What is copywriting?

If you’re in the world of marketing, you might not understand this because we are so familiar with copywriting and its function. But, for the outsider looking in, there’s a general haze of confusion that surrounds copywriting.

Before I jump into my tips, let’s clear the air and focus solely on the definition and the ins and outs of this marketing function.

Essentially, copywriting can be defined as the technique of writing persuasive content that compels people to take action whether it’s to buy something,  request more information for a service, download a piece of content, etc.

Copywriting adds value to your content.

To put this idea into motion, here’s an example. Let’s pretend that you sell noise-canceling headphones that are meant for people who work in offices (very random and specific but let’s roll with it).

Your goal is to reach out to at least five people a day to promote your product in an effort to get them to buy it.

So, you decide to slide into the DMs and give it a whirl. Here’s a cliff’s notes version of the message:

“Hi, @idontwantobebothered – I think you should buy our noise-canceling headphones. They’re great and they get rid of the noise. Here’s a link to make your purchase: xyz.com.”

If you send a message like that, you’ll have people clamoring for a chance to make a purchase…not!

That message was likely met with a scoff and an eye-roll from the user and in the end did not translate into anything more than a missed opportunity.

Let’s switch gears and say that that same salesperson decides to get a little crafty. They’ve done their research and took the time to engage and build a relationship (context) with a user PRIOR to sending the message.

The new re-vamped message goes a little something like this:

Hi, @iminterested­ – After learning a little bit more about you and your work environment, I can only imagine how loud it can get at times (There’s always that one Chatty Cathy. Every office has one!). I’m not sure if you noticed or not, but I work for a company that makes noise-canceling headphones that are perfect for people like you who work in an office. Here’s a fun infographic that’ll tell you a little bit more about what sets us apart from the other headphones on the market. If you have any questions, let me know!”

Now THAT’S a message that’ll pack a bigger punch and increase the likelihood of engagement with that user.

Why? Because that message was personalized to that specific user, there was personality, and the goal of that interaction wasn’t a sale on-the-spot. Instead, the goal was to provide that user with value as to why the product could provide that user with value.

That’s the long and the short but you get the idea…Copywriting is used to tell a story and form connections!

Alright, now that we have a better understanding of copywriting, let’s get to the meat of this article and the reason you landed on this blog in the first place. Here we go…

Three Copywriting Tips to Give Your Content a Boost

Get emotional

Grab a tissue, solidify their laugh lines, or get their blood pressure pumping. Whatever the case may be, an important part of copywriting is evoking emotion in your audience.

The whole idea here is to flex your empathy muscles. You’ll want to take a walk in your consumers’ shoes and then create content that’ll have them feeling something because they can relate to the story that you’re telling.

When you can convey through your words a narrative that’s steeped in emotion, you’ll create content that packs a punch and resonates with your target audience and, in turn, is more likely to be shared.

Hit the nail on the head

The only time fluff is OK is if you’re making a recipe that calls for Marshmallow Fluff, other than that, save it. The rule is even more applicable when it comes to your content.

Nowadays, consumers are predominately skimmers. They want to get to the point and they want to get there quickly. Verbose content like I’m writing right now in this section isn’t going to cut it.

The lesson here is to write content that focuses on one messaging point at a time. The more focused you can become with your content the better off you’ll be.

Ditch the pitch

As consumers, we’re more or less numb to sales pitches. They essentially go in one ear and out the other because they’re not engaging and usually, the goal is to push a sale rather than form a bond between the brand and its consumer.

Your customers don’t want to be outwardly sold on something. Instead, they want to be told a story. Something that’ll strike a chord and make them feel something (refer back to copywriting tip number one).

Compelling stories help make your content become more relatable in that if done correctly, the user can actually see themselves in the situation that you’re describing. The better that you understand your audience, the better you’ll be at writing copy that speaks to their questions, pain points, interests, etc.

