8 Copywriting Tips for Web Design & Online Marketing Success

Copywriting tips for effective website design and content marketing. From PMI, serving Reading, PA, Philadelphia, Allentown, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Allentown, York, Pennsylvania and beyond.Writing persuasive copy for online viewing differs greatly from writing for magazine articles and for most other printed copy. Great web design and content marketing involves much more than creating attractive graphics. Your website copy is the key to attracting viewers, to engaging them, and to converting viewers into prospects and customers. Here are some tips for writing great online copy to satisfy all three goals.

Keep It Pithy

When writing website and other online content it’s extremely important to keep the information flowing quickly. Don’t terrorize your readers with long paragraphs and confusing text. Online viewers tend to be impatient because other options are just a quick Google search away. Therefore, find ways to communicate your message in as few words as possible.  Keep your paragraphs short and use subtitles generously in your copy to aid readers who want to skim your information before reading certain paragraphs more closely.

Copywriting to Sell

Write sales copy with a WIFM (what’s in it for me – the customer, that is) mentality. Decide how and why a customer may benefit from your product or service, and then work those reasons into your copy. Sure, there are times when being subtle is the right strategy, but often it is better to be quick and direct with your message, keeping in mind the impatience factor noted above. After quickly getting to the WIFM message, provide the details lower down in the copy or in a linked sub-page for those who want to learn more. That approach satisfies the need for speed whlie also providing helpful details that may be required to complete the sale or to encourage the viewer to take the next step.

Create a Clear Call to Action

Sample call to action for PMI's web design needs assessment for customers in Reading, PA and beyondAs a marketer I find it surprising that so many web pages lack a clear call to action. A call to action may be as simple as a text link that connects to an order form, or as elaborate as a detailed graphic (such as the one to the right) that links to a sub-page or infographic presenting your offer in greater detail.

Studies have shown that clearly stating the obvious is often the best approach when it comes to creating an effective call to action. For example, buttons and other clickable images frequently gain more clicks when accompanied by the words “click here” or by an arrow or image of a mouse pointer hovering over the button as if it were about to click the image. Remember, people are frequently in a hurry, so connect the dots for them.

Make it Easy to Find and Easy to Follow Through

Think about what you want your viewers to do, the benefits they will receive by doing it, and then make it incredibly easy for them to find your call to action, combining a clear message with attractive graphics. Where possible place your call to action “above the fold”, meaning on the upper portion of your web page where it can be seen without scrolling on a laptop device.

Match Your Message to Your Audience

How well do you know your target audience or your best type of customer? How well does your copywriting appeal to their emotions and needs? For example, if you sell beauty products or apparel, would customers want to use your products primarily to appear more youthful or to look more professional? Is your message and imagery in line with their needs and the benefits of your products?

A strong and well-placed testimonial can be used to add a persuasive boost to your copy. Demonstrate how the product or service has helped others, perhaps starting with an eye-catching opening statement in bold text, followed by a short paragraph and perhaps a link to additional testimonials.

Headlines and Bulleted Lists

Breaking up copy with bold headlines and subtitles as described above keeps things moving and helps keep the reader engagad. In a similar way, bulleted lists can be used to help readers quickly understand your key points.

Copywriting Checklist

In summary, here is a quick list of 8 things to keep in mind when writing your online copy:

  • Keep it pithy – connect the dots for the reader
  • Create clear calls to action
  • Place key calls to action above the fold
  • Write with a WIFM mindset
  • Use short paragraphs and frequent titles/subtitles
  • Use bulleted lists where applicable
  • Match your message to your audience
  • Use powerful testimonials

We’re Here for You

Please contact us if you need assistance in writing persuasive, search engine optimized copy for your website, online ads, or other marketing materials.

