Content Crafting Commandments

Posted by on Feb 14, 2017 in Content Marketing |

Content marketing is the cornerstone of all digital marketing. Without an eloquently delivered message, the public may have no idea or the wrong idea about what your business represents, what you offer and how you stand out from your competition. Writing content that is relevant to the needs of your readers is one part of the process. Keeping it engaging and share-worthy is another. Here are four golden rules that copywriters use to craft great content:   Commandment #1 – Thou shalt use the active voice  Using the active voice is a trick copywriters use to give content a lively feel. Consider the two sentences below: Passive: “The park was cleaned by the community.” Active: “The community dug in to clean the park.”   Commandment #2 – Thou shalt be positive and specific Framing phrases in a positive manner lends positivity to both the message and the messenger. Being specific fosters credibility: Negative: “I don’t know too many languages.” Positive: “I can speak English and French fluently.” Vague: “The product should be in stock any day now… maybe next week.” Specific: “The product is due to arrive on Monday afternoon.”   Commandment #3 – Thou shalt be clear and concise  “May I have an extension on the deadline?” Vague response: “Yes.” Clear response: “You may extend the deadline until noon on Tuesday.” Long-winded: “This year we have experienced the setbacks of… and … Thankfully, we have … and … {yawn}. Concise: “We survived a tough year thanks to your hard work and dedication. Thanks for sticking with us.”   Commandment #4 – Thou shalt use correct spelling and grammar Nothing is more off-putting than reading copy that is full of grammatical and spelling mistakes. Even if the reader is not a stickler for language and cannot pinpoint the error; the copy will seem jarring and off. Incorrect: “Thx 4 a gr8 yr!” Correct: “Thank you for a great year!”   For all your inbound marketing needs, including copywriting services for your content marketing, please contact the team at WSI OMS today. Please follow and like...

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Why spelling and grammar is such a big deal

Posted by on Jun 1, 2016 in Content Marketing, Copywriting, Digital Media Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Website Design |

It’s a pretty common thing these days to spot spelling mistakes and bad grammar when you’re surfing the internet – adverts, blog articles, website content – there’s no one area better or worse than another. While some people may not notice spelling or other errors, a lot of people do, so just how big a deal is accurate content? There’s nothing wrong with using a conversational tone, especially in blog writing, but using slang, txtspk and sloppy grammar is just unacceptable. Studies have shown that people are less likely to engage with companies that post error-riddled sales copy, as they feel it undermines the credibility of the company (are they just as careless with their orders, accounts or delivery?). Creating any kind of negativity towards your business is a sure-fire way to kill sales, so why do it? With online companies like Grammarly, offering automated proofreading services, it’s a mystery why there is still so much room for improvement in online writing. It’s been shown that over 40% of web users are influenced by spelling or grammar blunders in online content. When you sell or communicate online, most of the time it’s done by using the written word, so it’s quite obvious the damage it can do to your conversions. Questions have been raised over the importance of correct spelling and grammar in social media interactions, since it’s a more relaxed medium for communication, especially when using platforms like Facebook. That said, any business using Facebook to increase their exposure, should treat it with as much importance as their website or LinkedIn profile. There are simple ways to improve your content, which can make a real difference to your bottom line. These are: Read your content backwards: this disrupts the natural flow of how you perceive things, so it forces you to read every word, making misspelled words easier to spot. Ask someone else to read your writing: a friend or co-worker who has not been working on the same piece of content for hours will spot inaccuracies that you will miss time and time again. Read your piece out loud: some errors can be more easily heard than seen, so reading your writing out loud forces you to listen. Use software like Grammarly: it really does make a difference. While you may not agree with all their suggestions, it does help to sharpen your eye. Whether or not you agree on the importance of accurate writing, think of a website with sloppy grammar and lots of error. Would you be happy to give them your credit card details? Didn’t think so. If you’d like to know more on content marketing or need help creating the perfect content for...

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Five ways to get more (quality) subscribers

