Content marketing

What to Do When You Don’t Have A Budget For Content Marketing

Is the communications budget the first thing to get chopped up during your organization’s budgeting process? Everyone may agree that communication is key to success—in theory—but have a hard time allocating cold hard cash to the concept of paying for content marketing help. Maybe you could use another staff person or some new equipment, but will funding these line items have the same effect on your organization as well planned content? We know it can be difficult to explain how investment in content marketing actually frees up resources to help fulfill other needs in the organization.

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Here’s some good reasons to find funds for content marketing from different budget areas.

Content Marketing Benefits The Whole Organization: Get Other Departments To Kick In Funds   

Content marketing is an integral to your communication plan because it focuses your messages and gives you a plan to follow whether it’s your website, social media or printed documents.

Strategic communication involves the entire organizations. When your company has a good reputation you make more sales, ship more products, take more calls—keeping staff busy and generating revenue. This means you keep departments active and you can legitimately ask for money from other relevant departmental budgets.

Here’s 5 Common Budget Areas That Can Fund Your Content Marketing Needs:

  1. Your Website. It’s the most frequented source of information for your clients or potential customers. Content Marketing in the form of Information Architecture means you can focus on the content you’re creating based on a plan for how your online content can better serve your customers. Saves you time struggling with what to promote and where, plus it will make users act on their website visits;
  2. Your Sales & Social Media Marketing. We love SMM, but do we know if we’re doing it right? Your sales force may be better suited to one on one customer service rather than deciding which tweet and Facebook post is going to generate more business. Content Marketing can help you use social media as an effective sales tool.
  3. Your Marketing & Public Relations. OK, you know your business language and you talk the company line to customers every day…and they get it, right? Maybe not. When you get comfortable with your messages and your unique business-speak you can be leaving out a big part of your consumer base because they’re just not sure what the heck you’re selling. Use clear language in your marketing to get your message understood (…psst this is Content Marketing too)
  4. Your Media Presence. So to make your story interesting, you have to have a hook. The hook not only applies to your potential customers but also to media types who will give you free publicity if the story is good. You can make your story good with Content Marketing.
  5. Your Content Marketing Knowledge. The best laid content marketing plans can fall slip through the cracks if you can’t maintain your communication momentum. Sustain your content marketing strategy in-house, make sure you and your staff know how to use the tools (like WordPress or LinkedIn and Twitter) long after you’ve gone live. Staff training on website content creation, social media and even business blogging, is, you guessed it, content marketing.

Start your next budget meeting armed with these examples and talk to your colleagues about how content marketing really is an organization-wide financial responsibility and benefit.

Here’s Another Significant Way Investing In Content Marketing Can Save You Money Long Term

You may have heard the phrase “content is king”. And, even though any content you create for your business is beneficial to you, Pillar Content gives you the best bang for your buck. Why? Pillar content is how we describe the content you can use over and over again because it is so relevant to the key ideas your communicating regularly that you can reference it any time from any medium.

Stockpiling pillar content saves you time because once you’ve created it you don’t have to keep coming up with new angles. Pillar content stays relevant and you can use it to complement new content without having to rewrite the message. And, yes, a good content marketing plan can help you create this valuable resource too.

Still wondering why you should go through the effort to budget for content marketing? Find out where your money goes when you outsource to professional copywriters.

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More visitors to your page means more potential online sales. Here’s a FREE infographic to aid in boosting your online exposure. Learn SEO copywriting techniques so you’re found online first.

e8d91bf4-fead-4036-9198-a54b950cc5e5 What to Do When You Don’t Have A Budget For Content Marketing

Should You Put Prices On Your Website?

Everybody wants to know how much something will cost them whether they can afford it or not. Good content marketing says you need to answer your customers’ questions. So regardless of your product or service—and how cheap or expensive potential buyers might think it is—put some prices on your website.

I read a blog by Marcus Sheridan, former pool salesman now marketing thought leader, the Sales Lion. And what he said made sense. To paraphrase, he suggests that…potential customers are going to ask how much it costs within the first few minutes of contact. So why not address the question of price on your website, even if you can’t answer it with a fixed value?   Sounds reasonable right?

3 Reasons To Put Your Prices On Your Website

  1. It will increase your SEO ranking. With the evolution of search engine optimization you need to include phrases you know your potential customers are searching for. Take advantage of the many online searches that start with “how much does (blank) cost?” When you fill in the blanks on price customers will find your business faster.
  2. You’ll spend less time trying to sell to people who will never buy. People searching for your service might have some idea what it costs or they might have no idea at all. Give potential customers the opportunity to decide for themselves whether to contact you (they already know what they can afford or are willing to pay). Then you don’t waste their time (and yours) on fruitless pitches when they’ve really only made contact to get a price and nothing more.

    Hubspot stats say conversion rates increase by 27% when prices are included on your website.

    3. You’ll gain respect from consumers. Show you’re confident in the quality of your services, have proof of its value, and aren’t embarrassed by asking for what it’s worth. If you feel you’re asking too much: are you undervaluing your service to beat competitors or do you know it’s not worth it?

To ease into putting prices on your website you can start here:

  • See what others in your industry are doing. It’s always a good idea to know what the competition is up to anyway. So if they put prices on their website, you should too. And if they don’t, you still should just so you stand out in your industry online.
  • Know your target audience. If you’re marketing to people you think can’t afford your services, you need to re-evaluate just who exactly you’re selling to.
  • Use a range, even a wide one. No service cost is completely cut and dried; there’s add-ons and discounts that can increase or reduce the actual cost.  Consumers know this and will be happy to at least have an idea of the cost before they decide to contact you.

Is, to price or not to price still your question?  Get a website content audit and consultation to help you better understand how your website content, including your online pricing practices, is helping or hindering you sales. Plus, read how you nurture a relationship with your customers after you connect with them online.

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Paying for Content? Outsourcing To Professional Copywriters

Get rid of the notion that you have to do all your marketing content yourself: you don’t and you shouldn’t. Sometimes being too close to the message or trying to churn it out between other obligations does more harm than not saying anything at all.  Good marketing content takes a lot of effort and it’s not a process you can complete alone. We’re the experts and we can’t even do it at the level we’d like unless we give it to a dedicated person. When you pay into a content marketing content partnership you are paying to outsource the responsibility as well as the talent to get the job done (without draining your budget). We, as copywriters, have one job—to produce quality online content for you.

Why Good Content Marketing Doesn’t Start With The Writing

The actual written content happens near the end of the content marketing process. First you need to understand your audience and what they need. Not many organizations, especially non-profit, have the capacity to hire a dedicated staff responsible only for marketing content.  It takes time and focus to produce thoughtful content that engages your audience, not turn them off. This is why outsourcing to professional copywriters will benefit your business.

