Category

Copywriting

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 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.

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.

The AIDCA copywriting model

By Copywriting, Selling No Comments

The AIDCA copywriting model will help you to get better response:

1. Headline or opening line gets Attention

2. Product description generates Interest

3. The offer / proposition produces Desire

4. Guarantee / reassurance gives Conviction

5. Call to action Action generates sales

AIDCA can be used throughout the promotional mix.

Have you tried this model? Did it work for you?

Nigel provides copywriting training.

The magic of marketing message repetition

By Copywriting, Marketing strategy, Psychology No Comments

How many times should you repeat your key messages?

The answer is at least three times.

If you send out a marketing message once, you will be fortunate if 1 in 3 people see it.

So you would have to send it three times to have any hope at all of everyone seeing it.

However, more messages are being sent out than ever before.

So 3 is not enough.

21 is more like it.

Should you try to get your message across via one medium?

Almost always, the answer is no.

Use an integrated mix of promotional techniques to get your message across.

Focus on a tightly defined target market, in order to generate maximum message repetition.

Could you write 100 words per day?

By Blogging, Copywriting, Internet marketing, Writing No Comments

Typewriter. Photography by Nigel Temple copyright appliesWriting all of those ‘marketing words’ can be a challenge, can’t it? Business owners and marketers are already working flat out. How are they going to find the time to get the writing done?

Make writing a habit

Here is an idea for you. Aim to write 100 words, every day. 100 words isn’t very much is it? You may find that once you start, that you can exceed this target. If you write every day about your business and your products or services, your brain will be working away in the background about the subject matter, even when you are not aware that it is doing so.

250 words is sufficient for a blog. So if you were able to write 100 words, 20 days per month that amounts to 2000 words, or eight blogs per month. Alternatively, you could think in terms of four 500 word blogs (i.e. one per week).

My first book was 19,000 words long. If I had used the 100 words per day approach, it would have taken me under 10 months to write. As you can imagine, upping the word count target to say 250 words per day turbocharges everything.

You will find it helpful if you are reporting to someone about your writing output. If you work within an organisation, this could be your manager or a colleague. If you work for yourself, could a family member help you out? As the saying goes:

What gets measured, gets done*

In conclusion, setting a target for yourself really works. It used to be said that it takes 21 days to form a new habit and the other day I heard that it takes 60 days. Even if it takes as long as this, with regards to writing, it will be well worth it.

*There is some debate about who coined this phrase, some say that it was the management guru Peter Drucker, whilst others quote Lord Kelvin.

Extracted from ‘How to Write Words Which Generate More Response’, soon to be available via Amazon Kindle. Here is Nigel Temple’s Amazon Author page.

Nigel provides copywriting training services.

Writing for the Web tips and ideas

By Copywriting, Training, Webcopy, Writing No Comments

The Marketing Compass logoHow many websites do you visit, during a normal working day? How long do you spend looking at each site? Website visitors go foraging. Information foraging is an art which people learn when they use search engines. Some may say that they are lazy. Darwin would have said: “Why waste additional energy if you don’t have to?”

Clear thinking leads to clear writing

Are you clear about:
►  Your subject matter?
►  Who you are writing for?
►  Your objectives?

In a world where many of us have become content publishers, effective webcopy writing skills are in great demand. Here are some tips and ideas for you, based on on my experience so far…

Become your reader

When you are writing webcopy, focus on the reader. Write as if you were writing for one person. Use the word ‘You’ as much as possible.

Use ‘You’ four times as often as you use ‘I’ and ‘We’.

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

Structure your content

You have one second, so make it count.

Website visitors are busy, just like you are. They have limited time and will only give you a moment or two to convince them to continue reading.

10 years ago, I used to tell my seminar audiences that they had four seconds. Five years ago, it was two seconds. Today, you only have one second to get the readers’ attention.

What goes through their mind, both consciously and sub consciously, within a second?

“Does the design look professional?” “Is this going to be hard work to read?” “What does the headline say? Does it look interesting? Is this a solution to my problem? Is it worth reading the first sentence of the text?” “Can I easily find what I want?” “How do I contact them to find out more?”

Signpost your content

Use clear signposting. What does this page offer the reader? Begin by arresting the reader’s attention. Then keep hold of it. Start by telling them what’s in it for them.

Give reasons to read

It is a good idea to use summary paragraphs. These act as ‘advertisements’ for the next section of text.

Give them the big picture

Give the reader the big picture for what lies ahead.

Think about the home pages that you visit. Some of them are hard to understand, aren’t they?

Extracted from Webcopy Writing by Nigel Temple

Copywriting training for digital marketing communication