ability to write clearly and engagingly will serve you well in your career and in your life. Having the ability to convey an idea from one mind to another in written form will always be a sought after skill.

“Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.” ~ Leo Burnett

Nigel provides digital copywriting training services.

LinkedIn content ideas

LinkedIn content ideas

By Copywriting, LinkedIn, Social media No Comments

What should you write about in LinkedIn?

Are you ever stuck for LinkedIn content ideas? Here are some ideas for you:

* Blogs that you have written.
* Case studies describing how customers have benefited from your products / services. People love stories and they remember them.
* Client / customer information and news.
* Events that you are running including open days, open courses, webinars, in-house workshops.
* Exhibitions, where you are exhibiting.
* Exhibitions, where you are attending as a visitor; you can tell your network and ask whether anyone else is attending.
* Feature announcements: you don’t have to wait until the next product launch.
* Images containing numbers / statistics displayed in interesting ways.
* Industry news (i.e. the industry that you work in).
* Job postings (full time, part time).
* LinkedIn questions, ‘Can someone tell me how I do this…..?
* LinkedIn tips and ways of getting more out of LinkedIn.
* Milestones including 1 year, 5 years, 10 years etc that your business has been trading and personal milestones (“I was surprised that, between us, our management team has been working in this industry for XXX years. Some of the changes we have seen include….)
* Photographs including customers using your products / services in interesting ways.
* Predictions are always interesting, as people want to know what is happening next.
* Podcasts, new.
* Products that you sell: tips and ideas for getting the best out of them.
* Products that you are launching.
* Public speaking engagements for yourself / colleagues.
* Research that you have produced.
* Services that you provide: tips and ideas for getting the best out of them.
* Services that you are launching.
* Thought leadership pieces.
* Trends for your industry and the products / services that you market.
* Videos that you have created. Either one-off or a series. They can be short, i.e. one minute or less, or much longer. Yes, I know that many people say not to post long videos, however, if the subject and delivery are interesting, you will be surprised at how many views they receive. It is said that videos work five times better than other forms of content.
You can either post brief ‘status’ updates or articles, which can be long form (i.e. high word count).
* Photographs including customers using your products / services in interesting ways.
* Predictions are always interesting, as people want to know what is happening next.
* Podcasts, new
* Products that you sell: tips and ideas for getting the best out of them
* Products that you are launching
* Services that you provide: tips and ideas for getting the best out of them
* Services that you are launching
* Trends for your industry and the products / services that you market
* Videos that you have created. Either one-off or a series. They can be short, i.e. one minute or less, or much longer. Yes, I know that many people say not to post long videos, however, if the subject and delivery are interesting, you will be surprised at how many views they receive. It is said that videos work five times better than other forms of content.

You can either post brief ‘status’ updates or articles, which can be long form (i.e. high word count).

Nigel Temple provides LinkedIn training.

Are you using the word ‘you’ sufficiently within your copywriting?

By Copywriting, Writing No Comments

When it comes to marketing copywriting, don’t write about yourself, your product, your service, your enterprise or your brand the whole time.

Replace the words ‘we’ and ‘our’ with ‘you’ and ‘your’.

Your copy will become more engaging for the reader.

Use the word ‘You’ as much as possible.

It is difficult to overuse this powerful word.

A good test is to go through your copy and count the number of times that you have used the ‘we’ words.

Use ‘You’ four times as often as you use ‘I’, ‘Our’ or ‘We’

When people read your copy, it will come across as more personal and engaging.

Reference: Copywriting – using the word ‘you’ ….within The Marketing Compass Encyclopedia

How to structure your knowledge

By Internet marketing, Marketing strategy, SEO, Writing No Comments

If you are a subject expert, you may have written a single book, several books or a series of blogs. You may have slide decks, course handouts or articles that you have written. You have probably answered questions via email and during meetings.

The information surrounding any given subject is continually expanding and you may have considered creating a knowledgebase, wiki or encyclopedia.

For some time, I have been in this position and I have looked at a number of ways of achieving this. Finally, I opted for a premium WordPress plugin called Enclyopedia Pro.

Here is the project so far:  The Marketing Compass Encyclopedia

There is a long way to go, as I have several thousand entries to add.

I am finding that this project is making me think about my subject area (marketing) in new ways and how everything fits together.

There is an SEO benefit from publishing your knowledge.

Personally, I do not have any problems with sharing my knowledge. I wonder whether you feel the same?

Too many browser windows open?

By Internet marketing, Learning, Software, Success, Technology, Writing One Comment

Do you find that that, as your working day progresses, you end up with dozens of browser windows?  I used to have so many that I would have several different web browsers on the go.

Station can be downloaded for use on your computer. It is free to use and it enables you to work with several hundred apps such as email, accounting, online storage, MailChimp, social media accounts (i.e. LinkedIn, Twitter), Skype and many others (about 300 in total).

The result is that your website browser is much less cluttered. In addition, you can search across multiple apps within Station and move from one app to another in a variety of ways.

Station groups all your pages by app, automatically.  You can turn notifications off, when you need to concentrate.

No more getting lost in 50 open tabs. Decision making speaker and NavigatorPlus member and decision making speaker David Knowles-Leak kindly brought this to my attention.

Visit Station’s website here to find out more and download the app.

