Summer is here and it’s not the time for cool, mediocre content on your blogs or website. Send your content and website hits soaring with these successful tips to keep your rankings and indexing climbing to the top of the charts.
#1 Consider what sells you on eBay — A good description of a product as well as the imagery selected creates the motivation to buy the item, right? So it’s no different with your product or service description. Want to heat up the return on your investment of time, money and effort expended on building your business, brand or blog? You have to engage and inform in such a way that ignites the audience to take action.
#2 Yes, Sweat the Small Stuff — I don’t like saying the “devil’s in the details” but the small, sweat drops of critical points are what’s going to take the success of your content sky-high! Remember, in the online world, all your competitors are just a few clicks away. Give them more than just a simple photo and bland product dimensions; engage them visually and then close the deal.
#3 Hot Headlines & Following the News in Your Niche — News is a great source to turn up the heat on your content . You’d be surprised where great ideas can be formulated when derived from the media’s ‘hot topics’ and headlines promoted on Yahoo, CNN and various websites as well as TV. This technique can effectively increase the exposure of your content and be just what you need to jump-start your creative juices and typing fingers. For example, while on my LinkedIn page, I saw an article about choosing the red vs. the blue pill in ‘Happiness Is Not the Most Important Thing at Work.’ It made me consider a future blog topic about the power of engaging headlines and questioning your audience within your content to fully-engage them.
#4 Test the waters with a Blog Aggregator – A what? You read it correctly – a blog aggregator. It’s a website that keeps track of blog posts and where bloggers go for idea sharing with other bloggers in your niche. This is a great way to be inspired, share ideas and even professionally debate a topic. I recently wrote an article on Triberr, one of the prominent blog aggregators today. Not only were people engaged, but one of the founders of the company commented on my blog to address some of the points I made. Engagement accomplished!
#5 Window Shopping & People Watching – Most of us are out & about more than usual during the summer months. Whether at the beach, tanning poolside or BBQing in the backyard–watching others can give way to some pretty cool topics for blogging. Window shopping and long walks about town can also be the catalyst for thoughts on a product or service, from or for your own business. Also, by watching how someone reacts to various stimuli can strike the right match to turn up creative thought within you.
I hope this ignited some inspiration in you with some great insights to consider when writing and posting your content. I’d love to hear what other piping hot tips you have to share with me!
Marketing strategies run the gamut when it comes to creativity – whether it’s pushing the envelope or pushing your buttons. Psychology Marketing (also known as Consumer Behavior Marketing) is one facet used by the industry meant to do exactly that; push emotional buttons to steer a response causing the consumer to consume a businesses goods, services and even agenda. It is well understood that “emotional marketing” plays a pivotal role in reporting/publicizing world events; selling medical pharmaceuticals-even selling cars! As a result, psychology marketing has become one of the most effective tools to gain attention and cause the consumer(s) to react verbally or financially to a cause, service or product.
Human Interest Stories: The Grandfather of Them All
Wikipedia defines it as “a feature story …presents people and their problems, concerns, or achievements in a way that brings about interest or sympathy in the reader or viewer. Human interest stories may be “the story behind the story” about an event, organization, or otherwise faceless historical happening, such as about the life of an individual soldier during wartime, an interview with a survivor of a natural disaster, or profile of someone known for a career achievement.” Human interest stories give consumers an emotional connection to the problem, product or service being promoted. It makes more difference in reactions and behaviors than most consumers ever realize.
Psychology Marketing is meant to:
– Look at how consumers think, feel and reason-out their decisions and ultimate selections
– Study how a consumer is influenced by their environment such as personal culture and media exposure
– Consider the targeted consumer, their motivations & strategies when comparing products or services for ultimate selection
This is what marketers use to adapt and strategize for their marketing campaigns to more effectively reach the consumer.
Best at the Game: Non-profits
Most non-profit companies have cornered the market on attaching emotional elements to their causes in all forums of media and promotion. So whether it’s a poster, TV commercial or internet ad campaign, their marketing strategies include elements that strike a chord and causes us to pause, consider and act. And once celebrities add their devotion to let’s say a particular cause or movement, undoubtedly the campaign increases its projected success.
Best at the Awww Factor: Pampers About 95% of consumers love a cute baby and Pampers is kind of capitalizing on that with their marketing campaigns. One of my personal favorites is the Silent Night campaign by Pampers. This great commercial plays annually during the New Year and has a profound effect on all its viewers. How profound? It actually remains one of their most successful campaigns since 2008. Why? Because their Silent Night commercial causes you stop, awww out loud and think about the beautiful sweetness of babies sleeping peacefully. Their marketing team knew your affection and love meter would go up several bars half way through it and they’ve been reaping the benefits ever since the campaign’s inception.