5 Steps to Good Content Marketing When Outsourcing To Professional Copywriters That Will Help You

  1. Brainstorm: Tangible Words Copywriters take the time to learn your business and define what messages are important to your target audience. This is when you can refocus and improve your message to better market your organization.
  2. Plan Now: is when you take what you learned from the brainstorming session and turn it into a content plan and communications strategy (CPCS). A plan removes the daily burden of trying to decide what you need to focus your efforts on so you can just do it.
  3. Schedule: You can use an editorial calendar to help you release content regularly at the right time using the right tools to best reach your target audience. It’s so much easier to focus on scheduled content needs and chip away at them in a strategic way.
  4. Write: After you’ve planned and scheduled, copywriters can write concise, simple language pieces for you like blogs and articles or press releases and sales letters without the burden of outdated words and ideas clouding the message.
  5. Post :You can do this part on your own. But, Tangible Words can help you decide which platform is best for the message and your target audience. We can provide a website information architecture or social media tool creation so all you have to do is copy, paste and post.

Get piece of mind and a professional writing support (without the long term commitment) to help you make your communication relevant, engaging and dynamic. This will help you win over your audience and please your bosses because the work is done on time and on budget without taking you away from other tasks.

Here’s More Ways Outsourcing to Professional Copywriters Help You Meet Your Marketing Goals

  • Trained Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Writing: We’re good at writing SEO content that gets you noticed online to reach your target audience and build your reputation.
  • Objective Messaging: We can be objective—something that can be difficult to be when you’re in the environment every day—and freshen up your message to generate new interest in your organization.
  • Social Media Expertise: Tangible Words specializes in online content and we keep current with the latest online tools for marketing and social selling (so you don’t have to). We can explain to you and help you decide if these tools are the right fit for your target audience.

Take 10 minutes to tell Tangible Words what you need and we’ll tell you how Tangible Words can help.

Learn Ways to Be Found Fast and Sell More Online. Free Infographic

More visitors to your page means more potential online sales. Here’s a FREE infographic to aid in boosting your online exposure. Learn SEO copywriting techniques so you’re found online first.

e8d91bf4-fead-4036-9198-a54b950cc5e5 Paying for Content? Outsourcing To Professional Copywriters

Marketing Your Rural Business: Personal Touch and Connect Online

In the first article, ‘Country Goes Viral: Marketing Your Rural Business‘, we discuss tools that can connect with your customers online. In this article we will look at understanding your customers and how they like to connect with your business to insure your success as a rural business owner.

Know your customers and how they connect with your rural business.

Knowing your target audience makes writing your sales content easier and more effective. Try to reach your customers using the methods they prefer, be it social media, your website or printed flyers and brochures.

“But remember, all these customer engagement options can be rendered completely useless quickly if you alienate, confuse or misdirect in your content. To avoid these pitfalls define your message then present it clearly, consistently and concisely regardless of the media you are using.”

An E-newsletter Well Planned Can Be Exactly How Your Customers Want to Hear From You.

Electronic newsletters let you link the information to more detailed copy elsewhere online, like your blog or social media pages to keep your audience engaged and better build your brand. Informative content sent regularly creates a following for your rural business. Loyal readers will then share your e-newsletter thus build your audience. This is also a great way for your customers to get information or tips without having to talk to you directly which is important when they aren’t ready to buy.

Contact management tools, such as MailChimp and Constant Contact, let you track who is opening your e-news and what they’re looking at. Use an editorial calendar to plan your e-news content to easily keep it current.

In Canada, be aware of Anti-Spam legislation and ensure you comply. Getting consent to email newsletters is not a barrier it ensures you’re reaching a customer base who wants your product or service and not wasting time on those who don’t.

Keep the Human Factor in Your Sales Plan.

Face to face meetings with your customers is a good idea even as a rural business. Plan to meet at least once during your relationship and try to see them when they ask to see you in person. Complement a face to face meeting with a dynamic presentation using a web based software, like Prezi. Prezi allows you to easily create and share persuasive multimedia visuals and content to highlight your rural business without the paying for costly software or dealing with finicky presentation tools.

When travel is not an option, there are ways to connect from anywhere. A webinar is an online information session or meeting that you can participate in or host from your computer, tablet or smart phone. Products like Webex offer a free basic service to help you see your clients and present visuals, share documents and answer questions in real time at your customer’s and your convenience. This is a fantastic way to help with marketing your rural business.Alysha-Rural-Business-300x169 Marketing Your Rural Business: Personal Touch and Connect Online

If you are interested in attending one of Tangible Word’s webinar series or perhaps you are looking to run a Content Marketing Workshop in your office, please contact Alysha at anytime (1-855-287-3311).

Or take a look at why Alysha Dominico, CEO and Founder of Tangible Words ‘I Left the City‘ to go rural.

 

How To Plan Your Email Marketing Campaigns & Generate Qualified Leads

Email marketing is still an effective way to reach interested buyers. You can keep your emails out of your recipients’ trash folder when you pay attention to four essential components of successful email campaigns.

Find out what word you need in your email subject line to guarantee a higher open rate, plus:

  • What B2B marketers use most to generate more sales,
  • How your email campaign increases your sales leads,
  • Who you should be sending your emails to regularly.
8ffcf1f4-e56d-4f60-8de2-8c671f3a6b11 Marketing Your Rural Business: Personal Touch and Connect Online

Does Your Tourist Destination Website Attract Visitors?

In case you missed it, in the past two articles we discuss Marketing Your Tourist Destination and Helping Nature Seekers find Your Tourist Destination online. These should provide helpful ideas on starting to effectively market your tourist destination online.

But is your tourist destination website lacking the simple information that is essential to limit frustration for users and potentially turn them off your tourist destination before they’ve even stepped foot through the entrance.

Make These Updates to Your Tourist Destination Website Right Now and Help Your Audience Get the Information They Need:

  1. Up-to-date information especially for things like hours, fees, and program schedules. Even if they stay the same, refresh your headings and events to reflect the year. Users won’t risk wasting time to visit and find dates and times have changed. Go ahead change everything to 2015 as soon as you’re done reading this blog article.
  2. A contact link that actually makes contact with someone. If you are not going to respond to emails or social media messages after hours let users know before they fire off a question that won’t get answered until Monday morning.
  3. If you have trails or a large site put your maps online so people can be prepared and plan their day before they arrive. Look for easy to use tools from Google to get started on interactive maps to replace static image files.