Content Marketing: 5 Ways to Write Posts People Want to Read

Boost your social media marketing strategy with effective content marketing. Learn to write posts people want to read. By PMI, serving Reading, PA, Berks County, Philadelphia, Allentown and beyond with content marketing and related online marketing services.When it comes to blogging as a form of content marketing, creating interesting content that your customers want to read can be a difficult task for a busy entrepreneur.

However, taking the time to create something new on a regular basis allows you to connect with your clients in a friendly, non-salesy way. Done well, it creates respect for your expertise, builds trust, and an appreciation for your helpful advice offered free of charge.

There are many ways to share great content with your audience without sacrificing potential business by “giving away the farm”. Here are 5 easy ways to get started:

  1. Create an Excerpt:

    Give your readers a closer look into your products or services and how they can benefit.  People love getting something of value for free, and great content doesn’t have to take long to develop if it’s something for which you have true expertise, or if you can condense a paid version of something into a free version.  For example, if you publish a virtual magazine, you can post a small pdf version of your magazine with a few sample articles.

  2. Repost and Summarize Recent News:

    Reposting and summarizing recent news (know as newsjacking) is a great way to ride the coattails of a news story and to attract traffic from search engines (SEO) in the process.  For best results, be quick to jump on a new story, and stay with important, highly publicized events and content related to your business. Then, add your personal insights or advice.  Look for opportunities to link your post to other areas of your website or blog, which will provide another SEO boost and give the reader an opportunity to delve deeper into your online content. The longer you can keep your readers (particularly first time readers) on your blog or website, the greater the chance that they will return in the future. 

  3. Repackage Out-of-date Content:

    Blog posts can last years but content can easily become outdated, especially technology and fashion-oriented content. If you’ve run out of new things to write about for your blog, try repackaging old content with a fresh new look, and update it with the latest information.  For example, if some of your customers are now using the new version of a technology or service you offer, create a new blog post about their experiences in converting or upgrading, such as the struggles they faced, and the benefits they received. Make it relevant and exciting so your readers will want to keep coming back for more. 

  4. Teach your Readers Something New:

    People, especially blog readers, love to learn new and useful information.  A great way to generate hits and keep the attention of your target market is to find something related to your line of work that you can teach your readers.  A plumber might write a blog about how to prevent kitchen sink blockages or a butcher might write about choosing the best cut of steak for a family cook out.  The possibilities are endless.  Be creative and remember, just because the answer is obvious to you, that doesn’t mean it’s obvious to your readers.  Remember, you’re the expert! 

  5. Answer Questions:

    If you have readers sending you questions regarding your business, your industry, best practices, or even general inquiries, you can quickly create original content addressing their questions on your blog. Include research and elaborate on points that may be unclear.  In the process you may learn about more about your own field of work and further increase your level of expertise.

Steady as You Go!

A steady stream of new and relevant content will encourage your blog readers to actively follow you. They’ll appreciate the fact that you are spending time to keep them informed, they’ll get to you know you better, and come to view you as an expert.

For best results, keep your posts flowing at a predictable pace, preferably weekly or even twice a week.  People like the fact that they can check back often and find something new.

If you’re interested in content marketing, but would like help developing a smart strategy, or if you need support in creating fresh contact, please contact us.

4 Easy Ways to Achieve Consistent Branding

4 Keys to effective branding and marketing for Reading PA, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Allentown, York, Harrisburg and beyond.Branding, or the art of achieving a positive and consistent brand image for your business, is more than just a nice idea.  In fact, branding is a key pillar of an effective marketing strategy, and applies as much to online and social media marketing as it does to traditional marketing and advertising such as print media, outdoor advertising, radio, and TV. It’s a pillar because great branding essentially multiplies your marketing and advertising efforts and dollars by providing a hook to make your message live on in the minds of your target audience.

Just getting your new business off the ground? Don’t be fooled into thinking that an integrated logo, business card and letterhead are sufficient to create a great brand image, even for a low-budget one-person operation.  There are many things to consider, all of which work together to reinforce your brand image and to remind potential customers of who you are and how you stand apart from the competition.

