Along with other bloggers and copywriters, I love to write. That’s what I do. What do you do professionally? Search engine optimization providers partner with businesspeople in a variety of industries: medical, industrial, automotive, legal, and so on. Each client has their own respective areas of expertise, which may or may not overlap with my own. For instance, while lawyers are likely good writers, they may not have the time to invest in online marketing pursuits throughout their day; rather than write a blog post for their site, they’ll approach SEO copywriting professionals, who can help with search engine optimization objectives.
I read a good post this morning by Rand Fishkin. He frowns upon the ongoing initiative of link buying and prods readers to consider buying blogs instead. I think the process could be highly successful if a brand can align itself with industry bloggers who would consider such a partnership.
It got me thinking of another SEOmoz post, written by Anthony Mangia, who suggests every in-house person write two blog posts per month. I champion his emphasis on producing great copy, but I think most would agree – not every person likes to write or is good at it. A more practical sentiment was relayed regarding at least having workers provide insight for blog posts; that might be more helpful, as I confessed as an SEO copywriter.
Another thing that struck me, reading the comments to Anthony’s post, was the omission of other-than-textual content mentions. ‘Content’ takes the shape of a variety of online entities in modern times: blog posts, videos, infographs, podcasts, etc. What methods are best to inform your target market? A variety of online marketing methods exist, but are you listening to SEOs or your consumers? What variety of ‘content’ makes the most sense for your brand? For instance, a supplier of marble and granite tile may best inform its public through a library of videos; marble consumers make the purchase to aesthetically enhance their homes; it’s a benefit to ‘visualize’ performed work before it’s done in a consumer’s home.
While a variety of content is at a brand’s disposal, written content is still a necessity. In many cases, a company’s written content is the main attraction of its site, informing the public about services, products, and the overall brand. Who’s doing the writing on your site? Are you engaging your target market with your brand’s copywriting? While you’re hard at work, doing what you do, my team and I write each day, honing our own skills. I don’t expect all brand execs to double as stellar writers; I expect brand execs to be good at what they do within their respective professions.
Would you like to communicate with your target audience through copywriting? Is writing not your strong suit? Does the thought of writing scare, intimidate, or bore you? I understand; we all do different things, making us unique and individual professionals. Don’t come to me for help with your taxes; but, if you need written content, this copywriter will write for your brand’s attention.
There are a lot of online marketing options these days. Social media alone hosts a party of solutions. We know (through SEO best practices and a series of 2011 Panda updates) the production of content is important. We also have come to understand (especially considering the popularity of social media) that the dissemination of content is also integral, elongating the reach of marketing initiatives, offering a better chance to secure consumer relationships.
An aggressive brand is likely to look back in wonder at the accumulation of tools and online real estate, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest accounts, one or more company-related blogs, and a range of non-textual content (pictures, videos, podcasts, infographs). What do you do with all the online real estate? Like savvy, offline property owners, online brands need to make the most of real estate to produce revenue. Consider the following dissemination suggestions, helping to build a community out of content:
Twitter is a great tool for making connections. Depending on your business model, it may make sense to spend more time on the social platform than less. However, what we do know is that people like using Twitter for coupons. Does your brand offer coupons, discounts, or host ongoing sales? Make sure content associated to discounts and savings are made public on this real-time news platform.
Outspoken Media did a post a little while ago about the wane of corporate blogging. While your business may find it beneficial to devote resources elsewhere, hosting ongoing posts on a company blog addresses several needs. First, it keeps fresh content on your site, which pleases the search engines. Secondly, it curtails the need for ongoing press releases as PR trends shift. Lastly, it provides opportunities for branding and transparency (a company blog can be an extension of ‘about us’ sentiments). If resources are devoted toward more offsite initiatives, such as guest blogging, don’t completely neglect your company blog(s).
Have you explored Pinterest? The site is fairly new; so, it is likely brands have not realized all the things to do with it. Todd Bailey offers Pinterest tips. I like one suggestion regarding leveraging brand-related pictures. This is especially advantageous for retailers of clothes, art, furniture, and beyond (items of consumer interest deserved of a rich, visual experience). Depending on services/products a brand offers, particular modes of media are better suited for marketing. Let’s consider video.