You can learn how to engage those users and better promote your destination online. If you are interested in discussing how to revamp Sign up for the Tangible Words e-news and receive Content Marketing Advice and a Free 7-Step Customer Engagement Course to Better Your Business Online.

Do you want to attract tourists to your Ontario region with unique and captivating content?

All the money you’ve spent on your website is wasted if you don’t have the right content to help tourists choose your Ontario Region. Download “How To Fix Your Website Content To Attract Tourists to Your Ontario Region” and learn:

  • How to use your website to build your relationship with your target audience.
  • Understand What Your Website is Communicating When You’re Not Around.
  • Why Your Website Turns People Away, And What To Do About It…
  • The 3 Reasons Investors will choose you.
23e209eb-7aff-4bd7-ab1e-badc8d3b83f2 Does Your Tourist Destination Website Attract Visitors?

A Beginners Guide to Marketing Your Tourist Destination

You have an amazing tourist destination that “has something for everyone”. You’re sure this place is so amazing that families will love it, your grandma will love it, your dog will love it and…well, you get the point. Sounds amazing, right?

Yet, while you probably do have a great destination with broad appeal do you really know who would and should visit? And how those visits can turn into regular visitors, word of mouth referrals and great reviews?

You’ve probably heard it before, know your target audience. And, before you think, well, everyone is my audience you know that’s not quite true. There will be some people who won’t want to visit your site, ever (gasp).They’re just not into it and that’s okay. Cross them off the list of potential visitors you need to market to.

Concentrate on the types of people you’re confident will enjoy what you have to offer.

Here’s 3 Easy Ways To Start A Target Audience List For Marketing Your Tourist Destination:

  1. Recognize your regular visitors. Look at your statistics (these can simply be guest books, pass holders, or staff knowledge of who’s on site regularly).Marketing to this group means appreciating their loyalty with discounts on admission or special offers or insider information. Whatever you can offer that will benefit them and let them know you are aware of their loyalty to the site.
  2. Use your unique feature to draw specialty groups. Do you have a rare wildflower, multi-use trails, or cultural artifacts on site?Connect with special interest groups who are already passionate about your unique feature. Tailor the message to appeal to them when they’re searching for exactly what you have.
  3. Understand your neighbours and what draws tourists to your area. Are you close to a major waterway, a unique landmark, or interesting cultural feature?Share in the successful marketing feature of your area. Mention the greater region on your website, in your newsletter and promotional materials. Help people make the connection and consider your site even when they may be travelling in the area for another reason.

So, to reach your target audience first: recognize the people who already visit, attract people who are interested in your unique offering, persuade people visiting the area for another reason to visit you. Focus on these groups, help them enjoy their visit and you have created a positive new marketing tool—happy visitors—to complement the Other Products That Build Your Business.

And, remember strong marketing does not mean it happens overnight it means you have thought about your audience and how to connect with them, please them and create a reason for them to return. Now that you’ve learned how to define your target audience get help to keep them interested, sign up for Tangible Words E-news for monthly tips, tricks and advice to manage your content marketing.

Do you want to attract tourists to your Ontario region with unique and captivating content?

All the money you’ve spent on your website is wasted if you don’t have the right content to help tourists choose your Ontario Region. Download “How To Fix Your Website Content To Attract Tourists to Your Ontario Region” and learn:

  • How to use your website to build your relationship with your target audience.
  • Understand What Your Website is Communicating When You’re Not Around.
  • Why Your Website Turns People Away, And What To Do About It…
  • The 3 Reasons Investors will choose you.
23e209eb-7aff-4bd7-ab1e-badc8d3b83f2 A Beginners Guide to Marketing Your Tourist Destination

Content Marketing Workshops for Your Organization

  • Do you have staff who need to learn how to write and manage your company’s content marketing?
  • Are you a CEO or manager who wants to learn more about the potential of content marketing for your organization?

Did You Know The Canada-Ontario Job Grant Can Help Your Organization Or Business Get The Training You Need?

The Canada-Ontario Job Grant allows training for your current and new employees and up to 67% will be covered by the Canada-Ontario Job Grant. Here are some of the Content Marketing Workshops that you could send your staff to.

“Many of our clients have returned for a second, or third Tangible Words’ workshop – a true testament to the quality of information being presented.”KEDCO

Choose Your Custom Workshop—your dates, your location:

Top 10 Ways Your Organization Will Benefit:

1. How to Strengthen Your Website, And Prepare Your Organization For The Future2. Learn to Use WordPress for Strategic Communication3. The Right Way to Integrate A Business Blog To Your Website (& Make it Sell For You)

4. Building Loyalty: Your Social Media Hub

5. Relationship Nurturing: Keys to Better Email Marketing

6. How To Present Confidently to Business Colleagues, Peers, and Prospects

7. Introduction to Writing Copy for In-House Writing Teams

8. Workplace Grammar Program (*Also Available for English Second Language Learners.)

+ Reduce Long-Term Cost and risk of dissatisfaction with your new website (minimum $5000 saved).+ Synchronize your team with Best Practices Leadership in online communications.+ Get your prospects saying: “Great website – easy to use.”+ Gain immediate control of the world’s most popular website and blogging CMS software to increase adoption with your staff.

+ Reduce risk of miscommunication with website developers.

+ Let professional content serve you, your users and Google.

+ Get a team of writers to manage your sales tools and strategic communication.

+ Eliminate the stress, difficulty and time loss of trying to SEO copywrite your new webpages.

+ Have your staff learn how to write for online relationship building, marketing and sales.

+ Get a crash-course on speaking so you never fear sharing your knowledge in presentations, sales calls, and ‘on the spot’ elevator infomercials.

For more details, please visit the Content Marketing Training Programs.

“Tangible Words gives LTKC clients all the tools they need to succeed for website content development, digital strategy and successful WordPress software use.” – Chuck O’Malley, Corporate Account Manager, Loyalist Training and Knowledge Centre.

The Growth of a Business Blog

Do you ever wonder how many business blog articles you have actually written? Do you remember when you first started?

There are times when you sit down to write a relevant, unique, interesting business blog article and find it hard to find inspiration on that day. Today is that day for me (Yes, even a website copywriter can feel that way!) with the sun shining and the lake sparkling, all I want to do is go dive in for a swim.

So I decided to get inspiration by look back at where we started and honestly couldn’t believe my eyes to see that we started our Tangible Words Business blog in 2009.

So the question is: Are the Business Blog articles still relevant today?

Well I have collected a few below and ask you, our audience and the people who matter the most – what do you think? In 2014, do you find these articles easy to read, helpful, and relevant to your business?

