Entries Tagged 'online marketing' ↓

Boosting Your Marketing Engagement

What sort of marketing do you do?

  • Social media – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc.
  • Blogging
  • Video marketing
  • Email

What is the one thing that each of those need to be successful?


Every piece of marketing you produce must make a connection with your audience and that means thinking carefully about what you say and how you present it.

Here are 5 ways you can make your marketing more engaging.

1. Them not you

How many times have you seen a Facebook page, Twitter feed or email that’s all about the writer and not about the recipient.

Constant sales messages, promotions and pointless links are annoying. They don’t tell you anything about the company (other than they place their importance way ahead of anyone else’s) and certainly nothing about why you would want to deal with them.

By engaging and putting out messages that don’t involve selling – i.e. offer tips, advice and great information, you will begin to establish trust and give potential customers a reason to care about your brand.

That means focusing on what your customers want.

2. Questions

Asking questions is the best way to boost engagement. Although you can ask through social media platforms and surveys, a more intimate approach will work better.

Why not consider having a small networking gathering at your office for some carefully selected individuals? Perhaps a dinner or event (wine tasting?) will help you engage and get to know them.

Both approaches will not only give them a chance to get to know you better, they also offer valuable market research potential so you can make sure you continue to give your customers what they want.

3. Respond

Although asking questions is great, you mustn’t forget to answer them too.

With social media it’s very easy to get caught up in everything and miss the questions you get from your followers. There’s nothing worse than having your tweet, post, or blog comment ignored, so make sure you have someone manning those channels so nothing is missed.

If you get asked the same questions a lot, why not compile them into an FAQ page?

Just an idea.

4. Audience participation

The best way to drive engagement with the content you produce is to involve your customers in the creation process.

Use them as case studies or use their experiences to compile a blog post. You could even encourage them to add photos of them using your products to your Facebook page.

5. Don’t be a one trick pony

Written communications are all well and good, but don’t lose sight of the fact that people engage differently. Some may prefer audio or video content too, so offering a mixture will widen its appeal.

6. Be human

It’s widely believed that when you’re marketing your business it has to be very impersonal and corporate.

It’s a myth – the best way to engage with your audience is to inject some personality into the mix. Add a few personal updates and tweets to they can get to know you as a person.

As the above has shown, engagement is about getting to know your audience and customers. That kind of connection generates one of the most valuable commodities in business – trust.

How do you go about generating engagement? Do you use any innovative techniques? If so, leave a comment and share them with us.


Sally Ormond, copywriter and founder of Briar Copywriting Ltd. She also loves blogging, tweeting, cycling and the odd chilled glass of Pinot Grigio.



Engaging Through Web Design

Clarity – copywriting – images – scanable text – clear navigation – easy on the eye engaging through web design

These are just a few things a successful website needs. Although the title of this blog post is ‘Engaging through web design’ it will delve deeper to look at the elements of a successful website, including web copy, layout and colour.

Let’s start at the beginning.

Plain English

When someone lands on your website (assuming they are English) their eyes will automatically be drawn to the top left and scan in a left to right motion, from top to bottom.

The first thing they’ll want to know is that they’ve arrived at the right place. That’s why your company name and strapline must be at the top of your website. After that there should be some well written words highlighting what you can do for them – yes, afraid so, this isn’t the place for a long essay on how great your company is.

It’s essential your opening gambit is powerful as this will determine whether the visitor will remain on your site to find out more, or navigate away to find another website.

But powerful doesn’t mean ridiculously complex words and sentences in an attempt to show your intelligence – it won’t.

What it will do is show you as a company that is far more interested in its own importance than it is it’s customers. That’s why you should always use plain and simple English to get your point across succinctly.

Clear navigation

The ability to easily navigate around your website is vital to enhance the user experience.

For example every website needs an “About Us” page so the user can learn a bit about the company they may be about to do business with. The name “About Us” fits this purpose perfectly. So why then do you find websites that use other, more obscure names for this page?