‘Content is king’ and ‘user is king’ are two, common mantras in the online marketing community. Both are true; it’s about providing the kind of content your user desires. In modern times, content is podcasts, pictures, textual articles, videos and more. YouTube offers impressive usage numbers, making it prime real estate for a number of business models. Is your brand properly communicating with consumers? Would some messages be improved via video production?
There’s been discussion about how Facebook counts its active users (and names its celebrities) but online marketing professionals can’t deny its benefits. People use Facebook. What a brand needs to research is the how and when regarding respective customers. I wrote about working on the weekends; posting and engaging fans on Facebook may be more beneficial during traditional “off” hours. When are the best times to leverage Facebook to connect with your target market (is it during ‘your’ off hours?)? Is some brand-produced content better suited for the platform and percentages of your consumers using Facebook?
Happy Valentine’s Day, valued WebiMax readers. Are your customers headed, straight as an arrow, toward your site’s services and products, not just today, but each day of the year? Search engine optimization facilitates a love connection and the endless search for brand attention. Brands engineer goods and services to meet the needs of valued customers. Online marketing helps align and spark brand-consumer connections.
Online marketing has become diverse (offering an array of separate yet intertwined initiatives), yet ‘separate’ services ‘connect,’ working well together to create online success. For instance, copywriting (an essential SEO need) is complemented well by social media usage (gives content further extension and exposure). Let’s consider more search engine optimization, inter-service love connections:
Technical SEO < —— > Pay per Click
Technical SEO addresses the on-site needs of a Web property such as meta data, ensuring search engines properly read a site’s pages and understand what on-site elements are ‘communicating’ to engines and users. This helps a brand’s exposure on the search engines; as Comscore’s January SE data reflects, users mainly leverage Google (Google Webmaster tips) for search at the moment.
Addressing technical needs helps search traffic and PPC (pay-per-click) services complement technical notions well, giving brands immediate opportunities for increased exposure. While PPC demands meticulous attention to ensure ROI, it’s a good service to leverage while natural SEO efforts gain momentum.
VSEO < —— > Web Design
I read a good post today on Google+ by Erica McGillivray. If you’re using Google+ (Rand Fishkin urges all people in marketing to develop a strategy), you’ll notice personalized search results and interests of others in your circles. Undoubtedly, you’ve noticed more videos finding way into SERPs. Video production is another method of conveying information; in some cases, video can better communicate than text (think about DIY projects). A number of vendors opt for video production and VSEO (video search engine optimization), allows for better exposure.
Your brand may love the idea of VSEO, deciding to host a number of on-site videos. Web design services invigorate and improve the design and usability of Web properties. While your brand is producing videos, it is necessary to improve the look and function of its associated online properties. Videos intrigue attention while Web design implementations aesthetically please browsers and improve user satisfaction.
Copywriting < —– > Social Media
Great content is essential for every brand. While video, infographs (see infograph of StumbleUpon success via Distilled), podcasts, and other varieties of media are expanding our interpretations of ‘content,’ copywriting (have you been paying attention in copywriting class?) remains an integral part of a successful SEO campaign.
Of course, brands desire increased readership and traffic. Social site, like Google+ above as well as Twitter and Facebook (read Todd Bailey Facebook tips). Social media sites allow for real-time sharing and increased exposure to Web site content and properties. If a brand is producing content, social media becomes a complementary process it can’t afford to pass over.
Thanks for reading – Happy Valentine’s Day
Could you believe a student tried pulling that on me once!? As if a little wit would tickle my funny bone, excusing him of his in-class trespasses. I’m a sucker for wit; it did; I let him go.
I read a good post today regarding copywriting. The author relays a lot of good insights. The notion of the original ‘hook’ especially hit home and reminded me of endeavoring to captivate the attention of a different audience – a classroom of high school students. If you never had the pleasure, it’s quite challenging. Teens are stuffed in small chairs for forty-five-minute blocks at numerous intervals throughout the school day while instructors (some armed with nothing more than chalk, a tweed jacket, and passion in mind) endeavor at ‘attention captivation.’