Help us with our next milestone – hitting 300 business blog articles – what topics do you want to see?

Canada’s Anti-Spam Laws (CASL) – Do you Need To Panic?

There has been a lot of talk about Canada’s Anti-Spam Laws (CASL) coming into affect on July 1st, 2014 – but the real question is: does your business need to do anything different?

Our copywriting company has received a lot of emails the past two weeks with this general sentiment: “Opt in now! If you do nothing, we’ll kick you off of our list.” Hmm…this might not be the best approach. These businesses may be following the ‘next bad idea’ and truncating their list when it may not be necessary. Here’s why…

Copywriting Best Practices for E-newsletter Content Strategy

Firstly, as long as your business has been working with an email service provider like Constant Contact or Aweber, and you’ve followed their recommended process to build your list (what Tangible Words has always recommended) then everyone on your list should have already given you explicit (e.g. filling in a form) or implied consent (e.g. verbal) to receive your e-newsletters. Make sure to keep your records of any forms that gave you explicit permission.

Secondly, Businesses have 3 years to get permission for any ‘implied‘ consent. Why not call up your list members – creating a great sales opportunity – and talk to them about whether your email content and services are a good fit? If you’ve been trained in Sales like our Copywriting team has, you know this phone call could lead to great sales conversations, now and in the future — and isn’t lead generation the whole point of your e-newsletter anyway?

Are you a Business who didn’t get permission to add people to your Business E-newsletter List?

It seems to me, that basically the new CASL laws exists so that from now on everyone will be forced to use a mail provider like Constant Contact, instead of using Outlook.

Or CASL might finally stop those ANNOYING “low skill networkers” who go to an event, palm a bunch of business cards who they then load onto their E-newsletter list without asking permission (Very Rude, and a great way to prevent any relationship from blooming). On a side note diatribe: this is perhaps the world’s greatest content Marketing #FAIL. If you don’t understand that content marketing is about nurturing relationships  (not destroying them for solipsistic self-promotion), you simply should not be forcing your “non-content-marketing” down the throats of every puking recipient. Get a content strategy that works, call up your list members and see if they’re into what you can offer THEM—WIIFM, right?

So Hooray for industry changes: CASL is a ruling for laggards. It’s kind of like the new Google algorithm which forces people to use copywriter best practices instead of blackhat SEO. All of Tangible Words’ clients were already compliant.
But the worst reaction, most panicky, ill-advised reaction to CASL is to send them a one-time email saying, “Click or I’ll drop you.” It’s a well-known fact about e-newsletters that not every recipient opens and reads each issue. So get permission, but don’t only give them one email they might not ever see!

Instead, why not rebuild and strengthen your list in a relationship-building manner

A personalized needs analysis phone call to each company is one awesome prospecting idea. If somehow you don’t have the phone bandwidth to speaking with everyone on your list (maybe consider hiring a sales desk team who can – ask Alysha for a referral to an awesome sales desk in Ottawa) than how about a sales-friendly reminder at the top of your next issue saying, 
“We think you’re on this list because we have a relationship and you’re interesting in learning more about [insert content strategy of e-newsletter]. But if we’re wrong, you can “unsubscribe” here at any time now, and in the future.”

Now that we’ve covered CASL’s purpose, in the next article we will discuss a 9-point CASL summary so you can get CASL compliant if you aren’t ready.

Website Written by a Website Copywriting Company – What’s the ROI?

If you consider yourself something of a writer, you know there’s a difference between “grammar” and “style.” The writing style that should be used in your company website content and business blog is radically different from any style of writing you will have practised before, unless you’re a professional trained copywriter  (which is rare, given the low number of copywriting courses available. Writing for your online audience requires an in-depth understanding of how people read and interact with content online.

You must be able to wield a style of writing that juggles:

  1. SEO-focussed content
  2. Non-academic writing techniques
  3. Copywriting knowledge of how people read
  4. Graphic Text for online skim readers
  5. Benefit-focussed content
  6. WIIFM-focussed language
  7. User-friendly and “sticky” layout of content 
  8. Target audience focussed content
  9. Considerable Sales and Marketing Knowledge

What’s the Return on Investment (ROI) for using a Website Copywriting Company to Write Your Company Messages?

Here’s proof that a qualified website copywriting company can get you the results you want. Tangible Words clients are always looking for their website to be a strategic communications tool, quite often to turn the website into the sales tool it should be.
Yesterday one of our clients, Quinte Economic Development Commission (QEDC) forwarded us an email from a prospect who was entering the sales process through the QEDC site. The prospect was a member of the target audience, and we designed the site’s content architecture and navigation with their needs in mind before copywriting the website content to go with it.

After their experience on the website, the prospect was motivated to contact QEDC – one of the key goals of the site was to increase contact points. Furthermore, the prospect wrote in their email,  “Great website – easy to use”.

So not only did QEDC receive an inbound marketing request for sales contact, but they also created such a positive experience with their target audience through the website’s content architecture that they strengthened the relationship, communicated their values and made an excellent impression on their prospect.

Isn’t that how you want every sales experience to go?

You will too can get a Return on Investment (ROI) by hiring a good Content Marketing company who leads many website redevelopment projects each year and knows exactly which pitfalls  to avoid – like going to a web developer instead of a copywriting company first when you need to revamp your website.

What did we do for QEDC’s website?

Here is the Case Story on “Aligning Your Website Words With Your Company Strategic Communications Goals”. If you aren’t sure how your company can benefit from using a Content Marketing Company or Website Copywriting Team, give us a call (416-779-7407) or take a look at other Case Stories to see services we have provided.

What did QEDC have to say about the Copywriting Process completed by Tangible Words?

Checkout the testimonial from CEO, Chris King – “Tangible Words offered Professional short and long-term strategic communications and content marketing…”

 

 

How to Stay Focused On your Customers: WIIFM Explained

For a long time we’ve been purporting in our content marketing workshops the concept of WIIFM. Here’s a recap of the definition in case you missed it.
WII.FM – “What’s In It For Me?” And as someone once said to me, that’s the radio station to which we’re all attuned. What’s In it For Me is an acronym to make sure that all marketing and sales teams are focused on their customers’ interests first – not self-interests. So instead of talking about your company, you need to keep your messages and language focused on the motivations of your target customer, and what their interests are.
In an online marketing world, we’re used to typing in “Cucumber, sausage, tomato” and getting some kind of functional recipe up on page 1 of Google. Type in a few keywords, get the result you seek.  I like to call this expectation the “On Demand Expectation” –  it’s an expectation we bring to every website we visit. The internet is successful because of it’s ability to allow us to self-serve information of all kinds. You can be completely selfish—solipsistic–from behind your computer screen – and we like that.