How do you do that? Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:

  1. Imagery: Have you ever read something and you could practically picture the scene that’s unfolding in your mind? That’s the work of imagery at hand that helps paint the picture of your story and transports your reader into the scene that you’ve created with your words.
  2. Metaphors: Sometimes to create a level of commonality between your brand and your reader, you have to provide them with an example that helps them understand the correlation that you’re trying to create with your content. Metaphors help us compare one thing to another in an effort to explain something better and create that “Aha!” moment in our readers’ minds.
  3. Anticipation: A good story has us feverishly reading to find out what happens next. The same goes for your copywriting. The goal of any piece of content that you write is to get your audience to read it from start-to-finish. Lead with something interesting and exciting to catch your audience’s attention and take them on a journey to find a resolution.

Making your readers feel something, keeping your content concise, and telling a story rather than making a sales pitch are three ways to leverage persuasive copywriting to help you better serve your target audience, build brand awareness and ultimately generate quality leads.

If you think your copy is missing the mark and you need help crafting compelling content, contact us today!

Content marketing is the foundation to which everything else is built. Think of it this way: without content, SEOs would have nothing to analyze and optimize, emails wouldn’t be sent out and social media posts wouldn’t be published. I could go on forever but for the sake of your sanity and in respect of your time, I’ll stop. You get the picture – the list goes on and on.

Content marketing is all the marketing that’s left.

I think Seth Godin sums it up in that single sentence. Content marketing is the axis on which our efforts turn. Without it, we as marketers would be out of a job.

But while we’re grateful for content and how it allows us to make a living, there’s more to it than just words. The success lies in the creation and implementation of your content marketing strategy.

If you haven’t put a lot of thought into content marketing or are doing your due diligence just to have a presence and need a nudge in the write (see what I did there?) direction, this post outlines three ways that content marketing (when done correctly) can help your business.

But, before we dive in, let’s talk about what content marketing is. The long and the short is that content marketing is basically using content to meet your marketing goals. Content helps us articulate our overall brand message, connects us with our consumers, and provides our target audience with value that converts them into customers, and nurtures existing ones.

Content is king!

It’s a popular saying that you’ve more than likely heard more times than you can count and while everyone is putting a press on the importance of content marketing, you won’t fully be able to understand its power unless you break it down to the potential benefits that it can offer you and your brand.

That being said, let’s take a look.

Three Ways Content Marketing Can Help Your Business

Traffic & SEO

This is the kind of traffic you’ll love (not that bumper-to-bumper rush hour type of traffic). When you create and implement a sound content marketing strategy, your site traffic will reap the benefits. Think of it this way: great content is like a magnet. The more you write the more people you’ll attract to your site.

To that point, as I mentioned before, you can’t do SEO without content. But that doesn’t mean that you should string some sentences together and throw it onto a page on your website and hope a miracle happens. Instead, you need to create content that’s relevant to your brand and more importantly, your audience. Search engines are constantly crawling the internet to better serve their users with relevant queries. Good content is the thread that pulls your brand and search engines closer together.

Brand Awareness

If you have a brand, you want your customers to be aware of that…Hence, brand awareness. But it’s more than that. Content that educates, entertains, or informs will strike a chord with your target audience. Brand awareness is more than just seeing a checkmark and associating it with Nike. Brand awareness through content marketing is all about building your authority in your niche in a way that your customers understand who you are and what you represent. This can be done by producing content (onsite, social media, etc.) that’s fresh and unique and that’s also valuable and relevant to your target audience.

Increase Followers

If you build it, they will come.  No, this isn’t the Field of Dreams, per se. But when it comes to the world of marketing, it’s pretty close. Marketing, no matter how you look at it, is cyclical. What I mean by that is that the various cogs in the wheel all work together to move the needle. That being said, if your target audience finds your content valuable, they’ll share it to their circle of friends on social. This pulls in the connection between content marketing and social media (see, the cogs in the wheel). Content that stirs emotion is more likely to be shared and when that happens, you cast a wider net and in turn, can gain more followers on social media who are interested in your brand and what you have to offer.

Let it be known that these are only three of the benefits of content marketing, there are plenty more tangible and intangible advantages that you can gain from creating and implementing a sound strategy.

How has content marketing helped you reach your overall marketing objectives?

When it comes to the importance of video marketing, the numbers speak for themselves. In fact, Facebook has reported 10 billion+ daily video views and Instagram Stories touts an impressive 150 million daily users.