The education systems don’t just drop you off in the jungle; you go through some training, learning how to develop cohesive and hopefully attention-warranting lessons. Sometimes it actually works. Are your readers as fickle? Consider the following copywriting tips.
I was never great at securing dates in high school; I always thought if I did more planning rather than awkwardly approach girls, speaking in an extempore fashion, things would’ve went more ‘my way.’ Can you relate?
That’s an example of some kind of ‘hook.’ If I started writing about copywriting, you may roll your eyes due to the fact there’s probably about a billion URLs connected to the topic. However, not all professionals readily discuss personal topics such as unsuccessful dating. I was attempting to ‘hook you in’ my conversation; that’s a tactic many teachers use to start the lesson.
Can you think of an analogy that works well with your main topic? It could be humorous or related to current events, but mainly, you want to hook readers with something immediately relatable and a bit intriguing, so they’ll want to give you a little bit more attention.
By this point, the students have realized I’m not going to talk about my personal life or current events any longer; I’m going to segment into an educational lesson (boos resound throughout the crowd). I’ll want to give the audience a synopsis of what’s to come and what we can assume we’ve accomplished by the end of the lesson.
For instance, I’ll tell the class my main objective and what activities we’ll do to reinforce the knowledge. Actually, I used to greet every student at the door and give them their ‘North Star’ for the day, a sheet delineating the lesson ahead (along with a graphic representation of impending homework (more boos)). Many writers can achieve the hook and the synopsis in their intro paragraph or paragraphs.
The informational portion of the lesson is what I want the learners to ultimately “get.” In this case, I want to help copywriting professionals better communicate with readers. In this case, my entire article is the “informational” portion, but as we know, “learning” entails much more than reading and listening…teachers reinforce relayed information through activities.
Connecting with readers via text is a bit difficult; it’s not like being in a three-dimensional classroom where you can interact with learners one-on-one, perhaps that’s why SEO videos have grown in popularity. It’s difficult to engage in activities when we’re all on respective computers and residing in different locales. Perhaps a graphic organizer would help:
Pieces of the Copywriting ‘Lesson’
I. The Intro
A. Hook – what is your piece about? Think of an analogy, a way to immediately get the attention of readers.
B. Synopsis – what is going to be presented throughout the piece? What are you going to teach me and how are you going to do it?
II. The Body (bulk of lesson)
A. Relay intended information to your readers
B. Could any graphics, links, videos, pictures, etc. be used to strengthen the lesson? Stimulating multiple senses enforces learning (infographs are mighty trendy and helpful in the world of online marketing these days).
I’m penning this graphic organizer, so readers can use it as a reference piece in the future. In some cases, you can strengthen points relayed by giving students an activity to do. For example, Ethan Lyon wrote a great piece at SEOmoz about a link-building tool. He gave readers step-by-step instructions to complement his article’s textual information.
At the close of the lesson, a passionate teacher hopes they have relayed information in an ascertainable fashion, opening with a hook, then explaining the lesson to come, providing information and engaging students in activities to enforce learning, and finally wrangling everyone together at the end to review what was learned.
In conclusion, let me review what I have endeavored. We wanted to go about a piece of copywriting much like a lesson because we want our readers to feel like we have provided them with value, rather than merely attracting their attention for ulterior, commercial motives.
To start, we want to initially intrigue readers by throwing them a line, creating a metaphor, which is immediately recognizable. In online marketing, many writers pose a consumer-relatable ‘issue.’
For instance: Are you tired of a sore back due to using a small, oddly-shaped vacuum? Cleaning shouldn’t equal discomfort; you need the “XYZ” orthopedically-shaped vacuum cleaner, offering superior cleaning power and a comfortable, medically-endorsed design!
Next, we want to clearly delineate information, providing reinforcement in the form of links, graphics, videos, infographs, etc. Remember, activities always help, even if it means giving your readers some post-blogging homework (why not write at the SEOservices community section!). At conclusion, we want to go over the day’s/copywriting pieces’ events, reminding readers once again of the main points, hopefully steering attention to the realization they”ve learned something new.
Thanks for reading.