Entries Tagged 'b2b copywriter' ↓

The Etiquette of Social Media

A beginner’s guide to social media interaction

social media etiquetteSocial media – does it strike fear into your heart?

Do you suddenly experience hot flushes when someone asks if you’re on Twitter or Facebook?

Do you have the blankest of all blank moments when it comes to starting your blog?

You’re not alone. Those that ‘get’ social media make it look effortless and will wow you with their success stories. Those that don’t ‘get’ social media will tell you it’s a complete waste of time.

One of the biggest hurdles a social media newbie will experience is working out what they’re going to say, when they’re going to say it, and how to interact with other people.

I have put together a few tips to help you on your way and to demystify some aspects of social media.

How should I look on social media?

Once you’ve set you account up, you should upload your avatar.  Some people upload company logos, others don’t upload anything and just use one of the platform’s generic images.

First off, use a photo of yourself and not your company logo, especially if you’re a sole trader. People like to know who they are interacting with. If your company is a partnership or larger organisation, try adding a photo of the person that tweets on your Twitter home page.

Use a good photo (not something that’s grainy or hard to make out), and a recent one. That way you’ll avoid the embarrassing moment when you meet face to face and you’re unrecognisable.

How do I follow people?

As you know Twitter is a social media platform where you gather ‘followers’.

If you want to control who follows you, you can protect your tweets so people have to ‘apply’ to follow you. The only problem with that is that you come across as being very secretive and unapproachable and therefore may actually put people off interacting with you.

One thing I’m often asked is what if you don’t want someone following you? Well you can block them if you want but the main thing to remember is that you don’t have to follow them back if you don’t want to.

The most important thing about Twitter is that you follow people you want to follow and that you interact with your followers. Very few people will check out who’s following you first before they decide whether they want to or not. A following decision is usually based on:

  • Who you are?
  • What you have to say?
  • Are in an industry relevant to them?
  • Are your tweets interesting?

One of the great things about Twitter is that it makes people accessible – people you wouldn’t normally have contact with. But don’t worry if not everyone follows you back. Celebrities for example don’t always return your follow.

As for whether it’s the done thing to follow your competition, why not? They’ll follow you and you can learn a lot about them from their tweets. Most people enjoy interacting with people in the same industry. As a freelance copywriter I follow a number of fellow scribes and enjoy interacting with them, exchanging stories and tips for best practice.

What should I say?

The first thing to remember is that social media channels are social – they’re not paid for advertising space which you can constantly promote your business through. If you do, you’ll become very lonely very quickly because people will get fed up with your constant spam.

Comment on other people’s tweets/posts/blogs and promote them to others if you find them interesting.  If someone shares your content by retweeting, thank them but don’t retweet their praise and then thank them – that’s bad form.

If you want to retweet something (or blog about someone else’s work), make sure you credit the original source. Also if someone does retweet your content, comment on your blog or post something on your Facebook page, thank them.

What else do I need to know?

When inserting links in your blogs, tweets or Facebook updates, make sure you always disclose whether they are affiliate links, or a link that you’ll benefit from in some way – be honest.

In the same way, if you’re writing about a client or using them within a case study etc., make sure you mention them and link back to them.

I get the interaction stuff now, but how can I promote my business too?

Blatant and constant self-promotion will be frowned upon, but that’s not to say you can’t promote your business.

Giving great information and sharing with others will show you as someone who is knowledgeable, approachable and an all round good egg.

If you have special offers you want to promote, tweet about them but not constantly.  And balance your own promotional tweets with plugs for other people.

Plus if you want to encourage people to retweet your stuff, make sure you leave room for them to do so. Tweeting something that’s 139 characters long doesn’t make retweeting very easy.

The final aspect I want to cover is the use of direct tweets and direct messages on Facebook. Promotions made this way are really annoying because you are targeting people specifically – it’s a bit like having a doormat full of junk mail all day long.

Go forth and socialise

If you’re not already on social media, do it. It’s not scary, it doesn’t have to take over your life and it can be great fun and a great source of new business too.

Using Facebook (I’m at freelance copywriting) and Twitter (@sallyormond) have been great for my business and they can be for yours too.

Feel free to follow me and ask for any pointers, I’ll be happy to help you get to grips with the wonderful world that is social media.

Oneline Marketing – Are You Really Connecting?

online marketing planMore companies are beginning to utilise the power of online content marketing. It enables them to educate, communicate and, influence readers generating a stream of new customers.

However too many understand it is what needs to be done in today’s online world but jump in without thinking.