So anyone who is reading your content online is going to come to your content with this ‘on demand’ expectation. And this has 3 implications for your website content:

  1. They want to be able to recognize themselves and their questions in the layout of your site, so they can get on the path of delving deeper into your information.
  2. They want to feel secure that your company is 110% dedicated to serving the customer’s needs first.
  3. They expect that you will communicate consistently with them so that at all times you are focused on the consumer’s motivations —not the company’s motivations.
But the thing is -it’s really hard to stay focused on your customers’ interests all the time. I mean, we’re attuned to WIIFM too – nearly all sales people find it hard NOT to think about themselves when they are selling. I was reflecting on this this morning and it occurred to me that it’s one thing to know we should focus on the customer, but how do you stay focused on their interests when you feel like you have your own objectives and targets to meet?
I feel like sales teams and marketing teams (who are paving the road for sales) need to really have some sort of mantra so that they feel they can stay focused on the customer.
Jill Konrath, author of SNAP selling and Selling to Big Companies,  uses the acronym “SNAP” to signify how you need to communicate with your sales prospects at all times. For Konrath, staying focused on your customers is as easy as “SNAP”
  1. Simple
  2. iNvaluable
  3. Aligned
  4. Priority
#3 Aligned is the best point on the WIIFM scale in my mind, because it addresses the need to really keep your message aligned with the prospect’s goals.

So how do you do this when you are communicating? Here’s the process we use at Tangible Words to ensure we are running a customer-centric organisation:

  1. When I’m speaking with a client I try to concentrate on really being a good listener, and showing that I care by acknowledging what they say to me. When I was in Teacher’s College at Queen’s University, I was really moved by Nel Noddings’ book, Centre of Care. She talks about how important it is to acknowledge others – to show them care, concern, and to really acknowledge their presence. I used this philosophy throughout my teaching career, and still do in content marketing workshops, and I use it still in sales conversations. In this way I feel like I am staying present with my customer’s issues and being focused on what they are looking for. In content marketing, this means having an excellent profile of your three target audience segments and laying out what their desires, goals, concerns and motivations are so that you can predict the kinds of things they’d say to you, since you’ll be writing to them before they have a chance to speak back.
  2. However, WIIFM is about even more than listening to your audience’s interests – it’s about always making sure that you are communicating in terms of value the customer can expect from your product or service. You can think of it as “benefits” they can expect from your product (read more about explaining your benefits). Of course, it helps if you’ve listened to them first so you understand what things they consider valuable and can speak to those.
  3. The third way to focus on customer-centric messaging is to make sure your customers have the experience with you that you want them to have. A good place to look first is your website content – is the information organised around your prospect’s interests, or around your company’s interests? You want to strive for the former. So instead of creating your content based on what you OFFER as a service provider, focus your content around what they are looking for – once they recognise themselves in your directional text, they will get on the path to self-serve the information they want from your website (e.g. your knowledge, or making a purchase of your services). It’s a simple thing, but if the experience on your website is bad, if it feels clunky or “too hard”, you aren’t showing customers that you are focused on them – you are proving that you are too disorganised internally to really care about how you make them feel. None of us want to be sending that message.
So these are some simple things we do to “live and breathe” What’s In It For Me (WIIFM) while we preach it. Do you have any further recommendations for staying customer-centric in a digital age? Please share them with your fellow readers using the Comments function below.

An Awesome Example of Content Marketing & How to ‘Bend’ Your Images

Linked In served this up to me today and I immediately wanted to giggle – which is an awesome reaction for content marketing. Here an ordinary article is talking about an ordinary topic, “should you leave your job” – but the image they’re using so perfectly lends itself to the topic that it brightens the topic and makes the content marketing article doubly effective.
Who didn’t enjoy the Office Space character of Milton? My friends and I spent an entire year saying “I could burn down the building” after seeing that movie. His character was ridiculous and magnetizing.
LinkedIn-social-media-image-300x269 An Awesome Example of Content Marketing & How to ‘Bend’ Your Images
So, to put in a photo of such a character, disgruntled with his employment, as the image complement to your article “unhappy with your workplace” is pure genius. It’s called a ‘bent photo’ in advertising and it’s far more effective than just putting up a photo that duplicates the content.

Top Tips for Improving your Content Marketing Based on this Awesome Example:

  1. Choose a photo that complements your content. So if your article is “Don’t text and drive”, most people would choose a photo that explains the headline. However, a cartoon, or image of a person driving into a tree will be more (*ahem*) “striking” to the audience.
  2. Don’t be afraid to borrow from pop culture. I get tired of people advising others to “be funny” in their content marketing. It’s such lame advice because most people aren’t “stand up comic” funny – and that’s normal. A better piece of advice would be “show your sense of humour” in your marketing materials. You might not be the originator of the joke, but your ability to cite someone else’s “Funny” still puts humour into your article and builds a sense of community with your audience, in that you laugh at the same jokes.
  3. Always use images to complement your social media posts. Images make the 140 characters stand out more, so stick an image in as much as possible — even if it’s just an image of a quotation (words) it’s still ideal to have one in all of your social media posts, like Linked In, Twitter and Facebook.
What are your favourite examples of content marketing? Leave a comment below of ones that stick out in your mind.

“Tangible Words conceptualized how to foster trust with my audience.”

My website’s homepage copy has to drive traffic to my online store. I struggled to build trust with website visitors on my homepage, and give them all the information they needed to trust my product. Tangible Words conceptualised what points needed to be there to foster online trust with my audience and SEO copy wrote the content I needed better than I could do on my own, saving me time, patience, and a headache.”

-Alexis Reid, Founder, Eco Chic Movement

“Knowing which strategic content marketing tasks to tackle…”

“Knowing which strategic content marketing tasks to tackle in sequence is critical for the Ontario East Economic Development Commission (OEEDC) . Tangible Words created a Communications Plan and Content Strategy to help our Innovative Rural Opportunities Sector Team organize our ideas, consult industry research and better understand how to separate and satisfy the differing needs of our target audiences. Now we’re using Tangible Words’ easy-to-follow Marketing Tools Calendar to forecast our budgets and make sure every marketing message will be aligned with our Communications Plan. Tangible Words even worked to an aggressive timeline we required for funding.”

Shelley Hirstwood, Board Member, Ontario East Economic Development Commission (OEEDC)

The Most Powerful Twitter Task You Can Do Today for Your Business

We’ve written about Twitter a few times on the Tangible Words Blog, but not a lot lately, and that’s for a very good reason.