Current Events-Shockwave Effect Nothing is works in the favor of news media more than shocking news. You know the kind that makes you sad or enraged as what’s going on in the world. It might be hard to conceive that there’s marketing in calamity but there is. Ever since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT, President Obama’s team has been hard at work to market the President’s legislative position in his responses orally in his speeches and with his actions as he continues to meet & address the Sandy Hook victims parents and school officials. His speech writing/marketing team penned an emotionally moving speech that he himself found hard to emotionally contains as he teared-up during his public address. His recent bashing yet inspiring Shame on Us speech moved many with a strong call-to-action for legislative changes in gun control and social responsibility.
These are 2 of my personal picks which includes one of the most watched and emotionally charged marketing campaigns to date.
The CDC’s Anti-Smoking Campaign uses scare tactics by showing us the horrific consequences of smoking. Some of the commercials are just sad but there are some that are inspirational for smokers to do whatever it takes which creates a sense of resolution. Ah yes, they’ve tapped into our fight vs. flight responses and the former outweighs the later.
Liberty Mutual’s Half Acre Campaign reflected a Pay It Forward theme that inspires all of us to take just a moment to do something for someone else, big or small, recognized or not. But it was recognized as the commercial captures. Over and over again people take notice and act in the perpetual the cycle of “do right”.
Good morning all – Jean and I had a great discussion during our video blog yesterday and we hope you enjoy it. However, if you don’t have time to watch it or take notes, we’d like to share some of the key points made. The next time you take on a new client, consider these questions or issues to raise, dialogue about and seek answers to in order to successfully manage your clients expectations.
1st Element: Understanding Who Your Client Really Is
A. Find out the type of personality they have & how they best communicate (email, text, telephone or in person).
B. Through discussions, try to extract the purpose of the website and their business goals even if they aren’t clear on them.
C. Stress the importance of branding & being clear about their business identity & its goals so that the website and/or branding efforts are successful.
A. What’s the vision of the company?
B. Who do they believe their customers & consumers are?
C. What do they think their consumers & audience want to see & expect from them?
D. Take the initiative through dialogue/research to get a firm understanding of their product or service and how they want to market it.
E. What are the goals they want their website and branding to achieve?
3rd Element: Setting Client Expectations for the Project
A. What is the projected costs & overall budget (with wiggle room)?
B. What are the time frames for benchmarks and completion?
C. Are you requesting and receiving all relevant content for each page of your website upfront? Consider how this affects time & workflow of project.
D. Are their images web-worthy (i.e. are clear, look professional), of high-resolution and large enough to scale down for editing if needed?
E. Have you established a good client relationship that can endure project delays and/or disappointments?
F. Can that rapport endure if there are issues with responsiveness from the client that affect workflow, benchmarks & completion dates?
4th Element: Clients Expectation for ROI
A. Make sure you set realistic expectations of the actual ROI and timeframe in which they might see the fruits of their investment.
B. What do you do with a client that has unrealistic expectations of ROI?
C. Explain why advertising their website is crucial once it is launched and the need for continued marketing efforts.
– They need figure out how they are going to notify current customers about their new website.
– Make announcements via Social Media platforms.
– Invest in marketing materials that reflect an online, worldwide presence.
D. Encourage them to think outside the box to market their website.
– If you’re a Mom & Pop, consider Small Business Association meetings, posting marketing materials in coffee houses & restaurant/business lobbies.
E. All businesses need to focus on and execute strategic customer outreach campaigns to see profitable ROI.
The Wrap Up It’s important to set the expectations from both parties from the beginning. Set your workflow & do your best to stick to it. Hold your clients accountable for their website’s success. Help them understand that the success of their website requires THEIR initiative, drive
& passion for THEIR business. Remember, good content does wonders for customer engagement and willingness to purchase the product or service. Understand it’s about client relationship & the longevity of that relationship.
The keys to persuasive, effective marketing materials are great design and informative, persuasive content. Content is both words and supporting imagery that conveys what benefits a consumer will derive from the product/service you are offering. Think of brochures as either the initial “handshake” of your business with a client or the last impression. Your business cards and brochures are essential parts of your brand and can certainly impact the marketability of your business and attracting potential clientele. This week I’d like to highlight the key components to a stand out & effective brochure.
Content can include charts, images, diagrams, listings and other graphic elements that highlight key benefits of your business services/products. Also use of calls to action can be critical to persuasion and getting the consumer to act on your solicitation. Also know that the caliber of writing of your brochure will certainly determine the effectiveness of your message and brand. If you aren’t the greatest writer, farm it out to a business or colleague that can.