Their lack of strategy, experience, understanding and their unrealistic expectations lead to the onset of apathy and bewilderment resulting in the misguided belief that online content marketing doesn’t work.

But as a copywriter, I have been using online content marketing to promote my business for the past 4 years and it really does work. You just have to know what you’re doing.

Get an online marketing plan

The number one mistake made by companies that launch headlong into content marketing is their lack of empathy with their readers.

They write about what they want to know about rather than what their readers want. It’s this disparity that leads to a big fat nothing in the effectiveness of their marketing.

So before you even consider blogging, tweeting or Facebooking you must find:

  • What they’re looking for
  • How they want it presented (their content preference)
  • When they need the information

How do you find that out?

There are a number of ways you can research the information you need to know –

Ask them – the good old fashioned survey either through email, blogging or just asking them face to face. Do they need ‘how to’ guides? If so, what format (eBooks, video, podcast etc)?

Analytics – look at your website analytics and see what they’re looking at. If your website has a video on it and it’s not getting any hits, perhaps your visitors are trying to tell you something.

Social media – if you‘re using social media, listen to what your customers are saying, that can give you some great clues about what their needs are.

Keywords – going back to your analytics, the data on your keywords can tell you a lot about what people are looking for, the words they use to find you etc.

If you want your content marketing to be successful you must listen to your customers and provide them with what they want, when they want it and in a format they like.

Of course not everyone will want the same things so your strategy will have to flexible. But listen, understand and then react.

What Is Conversion And How Do You Achieve It?

conversion ratesAs an internet marketer you’ve probably heard people talking about traffic and conversion rates.

So what’s your conversion like?

Do you know?

Do you even care?

Well, if you want your online marketing to be effective you need to know and care what it is. But before you charge headlong into panic because your conversion isn’t as good as your neighbour’s, you need to consider what your conversion goal is.

Your conversion goal may well be different to your neighbour’s so don’t get hung up on who’s got the biggest just yet.  First you have to work out what yours is. It could be:

  • Newsletter sign-ups
  • Order form completions
  • Brochure downloads
  • Signing up for a free trial
  • Payments

Once you know what it is you’re measuring you can start to quantify the effectiveness of your website through Google Analytics.

But before you can achieve conversion you must have traffic. The information you obtain about your website through analytics will show you the number of visitors your website is receiving every day, week or month (that’s your traffic), how long they remain on your site, which keywords bring in the most traffic, which pages they visit etc.

You may think you’re doing brilliantly with your marketing because you are getting thousands of visitors to your website every month.

Great – but is that reflected in your sales or sign ups? If your traffic has suddenly jumped, has your turnover made the same leap? If not, something’s wrong because you’re not converting.

5 reasons why you’re not converting

1. Quantity not quality

You may be getting loads of visitors but if no one is buying something is seriously wrong. The first thing to check is your keywords.

Each page of your website should be targeting a different keyword. So if you are getting traffic but there are no conversions (and your bounce rate is very high), check your keywords as they may not be attracting the right readers.

2. Your promise isn’t delivering

Again this one goes back to your keywords.

In this instance you may be using a keyword that doesn’t actually reflect what’s on your webpage. Therefore visitors are arriving at your site expecting to see blue butterfly brooches but when they arrive all they find are blue brooches.

Therefore you have a mismatch between what you’re offering your visitors and the traffic your SEO efforts is targeting.

3. Now what?

One of the most common aspects of a web copy that is missed is the call to action.

If a visitor lands on your website, finds your content relevant and interesting you must make sure you tell them what to do next.

A well positioned, commanding call to action above the fold of your web page (so it’s in their eye line) will make sure your reader knows exactly what they must do next – whether it’s to buy, order, sign-up etc.

4. Boring…

If you’ve gone to the expense and trouble of developing a good SEO strategy you need a great website to wow your visitors when they find you.

If your web site is poorly structured with bad navigation, slow-loading pages and full of annoying pop-ups your visitors will flee.

This will reduce your conversion rates and boost your bounce rate – and that’s not good.

People want to see websites that are well designed, easy to navigate and a joy to use. These features will encourage them to stay and make them more likely to buy from you, sign-up to your newsletter or complete your survey.

5. What about you products?

Of course, your poor conversion rate may have nothing to do with the design of your website or the keywords you’re using. It could simply be because your products aren’t what your customers need.