 

Most of you know that in 2013, Tangible Words went through the same website redevelopment process we lead our clients through. And recently, I wrote about the ABSOLUTE NECESSITY of realizing your website is the hub of your content marketing (which includes social media marketing, ahem.)

 

For Tangible Words, 2013 was all about redeveloping the website for user-friendly navigation, optimal interaction, clarifying our services, and continuing the steady stream of good ideas and thought-provoking content for small and mid-sized companies through our blog. We also changed our e-newsletter strategy a little bit, but made sure that our content strategy, editorial calendar and content policy (frequency, posting process) etc., were all in good shape – and working hard for the company. (Your content marketing is like a hard working sales person, and if your content marketing isn’t helping you make sales, we need to talk).

Methodical Approach To Content Marketing

Many of you have heard me say at our Content Marketing Program workshops that content marketing really is the main source of most of our leads. And while we’ve been on Linked In, Facebook and Twitter for years, it’s always been front of mind that social media marketing is usually done poorly instead of well because people forget to make sure their website content is SEO copywritten, navigation-ally sound, and bursting with great information before they start, and stop, and start, and stop at their social media.The end result is that the sales process gets broken sooner than it should, like this great e-newsletter that broke the sales cycle.

 

So speaking from experience, as well as knowledge about the industry and what these tools are supposed to do for you, we recently took the time to review our social media marketing strategies and content policy for each social media tool, and with our website, blog and e-newsletter leading the charge, we’re now into the new phase of content marketing, using new tools. The result? We’re getting great results because the content marketing strategies and cornerstone tools are already established. So now it’s easy to use these tools for business and meet our high expectations: Twitter Counters, Likealysers and Linked In post engagement have shown exciting metrics – but more than that, our strategy is allowing us to have genuine, helpful sales conversations with our prospects – which we really like!

All of this boils down to what we promised in the headline:

“if you’re using Twitter, here’s a wonderful thing to do for your Twitter account to start using this tool more effectively for sales: go through your Twitter following list – find key accounts and put them on a “List”.”
If you don’t know how to separate your Twitter peeps into lists, I found some great resources online to show you how:
  1. Social Media Today has a great article that shows you Simple Steps To Create Twitter Lists on the Twitter web browser.
  2. The Twitter Help Centre’s article about Using Twitter Lists shows you some added functions of Twitter lists, like how to message a list at once.
  3. And if I don’t convince you about the benefits of using Twitter Lists in this article, you should read Tom Durby’s post on #Hashtags.Org “How Do You Benefit From Using Twitter Lists?”
The wonderful thing about separating your Tweets into lists, is that it prevents you from going onto Twitter and seeing “NOISE” instead of immediately knowing with whom to engage. When you don’t know where to start on Twitter, you often default to the “I’ll just broadcast my latest blog article- because this is too hard” setting and that’s not necessarily great for building relationships (if that’s all they ever get from you) and it might not be an awesome return on your energy because SOCIAL media is about building relationships (and relationships are how you make sales).
Lists help you engage more efficiently and more meaningfully with your targets. I’d suggest you make at least 3 lists – you can make new ones as you go.

3 Twitter Lists To Make Today To Build Business Relationships and Make Sales:

  1. Clients – you should be following and engaging with your clients on Twitter, they love to feel the love and it’s a great opportunity to show who you’re working with to the world.
  2. Prospects – put all the people you’d like to build relationships on a list so you know who to connect with.
  3. Competitors – keep track about what other people in your industry are doing, it’s a great way to find opportunities and get stronger as a company.
I use Twitter a lot for Professional Development, too, so I also made a “Learn” list of people who help me stay on top of best practices for website marketing, and those who create content I might want to share like Infographics and statistics.

 

I’ve also found that there are a lot of really FUNNY people on Twitter, so I made a “Fun” list – for when I want to have a good jolly giggle to break up my day or someone else’s.

 

You can make lists private or public so that Oscar The Grouch doesn’t get alerted that you put them on a list, and also because these lists are really just for you: to make your Twitter experience more business-y and less messy.

When’s the Best Time To Start Putting Your Tweets Onto Lists?

It took some time to separate my tweets onto lists, so you might want to multi-task while watching a webinar or talking to someone on the phone. It allowed me to really clean up my Following list to make sure no matter which tasks I’d be switching between on a daily basis, whenever I got to Twitter, I was thinking proactively and able to follow my content strategy for Twitter.
From now on, whenever I decide to follow someone, it will be with my Lists in mind – because I know neither you nor I have time to lose with social media and content marketing. We need these amazing business practices to be a process we can follow almost absent-mindedly in our daily work, but that completely align with our over-arching business goals.

Building Your Business: Improve your Website Content Seminar in Ottawa

Join Tangible Words and Sales Professionals of Ottawa on Tuesday May 13th at 11:30am for lunch and a seminar on:

Building Your Business by Improving Your Website Content

How can you better manage your website information to keep clients engaged and to reassure prospects? Here’s a website content seminar in Ottawa to help you transform your website into a powerful sales tool. Learn and apply 5 strategies to make your website content compelling to prospects. Understand how people read online, and discover how to share your expertise all under the guidance of an e-literacy expert, website copywriter and trained facilitator.

You will leave the Website Content Seminar in Ottawa with:

  • An Understanding of your target market.
  • Headings and subheadings that work more effectively.
  • Content focused on your customer ( WII.FM ?)
  •  Guidance on language and online writing styles.

BONUS inclusions for this Ottawa seminar:

  • 21 Articles To Help You Improve Your Website Content’ E-book
  • ‘The 7 Steps to Improving Customer Engagement’ E-Course

Date: Tuesday May 13th, 2014
Time: 11:30am – 1:30pm
Location: Clocktower Brew Pub, 418 Richmond Road, Ottawa, Ontario

Register today: https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07e95ax483e54e82aa&oseq=&c=&ch=

Content Marketing: How To Remove Your Fears & Use Social Media

It occurred to me this morning that I’ve been using social media for nearly over 14 years, and while I’ve been running a content marketing company in Canada and Australia for 4 of those years – I’ve only just started using three of the world’s biggest social media platforms in the past 6 months. Here’s why…

When I first started using social media – it wasn’t called that.