Here are four easy ways to achieve positive and consistent branding: 

#1. Use Taglines:  Make Them Short, Memorable, & Relevant

A good tagline is a memorable phrase or one-liner designed to remind customers of who you are, what you offer, and how you stand apart. Just as a picture can paint a thousand words, so a tagline can help customers recall your advertising campaigns, presentations, and value propositions in an instant.  Who can forget Nike’s “Just Do It”, Ford’s “Ford Tough”, or Wheaties’ “Breakfast of Champions”?  When you hear those lines you know immediately which company is represented, and experience an instant visualization of their products or logos. Strive to make your tagline short, memorable, and relevant to your core products, services, and mission.

#2. Create a Style Guide for Consistent Branding

Creating, a style guide is a fairly painless way to ensure that your basic branding efforts share a consistent look and feel. Your style guide, which should be created by a professional graphic designer, will define the colors, images and fonts to be used in your advertising materials and presentations, as well as logo placement, and details like the amount of white space to be included around your logo, as well as other guidelines. A thorough guide may even include examples of what is not acceptable in an effort to avoid common errors by your well-intended sales and marketing staff. Your guide is also valuable when outsourcing new advertising and promotional materials, and may help reduce the cost of such efforts while helping ensure consistent, high-quality branding.

Your style guide will make it easier for you to achieve visual consistency in anything and everything that represents your brand whether it’s a flyer or brochure, a blog or social media page, a TV commercial or PowerPoint presentation, a pen or mug, or virtually anything that can reflect or reinforce your brand image.

#3. Brand Your Social Media Experience

Branding includes creating a consistent visual experience wherever your brand is encountered, including on your social media networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and any others your business may use.  Some social media platforms provide less graphical design flexibility than others. Nevertheless, those encountering your brand via social media should experience a strong sense of familiarity and consistency across all social media touch points.

#4. Create and Use Branded Templates

Take the grunt work out of branding by providing your sales force and others with professionally created templates that adhere to the branding guidelines in your style guide.  Your graphic designer can create effective templates for letterheads, PowerPoint presentations, signature lines within email messages, sales receipts, customer quote forms, and virtually every type of printed or electronically transmitted customer-facing communication. Using templates will save time and money while consistently reinforcing your brand image.

In Summary

A great brand can multiply the results of your marketing efforts while building brand recognition and loyalty. The more you get a clear and compelling brand image in front of others, and the more consistently you present it across your marketing and advertising channels, the quicker people will recognize it and become more likely to choose your brand over others. There are many aspects to effective branding beyond those mentioned here, but by following these 4 principles you will be well on your way to a more effective branding strategy.

If you would like additional help in forming an effective branding and marketing strategy for your business, then please contact us.

Social Media Marketing Tip: Ride the Coattails of Popular Bloggers

An Inbound Marketing / Social Media Marketing Parable

Imagine you are visiting a county fair in the heat of the summer.

Walking with your refreshing cup of lemonade, you hear someone talking over the loudspeaker.  You take a look and there is a crowd gathered around a stage, listening to someone speaking.

How to leverage popular bloggers to enhance your social media marketing strategy. Serving Reading, PA, Philadelphia, Allentown, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Harrisburg and beyond.Now, imagine every one of the people in the crowd is someone in your target market.  You would love to have the same kind of attention from these people that the speaker is enjoying.

What is the logical question that comes to mind?

What is this person saying that has this crowd so interested?

You would be foolish not to walk over and join the assembly to hear what the speaker is talking about.  It is a tremendous opportunity to strike up a conversation with individuals in the crowd.  Create a conversation around the speaker’s message and add your own insights.  Tell them how you can help them, and invite them to stop by your office.  This is also a wonderful opportunity to answer questions posed by the speaker, thereby revealing your expertise to the crowd.

What’s the Lesson for Your Social Media Strategy?

