Entries Tagged 'online marketing' ↓

Content Marketing – Is Quality Really Important?

With Google’s ever evolving algorithms, producing fresh content is more important than ever.Importance of good content marketing

But does it have to be high quality or will any old thing do?

If you’re outsourcing your content production, don’t let financial matters cloud your judgement, as quality will always outweigh quantity.

Not convinced?

OK, look at it this way. Everything you put out on the web is there to promote your business in some way shape or form. It may not be a blatant advert, but it will be designed to drive traffic to your website and therefore will be associated with your company.

Now are you beginning to see why quality is important?

If you’re still struggling, here are 6 points worth remembering when it comes to content marketing.

1. Reflection

As mentioned above, every piece of content you put out under your company’s name will reflect on you.

If the content is sloppy, grammatically incorrect and downright boring, it will damage your reputation.

2. Crowds

Because there’s loads of content on the Internet, yours has got to stand out if it is going to be seen. Second-rate articles will fall by the wayside, but something that’s well written, engaging and informative will rise to the top of the pile.

3. Penguin

Google is the master at moving the goal posts, as demonstrated by its constant algorithm changes. The latest one, Penguin, can sniff out bad content a mile off. It looks at the time people spend on pages, how many shares they get and bounce rates etc., making it easy to sniff out the bad stuff.

So if you want your content to perform well in the search results, it’s got to be good.

4. Longevity

Unlike print, what appears on the Internet today isn’t going to be tomorrow’s chip wrappings. Once you publish an article under your name, it’s there for life. So if it’s badly written, it will have a long lasting detrimental effect.

5. Quality vs price

Rather than swallowing hard when the copywriter you approach tells you how much it will cost for a high quality, well researched and superbly written article, consider this. If the content is good and demonstrates a compelling reason for the reader to buy your product, its value is considerably more than one written as SEO padding that couldn’t even tempt someone lost in the desert to buy a bottle of water.

6. Business magnet

In the same way that people will judge your business on your website, brochures and emails, they will also judge you on your online content.

Badly written articles and blogs won’t inspire anyone to pick up the phone and want to do business with you.


These 6 reasons are why it is vital you put quality content before price. Even if that means you put less ‘out there’, what you do put out will bolster your reputation as a quality company that offers great information to its clients.

Can you really afford to jeopardise your reputation with sloppy, substandard content?

I doubt it.


How To Go Viral With Your Marketing

“OK, this is it lads. We’re going to create a viral video for our latest project. Any ideas?”

Well, if that’s how you think the process starts to create viral marketing for your business, you couldn’t be more wrong.

For a start, you can’t make something go viral – that’s the public’s job.

What is viral marketing?

Well it’s a way of using social networks to promote brand awareness (or boost sales) through a self-replicating viral process. Which means that you create something others love and feel compelled to share with their friends…who then share it with their friends…who then share it with their friends…who then share it with their friends….you get the idea.

And that is precisely why you can’t ‘make’ a viral video, image, eBook etc.

Qualities of viral marketing

The only way you’re going to make your piece of marketing go ‘viral’ is by creating an emotional connection with your view/reader.

Someone isn’t going to share your collateral just because you ask him/her to; it has to resonate with them and compel them to click the share button or talk about it to their friends.

There are no rules to say it has to be funny, gimmicky or super clever – it just has to evoke an emotional response.

OK, that kind of leaves the door wide open, but quite often the simplest ideas are the best.

Whether it’s a demonstration that captures the imagination like Blendtec’s ‘Will it blend an iPhone, the clever Honda ‘The Cog’ sequence, or the wonderful Cadbury’s Gorilla advert, your idea just has to capture the imagination of your audience.

That means studying your audience, studying your product (and the relationship between the two) and then working out which emotional connections your brand needs to make to kick-start the immediate ‘need to share’ reflex.

With the country gripped by Olympic fever, this has to be my favourite video on YouTube at the moment. OK, it’s not a product or a sales pitch, but it captures the excitement of a nation:

Reaction of the BBC commentary team as Mo Farah wins with 10,000 metres in London 2012.

What’s your favourite?

We’d love to compile an ‘all time favourites’ list of viral marketing, so leave a comment below with details of the one that captured imagination – and tell us why.


SEO for Start Ups

SEO is about your customers not the search engines

Nope, we haven’t gone mad; search engine optimisation really is all about your customers.

Most SEO companies are now playing nicely and not condoning devious techniques such as link buying, hidden text and generally exploiting every loophole and short cut they can find.


Apart from the fact that they were attracting hefty penalties for their clients, they’ve now realised that search engine marketing is more like social marketing and everything must be centred around the customer not the search engines.To be successful on line today, your strategy must include not only general keyword optimisation for your website’s structure and content, it must also involve social media marketing aimed at your customers.

No, that doesn’t mean sending out a raft of marketing messages every minute in the hope that you’ll wear down your customers and make them buy from you. Instead it’s about engaging with your audience, providing them with useful content and information and optimising your web content to reflect your customers’ needs.

For many start ups all of this can be quite confusing so this 10 minute video by Maile Ohye of Google might help. In 10 minutes she talks you through some basic search engine optimisation techniques for start ups to help you get on the right track.