I think it was only after the success of MySpace, that Facebook appeared, then Twitter, Linked In — and then the types of social media tools just exploded and a new term was needed.
Remember MSN Messenger?
Before all of that, we only had MSN Messenger – very popular with the University and high school crowd—and their parents. MSN was initially as a social chat tool (and a wonderful distraction to doing what you were supposed to be doing, in my case, English essays at Queen’s University). But the desire for sharing more than just a conversation with a few friends was already there. And many people (myself included) made the tool even more “social” by changing our names frequently to inside jokes, moods, or song lyrics to communicate what we were doing in one conversation with the people on our list who weren’t in the conversation. Back then, the only public element you could control was your name – you couldn’t broadcast anything other than text, but you can see the desire for that social connection was there.
What about MySpace?
While I missed out on MSN’s successor, MySpace (I actually was doing my University homework that year during my Bachelor of Education, and working very hard as a new teacher), I was an early adopter of Facebook. As a high school English teacher in Australia, I always felt my claim to fame was that I was on Facebook before my students (because it was popular with my Canadian friends before my Australian ones).

Business Blogs and Newsletters are Social Media Marketing, Too

Business blogging, however, has always been a key part of Tangible Words’ content marketing. Most people forget that blogging is actually a form of social media marketing; sharing ideas—content—to engage (intrigue) audiences across the internet = the definition of social media marketing. E-newsletters another social media tool Tangible Words has always used as a cornerstone of our social content marketing.  (Many of you have heard me refer in Tangible Words’ Content Marketing Programs to the first company Vicky and I started, Leading Out, whose net value was increased by the effective use of our blog for SEO and user trust.)

Sharing ideas—content—to engage (intrigue) audiences across the internet
= the definition of social media marketing..”

Getting Tangible Words’ blog and e-newsletter frequently publishing current, effective content to assist our SEO and increase user trust has been Tangible Words’ biggest marketing focus for the first three years, and it’s only in the last six months that we’ve started tackling new platforms. (And we’re a content marketing company!)
But we want our content marketing to be effective, we want to do it well, we want to make sure we have the resources to continue to do it well—and we want our content on all our social media platforms to prove who we are: a team you can trust to manage your content marketing and increase sales.

You actually don’t have to get on social media – you have to fix your website content first.

So it’s with a bit of a head shake that I listen to people saying “You have to get on social media”. You actually don’t have to get on social media – you have to fix your website content first. Second, you have to have a content strategy for which social media tools you’ll use, what kind of content you’ll share, what you expect to get out of the tools, and a content policy for who, when, how often you’ll share your content. It’s actually Step 3 that gets you onto social media. Skipping the first two steps means when you get to Step 3 you won’t have a good time.

It doesn’t matter what anyone else says – talk to entrepreneurs who have built and sold companies before, they know best – you won’t have BUSINESS success with social media unless you do steps 1 and 2 first. In particular, pivotal to your success in content marketing online is the content strategy for how you will use that social media tool (i.e. what kind of content will be relevant to share, what audiences are you hoping to attract, and how will you define success?) and your content policy (how frequently will you post, who will be responsible, what kind of account will you set up, etc.).

The Case for Starting & Stopping Social Media Marketing

The greatest problem with social media marketing is that there are 100s of tools you can use, and most people go at a handful of them all at once, without really tracking their Return on Energy – until they get to a point where they burn out, they aren’t seeing the results, so they stop. I’ve always felt that stopping your social media once you’ve started is worse  than not starting in the first place – it’s kind of like going to a website that proudly puts a “BLOG” link in the website’s navigational structure — but when you visit the company blog, you see the last post was more than six months ago.
One of the reasons we have always been attracted to the internet is the ability to find nearly “real time” information.
But if your blog is older than ~six months, you are not current, decreasing your credibility in the eyes of your audience. Furthermore, it also speaks to a disorganisation or a lack of resources and perhaps, professionalism: not the kind of business practices you want to share with your audience. It’s just one more case where actions really speak louder than any words you can say to try to disprove your actions.

Overcoming Your Social Media Fears

When we started doing our Business Blogging Content Marketing Program, one of the biggest fears espoused during the workshop had to do with publishing content – who would see it, who could comment, who would control comments. That fear of publishing our own voice has really decreased over the years, thanks to the popularity of Facebook especially – an automatically installed app on practically every mobile device and because everyone and their grandma really is on Facebook now. So we’re used to seeing friends post personal content all the time, and nearly everyone dabbles in sharing themselves online now – if only through minimalist “likes” and “shares”.

But when it comes to your business on Facebook there are a couple of fears still to overcome:

  1. Audience: the people who “Like” your pictures of your family, are they the same ones who want to hear about your business?
  2. Content: what kinds of information would be relevant to sharing for your company, that would reinforce the messages of your brand?
  3. Pushy Sales: we’re all weary of self-centred sales messages. You don’t want to turn off your loyal subjects and “friends” by annoying them with what seems like spammy content it’s so far from their interests.
The solution to the first fear is your Social Media Content Policy. The Content Policy should include points like “Social Media Account Information” – you’ll likely post as a Company page and not as “yourself” on Facebook. This used to be unclear, and the iPhone Mobile app still doesn’t make it very easy, but if you go to your Company Facebook Page on your computer, you have the choice at the top to always select whether you post as “yourself” or as your “company”. So you can move between the two accounts without any fear of pissing off your friends.

Brainstorming Your Content Strategy

I’ve found that a lot of my friends and family are interested in the same stuff my company is interested in, they just wouldn’t recognise it unless I package it in an interesting way. It’s important that you do interest your family and friends on Facebook first, becuase that’s one of the key ways to really grow your online presence—start with the people who already know and like you, and use them as warm door knocks. But the essential point is that you have to really make the link to your content and their interests obvious. Here’s where your social media content strategy takes care of fear #2: sharing content that helps (not hurts) your brand.

 

The content strategy takes a lot of creative thought, and it’s best to do that thinking before you start using the tools themselves, and get in the trap of overcommitting to social media. I’ve found that Jonah Berger’s book “Contagious” was really helpful for giving an awesome T-Chart to use as a template for brainstorming “contagious” content. His 6 STEPS of Contagious content give you a place to start for what kinds of things you could talk about that would be interesting to other people.

I’ve also found a personal brainstorm to be helpful. For most small businesses, your company brand starts with who you are.So with Tangible Words, we started with “what people like about Alysha” in her social circles and at workshops, and we made another list of content ideas based on traits that showed Alysha’s personality, and we’re using that to build the Tangible Words Facebook brand and Linked In as well. You also listen to what your clients are asking you about and then brainstorm idea on what interests your clients because at the end of the day, they are who you want!

Strategies that seem a natural fit with your Social Media Marketing. 

The final fear can also be managed in these steps as you discover that who your company is, may be hard sales at the end of the day, but what makes people want to work with you is the relationship you extend. So sharing content based on your personality allows people to come to understand who you are and what they can expect from you—fostering trust through social media.

