Drop the Pitch: How to Use Vulnerability and Honesty to Sell Your Brand

Posted by on Oct 17, 2019 in Content Marketing |

Make no mistake: your customers are an extremely savvy lot. People are trying to sell them something almost every minute of every day. They know the methods, they know the angles, they know the difference between a conversation and a sales pitch – no matter how well you try to disguise the one as the other.   Even the best copywriting usually comes in the form of a carefully worded pitch aimed at casting a brand in the best possible light and manipulating the way that brand is perceived. We work very hard on crafting the right topics, keywords, slogans and headlines, sluglines and taglines to make sure that the public gets the right message about our brands. We spin stories and polish the perfect turns of phrase. The aim is to project one specific aspect of our brand, to keep all eyes on “Oz the Great and Terrible”, while diverting attention from the man behind the curtain. Customers are used to this game and, thus, accept it for the most part, especially when you are selling them something they genuinely want.   With all of this content sleight of hand assaulting the public’s senses the majority of the time, nothing is more refreshing to cut through the clutter, than a dose of simple, straightforward honesty – and indeed, vulnerability. Don’t try to come across as perfect. Even your biggest fans know you’re not. Don’t act as if your products are developed in some problem-free vacuum and come out right first time, every time. Why not discuss your failures? Draw attention to the sweating that goes on behind the scenes to bring your products to the public. Have a few candid admissions about your humble origin story and the moments when the whole enterprise nearly went belly up. This will only make your customers appreciate your products even more.   Human beings are hardwired to relate to vulnerability. We are so used to people and brands trying to present themselves in the best light that an honest admission of so-called weakness can be very disarming and endearing. So, don’t be afraid to wear your heart on your sleeve about some of the struggles of your business – provided you have the confidence that there is a killer, must-have product at the end of your story, of course!   WSI OMS can help you to create excellent, SEO-beating, high-converting content. Contact us for help with your website copy, blogs, social media and more. Please follow and like...

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Signposts on the Buyer’s Journey: Using Content to Sell

Posted by on Oct 16, 2019 in Content Marketing, Ecommerce |

As a content marketer, you have a dual purpose. Yes, of course! You want to create original, attention-grabbing, well-written, quality content! But, you also want that content to serve the aims of your business. Your content needs to sell.   That sounds simple enough. But, how well is your content serving your sales really? How well have you strategised it towards that end? One way to guide your hand, and to ensure that content is geared towards sales, is to work to match content to the buyer’s journey. Let the content speak to the journey at all its stages. Let’s make this clearer by taking you through the journey and briefly looking at how your content can move with the customer.   • First Signpost: Offering Solutions for Specific Problems At this stage, potential customers are aware they have a need or a problem, and they need fulfilment or a solution. Perhaps they Google something like “affordable water purifiers,” for example. You, as a producer of competitively priced water purifiers, match them up with content that provides an answer to that need. You’ve met them at the first stage, you have their click, now you need to move them to the next stage.   • Second Signpost: Why Your Solution? Now the customer has found your water purifiers, but he/she wants to know why yours is better than anyone else’s. Your content should be filled with ready answers to that question so that, whether they follow internal links on your website or search Google for comparisons, you can provide the information they need to assess your value offering.   • Third Signpost: Sealing the Deal Your first and second signposts should have answered the initial questions satisfactorily. The customer knows that you are a better choice compared to your competitors. They’re ready to buy. All you have to do is make sure that your content, design and UX all guide them easily towards that final checkout.   • Fourth Signpost: Following Up Start off with an email confirming the purchase and thanking the customer. Then follow up with whatever is necessary to add even more value. Do you offer free delivery? Are there products that can be added on to your water purifier? How can customers contact you for after-sale service? All of this information needs to go in your website copy and/or in your emails.   WSI OMS can help you to create excellent, SEO-beating, high-converting content. Contact us for help with your website copy, blogs, social media and more.   Please follow and like...

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Does Quality Content Really Make a Difference to Your Traffic?

Posted by on Oct 15, 2019 in Content Marketing |

It’s very easy to lose sight of the importance of content when you become too focused on search rankings and traffic numbers. With this focus comes the perception that all that is needed to drive traffic, is a high quantity of content that pushes all the right buttons for SEO. While it is important to keep your content quantities high, as well as to check all the SEO boxes (keywords, etc.), you should never do so at the expense of quality.   Don’t take our word for it either. Google’s guidelines make it very clear that the search engine assesses content quality when calculating search rankings. It makes use of a series of fairly complicated algorithms to do so. But, to put it as simply as possible, Google measures your content in the light of the purported purpose of your website, as well as the audience’s reactions to it. Readers who are after certain content will find and return to websites that they find really useful, and Google will register that.   Google also measures what it calls your E-A-T rankings. In other words, how your website performs in terms of expertise, authority and trust. Google will rank your website higher if the content is demonstrably created by someone who is a proven expert in their field, if the website is endorsed by another recognised authority on the subject as well as when the site has established a high level of trust among readers on the basis of ratings and reviews.   So, it should be obvious why it is important to put a lot of energy into the quality of your content. Remember that, no matter how much content you serve to your users, they will soon lose interest and look elsewhere if that content is not useful and authoritative. Create content with your user in mind first – and the rest will follow.   WSI OMS can help you to create excellent, SEO-beating content. Contact us for help with your website copy, blogs, social media and more. Please follow and like...

