Tag Archives: Marketing
Whatever you think about Margaret Thatcher and her legacy, one of the most memorable aspects of her political career was the incredible 1979 election campaign poster for the Conservative party. Instantly recognisable, the “Labour isn’t working” poster and print campaign is credited by some as leading to James Callaghan’s thrashing at the polls that year.
As well as a powerful visual, the simple three word slogan is pure copywriting genius. Andrew Rutherford pulls off a masterstroke by addressing the high unemployment of 1979, the perceived failures of the incumbent administration and suggests that nothing will change for the foreseeable future under a Labour government. All in just three words.
The “Labour isn’t working” poster is one of only two political campaigns to make it into the Outdoor Hall of Fame and it is easy to see why. Even now with the current coalition government’s programme of “welfare rebalancing”, much of the rhetoric coming out of Whitehall still seems to echo to the same slogan!
Obviously Mrs Thatcher had little, if anything to do with the design of her campaign posters, but she certainly owes at least some of her three-term success to an example of outstanding copywriting.
Need help with your own election campaign? Or maybe just some top-notch copy for your website? Get in touch!
If you operate in the B2B marketplace, it is extremely likely that at some point you will have been asked to trade your email address in return for receiving a “white paper”. This magical document promises to explain why Cloud widgets help slash operating costs, increase efficiency and improve business profits (or something similar). But only if you sign up first. No email address, no white paper.
White paper madness?
The white paper is at the forefront of a “new” revolution called content marketing. But really it boils down to a very old marketing premise – give the customer something for nothing, and have them join your marketing mailing list in the process.
The reason that white papers are so popular is because:
- Your client finds the information useful and applicable to their situation
- Each sign-up is a pre-qualified sales lead for you
- White papers are relatively cheap to produce and offer a decent return on investment
The client has already demonstrated an interest in your subject and solutions when they download the document. This can then be used by your sales team to create a more-targeted campaign focusing on these people and increasing the likelihood of converting them into a customer.
How to succeed with white papers?
A quick search on Google turns up millions of free white papers (over 7 million as I write this), so how do you make yours stand out?
Choose an aspect of your service or product which addresses a real-world issue faced by your customers. Often this means a white paper is very narrow in scope, but this also makes it much more relevant to the people downloading it, creating a finely tuned sales lead. Using a search term as the paper title (“How does Cloud CRM improve my company turnover?”) gives you a starting point to construct a case and attract more readers.
Your business should know what it is talking about. Your white paper should then establish credibility about your knowledge and experience. This is best achieved by using general industry information and statistics, rather than allowing the document to become yet another sales brochure.
Facts and stats
People love facts and stats, and your white paper needs to be stuffed with them if it is going to prove a point. Reference respected sources and studies wherever possible to increase trust. Spend the time researching relevant information to give your white paper some real “meat“. You can also use quotes from respected industry figures for added credibility.
Pick a subject or central theme and stick to it. If you find you want to address a closely-related topic, consider creating a second white paper. Don’t muddle issues or you will confuse readers and dilute your authority.
The white paper can then be offered for download from your website until the content becomes outdated. The document offers many of the benefits of a traditional brochure or mailing without the printing and postage costs. Better yet, only people who are interested receive the document, reducing marketing budget wastage.
If you would like to know more about white papers, content marketing, and how they can be applied to boost your sales leads (and ultimately your company profits) drop us a line. We research and write white papers for clients operating in a variety of different sectors, and can certainly help you too.
The very best, most effective copywriting speaks directly into the reader’s situation, imparting hope and knowledge to build confidence in your brand. Fail to connect on this level and your message gets lost in all the other guff with which your would-be customers are bombarded every day.
Your copywriter can create compelling content designed to tug at the heartstrings of readers, but only if it is targeted correctly. Which is where you, the commissioner of copywriting services come in.
As a provider of goods and services you should know what the problems your solutions are designed to address. At the most basic level, you should know what issues your customers have when they turn to your company for help. What are their pains?
In the same way that your business’ offerings have been developed to relieve specific issues, your copywritten content should also be targeted to highlight these benefits. But you need to tell your copywriter what these solutions and benefits are in advance so that your marketing message remains relevant, increasing the chances of it converting readers into customers.
Articles, blog entries and web pages which just blather on about how great your business is are unlikely to generate any kind of positive emotional response. And it certainly won’t address a specific customer issue. That’s a copywriting fail.
Remember customer-focused content, just like customer-focused service, yields the best results, creating not only sales, but repeat sales.
If you find that your own website copy is failing to convert, or is simply not focused on addressing your customers’ pain points, drop Tech Write a message and see how our copywriting services could rectify this. Just don’t be surprised when we ask what your customers’ pain points are!
During an interview with Radio 4 this morning, Minister without Portfolio Ken Clarke decided to drop a new word into the public conscious - eurorealist*. Despite existing in some limited circles since the middle of the last decade, eurorealist has yet to gain much traction and is certainly not yet in common usage (a quick Google reveals less than 250,000 matches).
The eurorealist example raises an important issue for businesses preparing to employ a professional copywriter. Should your web content be packed with up-to-the-minute wording?
When should you use “new” words in your copywriting?
In some circumstances, particularly when technology is involved, the introduction of new words is essential. There is just no other way to accurately describe a new product of service. But in these instances it is essential that you provide some kind of easy reference for readers to help them understand. This could be in the form of an explanation within the copy, a hyperlink to a glossary page, or some kind of mouse-over tool-tip. The presentation is not as important as making the information available though.
Occasionally it may be desirable to use “new” words to catch the reader’s attention. In doing so you may help cement your reputation as a leader in your sector. Or you may just end up confusing your reader.
When should you avoid “new” words?
The answer to this question is relatively simple – always. The goal of any copywriting project is to get your message across as quickly and easily as possible. If your aim is to reach the widest possible audience, there is even less reason or excuse for using new words which have yet to enter the mainstream vocabulary.
Your best bet is allow Ken Clarke to use new words in the media and allow other people to do the explanations. This may take quite a while – in the meantime you can focus on writing clear web content which does not require translation and is more likely to convert visitors into customers.
Need to secure the copywriting services of someone who is not afraid to avoid buzzwords, piffle and corporate junk speak? Get in touch with Tech Write today!
* “A eurorealist attempts to maintain a realistic but reformist perception of the European Union and European integration as a whole.”