While the data alone shows the evolving presence of video in marketing, it’s no surprise that brands big and small are looking to incorporate this element of content into their overall strategies.

Now, more than ever, video is becoming a popular vehicle for consumers to consume their content on-the-go. And, when these videos are optimized for social media, it’s a win-win.

This brings us to an important question, “How do you leverage video marketing to improve your social media strategy?”

I thought you’d never ask.

Here are my three quick tips to get you started.

Set goals.

Just as with any marketing campaign, right out of the gate you want to establish your goals. Whether you’re looking to build brand awareness, increase engagement, or generate leads, you’ll want to set the overarching goal of your videos.

If this seems a little overwhelming, let’s take a step back and look at the big picture of your overall marketing strategy. Keep your upcoming campaigns and product/service launches in mind and figure out how video could help supplement those initiatives. When you can pinpoint what exactly it is you’re trying to accomplish with your videos, you’ll be able to cater that content to fit within the context of the given social media channel.  Setting your goals from the beginning will help keep you focused throughout the creation and implementation of your video marketing efforts for that particular campaign.

Define your audience.

Now that you’ve established your goals, you need to figure out who you’re marketing to. The rule of thumb when it comes to any form of content marketing is to create content with your target audience in mind. When you do that, you’re going to be able to craft a message that resonates with your target audience because the content is relevant to them. This same notion applies to video marketing. Before you can create a video marketing strategy, you need to understand where your audience spends the most time. This information will guide your strategy because you’ll have a better understanding of the length, format and overall feel of your videos. To get a deeper understanding of your audience, utilize tools like Google Analytics and Sprout Social to gain a holistic view of who you’re trying to reach.

Provide value.

As is with any content marketing strategy, you want your video marketing campaigns to provide value to the end user. Once you’ve determined the overarching goals for your video marketing efforts, you need to think about how you can provide value to your target audience. Will your video entertain? Educate? Inform? No matter the end goal, you should always ask yourself this question when creating a video, “Would I want to watch this?” If the answer is no, go back to the drawing board and pinpoint how you could make that piece of content more engaging, more educational…more valuable!

Those were my three video marketing tips to get you started. In the coming weeks, I’m going to discuss the video marketing metrics that you should be considering.

Until then, check out this quick video clip from Hubspot.

The holiday season is quickly ramping up, and a sound social media marketing strategy could be the difference in whether or not the holidays are merry and bright for your company.

With each passing year, with more and more competition during the holiday season, you have to get a little more creative in order to break through the noise of commercials, radio jingles, Facebook ads, and promotional giveaways.

For small businesses, in particular, the holiday season creates prime opportunities for you to be a step ahead of your competition.

Before we dive into my five tips, let’s first highlight three of the biggest shopping days of the holiday season:

Black Friday – November 24
Small Business Saturday – November 25
Cyber Monday – November 27

Now that we have these dates in mind and realize that they’re closer than we thought, it’s not time to panic. It’s time to get to work. Here are five social media marketing tips to keep in mind this year.

Tread Lightly
To err on the side of caution and avoid offending your audience, be cognizant of the imagery, metaphors, and verbiage that you use in your holiday campaigns. Always have your target audience at the forefront of your efforts and keep them in mind when creating holiday campaign content.

Showcase Your Employees
The holiday season is a festive time of the year, which means that company celebrations are a given. Showcasing your employees is a great way to humanize your brand. However, there’s a fine line between putting faces to your company and oversharing. Obviously, you want to avoid the latter. So, before posting pictures from a company holiday party, you’ll want to vet the content and make sure that it aligns with your company’s overall mission. Be tasteful, mindful, and professional when posting.

Give Back

There’s no better time to give back to your loyal customers than during this season of giving. Take some time to make your customers feel special and like they’re an important piece of your business (because they are). Recognize and thank your customers by giving them something of value. When you do this, you’re fostering goodwill that can ultimately create brand advocates who will help spread the word about your business. Happy customers translate into influencers who can help build brand awareness through word-of-mouth marketing.

