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What content should you include on your accommodation website?

If you have a website for your accommodation business, you’re off to a good start. If your slice of the web is responsive and easy to access via multiple gadgets, you’re off to an even better start. But aside from download speeds and the overall functionality of your site, it’s important to think carefully about the type of content your accommodation website should include.

The written word can be extremely powerful when used correctly, so here are some useful tips about what to display on your site.

1. Your business name and location

It sounds simple, but your business name and location should be at the forefront of all key information you provide. If possible, both should appear in meta tags and descriptions, titles, and headings. Also include them throughout the rest of your text, where appropriate. It’s important to remember that the language you use is clear and concise; simply stuffing these location terms into your copy in a way that it ‘spammy’ should be avoided at all costs.

Firstly it’s good for local SEO, helping you rank for specific location-based keywords. Secondly, it ensures your website ranks highly for direct searches for your company name. A keyword strategy will help you come up with a list of short and long-tail terms you want to focus on; this will enable you to take a logical and methodical approach to SEO.

2. The rooms/facilities you offer

Whether you run a traditional hotel overlooking the beach or a quirky countryside B&B, it’s important to describe the type of accommodation you offer. While hotels can talk about everything from room service to a 24-hour concierge service, a self-catering apartment complex may boast an exceptional outside space with a beautiful outdoor swimming pool.

Promoting your unique selling points is a must, but also be sure to talk about general room facilities. These might include a coffee machine in every room or a Jacuzzi bath in the Master Suites. To avoid customer confusion, always identify rooms clearly and point out any differences if necessary.

If your accommodation is family-friendly, state whether or not you provide baby equipment such as cots or monitors and whether you offer a babysitting service.

Make sure your marketing messages are clear and your booking engine works smoothly.

3. Prices and offers

Visitors to your site don’t want to hunt for prices. Therefore, make sure your marketing messages are clear and your booking engine works smoothly. If you’ve any offers or promotional packages, it’s a good idea to mention these on your landing page as well as in a separate offers tab. You can always interlink to enhance user experience.

4. Nearby attractions

If your guests are on holiday, they will probably want to explore the wider area. With this in mind, why not have a page on your website dedicated to top attractions? Use locally sourced imagery and quality video production to show exactly what’s on offer and point out everything from family-friendly attractions to adventure trails and sports centres.

5. Events

An events page can include events taking place at your accommodation or information about things going on locally. By providing key details, you’ll keep people on your site longer and give them a chance to delve deeper into what’s on offer. In addition, adding the latest events to your website is a great way to offer new and fresh content to both your users and search engines, helping boost your appearance and success in search engines.

Your website needs to make a great first impression if you want people to book with you.

Your website needs to make a great first impression if you want people to book with you. Good content, presented in an interesting way, provides your users with everything they need. It’s essential if you don’t want to lose them to other sites.

To find out more about developing a new website for your accommodation business, contact Minerva Creative today. We provide a complete design and web-build service at a price that is affordable for all. Plus, with our team of experience copywriters and content marketing experts, we can help you craft the perfect messages to engage your audience. Contact us today on 0800 180 4085 for more details.

Mastering Content Promotion: 7 Things You Must Do

All too often, content creation, distribution and promotion is seen as an afterthought – something that can be done once all the other ‘important’ jobs have been completed. This mindset can have a negative impact on business, however, as without an effective content strategy in place in can be hard get your name out there and give your company the boost it really needs.

In fact, the right content promotion strategy can improve conversion rates, increase leads and assist brand awareness campaigns. It’s also a cost-effective way to market products, advertise jobs, network with other businesses/prospective employees, and provide industry-specific information that could gain you much-needed respect within the entrepreneurial world.

In short, mastering content promotion is of paramount importance, so here are seven things you must do to avoid getting lost in the ever-changing sea of content tactics:

1. Devise a thorough content-promotion plan

Worryingly, many business owners think that anyone can write gripping copy. This is often reflected in their hiring strategy in which highly-trained copywriters are ignored in favour of budding marketing experts who are only able to knock up a bit of average sales copy here and there.

The reality is, content is an extremely important part of business, and if you want your strategy to be a success it’s not only important to hire trained writers, but to also think carefully about what you’re going to say and when. The needs of customers are forever changing as are their wants, so try to:

  • Devise a content promotion plan with highly-defined goals.
  • Set monthly deadlines and benchmarks for success.
  • Have short-term and long-term strategies in place that can be easily adapted.

