minerva, Author at Minerva Creative | Page 3 of 6

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.

5 ways content boosts new business


One of my favourite scenes in recent cinema comes from Leonardo DiCaprio in Wolf of Wall Street (and no, it doesn’t involve nudity or drug use). It’s the scene, towards the beginning of the movie, where DiCaprio’s character – Jordan Belfort – asks his motley crew of investors to, “sell me this pen.” Aside from one, they all fail to secure the sale. Why? The answer lies in poor communication. Poor communication and failing to connect the product to a purchaser’s needs. Sound familiar?

Content marketing is this communication; it’s that link between product and purchaser. It’s what influences the sales you need to make and how to boost new business. Are you able to sell the pen? Or are you left simply holding it? We take a look at how content helps boost new business and helps you:

  • Find new leads
  • Close sales
  • Generate higher income

1. Content drives awareness

To sell your product (or even your service or expertise), you need an audience – someone to target. Without a particular target in mind, you’re wasting your time. And, even if you know the target audience, you need to raise enough awareness of your brand to capture attention. The earliest stage of the customer buying cycle is awareness, so investing in content and publishing in the right places can help raise the profile of your organisation. Of course, this is only the first step in the customer journey but, if done right, it can be the launch point for bigger successes further down the line.

2. Content refines your business

Did you know that, through clever use of content marketing, you can refine the success of your business? Good content engages with an audience, and it prompts a response. If you’re active on social media channels – regularly posting content that asks the opinions of your customers – you can use the information collected to help gather feedback on those products that sell best, or how customer service can be improved. Put a little thought behind the statuses and blogs you post, and you could find your audience soon helping tailor your offering for the better.

3. Content converts

As we’ve already touched upon, content is essential to raising awareness of your brand and its products. But, of course, it does much, much more than just attract interest. Positioning content in the right place, at the right time, with the right message can help transform speculators into leads, and leads into sales. Remember the “sell me this pen” scenario from earlier? This is the moment you need to sell. Don’t simply tell your audience what’s great about the product. Tell them how it helps and empowers them. Don’t make them just want the product, make them need it. It’s your content and your communication that will push through this sale.

4. Content creates relationships

How many businesses can truly get away of selling to a customer just once? You’d be hard pressed to find any industry that can survive on one sale per customer alone. So, generating a lasting relationship is essential to continued success. With effective, structured content marketing, maintaining a relationship with your target audience is significantly easier. Think about how companies such as Amazon keep in touch with you once you’ve bought. You most likely receive regular emails or targeted advertising. These techniques are nothing new, but they serve to keep you engaged with your audience when it’s time to buy once more.

5. Content is king

I know. We recently declared the death of the saying ‘content is king‘ but, in this context, it will always remain the most vital part of any marketing or advertising process. People remember the content that is served to them; otherwise, how else did they know about the company/product/service? Content is – and always will be – key to your business success, so embrace content marketing today and make sure you’re able to “sell me this pen.”

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Is content still king? The birth of the content republic


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.



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.

Content marketing 2015: our expectations


It’s safe to say that 2014 was a busy year in the world of content marketing. Search volume experienced growth that, a few years ago, would’ve been beyond the wildest dreams of content editors and copywriters around the globe, while the demand for quality content has meant that SEO experts have quickly had to rebrand themselves as master of the art of content generation.

But what about content marketing in 2015? How can we expect the discipline to evolve? Are there likely to be any significant shifts in the mindset of digital marketers that see the demand for content diminish? Below we take a look at some expected developments for content marketing in 2015.

Sort the wheat from the chaff

Something we witnessed throughout 2014 was that more and more companies have entered the digital marketplace to offer content marketing services. Many of these companies have evolved from offering standard SEO services, revising what they offer to encompass more content-orientated services. While a large proportion have made this transition effectively, there remains a number of operators that have ‘missed the point’ of content marketing.

There has never been a shortcut to developing quality content – it’s a time-consuming process that demands the input of copywriters, designers, marketers, and more. For those that simply look to create page after page after page of keyword-led content, they will soon realise that the online environment has left them behind and their time in the industry is limited.

The rise of specialist content creators

As already identified, the process of content creation is one that takes skill and time. Copywriters possess the expertise necessary to craft the messages that connect with an audience and promote sales and conversions; graphic designers create visual elements that play a part in successful digital operations; user experience professionals understand the mechanics behind what works and what doesn’t; and video content editors can craft a compelling video that engages with a customer base.

As such, we can expect 2015 to witness the specialist content creators to thrive in the industry, with more and more companies investing in the services of professionals to engage with their audience and drive traffic, sales, and revenue.

