May 10th, 2013 — Pinterest
As a copywriter and general word nerd, Pinterest is one social media platform I’ve not played with. But never wanting to be kept in the dark, I’ve been looking round for information about how to use it.
Initially it was a personal platform and not something you could effectively use to promote your business. But at the end of last year, Pinterest launched its business pages so you can now use it commercially.
My search for expert advice took me to one of my favourite blogs, Social Media Examiner.
Their post ‘How to Use Pinterest to Promote Your Products’ offers tips on how to use Pinterest within your business’ marketing strategy. Not only that, but there is also a link to take you to a guide on how to convert your personal Pinterest profile to a commercial one.
So if you are a ‘Pinner’ or ate thinking about using it within your marketing strategy, take a look at their post for some ideas on how you can use it to promote your products.
May 8th, 2013 — copywriting tips, website copywriter, website copywriting
Whenever I do a copywriting project, I always look forward to writing the About Page. It’s the one opportunity for my client to let rip.
Every other page has to be totally focused on their customers, but the About Page is more about them (although still selling the benefits of working with them, which is a very fine balancing act).
As a copywriter my mantra (well, one of many to be fair) is ‘write for your reader’, but the About Page is the place to go wild – within reason.
Many companies don’t see it as being a vital page. OK, it probably won’t be one of the main landing pages, but it is essential to show potential customers who you are and what you’re like.
That’s why it shouldn’t be left to the last minute and hastily cobbled together, or be rigidly corporate stating “We have been in business for 30 years…”
Instead, it should be well thought out following these 5 pointers.
An About Page that’s full of big words and adjectives that attempts to tell the reader how great you are isn’t fooling anyone. All it shows is that you have a thesaurus and you know how to use it.
It’s far more effective to show them how great you are by mentioning the awards you’ve received, any press coverage you’ve had and, if you have any major clients, a bit of shameless name-dropping.
Companies are quite wary of this one. They think that they have to show a corporate image to be successful. Well they don’t.
People buy from people (excuse the cliché) so show that you are human. Make your tone personable and friendly. Ditch the corporate speak for something more day to day that your reader will relate to.
3. Show off your people
If there’s one thing companies hate more than showing their personality, it’s showing their pictures (the people in the company that is, not the actual company itself, that wouldn’t work). But showing off your staff is a great way to make a personal connection with the reader.
They can see who they will be dealing with and, rather than just adding a professional bio about them, add details about their hobbies, dreams, likes and their Twitter handle.
This is a great way to open up your company to build trust.
Boo hiss, we’re all fed up with those initials, but they are important.
Even though it’s not a direct sales page, your About Page should still be optimised for keywords.
5. Don’t hide
Once you’ve actually gone to the trouble (or cost) of creating your About Page don’t hide it.
Make sure it’s clearly visible from your navigation bar so potential clients can find it and take a look at what you’re like. It could just swing things in your favour.
There you go, your About Page IS important so make the most of it and use it to show the human side of your business. Have some fun putting it together and get the real essence of your company out there for all to see.
Faceless corporate businesses are impersonal and unfriendly, especially when they are Internet based. You can’t go and meet every potential client, so your website must convey your personality and the About Page is the perfect vehicle for that.
May 6th, 2013 — keywords, search engine optimisation, seo, SEO copywriter, seo website copywriter
What is it about the word ‘keywords’ that gets people so wound up?
Some go into a frenzy, others look blankly at you or there are those who try to devise cunning ways to cram as many of said words into everything they write.
This blog is going to look at what they are, how you work out good ones for you and what you should do with them.
What is a keyword?
The first thing to remember is that a keyword isn’t necessarily a word; it can also be a phrase.
In a nutshell, it is a word or phrase people use to search for a product, service or piece of information.
So if you sold designer leather dog collars, your keywords would be things like:
- Dog collars
- Leather dog collars
- Designer dog collars
- Leather designer dog collars
The other thing to remember is that every business will have more than one keyword. Which is just as well, because every page of your website should be optimised for a different keyword.
Your keywords can also include your geographical location to give your local search engine optimisation a boost.
The value of a good keyword
Before deciding on the keywords you want to use, it’s important you check out their competitiveness and impression frequency.
It is pointless going after keywords if they are:
- Hugely competitive with everyone chasing after them
- No competition because no one uses that term to search for things
You can use Google’s keyword tool to find out the number of searches (globally and locally) and whether the competition is high or low.
Long tail keywords (such as ‘leather designer dog collars’) will draw a lower search volume, but because it’s more targeted they are likely to bring in buying customers.
Single keywords, for example ‘copywriter’ are incredibly competitive and will take a very long time to rank well for, but if you opt for something such as ‘email copywriter’ or ‘copywriting services’ you’ll stand a better chance of getting quicker results.
How to decide on keywords
The best way to come up with a list of keywords is to write down everything that relates to your business, including technical and non-technical terms (your customers are more likely to use the latter).
Then use tools such as Google’s keyword tool and Wordtracker to help work our which ones are the best to go for. You can also use Google Trends to see how certain keywords are performing.