You see web design and great copywriting will get you only so far – if you’ve poorly researched your market and are trying to sell something people don’t want, they won’t buy it. If you’ve checked everything else on this list and it all looks OK, maybe it’s time to consider whether your products and services satisfy the needs of your market.

As we’ve seen, your conversion rate (or lack of it) can be affected by a number of different factors. Your keywords, web copy, web design and products and services will all have their part to play. If you want targeted traffic and a great conversion rate they all have to be firing on all cylinders.

Can You Afford NOT To Have A Budget For Copywriting?

copywriting budgetWhether you’re starting out and setting up an online presence or looking to create some new marketing materials, your success will be determined by their content.

Is your message engaging? Does it really give the reader what they want? Does is make them say “Wow, I really need that. How do I buy?

Because that’s what it comes down to – the words you use have to attract, convince and convert.

I can do that…can’t I?

As well as working with individuals and companies directly, I also work with a number of graphic and web designers. When talking to them we always end up having the same conversation—they often find it hard trying to convince clients of the need for professional copywriting.


Well their thought process follows this pattern:

I have a limited budget…

I don’t know who to do HTML so I need a web designer…

Design is not in my skill set so I need a graphic designer…

I have no idea where to source great images from so I’ll pay someone else to do that…

Writing? Hey I can write I’ll do that myself.

Big mistake

So what happens next?

Someone in your company gets lumbered with the task of writing your sales copy. Here’s the problem:

  • It is unlikely they have experience in writing sales copy
  • They take ages to write it because they don’t have the time which holds up the whole project
  • The finished copy tends to fall into the category of ‘it’ll do copy’

It is very difficult to write about your own company because you’re too close to it. To write effectively you have to distance yourself from your business and write it from your customers’ point of view. Your readers want to know how your product or service is going to benefit them. So your copy must be written for your customer.

What a copywriter will do for you

When you hire a professional copywriter they will get to know you, your business and your product/service.

They’ll put themselves in your customers’ shoes and create structured copy that addresses their needs, sells the benefits and talks to them directly.

Your website copy will be optimised for the search engines so it will attract targeted traffic. The content will convert those visitors into buying customers. And the copy will tell them what action they need to take to buy your product.

Your brochures will sell not just inform. They will convince the reader your company is the one they should deal with. No longer will they be used as a mat for their coffee cup.

Your case studies will entertain, inform and sell. Your press releases will engage and attract new business. Your email marketing will be opened, read and acted upon.

Does that really sound like a waste of money to you?

Yes we can all write, but creating eye-catching, compelling and powerful sales copy is a difficult skill to master.

So next time you are looking to create a new website or piece of sales copy, don’t try and go it alone. That piece of writing, whatever form it may take, will be the first impression the reader gets of your company – hire a professional and make sure it’s the right impression.

Don’t gamble with your company’s image.

b2b Copywriting

B2B CopywriterWhen was the last time you actually saw a business do business?

Personally, I’ve never witnessed a company pick up a phone to place an order to arrange an appointment.

In the world I live in, it’s the people that run the companies that do the buying, selling and phone calling.

Selling to business

In all the years I’ve been working as a freelance copywriter I have written copy for personal customers and business customers – B2B and B2C.

If I’d been given a pound every time a new client said “My main clients are other businesses so your copy will need to be very corporate….”

Number 1 – real people run businesses. Real people make buying decisions therefore writing to sell to businesses isn’t that different to writing to sell to individuals.

Even though your client has a corporate image and headed note paper, they still experience problems. And those problems need solving.

B2B emotion

As a B2B copywriter I know how important it is to pull on the emotional triggers. Business owners have concerns and worries the same as anyone else – and they want solutions to those worries.

If your copy blatantly disregards those basic needs, your sales message is going to fall on deaf ears.

But if your message shows you understand their problems and you have the solution that will take their pain away – you’re more likely to have a winner on your hands.

To achieve this you can employ many of the psychological triggers that you already use on your personal customers.

Keep it simple

The language you use should also be relatively simple. It is often argued that b2b copywriting should be more formal and complex because you are addressing other companies. Plus the level of management you are aiming is going to be well educated and therefore will expect something rather more ‘high brow’.

Again, don’t forget you are writing to normal people. They are also likely to be very busy. A complex, dense document is not going to look as attractive as a powerful headline, a paragraph of stonkingly good sales copy that is packed with benefits and a strong call to action.

When you next write b2b copy, remember:

  • The company can’t pick up the phone
  • Your are selling to a human
  • They still have problems for which they are looking for solutions
  • They will be time-limited so keep it short, simple but strong