A focus on audience

Too often, companies and brands look inwards to their own wants and needs when trying to communicate. This tendency needs to be eliminated in 2015. There has already been an acceptance among industry professionals that creating content that only meets the needs of search engines has run its course. Similarly, content that focuses solely on the interests of the brand will decline in the coming years, while the need to focus on the wants and needs of customers comes to the fore. It’s always worth remembering that, in any marketing promotion, the most important word to use is ‘you’ and not ‘us’.

Analysis of effective content

Measuring the efficacy of content is never easy, with the available metrics not always fulfilling the needs you have. Traffic and bounce rate, for example, may not tell you everything you need to know about the content you create; similarly, calculating a traditional AVE for online public relations is not always an effective means of determining how successful you’ve been. Throughout 2015, we hope to see companies invest the time to consider precisely what constitutes effective content without necessarily demanding traditional metrics.

Have your say

Where do you see content heading in 2015? Perhaps you’ve noticed some trends throughout 2014 that you see developing further in the coming year? Let us know your thoughts and expectations for what content marketing holds in the near future.

20 Content Marketing Myths


As the year draws to a close and we all get ready to settle in for the festive season, there seems no better time to take stock and review the year’s events in the world of content marketing. We’ve experienced significant growth within the industry, both in terms of search volume and production, and more and more businesses are latching on to the need to revise their current standing online through embracing investment in high-quality content. This, of course, is fantastic news for content marketing specialists, and 2015 will undoubtedly see a further increase in production.

It’s not all positive news, however. While those within the industry have become familiar with the benefits of content marketing, many key stakeholders remain cautious about whether or not to invest in the discipline. Worse still, some proponents of content marketing pursue practices that are far from ideal, expecting quick wins and little effort. As such, content marketing myths continue to give the discipline a bad name. Through suitable education, however, debunking some of these myths is essential in order for content marketing to continue to develop.

Below we take a look at 20 of the most common myths about content marketing and look to resolve any confusion for those still unsure of its value.

Myth 1: Content marketing and copywriting are easy

Let’s get this one out the way first shall we? For content marketing to be effective and engaging, it’s vital to have the input from a number of experts, most notably designers, UX experts, developers and, of course, copywriters. Putting some words onto paper may seem like the easiest thing in the world, but doing it well is something altogether different. Hiring a professional may prove to be slightly more expensive to begin with, but the results will far outweigh the cost; after all, you wouldn’t have an amateur build you a house, so why let an amateur write your content? Which leads us to…

Myth 2: Copywriters do nothing but write

A professional copywriter in the modern era is responsible for far more than just penning words. As already identified above, content creation demands collaboration, but it also demands an investment of time and discipline. A copywriter is required to conduct a number of tasks when generating a piece of content. For example, for every piece of content created, more often than not the copywriter will be responsible for:

  • Competitor research
  • Customer profiling and demographics
  • Keyword research
  • Content writing
  • Content optimisation (meta descriptions, header tags, internal linking)
  • Proofreading
  • Image sourcing and optimisation
  • Uploading (CMS, HTML, etc.)

And that’s for just a simple article! When it comes to preparing videos, slide decks, infographics, etc., the extent of the work is accentuated significantly. Sometimes paying a little bit more for a decent copywriter or copywriting agency leads to far greater ROI in far less time.

Myth 3: Text content is enough

Copywriting and content marketing are about far more than just words. Everything that appears before an audience’s eyes constitutes content, and demands that care and attention is given to every element. Yes, search engines crawl the text found on a page, but the online experience is about far more than simply appeasing Google robots. The user experience is fundamental to the success of your website, so investing in the right text, the right images, the right videos, etc. is of utmost importance. Of course, each asset appearing should complement the other, so having a guiding hand and an experienced content editor to approve the content before going live should is also required.

Myth 4: Content marketing is just flavour of the month

When it comes to content marketing, the theory behind the discipline will never change. Content will always be required. How content is delivered and the type of content required is undoubtedly certain to change, but be required it will. For those working in the industry, it’s about moving with times and embracing evolution. While the term ‘content marketing’ may well become less prominent in the years to come, everything about the discipline will remain relevant. That does not, however, mean that…

Myth 5: More content means greater reach

For a long time, it was a common policy among SEO ‘experts’ that creating page after page after page after page was the most effective means of capturing traffic. The amount of websites now featuring redundant, low-quality pages built purely for the benefit of capturing long-tail and miscellaneous keywords is alarming, not least because some SEO advocates still believe this to be a valuable use of time and resource. While it’s vital to have content relevant to your keywords, the most fundamental issue is that just that: relevance. Weak, poorly crafted content won’t endear you to search engines, let alone customers. Make sure that it’s a case of quality over quantity; it’ll prove far more effective for your digital strategy.

