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Copywriter, Help Me!

Copywriter, Help Me!

Copywriter: One who creates written content for the purpose of marketing.  I think it’s a fancy name for anyone who has to write on behalf of a business. It’s all working toward a sales conversion, right? So whether it’s for ads, social media, press releases—even your emails—it’s all part of your company voice.

But maybe you don’t feel that your copywriting skills are at their sharpest. That’s okay. It’s a learned skill. But that’s why today, I want to go over a few examples of copy before and after the magic wand of smart copywriting has done its trick. Let’s look at a few examples.

 

Too Jargon-y

Before:  Our B2B services offer custom business solutions that increase ROI, drive engagements, boost SEO, and make customer conversion easy via hundreds of hyper-connected sales team members. Tailored, strategic marketing plans will help you draw in traffic online and off-line to help you reach your full potential.

Does anyone have any idea what that actually means? Seriously. What is it they’re even trying to sell?

After:  Our goal is to help business owners reach new customers. How do we do that?

Our tailored marketing plans include services such as:

  • Copywriting audits to help increase your Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

  • Customer support and telemarketing services

  • Social Media consulting and advertising plans

  • Public Relations resources (press release creation, media kits, etc.)

 

How they’re different:

  1. Structurally, the first one is a clump of words. The second breaks down the information so it’s easier to digest.

  2. The first is full of jargon and meaningless words that don’t explain much of anything. The second is concise and highly descriptive about the business’s offerings in simple words.

 

Too Cold

Before:  Your business needs consulting services that help minimize risk, achieve measurable outcomes, and include pragmatic methodology to help determine which areas hold the largest opportunities for impactful spend optimization in defined time frames.

Again, what? And secondly, why is this copy telling me what I need? They don’t know me!

After:  At BlahBlah Consulting, our goal is to help business owners get the tools they need to be effective leaders. Our team has 75 years of combined experience in the business world that we’re ready to share with you.

Have a question? A five-minute phone call is free. Call xxx-xxx-xxxx.

 

How they’re different:

  1. Option one has a very negative tone that speaks down to the reader. Rule of thumb: Never tell your customer what he/she needs. It’s too blunt. Option two is much more conversational and friendly.

  2. The first example doesn’t have a call to action that provokes the reader to get in touch with the business. The second option does (and it’s free!)

 

Too Informal

Before:  If your biz needs custom printing, call OTP Screens!! Weve got lots of colors to choose from and fill your orders ~FAST~. T-shirts, banners, signs…we print everything and our prices wont be beat by other print shops in the area so remember us for your printing needs!!!

This is an English teacher’s nightmare. Run-ons, bad punctuation, abbreviated words…yikes.

After:  OTP Printing prides itself on quality printing at affordable prices. Whether it’s t-shirts, banners, or signs, we ensure quick turn-around and attention to detail.

Have a project in mind? Get a free quote.

 

How they’re different:

  1. Option two improves spelling and makes copy more polished and professional.

  2. The clear call to action in option two makes it easy for the customer to understand what they need to do first.

 

When it comes to being a better copywriter, the bottom line is: keep it simple, don’t speak over people’s heads, and be clear about your offerings and how they can be attained. Words are powerful tools—use them to your advantage!

 

Social Media is a Science

Social Media is a Science

It wasn't all that long ago when content on social media was…simpler. Say you had 350 likes on Facebook. When you posted a status update to your page, all 350 of those people who liked your page saw the content you posted. But today, that’s no longer the case. In fact, you’re lucky if 10 percent of that 350 person following sees your post. Why is that?

Social media platforms of today’s world are algorithm-driven, meaning certain content is deemed “richer” than others—and will be seen by more people. Not all content is created equal. There’s a science behind posting content on social media today, complete with strategies for success. It’s a recipe: If you follow it, you’ll do well. If you’re sloppy, you've got a mess.

Let’s look at how this plays out on Facebook, specifically.

While algorithms are always changing, Facebook has shared some guidelines for what types of posts will get greater exposure. So what qualifies as “rich” content, then?

  • Posts that generate high interaction rates (i.e. comments, likes, and shares)

  • Posts with high interaction from the page owner’s end

  • High-quality graphics and images

We all know that posting to social media can sometimes require a lot of work, so it’s frustrating when time and effort is wasted on a post that’s only seen by a few people. So what are a few tips for creating “richer” content that gains traction and inspires those important interactions?

  1. Create social content. Ask questions, gather opinions—value your following’s unique input.

  2. Use high-quality images. No blurry, uninteresting photos. Make sure your photos really communicate a message.

  3. Be conversational. When someone takes the time to comment on a post, comment back! Build relationships and remember: It’s all about conversation.

Creating content that gains traction does require time, energy, and a keen eye, but when you can focus on quality over quantity, the results will pay off. Don’t worry as much about posting every day—post when you've got something interesting to say. Like any normal conversation, no one likes it when someone is speaking just to hear their own voice. Use your voice to be impactful.

If You Build It, They Will Come

If You Build It, They Will Come

Keeping up with various social media outlets is a lot of work. You need high quality images, timely information, personality, and time to interact with other users after planning all of that wonderful content. For many organizations, this is overwhelming. So instead of putting 100 percent effort into creating content, building a community, and interacting with users, there are a lot of half-hearted attempts made to cover the organization’s social media bases—including hasty posts, spelling errors, and low-quality images (just to name a few.)

The problem: Your audience has an excellent sense for detecting when you’re not trying very hard. The results are sloppy—and make for a bad reflection of your organization. Think of it like when you’re baking: if you don’t measure your ingredients and rush through the cooking process, the results are never good…and probably inedible. The same holds true for online content. When you don’t follow the recipe and respect the science behind it, the end product is poor.

So what do you do when you’re limited by staff resources, time, and aren’t really sure what qualifies as “quality content” in the first place?

For one, this is where a business like Lumen (that’s us!) can help by providing support services. By contracting out your online presence, you can count on consistent quality content that’s relevant, interesting, and engaging. It’s less risk than hiring a full-time staff person and is backed by tested strategies that produce results. Our passion is storytelling and building a community that supports businesses they believe in.  You can learn more about what we do here.

But what if you can’t hire out support services and still want to have a solid social media presence? Our advice: stick to a few social media outlets you know your target audience is using and focus on quality over quantity. It may take more time to build a following, but if you can provide a few well-thought out and well-executed posts each month, it’s better than spending a lot of time producing low-quality content. If you build it, they will come.

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