Using your keywords
I mentioned earlier that every page of your website should be optimised for a different keyword, but that doesn’t mean cramming every inch of the page with it.
Firstly, work out which words are to be included on which page and create your navigation bar (each page should have its keyword in its title).
Then create a keyword rich title tag (that actually makes sense) to show Google what your page is about.
When it comes to your content, make sure your keyword is in your H1 heading (main heading) and any other subheadings you use and then write naturally. You will find that your keywords will appear without you having to shoe horn them in.
That last point is vital – write naturally. Your website is there to attract people not search engine spiders because it’s the people who’ll be buying from you.
That’s basically all you need to know about keywords. If you have any questions leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.
Sally Ormond, copywriter, blogger, tweeter, cyclist and lover of Aspalls cider.
May 3rd, 2013 — Building a business, copywriting tips, Customer service, Essential tools for small businesses, internet marketing, marketing, online marketing
What sort of marketing do you do?
- Social media – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc.
- Video marketing
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.
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.
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.
May 1st, 2013 — social media, social media training, twitter
On the face of it, Twitter should be the easiest thing in the world to use.
All you have to do is create a message that’s no longer than 140 characters and hit send. But, judging by some of the tweets I see, it obviously isn’t as easy to master as it appears.
Below are 10 reasons why you’re getting Twitter wrong and what you can do to make it better.
Tweeting frequency is often a problem for people. How often is too often?
A lot of people end up sending out a flurry of tweets all in one go (or batch) thinking if they get it over and done with they can get on with other stuff.
The problem with that is twofold: you’ll hack off your followers by filling their timeline with your inane ramblings and you run the risk of only reaching a very small percentage of your followers.
Not everyone will be using Twitter at the same time, so if you want to reach as many people as possible, spread your tweets out through the course of the day.
2. Room to RT
You see a lot of tweets go out with ‘Pls RT’ at the end (i.e. please re-tweet). That’s all well and good, but with only 140 characters to play with, if your message takes up all of them you’re not leaving your followers a lot of flexibility to RT.
If someone likes what you say, but then has to edit your tweet in order to be able to RT it, they probably won’t bother. Likewise, they may want to add a comment, but if there’s no room they won’t be able to.
If you want people to interact with you, you have to make your tweets engaging. But let’s get one thing straight, unless you happen to be a celebrity, it is unlikely you’ll get a flood of responses every time you tweet.
You’ll increase your chances though if your tweets are engaging.
4. Back to the RT
In number 2 I talked about re-tweeting and leaving room, well don’t forget that if you want people to RT you, you also need to RT other people.
When you see something of interest, RT it and share it with your followers. If you see someone asking for advice, RT it – unless you know the answer of course and then you should respond.
If you RT others, they are more likely to RT you in return.
On Facebook there are several levels of privacy you can use to protect yourself from unwanted prying eyes. Well, there is also a privacy setting available on Twitter, but if you are a business using the platform as a marketing tool, make sure you disable it.
Unlike Facebook, protecting your tweets makes you look very secretive. Why should someone have to ask to follow you? The whole point of Twitter is to be able to chat with anyone. Using the privacy setting would be like turning up to a networking event surrounded by an impenetrable wall of bodyguards.
Make yourself open and available to chat – if a follower really annoys you or sends abusive tweets you can always block and report them.
6. Follow me
One of the main headaches for anyone who is new to Twitter is how to get followers. Many people seem to have a hang up about following way more people than they have followers – well that’s where everyone starts.
The only way you can get your name out there is by following other people. Then if they like your stuff and RT it, their followers will see it, think ‘he/she’s great’ and will then follow you…and so it goes on.
So don’t get hung up by numbers.
If you have something to say, say it. Cryptic and vague tweets are annoying, pointless and frustrating.
That’s all I have to say on that one.
8. The difference between @ and .@
If you tweet about an article, blog or website and just use @, only the people who follow you and the site/person/article mention will see it. But if you use .@ everyone can follow it.
9. Think first
A tweet is for life (unless you delete it), but if it’s seen, well, you’re too late. That’s why you should never tweet in anger.
Always think very carefully about what you’re putting out there.
10. Chatty not sales
There’s nothing worse than having your twitter feed filled with spam tweets trying to sell stuff to you.
Tweet as though you were at a networking event. If all you do is tweet about your business with constant sales messages, you have become that person at the networking event everyone tries to avoid.
You’ve seen him, before he’s finished shaking your hand he’s thrust his business card and brochure in your other hand and told you all about his business and why you must buy from him. Then, without even asking you anything he wanders off to accost another victim.
But if you chat and engage with other tweeters, you’re the person who is naturally charismatic and draws people to them. The person who is more interested in who they’re speak to than themselves and who helps others and offers advice rather than sells.
I know who I’d rather be.
So there you go. That was a quick run through of what you’re doing wrong on Twitter and how you can make things right.
Remember, it is a social media platform that’s perfectly designed for conversation and engagement, so make sure that’s how you use it.
Sally Ormond is a professional copywriter and MD at Briar Copywriting Ltd. Working with a global client base, she also finds time to tweet – you can follow her here: @sallyormond.