If this is true in our little parable, it can also be applied to our inbound marketing and social media marketing strategy.  There are bloggers in your industry who your customers and potential customers are following and reading. How can you ride their coattails to a more successul marketing strategy?

Increase Your Social Media Marketing Effectiveness by Learning and Applying the Following:

 

  • Who are the popular bloggers in your industry?
  • What are their website addresses?
  • What are they writing about?  What topics are they not writing about?
  • How often do they publish?
  • How many fans or followers do they have?
  • How frequently do people comment on their articles?
  • What do the comments reveal about the concerns and knowledge of the readers of the blog?
  • Are any of the bloggers local?  (Is there an opportunity for you to become the local expert?)
  • How can you add comments to the blog posts in a way that enhances your reputation?
  • Can you contact the blogger and recommend a mutually beneficial connection?
  • Does the blogger have more expertise and experience than you?  How can you strengthen your knowledge and expertise?
  • Are you a fan of the blogger’s social media pages? Did you subscribe to his or her blog so you know when new content has been posted?

 

Visit Google Blog Search and take a few minutes to search for blogs in your industry.  Answer the questions above and identify new opportunities to reach out to potential customers in your target market.

Do you have a solid marketing plan for your business? One that combines the best traditional and online marketing techniques to form a smart, cohesive marketing strategy? Contact us to learn how we can help with our unique approach to gaining more leads and more customers for your business. Contact us today.

Content Marketing Tip: 4 Ways to Boost Traffic by Commenting

Someone Commented! Time to Buy a Lottery Ticket?

It is a Monday morning.  You bought your coffee at the local convenience store on your drive in to work.  After checking your email, you meet with your staff to go over the issues facing your business this week.  You make phone calls to clients, suppliers, and consultants.

Content Marketing tips to boost your website, blog, and social media trafficThe last thing on your mind is to check your social media and website for comments to an article you posted last week.  Why bother?  You have come to expect that people don’t add comments to your articles.  Lately you’ve been questioning your content marketing strategy and the effort required to create original content.

However, you decide to check anyway.

You discover an authentic comment about your article submitted by someone representing another firm. It is clear from the wording of the comment that the author read your article and is responding to the thoughts you shared.  This is not spam.

Think about it.  What would you do?

You would want to know who the author is.  You would visit their website.  The business professional effectively generated traffic to their website by thoughtfully commenting on the article you wrote.

So Many Lonely Pages Just Waiting to Drive Traffic to Your Website

There are millions of lonely websites and social media pages on the Internet.  This fact creates opportunity for you to drive traffic to your website.

Develop a plan to regularly comment on the social media pages and websites of other businesses.

Where to Post Comments to Drive More Traffic

Consider posting comments on the websites and blogs of the following:

  1. Customers
  2. Prospective customers
  3. Former customers
  4. Suppliers and consultants
  5. Local business and community leaders
  6. Local charities and community organizations

Commenting Ideas & Guidelines

What are some of the things you can comment about?

  1. Thank them for the information they shared in the article, making sure you reference actual content or else you could have the appearance of a spammer.
  2. Ask a question about a specific point they made in the article, giving them an opportunity to share more of their expertise.
  3. Tell them how you are going to use the information they shared in the article.
  4. Recommend other organizations or types of organizations who may benefit from the article.

Apply the Golden Rule of Commenting

Are you discouraged by the level of traffic coming to your website?  Perhaps you need to apply better and more consistent online marketing techniques.  However, there is also a world of opportunity to generate traffic by “doing unto others” what you would have them do to you.  Visit their websites and provide some encouraging feedback by commenting on their posts. Stay at it and over time it just may come back to you a hundredfold.

Need Help with Your Online Marketing Strategy?

We can help you formulate a smart, efficient, and cost-effective online strategy to grow your business. Please Contact Us if you need assistance. The initial consultation is free for qualified customers.