Entries from July 2012 ↓

What’s the Difference Between Marketing and Advertising?

If you think marketing and advertising are one and the same, there’s a pretty good chance your marketing efforts are being less than successful.  Marketing not advertising

If you cast your mind back to the bad old days, companies would advertise to you left right and centre. You would be bombarded by less than subtle sales messages wherever you went.

Our TVs, magazines, newspapers and mailboxes were full of ‘buy from us now’ messages desperate to grab your hard earned cash.

But the landscape looks very different these days, with businesses moving away from advertising and towards marketing.

Nope, still don’t get it

In that case, you’re probably a business that has dabbled in social media, blogging, article and video marketing only to decide that it doesn’t work for you.

Well, the reason it’s not working is probably because you’re still advertising rather than marketing.

Let me explain.

If you’re advertising, you’re effectively shouting at your customers ‘buy now’ with little regard for what they actually want.

Perhaps that approach used to work for you, but today’s consumers want more than that, they want to be appreciated, wooed and persuaded.

The subtle art of marketing

Today’s marketing channels are social media, video and article marketing and blogging. Each of these disciplines offers the consumer engagement, information, and advice – effectively something for nothing. Or at least that is how it appears.

You see, people now want to feel as though you, as a company, value them and their business. They don’t just want you to come along, take their money and then head off into the night.

Today, you must engage with them, talk to them, offer them great information, be responsive to their questions and generally take in interested in what they want. And that’s why you must market and not advertise to them.

You see, marketing is all about getting to know your customer and being interested in what they really want, their likes and dislikes and being prepared to chat with them to build relationships.

Think carefully about them and how your product or service will benefit them and then show them.

The days of the blatant advertising are numbered; today your consumers want more. Talk to them, engagement with them and give them something for nothing. As you do so something magical happens, they begin to trust you and that trust will be manifested in the form of their credit card.

Market to your customers and they’ll be customers for life.

The Relationship Between Brand and Colour

Branding your business is one of the most important things you’ll ever do.

There is so much to think of, but have you every considered the impact of your colour choice?

Recently, I came across this fabulous infographic created by Marketo for Column Five .

Take a look, it’s a bit of an eye-opener.





























































Thanks for letting me share this guys.

You can see the original post here.


What Your Copywriter Needs to Know

Sooner or later, you’ll realize that keeping up with the amount of content you need to keep your online marketing strategy going, is impossible on your own.Copywriter briefing

So, it’s time to call in the experts.

You’ve done your research, you’ve found a copywriter you believe you can work with – so what next?

Well, if you were thinking you could just email them a list of your requirements and then let them get on with it without any input from you, you’d be wrong.

Your writer is going to need a lot of information from you and they’ll probably either use a briefing document (which they’ll email to you for completion), or if they’re close enough, meet with you.

So, what can you expect to be asked about?

Ready? Here goes…

Your goals – what you’re looking to achieve with that particular project

Brand personality – how you want your company to seen. Plus, the work they do for you will also have to fit in with your current brand image, so they’ll need to know things like preferred vocabulary, house styles etc.

Preferred voice – do you want it formal, informal, conversational etc.

What’s worked in the past? – if you’ve had a particularly successful campaign in the past, let them see it so they can use its style within the new project. Also, if you know something doesn’t work, again let them know.

Your audience – they’re going to need to know whom they are writing for. That is your present clients base and potential clients, or those you want to do business with.

Background – don’t forget your writer is unlikely to have a background in your industry so don’t assume knowledge. Provide them with details of your main competitors, articles and blogs that might be relevant etc.

Back to basics – as mentioned earlier, your writer isn’t going to be an expert in your field, so be prepared to get right back to basics. After all, you’ve acquired a lot of knowledge over the years, but that doesn’t mean your audience have the same knowledge levels.

There’s a bit more yet – here are a few other things to bear in mind:

  • Give them time – last minute deadlines don’t help anyone
  • Give them one point of contact – this will avoid confusion and mixed messages
  • Review drafts quickly – it saves a lot of time chasing
  • Keep them in the loop – let them know what’s going on, especially if it’s going to affect their work

Treat your writer as a member of your team. The more they work with you, the more familiar they will become with your business, products and audience.