Grow Your Email List     

Your wish list isn’t the only thing that should be growing this time of year. It should come as no surprise, but people are always looking for freebies and ways to keep money in their wallet. Leverage this information to your advantage and grow your email list by creating a valuable giveaway for your audience. Create a specific promotion on social media that requires your audience to provide their email address as part of their entry. But, before you hit publish on your post, there are a few things to consider so that you avoid being added to the naughty list by local laws:

  1. Make sure that you give your audience the opportunity to opt-in to (or out of) future email communications from your business.
  2. Include full disclosure of the rules and regulations of your contest.

Once you’ve covered these legal bases, make sure that your value proposition is worth it. My rule of thumb for giveaways is that the prize matches what you’ve asked of your audience. Giving you their email address would earn them a greater-value prize than simply liking a Facebook post, for example. Keep this in mind when deciding on the prize for your list-building giveaway.

Be Present

Make sure that you’re manning your social media channels throughout the season to address any issues or questions that come your way. Providing swift customer service to your audience will speak volumes for your business long after the holidays are over. It’s crucial that you stay on top of what people are saying not only about your brand, but your industry as well. Use social listening to your advantage to provide value to your audience.

With all of this information in mind, if this is the first time you’ve thought about your holiday marketing campaigns, don’t panic. Use these five tips to start mapping out your campaigns. If you want to prevent bearing the last-minute rush, get in touch with us today and we’ll make sure that your social campaigns run like well-oiled machines all year ‘round.

Content marketing is more than just a term that’s thrown around in the industry; it’s the line of communication that can connect businesses both small and large to their target audience.

In a world where we’re inundated with content, it takes a smart and savvy marketer to break through the noise and get their content out there and in front of the consumers’ eyes.

How can content marketing help you and your business stand out?

Here are five tips to help you refocus your attention on content marketing so that you can create and execute a well thought-out strategy to bolster your business.

Tip #1: Stay Consumer Focused.

Perhaps the biggest problem that I’ve noticed is that brands are focusing more on the microgame than they are the macro. What do I mean? They’re putting all their chips behind advertising and pushing their product instead of focusing on what matters most: the consumer. The best piece of advice that I can offer you today is to focus more on the long run, the end game, rather than obsessing over your short-term goals. When you switch your focus from your business to the consumer, you’ll start to see a change in how your audience perceives your brand and interacts with the content that you’re creating.

When writing content, you want to take a “consumer first” approach and work to slowly build your audience. First, you’ll want to form relationships and nurture them. Once you’ve done this, you can then start to shift your content to a more sales-focused approach to monetize your work.

Your content cadence should be: give, give, give, give, get.

Give them content that’s valuable and that solves a problem. After you’ve provided them with relevant information time and time again, only then can you ask for and get what you want from your audience in return.

In short, you never want to lead off by asking your consumers for something when you haven’t even taken the time to build your voice, position your brand in the industry, gain their trust, and give your target audience some semblance of value.

Tip #2: Find Your Sweet Spot.

One way to make content marketing work for you and your business is to find your sweet spot – your niche. If you’re a little unsure as to where exactly you fit in your industry’s spectrum, it’s time to do a little digging. If you have a shovel but don’t know where to break ground, let me point you in the right direction.

  • Pinpoint your purpose – What exactly is the goal of your content? Have you taken note of what the community is talking about? Their pain points? Their frequently asked questions? Once you’re in tune with the current events in your industry, you can then reassess your messaging and determine exactly what you want to accomplish with your content marketing efforts.
  • Create remarkable content – Anyone can write content, but it takes a skilled marketer to create content that hooks the reader, reels them in and leaves them wanting more. When it comes to content marketing, you can’t simply go through the motions and expect to yield astounding results. Rather, creating remarkable content requires attention to detail and the ability to take your message to the next level.
  • Strengthen your credibility – Your authority and credibility are like a muscle. It takes constant work to strengthen that muscle and keep it in shape. This means that when it comes to your business, you have to continually be exercising your authority and credibility within your industry to stay relevant and in tune with what matters most to your target audience. Once you’ve solidified this credibility it’s up to you to create content around your strengths and continue to build up and off of these assets.

Tip #3: Identify a Difference.