Putting it Altogether For Social Media Marketing Excellence

Once that Content Strategy is established, and you’ve brainstormed content across the types of tools you’d like to start using: then you return to your Content Policy regarding the frequency of your posts. The final step is to create a content marketing Editorial Calendar where you layout your content across your E-newsletter, Facebook, LI, Blog, etc. so it’s never a surprise what you’re writing about, and you don’t run out of content to share.
When we’re helping clients with building this content map, we’ve found using Excel with separate workbook tabs “E-news”, “Blog”, “Facebook” to be really helpful in helping the client understand what information is going to be sent throughout the social media world each month. And they don’t have to worry anymore that their content is “on-target” “on-goal” because we’ve done all the hard work of a social media content strategy and content policy at the outset of the project.
If you want to learn more about content marketing for your social media marketing, get yourself on the Tangy Words e-newsletter digest. All of the details for workshops where we explain these topics and give you hands-on time to implement content marketing theory into your business are listed in this monthly letter.

Website Copywriting and Content Strategy Case Story

Tangible Word’s served The Human Well’s clients and partners as a value-add to the service The Human Well provides. We fulfilled specific professional services needed: website copywriting and content strategy for NexXera and Natalie Richter Global (NRG).
THW-300x91 Website Copywriting and Content Strategy Case Story

Both of The Human Well’s Clients Needed New Website Content.

Particularly with NRG, Tangible Words was able to advise and follow our Quality-Assured Website Copywriting Process to ensure the content represented the company’s overarching goals. Tangible Words helped NRG package various levels of service, and design the information architecture of the website.
Not only do you get me to write down what I think but you also really believe in my company. You are not only writing the copy but you are also a coach. It is something that really makes the difference to me.” Natalie Richter, Content Partner with Tangible Words
Then, Tangible Words worked with NRG’s web development team to provide direction and feedback as to design and functionality, and assist with Content Management System (CMS) selection.

A Brochure: Content Marketing Tool Case Story

Before: Topcat (Move Management Company) Had These Problems…

  • Frustrated with trying to group services together.
  • Had a hard time explaining services to clients so they understood how amazing the company was and why the services provided were so important.
  • Wanted a brochure that quickly told prospects what they did, what they offered in a don’t-want-to-forget way so they would hang on to the brochure until they were ready to make a purchase.

After: Topcat Now Has An Effective Content Marketing Brochure

Top-Cat-Brochure-300x224 A Brochure: Content Marketing Tool Case Story

  • Tangible Words helped Topcat take stock of the company’s best (and hidden) features.
  • Next, Tangible Words created a new way to group services together to make Topcat’s products more attractive and discernible to prospects.
  • Then, Tangible Words organized the content for optimal reader-flow in trifold presentation.
  • The brochure content was copy written and two drafting stages were completed with Topcat to make sure the copy met everyone’s expectations.
  • Tangible Words also provided feedback on the design of the brochure.
  • Topcat now has a great brochure to use as a “leave behind”. And Topcat feels confident taking their brochure to client meetings to discuss packages and to take to networking functions.

How a Great E-newsletter Broke the Sales Process

I just received an e-newsletter with a headline that startled me so much, I had to open it. I got an email from Twitter Counter saying “53 people unfollowed you on Twitter”. I thought, “What the hell did I post about to deserve that?!” And had to open it even though I was in the middle of something else.

It turns out, it was just my regular Twitter Counter digest telling me the followers I gained, but they had an article showcasing a new feature that tells you how to track Unfollowers, a feature not previously available.
enews-blog-article-300x265 How a Great E-newsletter Broke the Sales Process
I was intrigued and took the required action – I clicked on their link to read more, with the intention of doing what they told me to do: turn on this new feature before I forgot about it. They used the “Offer, Incentive, Action” formula I’m always talking about in our content marketing workshops perfectly.
Their e-newsletter did what it set out to do: it got me to open the letter, read it, engage and then take action. Excellent work.
However, that’s unfortunately where the excellence stopped. The page the link took me to confused me! The email said, “activate the free Unfollowers feature”. So I thought this was a new feature in my account. Instead I was taken to a link showing all the types of paid accounts. The action I took was so disjoint from the next steps,  I quickly got out of there by clicking somewhere else, now frustrated and in a rush to find what I was looking for. I didn’t. The result?  I left their site. And not only that, but I left their site with a bad taste in my mouth about their brand.

Using the “Free” Word is a Copywriting Trick, and It Does Work.

But you have to still make your instructions clear. If they had said “on your premium account” they would have got a better sample of click-throughs by collecting buyers who were more prepared. Instead, I was so confused by the website landing page, that I didn’t even take the time to process what they were asking me to do next. I just left.
However, even the misleading language in their newsletter could have been overcome if their website landing page hadn’t relied on pictures alone! There was no text showing me what I should do, or to help me process the images I was staring at. I like pictures as much as the next person — but we still need benefit-driven text (copy) to finish the sale. Too many people think pictures are enough on websites and they let their copy slide off the priority pile.

There is no sale without carefully crafted copy.

And the sooner organisations stop thinking about their websites as a visual display alone, the sooner we will have a better internet filled with happy users going to the places they actually want to go.

And I’ll tell you one more thing about making sure you think about the words in your online messages first: you’ll stop overspending on your websites.  I come across too many organisations who are obsessed with getting a new website, they go through a massive RFP process to select a developer/designer with a BIG budget in hand—only for them to realise 3 months later that they have just done a massive #Fail (again) with their website –  it’s only slightly prettier than the last version of their site. All of the content problems of the last site were downloaded to the new site.
They had a chance to really assess how the site’s content should be laid out for user-friendliness and effective sales
—and they missed it completely by thinking they didn’t need to work with a content strategist and copywriter along the way. “OH, we’ll do the writing in-house”…FAIL. It’s like buying a new computer and installing your last computer’s viruses and data problems on to it! You worked with a design expert to get your website redone, why wouldn’t you consult the information experts at the same time? Instead, people think that because they can write a complete sentence, they understand how to put a website together. Sorry for all the emotion, but it’s tiresome watching people walk into these walls.

How well an e-newsletter and your website can team up to create an effective, awesome sales process

The experience I just had is a perfect example of how well an e-newsletter and your website can team up to create an effective, awesome sales process — and how critical it is that the campaign is well thought out. What are you really going to sell at the end of this e-newsletter? If you don’t have the user’s action path well laid out, with persuasive content along the way, you won’t be doing your brand justice, and you won’t be making the sale like you ought to.