2. Give your audience a reason to care

If you see someone on the street, you might not care too much about them, as you know little about their life. Start speaking to them, however, learn about their story and you’ll probably find your become much more emotionally attached.

The same applies to business.

Companies with a strong brand and a compelling history are much easier to warm to than faceless firms which give their audience no reason to care or react. Many well-known organisations even become household names touching the hearts, minds and souls of people all over the world, which is why it’s essential to develop your own brand’s story. This can then inform you content promotion strategy and allow for ongoing marketing ideas that your customers can connect with.

3. Stand out from the crowd with free content

When it comes to content creation, producing top-notch copy that’s informative, factual and helpful is key – but that’s not all. While it can be tempting to charge for your best articles, blogs, whitepapers, etc., it can actually be better to offer up epic content for free.

Think about it: if your audience knows they have to splash out for every word your business writes, they might be tempted to look elsewhere – even if what you’ve produced is wonderful. On the other hand, if you post content for free, you’ll not only stand out from the crowd as a go-to resource, but you should develop a loyal following which is fantastic for brand awareness and hopefully sales.

Stand out from the crowd

4. Select the right promotional channels

These days, there are many promotional channels for content including social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Before you spread your latest musings across the web, however, it is really important to select the right promotional channels from the start. To do this, find out where your ideal clients are already hanging out on a regular basis.

Are they Facebook addicts who respond happily to Facebook ads or are they more up for retweets here and there? Perhaps they want to avoid these somewhat casual platforms and stick to networking through LinkedIn? A little bit of research will go a long way in this case and save you lots of time, money and effort placing content where it’s not needed or wanted.

5. Cross-promote your best content

While you don’t want to be splashing your content over any social site you come across, there are many ways you can cross-promote your material without spamming or annoying people. When you know which platforms prospective customers are using, you can then devise a plan to link all your marketing efforts together. For example, you could drive your LinkedIn followers to a webinar. You could then post the webinar to YouTube and direct followers back to LinkedIn to give their feedback.

6. Engage with and listen to your audience

Having a content strategy is one thing, but it’s not set in stone. To keep your audience engaged, you must learn to listen and react to what is being said. If you don’t, there’s a high chance they will switch off and go elsewhere. With goals and targets to meet it can be easy to throw content at people in the hope you will get your leads or conversions, but by forming loyal bonds with prospective clients you’re sure to have much better long-term success. While your content strategy plan should guide your actions, it must be tweaked to ensure you stay on point.

Analyse your results

7. Keep a close eye on results

Finally, you must always keep a close eye on what’s working and what’s not. There are many tools available out there such as HubSpot which can help you figure out how many page views, followers or social shares you’ve earned, so keep a close eye on results – and if you don’t know how, employ someone who does. Don’t forget to give your campaigns time to work, however, and avoid putting a stop to certain strategies based on early results.

Content promotion is an important part of business and one that’s often overlooked. It can help with everything from brand awareness to annual turnover, so make sure you’ve a well thought out strategy in place. Contact the team at Minerva Creative today to discuss how we can help support you in disseminating your content to right audience at the right time.

Are you paying enough for content?

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”You get what you pay for”, they always say. “Pfft,” we reply. “I know a bargain when I see one.” But do we? We all want the best value for money, that much is true. And, in pursuit of the best value, we usually plump for the cheapest option. This is where the potential of saving money blinds our decisions. In business as in life, cheap does not necessarily mean value for money. “You get what you pay for,” they say.

When it comes to content marketing – the hot topic for marketers the world over – trying to secure value for money is particularly challenging. Should you opt for a reliable and professional content marketing agency, or let your SEO team pick some cheap and cheerful content writers off the web? It’s entirely up to you, of course, but it would be our recommendation to choose the former. Why? Well, the answer to that couldn’t be simpler.

Low cost, low quality

Investing in a professional means receiving a professional service. This is the case in building, law, medicine, and every other industry around. So why not content marketing? Professional copywriters and graphic designers have spent years mastering their skills, and they’re there to be relied upon to deliver high-quality service. Don’t you deserve the very best service when you’re spending your money? Or are you happy for your budget to be spent on a faceless freelancer slapping together some copy after they’ve spent eight hours doing their ‘real’ day job?

Pay more, earn more

When you look at it like that, the answer is obvious, isn’t it? You want the best content in order to connect with your target audience. As such, you need to employ the services of those that understand how an audience thinks, how target demographics differ from one another, and how effective use of language can trigger the responses necessary for a successful sale. And yes, it costs money to hire professionals with such knowledge. But in the end, isn’t you success more valuable than saving a few pounds here and there?

