Entries Tagged 'advertising copywriting' ↓

Is Your Website Compliant?

From 1st March marketing communications on websites will be covered by the ASA

The Advertising Standards Authority will soon be covering marketing communications on your company’s website and other non-paid-for space under your control. It will cover all organisations operating fromĀ  the UK.

Basically it will bring online marketing in line with the high standards that have to be adhered to in other media.

The areas it will cover are:

  • Your company’s own marketing messages on its websites, regardless of sector, type of business or size of organisation
  • Your company’s marketing communications in other non-paid-for space which is under your control. This includes social networking sites line Facebook and Twitter

So what does that mean?

Basically the ASA is looking to maintain and improve the standard of digital marketing communications and build consumer trust. All marketing should be legal, decent, honest and truthful.

So if your website promises a guarantee claim of delivery of goods within 2 working day, you must do that. If you offer a product at a specific price, that’s what you must charge. Similarly if you are offering a service, your claims must be genuine and truthful, we all remember the exaggerated broadband speed claims of recent months.

Probably the most difficult part of the remit to understand is that relating to social networking sites. In a nut shell, any claims published by companies on their Facebook pages or Twitter accounts must be adhered to as they will come within the realms of the ASA ruling.

Of course, one of the main aspects of social networking is encouraging user generated content – things like comments and tweets. If these are generated by the public they won’t fall within the new guidelines but if they are adopted by a company and incorporated within their own marketing campaigns, they will. For example if you use photos of customers enjoying your product, they will fall within the remit of the ASA. If you, as a company, re-tweet a comment by a follower on Twitter (e.g. regarding the availabilty of a certain item in store that day), it will fall within the ASA’a remit.

As you can see this could have far reaching consequences for many businesses so it’s well worth taking the time to visit the ASA website for more information to make sure all your marketing communications comply.

Should Your Headline Be the Chicken Or the Egg?

chickxc4It is a debate that has been raging for centuries – so does anyone out there really know which came first?

Well, a slightly easier question to answer is when should you write your headline? Before the body of your article or after?

Think of your headline as a promise. Through it, you signal to your reader what you are going to tell them. It will identify what the benefit to them will be for reading your article.

If you think about life in general, you always make your promise first. The same therefore goes for your headline. If you write your content first you’ll end up with a rather dull and uninspiring headline that simply won’t work.

Writing a fantastic headline isn’t always easy – it has to convey the essence of your article, it has to be catchy and have ‘read me’ written all over it. Formulating the perfect headline isn’t easy but there are ways you can get a bit of a leg-up from the experts.

You Don’t Have to Be Shakespeare To Write Great Headlines

shakespeareOk, perhaps Shakespeare wasn’t exactly renowned for catchy headlines – but he did write some fantastic plays and sonnets.

Headlines can be a real killer sometimes. I bet you’ve sweated for hours staring at a blank screen waiting for inspiration to hit. No matter how hard you screw your face up, that illusive super-sales-generating-headline just won’t pop into your mind.

Shall I let you into a secret?

Most copywriters have a headline creating tool.

It works 100% of the time and helps them produce killer headlines everytime.

Want to get your hands on it? What to know what it is?

It is a swipe file. I hate that name as it sounds rather underhand, but basically that is what it is.

It is a collection of winning headlines, sales letters, adverts, magazine cuttings – in fact anything that uses a headline, phrase or sentence that is a real attention grabber.

But shouldn’t your headline be completely original?

Is there really any piece of writing out there that is 100% original?

Every writer in the world gets their inspiration from somewhere so, consciously or subconsciously, their work is influenced by an outside source.

Tried and tested formula

Headlines that work have been constructed in certain was to be effective. They have followed the same structure for years generating thousands or even millions of pounds. The same formula is adapted and put into different contexts and is used over and over again. So why change it?

Is a swipe file cheating?

No. All it means is that you write great headlines in a way you know will work. As your confidence and experience grows you can try an original approach – although as I said above, whatever you try will never be 100% original (I’m happy to be proven wrong there if anyone has any examples of something totally original).

Starting with these tried and tested templates you can immediately improve your blog post titles which should gain more readership and traffic.

Give it a go – start compiling your own swipe file today and start generating more traffic.

Continuity Copywriting

One of the most important aspects of your company’s marketing is its continuity.

Brand identity is key to gaining your customers’ confidence. If your marketing materials are the same across the board, your clients will be able to instantly recognise you.

  • Take a look at your website – do your brochures and flyers share the same colour scheme?
  • Is your logo consistent throughout your marketing materials?
  • Are the fonts the same?
  • Do you use the same tone of voice?

If you get your brand identity right and consistently provide an excellent service, your brand will be immediately associated with trust and credibility.

Review everything

Every now and then it pays to take stock of your marketing materials to ensure the message they are giving is still relevant and consistent with your company’s goals. When you update your website content check your other materials against it – are they still the same style?

Frequently when one item is updated it makes your other materials look staid and out of date. Therefore to keep your image constant update everything together.

10 Reasons to Survey

survey-_customerTo survey or not to survey, that is the question.

Well, it seems a bit daft even asking whether you should survey your customers every now and then. Surely it’s common sense to ask your buyers’ opinions about your products, your service and your sales material.

After all, sitting in your ivory tower brain storming about what you think your customers want won’t give you a true opinion. The only people that can really answer that question for you are your customers.

A good survey can tell you a lot about your market and the perception of your company within that market.

Here are 10 very good reasons why your marketing and sales strategy would benefit from regular surveying:

  1. Discover what your readers want to see on your web site to make them revisit and buy.
  2. Find out how your products can be improved opening up a whole new market for you.
  3. Get an insight into what products your customers would like to be able to buy in the future.
  4. Use the feedback to improve your customer service.
  5. Discover how you can make your DM and adverts more appealing.
  6. Raise your newsletter readership by discovering what type of articles people want to read.
  7. Improve the design of your web site to encourage visitors to stay there longer.
  8. Identify any non-related products your customers are interested in which could help you expand into different markets in the future.
  9. Discover how to optimise the price of your product.
  10. Discover the life styles of your customers – places they frequent. This could open up new marketing opportunities for you.

You can learn so much from a survey. Yes they can be time consuming, and yes they normally get pushed to the eternal bottom of the ‘to do’ pile. But I hope this has helped you see the value of the humble survey.

Seize the initiative. Devise and circulate your survey and reap the rewards of enhanced customer relationships.

Sally Ormond is a professional freelance copywriter with extensive experience in the B2B and B2C markets. Her comprehensive range of copywriting services has helped countless companies increase their sales and market visibility whilst saving them time and money.