White space is an essential part of every single marketing piece, namely brochures. The lines between text and imagery are white space; which allows your readers’ eyes relax and gives them a momentary break from the content. You never want intake overload but also don’t want your content to look too sparse. White space can also be used to separate important points. For example, the brochure below is an example of too much white space & too little content.
Colors evoke feelings and emotions, and can certainly help to build a customers’ first or last impression of your business. The colors you select for your brochure design should definitely compliment or match the colors in your logo or company name. Use of vibrant colors should be done in selective areas and in moderation.
Font selection be stylistic but be easily readable and the size should be chosen based on the volume of information you are trying to convey. It should not be too large (over 14 pt.) or too small (less than 10 pt.) The font should reflect your brand style and set the tone of your organization – elegant for a bridal shop, powerful for an auto body shop. Lastly, the body copy font should differ from your headlines, but you should not exceed the use of 3 different fonts within your brochure design.
Paper selected should be reflective of the quality of your business…Yeah, I said it. Using flimsy paper or a cheap card stock may give a flimsy impression of your business. Choosing glossy or matte finish is purely subjective.
Imagery plays a critical role just like your written content. Take your time when selecting the right imagery and the placement of them. Also, do not forget to check your resolution on the images you select. The higher the resolution the better your picture will come across in print. The lower the resolution, the more blurry and unprofessional your brochure will look when printed. FYI -300 dpi or higher is best for clear, color printing.
The Design of your brochure should be simple but effective. Feel free to break away from the normal trifold and display your brand & company character.
Among the sea of typical trifolds, how do you make your brochure stand out?
While talking to a client about her new website that Design Theory is currently creating, we began discussing and distinguishing the differences of websites similar to her industry. During the discussion I asked her if she wanted a Pop Tart vs. Toaster Strudel design and content. We both chuckled while I explained the difference and how that would affect her readership and visitation numbers. As I explained my breakfast treat comparison, it occurred to me that this would make great content itself for a blog. So with sweet treat comparatives, tongs in hand, let’s see what the difference is and what to look out for when designing your own personal use or business website.
Sticky Jelly or Oozing Content
Pop TartsToaster Strudel
Can be stored at room temperature Must stay frozen until ready for consumption
No need for refrigeration Leaving it out over 12 hours may make it unfit for consumption
What does this say about the quality of your content & about your website? Quickly written, often plagiarized content will only be worth the effort put into it. However content that is fresh, witty and deliberate will evoke the proper response for the goal set before it. It will be more pleasing and can easily be distinguished. And that’s exactly what you want and need to get your product and/or services sold. Once again, it’s a distinction between what looks good and achieves the goal that should direct the content accordingly.
Static or Creative Icing
Is your content very cookie-cutter, stationary or could be considered stale? Or does the verbiage move, flow and swirl to create interest and hold your reader’s attention? Is your use of imagery typical or often used stock photography or is it distinctive and has an artistic, creative flare to it? When choosing imagery, keep in mind that it should enhance and not compete with your written content to give a cohesive and an overall polished look to your website. You can have fun and go outside the box with most industries. Even content that is more factual and less opinionated can be creatively distinct while getting your message across and conveying important information.
Sometimes Pricing Makes a Difference, Sometimes Not
Pop TartsToaster Strudel
$3.99 for a 8 piece box $3 for a 6 pastry box
Being in the middle of the pricing spectrum for websites, we at Design Theory have had to burst the bubble of misconceptions when it comes to our prices versus the quality of talent/work we do. Our goal is to match the goals and level of business of a client’s company with a website that will do just that within the confines of their allotted budget. Now sometimes we have to push back and encourage a particular client to go beyond their budget and give them some industry inside look as to why. And because we do what we do well, it’s usually not hard for them to acknowledge the benefits of doing so and agree. But for other companies, just be aware that all that glitters may not be gold and likewise, the cheapest design/pricing may not be tarnished brass. Remember, there’s a difference between cheap and affordable web designs. I believe you have to ask the right questions, look at a company’s track record/dossier and determine what’s best for your business. Then you can make an educated decision about how much you NEED to pay for a website that fulfills its purpose for your business or personal objectives.
So depending on what your business palate wants and needs, you can determine whether you choose a “mediocre but gets the job done” website & content, or if you’re in need of a step-up, more sophisticated level design. Whichever works for you, make sure you choose well and always consider the palate of your consumers.
~ Content Writing Inspiration ~
True Ease in Writing comes from Art, not Chance,
As those move easiest who have learn’d to dance. ~Alexander Pope, “An Essay on Criticism”