That’s not to say that…

Myth 6: If you build it, they will come

(We know, we know. The actual quote is ‘he’ and not ‘they’. Calm down)

As may be apparent from the article thus far, we’re huge advocates of quality over quantity. Less is most definitely more. That said, don’t expect to generate a huge audience and great levels of engagement if you simply build yourself a blog/website and post once in a blue moon. While that one post may be truly exceptional, you need regular communication with your audience to ensure complete engagement. Too often we see clients invest the money in developing a blog, only to neglect its very existence. Put time and effort into the content you create so as not to neglect quality, but ensure you still post regularly enough to maintain readership. It’s a fine line between too little and too much but, as a consumer of content yourself, it should soon become apparent where the happy medium lies.

Myth 7: Blogging is a waste of time

Investing in a blog is far from a waste of time, but only if it’s done correctly. Something we see all-too often is that businesses feel the need to deliver blog content only if it produces a measurable return i.e. sales. In some industries, affiliate marketing, say, this may be perfectly viable; for others, however, it should be viewed as completely irrelevant. The purpose of a blog differs vastly from the purpose of your actual website; whereas everything on your site has been carefully considered to drive sales and conversions, your blog should be used to promote engagement and foster a relationship with your audience that is altruistic and asks for nothing in return. Your communication via blogs should be informative and entertaining, resolving problems and interacting. Done well, your blog will positively influence sales indirectly. Just don’t expect it to sell off the page.

Myth 8: Content marketing doesn’t influence sales

One of the greatest misunderstandings when it comes to content marketing is the assumption that it plays no role in influencing sales. That this myth still requires refuting speaks volumes about the level of education still required for those in charge of promoting their business. Content marketing pervades every part of your sales strategy, regardless of what and to whom you’re selling. Content marketing plays an integral role in the entire customer buying cycle, and is essential in supporting a potential customer’s need during the five distinct stages:

  • Awareness
  • Research
  • Comparison
  • Purchase
  • Retention

Without content marketing, guiding customers to the next stage of the purchase cycle is all but impossible. Use content marketing appropriately at each milestone and you can help support customers before, during, and after they purchase. Of course, there’s another myth which isn’t too dissimilar…

Myth 9: Content marketing has failed if it isn’t traced to sales

This can be a tough argument for even the most seasoned content marketing professional. In business, knowing precisely where each pound is being spent, and what you’re getting in return, is important; and without a clear trail from source to sale (sorry for the rhyming), it can be difficult to justify investment, none more so than when it comes to content marketing. While it is often possible to measure the effects of a particular advertising campaign, or determine how much revenue came from a certain promotion, being able to put a definitive figure on a strategy that is so multifaceted (or should be) is a logistical nightmare.

The purpose of content marketing includes raising brand awareness and maintaining a healthy relationship with your audience, so putting a tangible figure on such a strategy is far from simple. Instead, why not think about the effect having no new content would’ve had on the business? It can become easy for a business and a business’ website to stagnate and, without fresh content as part of a strategy, that’s precisely what will happen. The value in content marketing is there, it’s just not always that easy to measure.

Myth 10: Content marketing is just SEO rebranded

It would be easy to think that content marketing and SEO are one-and-the-same. But, while they are definitely related, to claim that one has simply evolved into the other is nonsense. Yes, there are certain companies out there that were once SEO specialists and are now content marketing specialists (and all without having really been one or the other), but those SEO specialists and those specialising in content should work together and not in place of one another. In its simplest form, SEO entails an understanding of search engines; content marketing entails an understanding of marketing and the audience. Two very separate, very distinct, skill sets.

Myth 11: Does that mean SEO is dead?

Far from it. Search engines are evolving all the time, and staying abreast of the latest developments, updates, and changes is a full-time role. It’s just that SEO and content should work side-by-side in developing a structured strategy as opposed to in isolation. It’s no longer the case of an SEO expert identifying a few long-tail keywords that needs copy optimising for; it’s about shaping the marketing messages to best work within the digital environment. And, to best achieve this aim, it’s important to have the right people working the right jobs. As such, SEO is far from dead; yes, it’s evolved and the role is changing, but that’s what makes the industry such an exciting and compelling one in which to work.