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From Nascent to Multi-moment: How Google’s DMT Can Improve Your Online Marketing Campaigns

Posted by on Sep 4, 2019 in Content Marketing, Digital Media Marketing |

In July, Google announced the launch of its Digital Marketing Transformation programme in South Africa. The tech giant described the programme as a partnership between itself and clients aimed at enabling “business growth through providing customised digital marketing advice, including digital marketing fundamentals, best practices and a focused customised roadmap.”   What will this programme entail? And, how can it help you boost your online marketing strategies from Nascent (the lower end of digital maturity) to Multi-moment (the level at which the top two percent of the world’s digital marketers are operating)?   The programme takes clients through a six-step process, beginning with an assessment of their current online marketing efforts in relation to international best practices. The assessment makes use of the Digital Maturity Benchmark, devised by the Boston Consulting Group. After going through this assessment, your digital marketing work will be benchmarked at one of the following four levels of maturity: Nascent, Emerging, Connect and Multi-moment. If you do not even make it to Nascent, it means that your strategies will need a complete makeover, so as to bring it up to speed when measured against global standards. If your work is Nascent, you will then be helped to devise a strategy to move you up through the next three levels.   If you are sitting among the 2 percent of marketers who are ranked as Multi-moment, meaning that the customer experience you provide moves dynamically and effectively towards desired business outcomes, then you need to just keep doing what you’re doing, while being sure to keep an eye on changing business and marketing trends.   The assessment provides a useful reality check to empower you through data-driven knowledge and self-awareness. The remaining steps of the programme will then help you to develop your marketing strategy to the next level. If you are like 89 percent of the world’s marketers, you will find yourself sitting somewhere between Emerging and Connect, meaning that you need to attend to just one or two key points of transformation to take you into another league.    Looking to create Connect to Multi-moment level digital transformation strategies for your brand? That’s what we live and breathe at WSI. Contact us to discuss your online marketing and allow us to show you how you can make the most of Digital Marketing Transformation. Please follow and like...

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Content Marketing – Quality Vs. Click-bait?

Posted by on Aug 28, 2019 in Content Marketing |

Attention-grabbing headlines may get people to click through to your website, but if the actual meat of the article is all hyperbole, is thin and does not live up to your headline’s promise, readers will not stay on your site. Advertising legend David Ogilvy famously said that ‘the consumer is not a moron, she is your wife’. Made in 1955, this statement appears more relevant than ever. In a nutshell, poor content that does not respect the reader does not work. What Is Quality Content? Good quality content is any content that aligns your marketing goals with your prospects’ needs. It conveys value and soothes specific pain points keeping people awake at night. Good quality content is targeted and crafted with the goals and aspirations of a clearly defined persona in mind. An effective content marketing strategy draws a picture of who your ideal customer is. It then maps this persona’s journey as a buyer. The goal is to establish the types of content to serve your prospects at specific stages of their journey towards becoming customers. Importantly, there is a time to send how-to articles, free ebooks, case studies, webinars or product demo invitations to your prospects. It can’t be at random times. How ever attention-grabbing your headline is, you aren’t going to achieve much with your content if it’s not relevant to the reader. After mapping your persona’s buyer’s journey against their content needs, go ahead and craft the sort of epic content they can’t resist. Spend enough time making sure the content is well researched, written well and that it is actionable. Why Click-Bait Content Does Not Work Sensational headlines that stop people in their tracks worked in 1995 when all it took to make a buck was to just get people on your website.  Guess What?  In 2019, people can now block ads and defend their inboxes against spammy tactics. So a content marketing strategy that prioritises traffic while ignoring ROI will fail each time. Click-bait headlines may work for BuzzFeed. But, try them for your carpet cleaning website, and you may annoy and tune people off your brand for good.  More than that, thin, outdated, and redundant content will not rank for any keywords that matter. Search engines have gotten very smart at recognising good content (and making sure that pointless listicles and other junk content stay on page 11 of the SERPs). Google is now very picky about what content it shows its users. The search giant now ranks content on topical relevance and how well it meets searcher intent. So, feverishly building links isn’t going to help your SEO efforts as long as your content quality is poor. To optimise your digital...

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How to Create a Successful Content Plan

Posted by on Aug 12, 2019 in Content Marketing |

Few things could be more deadly to your marketing campaign – on any platform – than a lack of planning. You can’t just throw out blogs, social media posts and ads at random, and then hope for the best. You need to take a strategic and methodical approach and execute your plan with precision. The most challenging part is developing the plan; once that is in place, the rest of the process is relatively easy. So, how do you create a good content plan? Follow these steps: Set Your Goals What do you want to achieve from your marketing campaign? Are you looking to increase your subscriber base, boost your sales? By how much? In what timeline? Use the SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based) principle to create goals that you and your team can aim for. It will make the next steps that much easier. Identify Your Audience  “But I already know my audience”, you might be saying. Never assume that this is the case. You may have a good idea about your established audience, but your target market for this particular campaign might be different. Perhaps you want to focus on a specific subset of your overall market. For example, maybe this one is aimed at the women in your audience, or at its younger members. Or perhaps you want to target people outside of your established audience to bring them into the fold. Do your research and think carefully about who you are talking to, as this will determine the platforms, tools and tone you use going forward. Choose the Right Media Having decided on your goals and identified your target audience, now you need to pick the right tools for the job. Is this going to be a concentrated social media campaign? If so, on which platforms? Or maybe this is something that will require a targeted email funnel. Perhaps a bit of both, or something else. You can best answer these questions by having gone through the previous step. Once you know your target market, you can work out the best way to reach them. Craft Your Message  Okay, so now you have established to whom you are talking and on which platform. Now you need to work out what you’re going to say. You already know the basics of what you need to communicate, so now it’s a question of tailoring the message to the audience and medium. You and your team should already have the raw creative power to do this – let your chosen media guide your creativity. Schedule and Track Your Content Now it’s time to get your content out there. Carefully plan how you are going to release...

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