This story first appeared in my marketing tips and ideas newsletter. You can subscribe here.  “Your newsletter is the most useful I have ever subscribed to!” Steve Munden https://ibizify.net

How to write better headlines

By Copywriting, Webcopy, Writing No Comments

Given that headlines are the entry point to the rest of your copy, here is a challenge for you.  Get up a little earlier tomorrow morning and write 10 headlines. Then do the same thing for the next 21 working days. This could be for a website page, a blog entry, a social media item, an advert, an email subject line or any other sales or marketing item which includes a headline.

When you write, do not try to edit your copy (words). Just write. If you find that you write more than 10 headlines, that’s fine, however ensure that you are writing at least 10 and no fewer during each writing session.

During my copywriting training workshops and talks we always discuss headlines. Focus your attention on the first 2 or 3 words as these are the most important. The reason being that the eye reads in ‘chunks’ and the reader will process the first words of your headline.  They may already be making a decision with regards to whether they will continue reading. It is a bit like your smile when you meet someone – it is the first thing that they see and they may well smile back at you.

It is OK to write long headlines, in that the reader will usually read the whole sentence. Check out advertisements and count the number of words that they put in their headlines. Sometimes it is only a few words, sometimes the headline is much longer.

Headlines are a big subject and, because I don’t get out much, I have been studying them for over 30 years. An effective headline can work wonders, by the way and entice the reader to continue reading – just like you are now.

Having written 10 headlines, go and do something else. After at least an hour has passed, come back and look at them. Sometimes, the best one jumps out at you. If you work in a team ask your colleagues to vote on your headline ideas: you will be surprised with the results, I am sure.

I know that you are busy. You may be a business owner or marketing professional. I am sure that your ToDo list never ends. Even if you are lucky enough to be able to outsource your copywriting, I still think that it is important that you contribute ideas (including headlines).

I have found that little and often beats big and infrequent, when it comes to writing and this is true for headline writing.

As you know, Google likes content including headlines (wrapped in H1 tags within the html).  Writing headlines will give you ideas for website pages and blog entries. You can also experiment with split A/B tests to see which headlines work the best.

I realise that writing words for websites can be a big challenge, which is why I offer this service and provide training in this area.

So, will you take me up on my challenge and write 10 headlines tomorrow?

Here are 26 ways to write better headlines.

For support and ideas, either comment on this blog or engage with me via The Marketing Compass website where we have a Copywriting Group.

Website navigation bar tips

By Internet marketing, Webcopy, Websites, WordPress No Comments

Imagine that you are looking for a specific product or service that you market. Now take a look at your website. Does your navigation make it easy to find the relevant item? Is it easy to understand? Is everything in the right order?

Here is a simple navigation bar:

Home
About
Services (or Products)
Blog
Contact

Notice that there are only 5 options.

in general terms, fewer is better.

An upper limit would be 9 items.

Use drop downs to reveal other options.

Ensure that the menu works well on smartphones and other mobile devices.

If the customer hasn’t visited your site before, they will be looking for something. If they can’t find it quickly, they will disappear.

Visitors will spend a few seconds looking for what they’re after. If it is buried or difficult to find, you’re making them work too hard and they will go elsewhere.

My first book was about writing words for websites. During the research for this book, I looked at hundreds of website navigation bars.

By the way, there is a trend away from navigation bars altogether. Here an example: www.marketingrobot.co.uk

Website development

You have 1 second to convince customers to stay on your website

By Webcopy, Websites No Comments

Imagine that you are seeing your website homepage for the very first time.

The website has  1 second to convince you to ‘stick around town’.

Two types of people visit your site: strangers and friends. Strangers include people who are looking to buy and friends include customers and people that know you.

They are busy. They are on a mission. They want an answer to their question or a way to solve their problem and they want it now.

Online, first impressions count.  The customer’s heart will either sing or sink as they look at your site.

How many customers are you losing, by not passing the ‘1 second homepage’ test?

Website development

A copywriting tip leads to activity and connection requests within LinkedIn

By Copywriting, LinkedIn, Social media No Comments

Yesterday, I posted the following copywriting tip within LinkedIn:

“A contact has updated their website with new wording. I noticed that there are some typos. I have found that if I point out grammatical and punctuation challenges, the changes are made and little learning takes place. So I gave this feedback: “There are a few typos on the homepage. I suggest that you read the webcopy out loud and slowly. When I lead copywriting workshops, the delegates are amazed by what they pick up, when they do this.”

I was quite surprised by the amount of feedback that it received. At the time of writing this comprised:  7 Likes, 4 Comments and 572 Views (scroll down to see a screenshot). Nothing to write home about, you may say, but not bad for a short social media update.

As you can see, the update comprised a tip. It was concise. As people began to comment, I responded to their comments.

This morning, I have had 2 new connection requests within LinkedIn and several new notifications. So I have posted another tip, this time on MailChimp training.

LinkedIn is a big subject and they have a habit of moving things around, don’t they?

~ Nigel Temple provides LinkedIn training for professionals and sales teams ~

Write from the customer’s perspective

By Copywriting, Psychology, Webcopy, Writing No Comments

During my copywriting training workshops, we have been discussing ‘becoming the customer’ during the writing process.

Before you begin a new campaign, write a Brief. This should include the campaign objectives, specific goals, the target market and the benefits of the product / service that you are marketing.

Then imagine what it would be like to be the customer that you are communicating with. How can your product / service help them? Do they know that they have problem that you can solve? What sort of benefits and proof are they looking for?

Perspective taking is different from empathy. It is the ability to see the world from someone else’s point of view.

Being able to write ‘with the customer in mind’ can make a considerable difference to the quality and effectiveness of your web pages, blogs, newsletters, videos and PPC advertisements.