Myth 12: Social media can replace your blog

As delightful as it might be to think that you can effectively sustain your business presence through social media alone, the simple truth is that your blog and your website are requirements you cannot do without. For starters, your blog belongs to you and you alone; regardless of whether you bought shares in Facebook, it’s not the same as having ownership of your own platform. What’s more, the content on the site is under your full control, and there are few restrictions in place with what you can decide to promote. Social media is essential to engaging with your audience and should be used to boost brand awareness, promote your business, and interact with your customer base. But don’t neglect your blog or your website – doing so could well prove disastrous.

Myth 13: Tweet and watch your followers grow

Being effective on social media is about so much more than the occasional post, using the right hashtag, and retweeting the best-known celebrities – it’s about interaction. If you hope to see a return on your social media investment, you need to be proactive and get involved in discussions. It can often be difficult for a corporate voice to be viewed as anything other than an entity that is devoid of personality, and that’s because it’s so often the case. Don’t simply tweet your latest special offers and URLs haphazardly; put together a coherent strategy for reaching out to the right audience and delivering the social media content they want to see. Word of mouth is the more effective form of marketing there is.

Myth 14: Be on every social network

Quite how often it needs to be said but, in any facet of life, quality is better than quantity. In social media, there are hundreds of networks with which you are able to sign up, but is it worth it? Let’s just look at the most popular: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, YouTube… we could go on. The more social networks you sign up to, the more work you’re creating for yourself and the less time you have to focus on what’s important: creating quality content to post on social media. Identify those channels best-suited to your business and product, and deliver the right content at the right time.

Myth 15: Posting the most valuable content on another’s blog

This myth is a little tricky to dispel, purely because you can sit in one of two camps: first, there are those that believe that providing high-quality content for others will do wonders for brand awareness and help you reach a wider, more varied, audience; second, there’s the line of thought that your best content should stay on your own domain, generating the traffic and attention it deserves in a location that’s most beneficial to you. Of course, each side of the coin has its benefits, so it’s really up to you to judge what you believe is best. For us, we take pride in the content we produce and aim to retain ownership on our site. After all, we can always repurpose that content for use elsewhere.

Myth 16: Republish your content to reach the biggest audience

You’ll notice above that we mentioned that, ‘we can always repurpose that content’ and post on others’ blog. What we didn’t say – what we definitely, definitely didn’t say – was that you should republish your content on other sites. Rework so that it’s an original piece, by all means, but do not simply copy and paste elsewhere. Doing so runs the risk of incurring penalties from search engines and could present a number of problems to your website and your business.

Myth 17: One size fits all

Few business terms are quite as effective at getting the blood boiling as ‘quick win’ and ‘scalability’. When it comes to delivering a content marketing strategy, assuming that you can simply adopt the exact same tactics each and every time is a recipe for failure. This is particularly true when comparing B2C and B2B content marketing strategies. The purpose and audience differ hugely and demand that due care and attention is paid to their needs. Consumers, for example, are often in search of bitesize information that is easily digestible, while businesses will often want to see in-depth analysis and evidence of your expertise. That’s not to say that there aren’t common threads within a content marketing strategy, just no quick wins that are scalable to meet any need!

Myth 18: More content = More success

You can probably guess from this sub-head that we’re going to touch on the whole ‘quality over quantity’ issue again. And you’d be right. Content has to add value to the user experience. If you can deliver 10,000 pages of truly exceptional content that answers every possible query in a way that is informative, engaging, and entertaining, we tip our hat to you. If, however, you’re churning out page after page quickly in an effort to broaden your reach, you’re going to fail. As much as it pains us to say it, there’s a lot of terrible content on the internet, and simply adding to it with poor-quality irrelevant material is doing nobody any favours.

Myth 19: Outsource content to the lowest bidder – anyone can write

You may or may not be aware that you’re reading this article on a website by Minerva Copywriting. We’re a team of experienced copywriters that has done pretty much everything there is to do in terms of professional writing. As such, we know what constitutes good writing and what doesn’t, and can only implore you to use decent, professional writers and content editors when investing in your content marketing. The assumption that ‘anyone can write’ could not be further from the truth, so don’t scrimp on your investment and look for the cheapest option – you’ll only be rewarded with the content you deserve.

And finally…

Myth 20: Content should be long and extensive

Oh, right. Sorry.

If websites and services such as Twitter, Buzzfeed and Upworthy have taught us anything, it’s that brevity is not a hindrance to digital performance. Quite the opposite, in fact. If the content is good enough, it’s long enough. It’s that simple.

Did we mention quality over quantity?

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