If you have a page that talks about your services, call it the “Services” page – it’s not rocket science.

By keeping your page names simple and obvious your visitors will be able to find their way around your website with ease – don’t make them hunt for information.

The other aspect of your navigation is to keep it to a minimum. There’s nothing more frustrating than landing on a website that’s full of hyperlinks – how will your visitor know where to click? Make sure your navigation is clear and simple to make moving around your website as intuitive as possible.


Earlier we mentioned the importance of using plain, simple English on your website, but you also need to make sure that it’s laid out in such a way that reading it is effortless.

The best way to achieve this is by including plenty of white space on your page. Taking this post as an example, you can see that I’ve used lots of short paragraphs and sub headings to help you, the reader, find the information you need.

The white space breaks up the text making it appear easier to digest. But it’s not just layout that you need to consider, colour also comes into play.

Have you noticed the number of websites these days that are using grey text on a white background? Yes, they look very modern, but for some readers this can pose problems because of the lack of contrast. Try and stick to high contrasts, like black on white, to make it easier for people of all ages to read what you have to say.

Prioritise your information

As with everything in life the most important stuff should come first.

When laying out your text, prioritise the order in which it will appear with the main benefits first leading on to the features and finally any other supporting information you have.

This will make sure the reader is hit with the important facts (the benefits) first, which will ultimately help them make their buying decision.

If you leave these until the end, you run the risk of losing them before they reach them.

As you can see, an effective website is a lot more than just an eye-catching design. Every aspect of your site, from its content to it’s images, layout and navigation, will have an impact on its success.

Take a few minutes out now to look at your website. Does it tick all the boxes, or is there room for improvement?

The Art of Marketing Delegation

This is it.

The New Year is almost upon you, so it’s time to take stock and stop kidding yourself.Marketing delegation

You’ve been working like a Trojan all year and your marketing efforts are starting to pay off. But because your activities have been pulling in more customers, your workload has increased making keeping up with the marketing really difficult.

Every week it’s the same; day after day you’re the one working late desperately trying to get all those blogs scheduled and articles written. You’re the one eating lunch at your desk as you try to keep up with your Twitter feed and Facebook comments.


Because either

  • You are the business owner and don’t trust anyone else to do it, or
  • You’re the only one daft enough to have shown a bit of gumption about content marketing and social media and knew enough about it to give it a go

Well now’s the time to stop – get off that eternal hamster wheel.

You have a perfectly good team around you, so it’s about time they started pulling their weight too.

Marketing a business has to be a team effort, so don’t be put off by their ‘but I won’t know what to say’, or ‘what shall I write about?’ excuses – if you can do it, so can they.

Yes, it’s time to delegate.


The most common reason not to blog is not knowing what to write about.

Tosh – for a start, anyone in your company that deals with customers should have a shed load of stuff to write about. Just think about all those queries and questions that come their way – instant ‘how to’ guides.

What about all the advice they offer – perfect ‘top tips’ material?

How about issues customers have and the way you, as a company, resolve them – ideal case study material.

See, there’s no excuse – everyone in your team should be contributing at least one article a week.

Social media

Before you delegate your social media activities, make sure you have a social media policy in place so everyone knows how they should react to comments, what they can and can’t say etc.

Then you just need someone to monitor your Twitter and Facebook accounts so that all comments are responded to in a timely manner.

But make sure they understand the importance of building relationships and that they engage with your followers and fans; providing a stream of interesting and relevant tweets and status updates will boost your company’s visibility.

By the way, if you think by delegating all this stuff you can take the year off, sorry, it doesn’t work like that.

All this regular activity is going to be driving more business your way, leaving you to do what you do best – sell.

Remember, no one is Superman or Wonder Woman – by spreading the workload you’ll achieve your goals much faster, you’ll be less grey, far calmer and will also get to enjoy lunch away from you desk.