Look at your current content and see where it’s working and where it’s not. If it’s not working, try to determine why. If it’s a quality issue, it’s time to ask yourself: are you paying enough for content?

Find out more

We at Minerva Copywriting are experienced in support clients in generating the content they need to succeed. Whether online or off, we can craft engaging copy that triggers the responses you want in your audience. Contact us today on 0800 180 4085 to find out more.

Time: the greatest enemy

If you’re battling to stay ahead in the marketing profession, you’ve probably got a to-do list that stretches over a good few pages. We certainly do. There’s never any downtime, nor any opportunity to simply sit back and bask in the glory of your endeavours. In fact, there’s barely even time to take a full lunch break anymore.

So, what’s the solution to this problem and how can you find more time? More and more marketing professionals are looking at ways of automating processes. Whether it’s the automation of emails or social media, you can’t help but feel that taking an automated approach removes the personalisation and engagement that are so vital to success. Plus, when it comes to preparing content, there’s no shortcut to developing good quality.

Increase resources

The alternative is to increase the resources available to complete tasks. For some, this might be the case of recruiting more staff to fill positions for those tasks judged less strategically vital (meta tags, uploading images, etc.). For others, there may not be the option of employing people full time, with overheads an expense that isn’t always easy to absorb. Instead, companies look to outsource excess work on a contractual basis.

The awkward bit

Now, we know what you’re thinking (“Here comes the sales pitch,”) and, to an extent, you’re spot on. But, outsourcing to the correct provider can prove essential. Think about the sums: employing a copywriter full time for your company costs – on average – £35,000 each year. Each year! And that’s just for one person doing only so much work. Outsourcing to a professional copywriting agency, meanwhile, means you can access a pool of experienced (and we stress experienced) copywriters at a fraction of the cost, and only when you need them.

Doesn’t it make sense to at least consider outsourcing some the content work you have? With professional copywriters working on raising awareness of your brand and engaging with your target audience, you may even see a significant growth in traffic, sales, and profit.

Is content still king? The birth of the content republic

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In a 1996 essay, Bill Gates wrote that ‘content is king’. Some fifteen years later this phrase became to buzz of the digital marketing world. You couldn’t visit a marketing blog or sit through a PowerPoint presentation without reading those words. They became ubiquitous.

And then the king died.

Content has, until now, been seen as the tip of the iceberg, the finishing touch to all other marketing efforts. Although pitched as the supreme ruler, its consideration has all too often come second to design elements, to keyword rankings, to the noise of 50% off and great value. Its benefit has always vied with contradictory SEO advantages, and too many times, it has lost. But the internet is changing. The king, whom everyone said held ultimate power, is dead, and in his place comes the birth of a republic. The republic of content.

The importance of good quality, consistent, relevant, engaging content is only growing. There is no longer any space for it at the tip of the iceberg; it is now the 90% that sits under the water, keeping entire strategies afloat.

Republic

/rɪˈpʌblɪk/

Noun
A state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch.

 

Copywriters: the pillars of the content republic

The content republic means that any and every marketing strategy should start with content, with the words that describe products and services, that persuade and entertain and engage. And what that means, whether you like it or not, is that the employment of a professional writer – or better yet, a team of professional writers – is no longer a negotiable. Businesses cannot, and should not, leave content creation to its SEO team, or indeed to the junior who happens to have reached the dizzy heights of A-level English and achieved a respectable B-grade. Do you really expect to convert with B grade content?

In reality, it doesn’t matter if the person you employ has a degree in chemistry from Durham, as long as he or she can write. And by ‘write’, I don’t mean simply string an adequate sentence together – most of us can do that, and that’s why there is such a common misconception that content is something anyone can do. I mean that the words are thoughtful and provocative, the grammar and sentence structure competent, the style relevant for each marketing channel, the tone of voice suitable, all copy consistent and targeted correctly. Starting to look a bit more difficult isn’t it?

This in turn means that you can’t expect to hire a good, experienced writer for peanuts, nor can you simply pay someone you find on a freelancing website £8 per page and expect to get quality copy. Content is the same as any other discipline: you get what you pay for.

Time for a quote? Of course it is. It’s impossible to put it better than the legendary Red Adair when he said, “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”

So, the biggest asset to your business in 2015 is, trust us, a writer. If that’s a no-go, there’s nothing to stop you getting your content written and managed by a professional copywriting company. It’s often cheaper than getting somebody in, and offers more flexibility for regular and ad hoc work.