Posted by on May 26, 2016 in E-mail Marketing, Online Marketing |

Everyone wants more subscribers, right? But when it comes to sales, it’s not just numbers you need, it’s the loyal subscribers you want – the ones who share your content, the one who buy your products and recommend them to others. So how do you go about finding more of the dependable subscribers? According to brand and advertising surveys, over 90% of people trust and prefer word-of-mouth recommendations over any other form of marketing. This is quite a big deal, meaning you have to get your current subscribers to refer you to their contacts. Meaning you have to keep them happy, engaged and keen to help. Hmm, so why not just ask? Once you have a new subscriber who has signed up for your freebie, special offer or free download, follow it up with an email asking them to share it. If your offering was a good one in the first place, most people would be happy to spread the word. Another tactic is to have more than one opt-in button. While you don’t want your email or landing page to look like the Vegas strip at night, having more than one button will increase your chances of getting more subscribers who might be speed-reading and missed the one at the top. Placing opt-in on various pages of your website can also increase your subscription – especially on your About Us page. This is one of the most frequently visited pages on a website, so if people like what they read about you, make it an easy step for them to follow you. Using quirky or clever lines from your blog in a tweet is an easy way to get more shares – each time you write a piece, choose a snippet or two and tweet them, just make sure you include a link back to your original blog. If you use plugins, tweets couldn’t be easier, as you just select the phrase or sentence you want and create a tweet out of it. Use your influencers to help you – reaching out to key influencers in your industry that you follow can be the kick start you need. If you have mentioned your influencer or refer back to something they’ve posted, let them know and they could share your blog with their entire community, which is a lot bigger than yours. Don’t overlook the power of your social media profiles – instead of just putting a link in your Facebook profile, use the About section to mention your free download, special offer or discount. That way people will get to it and your opt-in quicker. For more on building a solid email marketing subscriber list and any other...

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Where to find inspiration for your blog posts

Posted by on Apr 19, 2016 in Blogging, Copywriting |

We all know that to bring traffic to your site, you need to post regularly and while blogs are one of the simplest ways of doing this (that also helps with your SEO), it can be difficult to keep coming up with fresh and readable content, especially if your industry is fairly niche. Here are some places to look for inspiration, that could help you create a list of possible topics for future posts. It may be a good idea to keep a notebook or list of ideas, to jot down whenever creativity hits, to keep those blank screen days to a minimum. Online news headlines: Set up Google Alerts and RSS Feeds of your industry and other news sources and get the headlines delivered to your inbox. Get the scoop on the latest trends, statistics, products or technologies. Subscribe to top business and personal blogs in your market: You can write a different take on someone else’s article, or find a topic in a comment about a blog. Don’t limit yourself to your industry completely; similar or related industries could be connected enough to give you content ideas. Client questions: Look at what your customers are asking and use the opportunity to write a lengthy response in a blog post, rather than an individual shorter response. Providing a solution for your customers can do wonders for your reputation and referrals. Social media platforms: Facebook and Twitter provide endless streams of blog inspiration, while LinkedIn group discussions will show you what people are talking about. TweetChats are an excellent source of fact, opinion, questions and answers, from all over the world. Pop culture: Although celebrity gossip may seem far removed from your industry, a quick glance at the latest scoop might offer something you can relate back to your business. YouTube can provide related content to almost anything! Use online tools: Bottlenose will analyse activity across all the major social networks; Quora is a Q&A site that can offer up a lot of ideas. You can answer an open question and publish the content from Quora’s site. Don’t forget how important it is to blog regularly – sporadic posting will not build you a strong following. For more on social services and how we could assist with content creation, copywriting services or a social strategy, give us a call, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Please follow and like...

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How microcopy can improve your website

Posted by on Mar 24, 2016 in Content Marketing, Website Optimization |

Microcopy is the term for the small bits of copy on a website’s interface that help users with their journey across your site – error messages, contact form explainers, hints… It doesn’t sell your services or products directly, but it backs up your brand values. Its goal is to make the experience easier, alleviate customer concerns and help users through the sticking points on your website. It is an essential part of the purchase process, yet many sites ignore microcopy. Some examples of microcopy are the prompts you see in text blocks, like the one on Facebook that says “What’s on your mind?” There are lots more examples on flickr’s group pool. Microcopy can be used very effectively to iron out little hitches on a website, like a prompt to remind users to enter certain details, when you identify a common error. The secret with microcopy is to keep it short – if you’re having to explain something in two or three lines, it’s time to look at how the element was designed or coded. Here are some tips for writing microcopy: Use a friendly, conversational tone – no one likes robotic-speak Use a positive tone, so your users don’t feel silly Do some simple testing, like asking a not-so-technical friend to go through your site and sales or sign-on process and make a note of where they struggle Keep it short and unambiguous Only display microcopy when you have to; there’s no point disrupting a user’s flow if it’s not necessary A lot of people are hesitant to give their information, and even more so, their credit card details, so microcopy can go a long way to reassure website users. The small print could say “your email address will not be used by any other parties. We will not spam you…etc.” With services or downloads, microcopy could state that “no credit card is needed to try this service”. Microcopy can be a very powerful tool to make your website users feel more comfortable, before they commit to a sale or a sign-up. For more secrets to the finest in website design, call us. With a team of creative directors, campaign managers, social media wizards, graphic designers and copywriters at your disposal, we’re sure to get your website design right, first time. Please follow and like...

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