It’s well worth a watch, so grab a coffee.

Only 1% of SMEs Use Social Media

Can that really be true?Social media and business

Well, it is according to a recent article in The Drum.

Apparently, a recent survey undertaken by TalkTalk Business discovered that only 1% of UK SMEs use social media sites such as Twitter and Linked In to generate new business.

Out of the 500 SMEs surveyed, 43% said they weren’t comfortable using social networking sites.

As a copywriter, I’ve been using social media for a while to offer advice, promote my business and make new contacts. It really isn’t scary – it’s just like chatting with friends.

Finding the comfort zone

Social media allows customers unprecedented access to companies these days. They can instantly send messages, ask queries and make complaints – perhaps that’s part of the problem.

But there really isn’t any reason for companies to be afraid of social media. Used wisely, it can open up new markets and even find new business partners.

Of course, once you put something out on the web, it’s there for good, so any company looking to use social media as part of their marketing must have a strategy in place.

Understanding your social media strategy

The first thing that must happen is for everyone to understand (that includes senior management) that the main goal is not to sell.

Social media is a long term commitment that should add value to your relationships with your customers.

Then you must determine what your goals are – whether you’re using it for PR, customer service or marketing. However you use it, your goals must be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely).

Of course, not every social media outlet is going to be right for your business, so do your research. Work out where you customers hang out and where your activities will have the greatest impact.

Once you start to use the platform(s) join in the conversation, don’t just lurk on the fringes. Chat with people, answer questions and offer advice. All of these activities will help get you noticed and increase your levels of engagement.

After a while, you may start getting questions coming your way. If you do make sure you answer them. Also, it’s worthwhile bringing your social media activities into the real world by going along to networking events and tweetups so people can put a face to the profile.

One more thing about Twitter, if a specific person within your company runs the account, make sure they sign their name to their tweets, or have their bio on your Twitter page. People like to know who they are tweeting with.

The best way to learn is to do

“Social media can prove invaluable as a new business tool and so it’s worrying to see that so few SMEs are embracing it. Its business benefits range from being able to engage and understand the needs of customers and prospects through to gaining insights into target markets and perceptions of your organisation or brand.

“There’s certainly scope for more SMEs to be educated on how social media channels can be applied to business and ne harnessed to benefit the bottom line.” Paul Lawton, Managing Director of TalkTalk Business.

I couldn’t agree more Paul.

Over to you

Are you one of the 43% or have you embraced social media as part of your marketing strategy?

Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.



Customer Service – Real Person or Self-Service?

It is a well-known fact that customer service is the one area that will make your company stand out from the crowd. With limited budgets, it’s one way smaller companies can compete, and at times outdo the big boys.No customer service gets my goat

Let’s face it, we all love to be made to feel special and great customer service is a prime example of that.

Small details such as calling customers by name, retuning calls quickly and keeping customers informed can make a huge impact on your company’s reputation.

But of course, high levels of customer service tend to come with high wage bills, not something every business wants to absorb. That’s why, according to a recent article in Business Matters, many companies (21% of those surveyed) are now investing in tools that will allow their customers to deal with issues without needing to speak to an employee.

Is that really a good thing?

Do we really want to be on our own?

When it comes to queries and complaints, today’s technology and social media have opened up businesses to a 24 hour demand. Customers want immediate answers and, for most companies, a fully manned customer help line that’s available 24/7 simply isn’t feasible.

I’m all in favour of auto responders to emails (provided I actually get a response to my query too), accessibility through social media and the live chat facility, but what really gets my goat (now you understand the relevance of the image) are the companies that seem simply not to care.

Speaking from experience, in my mind, there is nothing more frustrating than wanting to find contact details for a company only to be faced with page upon page of FAQs. Not only that, but no matter how thoroughly you search, there is no sign of a phone number, email or postal address.

To me (and I’m sure I can’t be alone here) that would suggest a lack of regard for their customers. I immediately begin to think why don’t they want me to be able to get in touch with them? What are they trying to hide?

I can understand offering 24/7 accessibility to staff is not practical, but surely an email address (not contact form, I’ve lost count how many times I’ve tried to contact companies through those only to never receive a response) isn’t too much to ask?

Most customers are reasonable and won’t expect an immediate email response if they are contacting you out of hours, but a simple auto responder saying ‘thanks for your email, it will be answered shortly’ (or something along those lines) instils confidence that their query or complaint has been received and will be dealt with.

And every now and then, it is quite nice to be able to find a phone number and speak to a real person.

Making life easier all round

The best of both worlds would be a company that offers FAQs (you never know, one day they might cover my query) and a way of getting hold of someone – either by phone or email.

Don’t let technology take over completely. Customers do still crave the human touch now and again.

An ability to speak or interact with a real person is a very precious thing, so don’t go down the route that some of the massive corporations have ventured along, thinking page upon page of FAQs offers the same level of service as the ability to contact a person.

Over to you

What are your thoughts on this?

Do you think it’s OK to have a website without any contact details listed and just FAQs?

Leave a comment and have your say.

Sally Ormond – Copywriter and occasionally disgruntled customer