Quite simply, using the word “you” makes people’s ears perk up a little. As a species, humans are wired to think about what’s in our best interest when making decisions—so naturally, we gravitate toward content that speaks directly to us. It makes us feel special, included and connected because the writing is more personal, conversational and relatable.
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Calculate marketing return on investment. It's also important to know if the money you're spending on advertising is increasing your revenue enough to make it worth it. Simply total your expenditures on certain marketing campaigns and compare that to how much your sales have (or have not) increased in the time since beginning those campaigns. Keep in mind that there may be a significant delay between implementing your marketing campaign and the resulting bump in sales. Consider the value you are getting for spending your money on advertising.
Your first step is to identify your potential customers. Who will be interested in your product? How many of these people will actually purchase it? Narrow your target audience. Then, tailor your advertisements to this group. Place ads in magazines, newspapers, and on websites you think they are interested in. If your plan doesn't seem to be working after a few months, take time to reassess your target.
This video training series from Copy Hackers gets straight to the point and answers the biggest question on marketing writers’ minds: How do you use copy to drive conversions? Copy Hackers founder Joanna Wiebe breaks down concepts like features vs. benefits on your website, using Adwords to reach customers via search, and the differences between homepage and landing page copy. Other copywriting gurus including Lianna Patch, Sam Woods, and Amy Hebdon also share their advice on how to create a great copy.
When businesses pursue content marketing, the main focus should be the needs of the prospect or customer. Once a business has identified the customer's need, information can be presented in a variety of formats, including news, video, white papers, e-books, infographics, email newsletters, case studies, podcasts, how-to guides, question and answer articles, photos, blogs, etc. Most of these formats belong to the digital channel.
Maybe they want a free piece of content from you. Tell them they can get it! “Download Our Free E-Book” is direct and enticing way to communicate that. Do they need to see more about your past work/clients before choosing to do business with you? Give them a CTA that speaks to that, like one of these: “View Our Case Studies”, “See Our Results”, “View Our Testimonials”, “Calculate Your Results”, “Start Your Free Trial”, or “Request a Consultation”.
For Panasonic, we needed a reliable long-term resource. We love working with MarketSmiths - they've exceeded our expectations, are easy to work with, and have been a great partner on our engagement with Panasonic. They produce consistently high-quality content that is well-written and hits on the key messages we're looking for. We trust them and value their opinions and suggestions.
Each time you refresh the login page, you see a different, equally clever example email belonging to a fictional character, like Ender from Ender's Game and Dana Scully from The X-Files -- a great example of nostalgia marketing. This is a small detail, but nonetheless a reminder that there are real humans behind the website and product's design. Delightful microcopy like this kinda feels like I just shared a private joke with someone at the company.
On March 6, 2012, Dollar Shave Club launched their online video campaign. In the first 48 hours of their video debuting on YouTube they had over 12,000 people signing up for the service. The video cost just $4500 to make and as of November 2015 has had more than 21 million views. The video was considered as one of the best viral marketing campaigns of 2012 and won "Best Out-of-Nowhere Video Campaign" at the 2012 AdAge Viral Video Awards.
The personal finance site Mint.com used content marketing, specifically their personal finance blog MintLife, to build an audience for a product they planned to sell. According to entrepreneur Sachin Rekhi, Mint.com concentrated on building the audience for MintLife "independent of the eventual Mint.com product." Content on the blog included how-to guides on paying for college, saving for a house, and getting out of debt. Other popular content included in-depth interviews and a series of financial disasters called "Trainwreck Tuesdays." The popularity of the site surged as did demand for the product. "Mint grew quickly enough to sell to Intuit for $170 million after three years in business. By 2013, the tool reached 10 million users, many of whom trusted Mint to handle their sensitive banking information because of the blog’s smart, helpful content."
If the answer to these is “no”, then it’s time to get rid of the fluff. Some people get caught up in the misconception that a website has to have tons of content to rank well in searches, but the reality is that unless it’s valuable and clear to the user, a surplus of content is only going to prevent them from taking an action (be it making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, scheduling a consultation, etc.). And if that’s the ultimate goal—for users to take some kind of action—why would we want to make it harder for them to do so? Which leads me to my next point: don’t make them think—make them do.