In recent months I’ve seen countless adverts for social media managers, social media marketers and marketing personnel with social media skills and the closest requisite for good copywriting skills is ‘good communication skills’.
Being able to communicate as a marketer is often assumed to mean a great orator or at worst, a good interviewer. Copywriting, or copy, is the leading principle of all online marketing but this skill is rarely requested or even tested until it’s too late. Obvious aversions to having the apostrophe in the wrong place aside, good copy is not simply good English. It is the ability to match brand style and product selling points with target market readers.
The world of online books or e-books, PDFs, e-mail subscriptions and video courses is founded on good copy. A number of online marketers have literally made their millions by simply reselling their techniques of good copywriting. The best website in the world in terms of visual appeal, navigation and ease of purchase will be completed undermined by poor copy that does not resonate with the reader, walk them through the purchase cycle and reward their clicks. Proof of this can be seen in the thousands of websites that instantly come across as boring, text heavy and out of date compared to today’s graphically visual interactive channels but these sites seem to magically attract new and repeat business. Their secret remains in simply good copywriting.
The Yellow Pages is famous for it’s sales team’s ability to attract new business and convince ad buyers to design their adverts according to the Yellow Page’s specifications. Effective adverts are assumed to be a strong photo and bold text but the opposite is actually true. A text heavy advert that gives the reader more information, fewer images and something to actually read produced a much higher response rate than the average advert. So why do the sales team insist on their image rich designs?
If every advert on a page was text heavy it would make the overall page unappealing and that makes it harder to sell the ad space. But for us as the marketing people, we must look at the numbers and not the hype, or worse, what everyone else is doing.
Social media, as a web based platform was immediately seized upon by the I.T. literate, shunned by the PR departments and cautiously tested by the savvy marketing people. This created an imbalance in the focus. I.T. literate is often not aligned with good communication skills. PR have exactly the skills required to engage but not the technical knowledge to make the most of the platforms and marketing is left in the middle trying to do the job of three departments.
The secret to juggling these three areas of strategy, content production and engagement is good copywriting. The vast majority of material released by a marketer is copy. An innovative photoshoot, stylish advert or Internet meme can fly or flop based on the ‘simple’ caption. Websites, daily posts, Tweets and updates, blogs, e-mails, search engine tags and even your business card all come down to the judgement of others based on good copy.
So the next time you’re considering what material to release via social media, what photoshoot to setup or who to hire for your next campaign, start with researching the best form of copy to use.
Those funny little bar code thingies are more prevalent than ever; product boxes, subway adverts, magazines, newspapers and even random stickers on bus stop posts but does anybody really click on them?
The latest results from comScore say yes with some media outstripping others by almost 40%:
So with printed media making a successful cross over into digital media what sort of content are companies sharing via QR Codes?
Starbucks for example allow you to make a payment using their phone app by scanning the QR code of the product and making your purchase to save queueing: http://www.starbucks.com/coffeehouse/mobile-apps/starbucks-card-mobile
Lamarcawines.com use QR codes on the bottles of wines that are available from their online store such as Somontano. So now when you order a bottle in a restaurant you can instantly find out where to buy it again in the future.
Frankfurt in Germany includes QR codes alongside their Info Tag system that gives passengers real time alerts on travel news and discounts for travel pass holders. Passengers simply scan the code for the latest news at bus stops, railway stations and onboard.
Tesco on the other hand took things one step even further…
Following a successful range of social media training courses for large and enterprise sized companies we have been developing a range of SME workshops focusing on platform awareness, engagement strategies, content production and measurement.
Designed for 6 – 10 people at a time, our two half day workshops cover the key platforms used for engagement, designing content production, distributing messages and building feedback from your target market. We also look at how to find your target market on social media channels and why vanity metrics have value, but only a tiny amount compared to selected key metrics which show how much your business is achieving by spending time on each social media platform.
More information about the latest course can be found here but do drop us an e-mail if you would be interested in finding out more about our industry focused training. Industry focused training days follow the same format as our two half day workshops but are designed around specific sectors and their individual challenges when marketing via social media.