Content as the foundation of your strategy

The birth of the content republic means that content should be at the foundation of your strategy, and that the needs and interests of your customers should be paramount. Good content, alongside effective analysis, ensures the consumer remains your focus, regardless of internal goals.

I have worked with marketing teams whose aims revolve solely around what the business is trying to achieve, and have had to be actively re-educated to think customer-centrically. Quality copy will always pitch a product or a service to appeal to the customer’s requirements or desires. It answers the question, “And so what?” before it is even asked. Good content considers why the offering will be attractive to the target audience, relates how it fulfils their needs, and injects personality into a potentially faceless brand.

This is so important in order to move forward, to expand and increase conversions and brand awareness. You might be thinking that no-one will notice the odd grammatical error or poorly written blog post, but they do, and bit by bit those weak pieces of content erode consumer trust in your brand.

Let’s touch on personalisation for a second too. This is the big word for 2015 – everyone is trying to get as much information as possible so that they can relay relevant messages. The data gathering is obviously essential, but if the copy isn’t properly targeted and executed, no amount of data will ever increase your sales. Again, it’s about trust, authority and familiarity.

Join the republic

Content underpins everything about a business’ marketing – what is said on the website, how blog and social posts are written, how the PR team represents you, the way emails are phrased depending which consumer segment they target, even how a PPC ad entices a potential buyer in. It all has to tie in, it all has to be consistent and positive and on brand. In short, it is an – indeed the – essential weapon in your arsenal.

Don’t get left behind this year. Find great writers, employ them, and watch your business grow.

Save up to £3,000 per month with Minerva Copywriting

Connect. Create. Convert.

Research shows that the average wage of an in-house copywriter is a staggering £35k – an expense of nearly £3,000 per month. While there’s no questioning the value an in-house copywriter provides to a company, it remains a fact that affordable means of supporting marketing activity are always welcomed.

Managed Copywriting

With the new Managed Copywriting service from Minerva Copywriting, you have the opportunity to support your content generation with a team of experienced copywriters and content editors. For just the fraction of the cost of a team of in-house copywriters, Minerva Copywriting will able to supply you with high-quality content each month, whether you’re in need of SEO copywriting, press releases, or print campaigns.

Prices for a Managed Copywriting service start from as little as £495 per month*, enabling you to have instant access to experienced professionals, each ready and able to supply the content that meets your needs.

Not sure why you need a copywriter?

Content is integral to even the most basic marketing campaign. Whether it’s the text on your website, the copy in an email, or the script for a video, these words need to be ably crafted by experienced, knowledgeable copywriters. At Minerva Copywriting, our team has accrued over 25 years’ experience in writing professionally across a host of industries, and can provide the copywriting services you deserve at a cost that is affordable and in a manner that is simple and convenient.

Find out more

Discover more about how Managed Copywriting from Minerva Copywriting can help drive your company’s marketing material to new levels of success. With great savings of up to £3,000 to be made, it makes sense to invest in a professional copywriting agency that has the ability to connect with you and your customers.

*Terms and conditions apply. Please contact Minerva Copywriting for details.

Top Quotes on Content Marketing

Top Quotes on Content Marketing

Content Marketing Institute has kindly put together an infographic detailing a selection of quotes on content marketing. These quotes come from a number of inspiring and influential individuals in the marketing industry, and can be relied upon when devising your content strategy. Take a closer look at the content marketing quotes below.

Where next for content marketing?

Where next for content marketing?

With thousands of pieces of content being shared online each day, it’s clear that content marketing has become a mainstream strategy for both B2B and B2C. Most companies are utilising content marketing strategies to some degree but, like everything, there is always room for improvement.

Content marketing is built on the pillars of great listening, powerful communication, and skilled teaching. While the platforms on which we deliver content marketing are likely to change, these principles will always remain the same.

So, what can businesses do to stay ahead of the game when it comes to up and coming content marketing trends?

Personalisation

Personalisation is highly important for the future of content marketing. Without personalisation we are just spraying content around, hoping it’ll stick to someone. The future of content marketing relies on focusing the message on the individual. Personalisation is all about delivering relevant content to the individuals who needs it at the right time, when they want or need it. This content should also be in a language they prefer and optimised for the device of their choosing – not the one we imagine them using.

