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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.

Test your SEO with our new SEO tool

We’re always looking at ways to help our clients and other web users to improve their online experience, which is why we’re pleased to have introduced a comprehensive SEO audit tool to our website.

The tool, which can be found on our SEO audit page, is completely free to use and will help you determine necessary actions that need to be taken to improve your website. Best of all, it provides you with a total score based on the quality of the SEO for any given page out of 100, making it simple to see at-a-glance the overall performance.

Of course, a more thorough report is delivered by the report, providing a complete breakdown of what needs to be reviewed. This may range from the optimisation of the on-page content, or whether you need to focus your attention on improving the page load time or the code that underpins your site. You can even obtain a snapshot of the social impact your website has, and where you should look to improve.

Try our FREE SEO tool today

Regardless of your specific requirements, the free SEO tool from Minerva Copywriting provides a valuable service to those with a website that needs refinement. Try our free SEO tool today and discover the improvements you can make to your website to better engage with your audience.

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.

Now even easier to connect


Call FREE on 0800 180 4085

We’re always pleased to keep in touch with our customers, and have now made it even easier to stay connected. You can contact Minerva Copywriting FREE on 0800 180 4085, and speak to one of our representatives about all your copywriting and content marketing needs.

Contact Minerva Copywriting today and discover how our copywriting services can help drive your company to greater success.

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.

Three essential marketing automation techniques

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The term ‘marketing automation’ has the ability to strike equal amounts of fear and delight into marketing professionals the world over. For some, it may be seen as a precursor to being found out as a redundant cog in the wheels of industry or for becoming a proponent of spammy messages; for others, it can help alleviate the burden of manual tasks and enable focus to be placed on more creative and rewarding features of a particular campaign. Regardless of your own particular opinion, more and more forms of marketing automation and associated software are available, leaving the door open for embracing the very best marketing automation techniques to help lift your strategies to greater heights.

Content marketing automation

So, how can marketing automation benefit your content strategy? Before going any further, it should be stressed that these techniques will serve only to complement your strategy; there is no shortcut to success, no software that can replicate the skill of experience copywriters, and no substitute for considered planning and strategising. Instead, these marketing automation techniques can be utilised to enhance returns and offer support to your content strategy.

So, what marketing automation techniques are available to help your content strategy? We take a look at three fundamental techniques below.

1. Nurturing leads

By creating a lead nurturing workflow, you can ensure that your business delivers the content your customers need at a time they need it. This nurturing workflow can be a basic checklist of content ideas that help support your prospects through a sale. It should refrain from being too pushy, and simply offer a guiding hand through the necessary stages. In fact, promoting products will only serve to alienate customers, potentially prompting them to unsubscribe from email lists or blocking social media updates.

The nurturing of leads should instead remind customers about how you can help them, create awareness, and establish authority within the marketplace, thereby keeping you at the forefront of their mind when the time comes to invest in your product.

2. Triggered emailing

For increased open rates and a higher click-through rate, triggered emailing represents the perfect marketing automation solution. Effective and efficient, triggered emails can be tailored according to the specifics of your customer. For example, by automating personalised emails to be delivered on specific dates (say, the birthday of your customer), you can stay in touch with your customer via a relevant message at a relevant time, all without lifting a finger.

Similarly, triggered emails can be automated via on-site activity. Should a website user visit three-or-more pages on one particular subject matter, why not set up an automated email to send offering even more information, such as a whitepaper or a link to an ebook?

3. Tailored landing page

It’s common for a paid marketing campaign (PPC) to neglect the importance of a suitable landing page. After all, it’s easier and less effort to simply direct paid traffic to an existing page with links to all sections of your site, right? Wrong. Well-designed, well-configured landing pages with suitable content convert. Combined with the right message supporting the campaign, you can ensure your money is spent effectively. Driving your paid – and email – traffic to a destination already tailored to answer its questions or further its interests enables you to put your PPC budget to work with little effort.

These techniques are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to marketing automation, and it should be noted that there is no sure-fire means of success. That said, you can rest assured that by laying the correct foundations, you will be able to move forward in your marketing strategy with an enhanced selection of automation tactics.

Super Bowl 2014 adverts

It’s the biggest game of the year in the American sporting calendar: Super Bowl 2014. As much as viewers around the globe will be glued to the action between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos, many in the world of marketing will be eagerly anticipating another iconic institution of Super Bowl Sunday – the half time adverts.

Millions upon millions of dollars are spent each year on the production and placement of great adverts in the most coveted slot in television. But what can viewers expect this year? From British villains to David Beckham revealing more than you might imagine, there’s humour, emotion and, above all else, big budgets on show. Take a look at some of the best Super Bowl 2014 adverts below.

Jaguar: British Villains

Sodastream: Sorry, Coke and Pepsi

Kia: The Truth

H&M: David Beckham Covered or Uncovered?

Volkswagen: Wings

Budweiser: Puppy Love

Don’t Need a Blog? Think Again

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When it comes to creating a website, you may feel that blogging isn’t high on the list of priorities. It may therefore surprise you to learn that blogging is an integral avenue through which to increase traffic to your website. In fact, blogging benefits your website in a variety of ways. But it’s important to remember that successful blogging doesn’t happen overnight, and takes a huge degree of hard work.

By adding a blog to your website, you have the perfect opportunity to be seen by users as an expert – and an authority – in your field. Regular blogging enables you to reach out to both existing and potential clients, and establishes a place on your website which is a more lively and friendly place to be. As such, you will be able to build a following of readers or visitors who will return to your blog again and again, as well as interact with you through the comments section.

To many, blogging can be seen as an online documentation of work – this again is all part of establishing you as an expert in your field. If you are a regular blogger and you provide your readers with a variety of consistent content, they are sure to return to your site regularly, and even share its content on social networks.

If you are adding a blog to your business’ website, it can demystify your business by making you a lot more approachable – especially if you use a variety of embeddable content. Videos, pictures and sound clips are all ways in which you can make your blog stand out from the rest. Check out this short guide on how to make your post stand out with embeddable content.

Blogging is a great way of communicating in a timely fashion and providing readers with news and special offers. Some posts can generate a great deal of traffic, much of which many never have found the main website otherwise.

What are the advantages of blogging to SEO

  • You can target more keywords, with each post effectively a new page that can be optimised to target particular terms.
  • Websites with blogs attract more links than sites without a blog. This is especially true with commercial sites, with people more likely to link to engaging informational content than your homepage or a product page.
  • Search engines like fresh content. Blogging is a great way of encouraging you to consistently create fresh content. The more keyword-rich content you produce, the better off you’ll be.

Blogging tips

  • You must write regularly. Leaving yourself time to write and update your blog is highly important. Schedule a day to write and stick to it.
  • Quality content. If you struggle to create your own content, it might be worth investing in a writing agency or professional copywriter to assist you. Quality content is highly important when it comes to blogging. And, while anyone can create a blog, it’s the content that defines whether your blog is good or great.
  • Be realistic. Don’t expect to gain lots of followers overnight because, more often than not, you won’t. You must keep your expectations in check and really think about what you want to achieve from blogging – not everyone blogs for the same reasons.
  • Be different. Don’t be afraid to use your own writing style. Writing for a website is a lot different to blogging, so you need to try and find your own voice. Do your research and look at other blogs for a bit of inspiration.

 


About the author

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

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