Sally Ormond – overworked professional copywriter, blogger and social media addict

Website SEO – Structure

Over the years I’ve written a lot about search engine optimisation (that link will take you to a series of posts covering everything from keywords and on screen optimisation to link building and dodgy SEO practices that should be avoided), but mainly in relation to on screen SEO copywriting.

This post looks at the other side of SEO – your website’s structure.

As this also plays a vital part in your ranking success, it’s about time I gave it some coverage. However, a word of warning, I’m not a web designer or coder, so this is all stuff I’ve picked up along the way (i.e. it won’t be really technical).

I guess a good a place to start is your website’s navigation.


Q: What is the purpose of your site’s navigation?

A: To help your visitors find their way around your site easily and for the search engine spiders to crawl your site easily.

Did you see that? The word ‘easily’ featured twice in that sentence – that should give you a clue as to where this is going.

There are 2 main things to say here: the first is that your navigation should be coded in such as away that it’s easy for the spiders to crawl it (i.e. not in Flash or JavaScript); secondly, think about how deep your website is.


Depth is basically a measure of how many clicks people need to make to reach the inner pages of your website. The more layers they have to click through, the harder it is for them to navigate.

People (and search engine spiders) like to find the information they need quickly and easily and don’t take kindly to having to dig deep to find it. So, if possible, make sure your website only has a maximum of 3 clicks to find the information needed. This will help your rankings (in conjunction with your other SEO activities) and reduce your bounce rate.

That’s why it’s vital you plan your website’s navigation and structure from the outset rather than just letting it evolve.

Internal linking

The depth of your site thingy is OK if you’re a relatively small company, but what happens when the size of your business demands a big website?

That’s where good internal linking comes in to play.

There are 2 types of links relevant to SEO:

  • External backlinks – those than point to your website from one unrelated to your site
  • Internal backlinks – links that connect pages within your own website

Why is it important to link between your own pages?

Well they have a number of SEO advantages: such as decreasing the number of clicks need to access information deep within your site (benefiting the spiders and readers); giving you the opportunity to use keyword rich anchor text links; improving user experience.

So, whenever you add a new blog post, page or article to your website, make sure you use relevant anchor text links to link it to other related information within your website.


The last item on my list is your URL structure.

Using your keywords within your URL structure will definitely help your SEO, so make sure all your sub-pages use keywords relevant to that page.

Not a lot more to say about that one.

Over to you

That’s a very quick, non-techy perspective on website structure and search engine optimisation.

So come you on techies out there, what have I missed out?

If you can offer some nuggets of wisdom, leave a comment below and enlighten the masses.

Tools to Help You Build Your Email Subscribers

Email marketing is an incredibly effective marketing tool, but it can also be one of the fastest ways to ruin your business’s reputation.  Builnd your email subscribers

If you blatantly send out emails to thousands of random people who have either no prior knowledge in your company, or interest in what you do, you will be labelled a spammer – not good.

But, if you take the time to build your own email marketing list from people who have opted in to receive information and offers from your company, then you will be providing them with information they want to see – and that is good.

Of course, building your own list takes time, but if you are a WordPress user, there are a few tools you need to be aware of that could help you grow your email subscribers.

Recently, my attention was drawn to a useful post on the Socialmediaexaminer.com site that takes a look at 7 WordPress plugins that can be used to grow your email opt-in list.

They look at:

  • Pippity customised popups
  • Hellobar
  • Comment Redirect
  • WP-Leads
  • OptinSkin
  • Gravity Forms
  • DiggDigg

You can see the full post here – 7 WordPress Plugins to Grow Your Email Subscribers.

So pop over there and have a look.

Growing your email subscribers is a great way to promote your business safely and get your content shared across the web, widening your reach out into your marketplace.

Over to you

Do you have any further tips on how to grow your email subscribers?

Perhaps there’s a different tool to those mentioned here that you use and have had success with.

Leave a comment below and share your experiences.