And that will be worth its weight in gold.

Copywriting Rates for Wordsmiths and Purists

The following guest post was written by Mike Beeson. The author’s views are entirely his own and may not reflect the views of FreelanceCopywritersBlog.com. If you are interested in producing a Guest Post for this blog, please get in touch with your ideas.

Every time I write something about Copywriting Rates it stirs up a hornets’ nest of emotions.  Yes of course people have strong feelings about the value of their services and why they should be adequately rewarded.  And don’t they have every right to complain about the devaluation and ‘dumbing down’ of their professional expertise by dilettantes, online opportunists and semi-literate also-rans?

The real question is, however: does anyone – other than the more ‘traditionalist’ copywriting fraternity – really care one jot?  Isn’t the reality that the brave new online world is more concerned with the bigger picture of instant and effective communication, rather than pondering over the minutiae of copywriting craft skills?


Value vs. Quality

Many would argue that setting out information on the online page requires little more than clerical-level skills which in no way merit the higher levels of remuneration that the more strategic elements of online communication deserve.

Yet others would argue that the market for copywriters is split straight down the middle.  They would say that ‘content writers’ satisfy the need for contractor-volumes of copy that the omnivorous online medium demands.  On another level, they would acknowledge that professional-calibre copywriting and conceptual skills have a definite place in those areas of the marketing mix where persuasive and attention-grabbing ideas that are well-executed are essential to maximising returns on investment.

This has been given further credence with Google’s re-emphasis on ‘quality content’ as the minimum requirement in its search strategy.  Webmasters and their SEO colleagues, they say, will only be rewarded with higher web page rankings if they pay heed to these strictures.


It’s All Coming Full-circle!

For many copywriters, ‘quality content’ means there is light at the end of the tunnel.  The fact that search engines no longer tolerate lines of keyword-stuffed copy is great news for every purist on the block.  Google’s ever-improving algorithmic capacity to analyse semantics and context are beginning to sift out those who, for long enough, have been trying to ‘game’ the search engines by using deceptive techniques.

I mention this only because fluent, persuasive and creative copy has seen its stock rise in recent months.  Admittedly, this has been from a low base-level and it may take an even bigger online cultural shift to restore copywriters to their Mad Men status in the creative pantheon.

The fact is, online searches are about speed, convenience and measuring one supplier against another for attributes such as quality, reputation and value for money.  Price comparisons in all fields will probably intensify, and there’s no reason why copywriting should be an exception.


Use the Web With Care

Copywriters who feel their services are undervalued should probably avoid the Internet entirely if they aren’t going to be massively frustrated by the process of being judged on price, and price alone!  It’s one thing to say you’ll stick to your guns when it comes to pricing, but this policy can only result in machine-gun nests manned by economic skeletons.

In other words, online Dutch auctions are probably here to stay, especially when it comes to clients looking for ad hoc or fire-fighting copywriting solutions.  The best bet for those with enough self-belief and cash reserves to stay the course is to use your brilliantly-optimised website as a calling card, a foot-in-the-door and an entrée to a longer-term client relationship where a copywriter’s skills are needed, respected and valued beyond the here and now.


About the author:

Mike Beeson is a UK freelance copywriter specialising in website and SEO copywriting. Mike has written extensively about the many issues surrounding the rates copywriters charge.  His company, Buzzwords Limited, was established over 20 years ago and is located in Knutsford, Cheshire (south Manchester).


Five New Twitter Features

If you’re hooked on Twitter, you’ll be pleased to hear that they’ve brought out a few more features to enhance your tweeting experience.

SocialMediaExaminer.com tell us all about them. They include:

  • The week’s top twitter stories
  • How to discover the top tweets of the week
  • Tailored trends from twitter
  • Getting follow suggestions in your inbox
  • Expanding tweets in your stream

Why not pop over there now and have a read of what’s new – click here for 5 new twitter features to enhance your experience.

Thanks guys.