Big content

While every company has a story to tell, it’s vital for the future of content marketing for companies to tell better stories. Compelling content attracts customers; if your content is good, people with put their trust in you. Focus less on producing a lot of content and focus more on producing content of a higher quality.

The bar of what constitutes “good content” is likely to fall as the competition surrounding content marketing rises. Marketers need to be ahead of this curve by investing in “big content” and not getting too sidetracked by producing higher quantities of less valuable content.

Building real content is easier than you think. Of course, with many things, it involves time and effort. The biggest investment is time; “big content” cannot be created overnight. This doesn’t mean, however, that the concept has to be lengthy; it should be about “big” concepts.

Content marketing

It will get expensive

Like most industries, time is money, and good content takes time. Companies should invest in copywriting services – hiring experienced writers will mean that your content will be of a much higher standard. It will also be an intelligent move to invest in internet marketing companies that will be able to promote content on search engines and social networking sites.

“Big content” may prove a step too far for some, with some companies unable to invest adequately. For those dedicating suitable time and resources, however, achieving a competitive advantage will be worth the investment.

Google Authorship

Google Authorship is set to play a big role in content marketing. With Google Authorship, you can help improve rank while branding yourself as a respected writer in your field. If you’ve written something that you’re proud of, let everyone see the face behind it. By linking your online work to your Google+ profile, Google Authorship verifies you as the author. This will enable your Google+ image to appear beside search results where you’re the author, adding gravitas to the content you produce.

 


About the author

Tom Black is Head of Search at Bootcamp Media Limited, an online marketing and web design agency based in Birmingham.

Will Vine Revolutionise Video Marketing?

Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have all captured the attention of the mass market when it comes to social media. Advertisers also increasingly use all of these social networks to pitch their products, create hype around a launch and to attract a following.

Vine is the latest social networking app that provides users with a platform to share their creativity to their friends, and advertisers are quickly getting in on the action too.

It’s no surprise that with the way that modern technology is evolving, there are new ways for companies and businesses to get something to market – whether it be a new product, an updated service or simply a message to consumers, advertises have plenty of tools at their disposal in the 21st century.

On the face of it, Vine is essentially a video form of Twitter. Users can post a clip to their followers of up to six seconds, whatever it may be. This uses a similar format to tweeting, but instead of a text-based communication, it is done using the medium of video.

Nike Running on FacebookNike Running has been quick to capitalise on social advertising

Advertising on Vine

When it comes to advertising on Vine, companies can use the six-second clip as a teaser for a new product, or perhaps use a number of clips to tell a story about a service for the public. Even though there is only a maximum time of six seconds available for videos, it is this that can provide companies with a powerful tool when advertising.

Of course, video is a powerful medium when it comes to getting something noticed, with both visuals and sounds to draw an audience in. But what Vine also offers is the use of hashtags on its videos – already hugely popular on Twitter and Instagram. With just one hashtag, users are able to follow the whole story which would be perfect for a company using Vine as an advertising stream.

Whether it’s for a competition for users, or to link multiple clips together to tell a story on the social network, it means that people can quickly search for a clip relevant to a particular company, product or service and it’s this which make advertising on Vine such an innovative way to communicate with a company’s followers.

VineBrands should look towards Vine to promote products

Communicate globally

With user-generated content and the way that people are using social media in the modern day, companies can communicate with people on a global scale. It also invites users to send in their own videos, be it as part of a competition, to provide consumers with a more human interaction, or to simply create hype around a certain product so that others can get excited about a launch by witnessing first-hand what all the excitement is about.

 


About the author

Silverbean is a digital marketing agency based in the North East of England. We specialise in SEO & social media, PPC Management, Conversion Rate Optimisation, & Affiliate Program Management.

Email marketing best practice

Email marketing best practice

For a long time, it seemed as though email marketing was confined to history, with the preference for social media promotion taking prominence. Yet, with the cost and efficacy of a well-managed email marketing strategy enabling your marketing budget to stretch further than ever, it’s no surprise that there has been a resurgence in email popularity.

From lead generation to customer retention, email marketing can be used in a manner of ways to support the marketing of your company. Even as a means of collecting customer feedback for future publication will prove invaluable and, after all, staying engaged with your customers will keep them coming back for more.

I only recently came across this email marketing infographic. In terms of best practice for your email marketing, it offers exceptional advice and reminders so that your campaign can be as effective as possible. Take a closer look and let us know what you think.

Top 10 Email Design Best Practices

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

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