Industry competitors all share commonalities on some level. After all, they are pushing the same type of product and trying to reach the same audience. While there are similarities, you must identify a difference that sets you apart from your competition. When you find this distinction, you can begin to identify your company’s hyper-targeted ideal audience. Your difference will open you and your business up to a plethora of opportunities to tell a different story from your competitors, fixing other problems and in turn reaching out to new audiences. Once you’ve figured out who you are and what your company stands for, you can begin speaking to this notion and driving your point home through your content marketing strategy. All assets, from your website to your social media profiles, should reflect your main selling point and your unique difference from your competitors.

Tip #4: Pick your Content.

As marketers, we have the tendency to want to be firing on all cylinders and have as many irons in the fire as we possibly can. Basically, we could insert any cliché about doing too much into this paragraph and you’d get the picture. While it may seem like we have to dabble in each platform and test every idea, even if it doesn’t make the most sense for our brand, I’m here to tell you to do the exact opposite – for now at least.

Start by identifying a primary platform to distribute content. What platform does your target audience gravitate toward? Once you’ve decided on your focus, it’s time to begin consistently delivering valuable and insightful content. The byproduct of regular, valuable content will be that you build an audience on your chosen platform; over time, you can start to encourage that audience to follow you to another platform, rinse, and repeat across the myriad social platforms.

Tip #5: Be Flexible.

The current climate of digital marketing is always changing. When you feel like you have a grasp on a concept, Google launches a new algorithm, or another company completely throws you for a loop and introduces a brand-new platform or a way to approach your marketing. Rather than resisting and staying with the tried and true methods that have worked for you so far, you have to approach your strategy with an open mind and a willingness to be flexible. You’re probably thinking that the last two points I’m making are contradictory. In my fourth tip, I told you to focus on one platform at a time, master it, and then add another to your repertoire; now, I’m telling you to try new things, be flexible and avoid getting stuck in a rut. But, as is with everything in the digital marketing world, you need the yin and the yang. You need balance in order to see what works best for you and your company. While I’m not telling you to jump head first into a new strategy and completely change gears without any rhyme or reason, I am telling you to do your research, investigate new ideas thoroughly, and gradually implement them into your overall content strategy. I’m a firm believer in trying new things and testing new ideas, but you have to do it in light of your brand and your industry.

Content marketing is more than just a means to get your message out to the masses. It takes a well-rounded strategy, patience and a high caliber of execution to succeed.

This all sounds serious, but it can be done. If you need some help in the content marketing department, drop me a line. I’d love to chat about how Flying Cork can help your efforts.

Blogs are everywhere. Whether it’s a blog about a popular TV show, pets, recipes, fitness or anything in between, blogs are a platform that’s used by many.

But, just because a lot of people are in the blogosphere, doesn’t mean that people are using them correctly. So, today in my blog, I want to start you off with three important tips to keep in mind for the next time you log on to your company’s blog (with permission from your boss of course).

1. Only the Best

Anything less than your best when publishing a blog is not only a waste of your time but your readers’ time as well. That sounded harsh but, let me explain! When crafting content for your company’s blog keep in mind that your ultimate goal is to be looked at like an expert in your field. You want to put your company in a position that when people have an industry-specific question they turn to your blog for the answer. So, if you’re blogging about irrelevant content that’s for lack of a better term, fluff, people won’t take your company seriously. Always remember to keep your thumb on the pulse of your industry and post current, relevant content, often!

2. Style

No, I’m not referencing Taylor Swift’s latest song, I’m talking about your writing style! At their core, blogs are meant to be informal and gives businesses the chance to humanize their company. Your blog is the perfect platform to add personality and to get rid of the sales-y tone. However, just because a blog is informal doesn’t mean that you can substitute S’s for dollar $igns, it’s still a company blog so keep it professional!

3. Share and Share Alike

This isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned this and it more than likely won’t be the last time either! If you want your message to spread like wildfire, you have to make it easy on the reader to share your blog. Take out the extra step of having to copy and paste your blog’s link by simply adding share icons! This will make it easier for people to share your posts and drive traffic to your site. Need more info? Check out my previous blog about the power of social sharing buttons!

Let’s summarize these three tips: Only post your best blog content that shows a hint of personality but is still professional enough that will make people want to share your blog by simply clicking on the social icons!