Category: Copywriting Tips

Future Bright - How To Demonstrate Laser Focus

How To Copywrite Like A Pro And Show That You Are Laser Focused On Solutions

How To Demonstrate Laser Focus
And Show That You Have
The BEST Solution To
A Customer’s
Problem.

Visual Space

It happens fast. Less than a second. In a micro-second, your customer’s eyes land on your website and send a message to their brain, which then decides how it feels about you before even a single word is read. The famous copywriter Joseph Sugarman says that when trying to gain a new customer, first you need to create the right environment. You need to give your visitor the visual space they need to focus on your product, whether that is in an actual physical space, or purely online. After you have introduced yourself visually, if your potential customer feels good and they like what they see, the next part is easy. Well, o.k., I fibbed, it does take a bit of work, but not as much effort as it took to dream of, invent and refine your product! Don’t stop until you have completed this final important step of your product’s life span. As the creator of your product, you will need to write your own sales copy, until you don’t. Now, let’s start talking about how to write effective copy.

Once your visual cues have established who you are, you need a headline and copy that helps the visitor feel like you are speaking directly to them like I am doing right now. I am writing to you in my own voice, rather than a salesy voice, because I want you to know and feel that I am absolutely focused on getting copywriting skills into your toolbox because frankly, without the right copy, your brilliant idea is in danger of remaining just that…an idea. You know in your heart that what stands between you and the wild success of your idea is a very small collection of skillfully written words. You badly want to know what those words are. You want that lightbulb to go off and for those words to emerge, to experience a mind shift that takes you away from the same old copywriting ideas you have had to something new and exciting and fresh! What you will learn here, and as you continue your copywriting journey, is that even well-known successful copywriters agree that discovering those words requires a process every.single.time. The words that launch you into success will rarely just appear in your mind. You need to develop the skill of taking yourself to that mind shift! It is exhilarating, gives you passion about your idea all over again, and produces the best work! After going through that process, you will emerge with nearly perfect copy, but you will likely still need to further fine-tune it in real time with A/B/C/D testing until you get just the right combination of words. The most important step in this process of finding the right words to use is identifying one important thing about your product.

What special aspect of your product sets it apart from all others?

It isn’t a feature, or a detail, it is something almost like magic…an intangible aspect that makes your customer not just want the product, but want to get it from you, and you alone, and immediately.  A purchase is an emotional decision backed up by logic, Sugarman says.  Once you have discovered the “magic”, and have brought it to your customer’s attention, then you can start talking about the next very important step (justifying with logic). But first you need to go through a creative and sometimes agonizing process of finding that magic.

It Is There Somewhere

“The first job of an ad agency is to look at your product in every imaginable way:  frontwards, backwards, sideways, upside down, inside out.  Because somewhere, right there in the product itself, lies the drama that will sell it to people who want it.” ~Sugarman

If your audience has made it this far in your presentation, they are likely very curious, and something about you has resonated with them. If the environment that you created didn’t suit them and they have left, it is possible that they are not your ideal customer. It is also possible that your copy just needs reworking. I am running a heat map on this page. I can’t identify individual users, but I get a visual report that shows me how many visitors like you are reading just part of the article, or are scrolling down to the bottom where there is free access to some of the tools I use. By the time you are reading this, I have tweaked this copy many times in an effort to refine it and encourage you to read the entire article because it is full of information that will help you even in the last paragraph. You may have to try different wording to see if you get a better response. Of course most web pages you write will have just a few phrases with a simple call to action, and will not be a longer informative article like this one is. With the right wording, your ideal customer will recognize that you see certain things in the same way that they do, are offering something that is meaningful to them, and will want to continue on to learn more.

Your Unbeatable Solution

It is a bit of a no-no to talk about yourself in your copy, but I want to illustrate for you the thinking that led to what I feel is Future Bright’s magic so that it can inspire your own discovery. Please forgive me for a moment as I turn your attention to Future Bright. There are literally tens of thousands of web design and development shops around the world. Each has its own specialty and style. They all produce the same thing…websites. What is different about us?

My style of service includes empowerment, beauty, and function. I have always had the goal of making sure that my clients feel more confident about their web presence than they ever have before, and that they have at least a surface understanding of how the amazing, gorgeous lead generating system that we have built for them works so that it becomes an engine for their sales. I want them to feel like it is easy.

We don’t just build websites, we build the entire social structure around the website. We put in place beautiful social media profiles and ads that lead visitors to our client’s website, where the visitor becomes engrossed in their brand, opts-in to continue learning more, and then makes a purchase or reaches out to begin the relationship. If the customer needs time to think about it and leaves without an engagement, no worries, we can remind them to come back later with targeted ads that appear on their social feeds. We build robust lead generating systems that incorporate touchpoints from across the entire social media and web based landscape.

Websites are often pretty but not very functional, or functional but not very pretty. Because I have a Master of Science degree in Tech Management, and an undergraduate degree that combines fine arts, computer science, and business, what we can offer our clients that other shops can’t is both beauty and function. We create absolutely gorgeous websites that have powerful systems behind them. That combination is our magic, what Sugarman calls the “drama”, our superpower.  As Sugarman says, you need to look at your product or service from every direction and identify what is truly unique about it. This helps you further identify who your target audience is, so that you can write directly to them.
O.k. now, on to discuss that next important thing! Logical reasoning.

Justify With Logic

Once your customer is confident that you are laser focused on solving their problem because you created an environment that put them at ease and have shown the magic of your product or service, they may really want to do business with you but still need to justify the purchase in their mind with some logical reasoning. What are logical reasons to buy your product or offering?

Natural Objections

It helps to know at this point the objections a customer might have to buying your product and to make some assurances. Our brains are constantly telling us “no”. It could be cost, or timing, or they need to talk it over with their partner. Maybe they are afraid they will break your product as they are walking out the door. These are all completely valid concerns. Addressing those objections will further reassure them that you have carefully considered their needs with a great deal of integrity.

For example: our prices are not cheap. You can find many designers and developers who charge less. You can also find those who charge a lot more. Some of our clients are sensitive to cost. To balance cost with design and features, we offer custom packages for our clients. This fits my core belief that the future is bright, like my business name states (Future Bright), even if you are just taking baby steps.

Other clients are concerned about the handling of their visual brand and the complexities of managing a digital presence…they want their brand to look amazing, and they also want to offer their customers the best possible experience. When you are using the most current features on your web presence, you are showing that the experience of your customer matters to you. That you value being up to date, and are paying attention to modern trends. Managing a complex digital marketing system can feel overwhelming. When you look at our portfolio you see our style: clean, modern, engaged. We want our work to show that our clients absolutely love what they do and are creative problem solvers. We talk a lot with our clients about the systems behind the beauty, and we absolutely make it incredibly simple. A simpler system will result in clearer messaging, and lots of time (expense) saved.

Having an eye for style plus the experience (two decades) to look backwards and plan forwards with digital gives us a huge advantage. We reassure our clients that hiring us now will save them a great deal of expense and lost time in the long-run. We can move quickly through to a finish, and the designs we create last for years because the imagery can easily be changed as visual styles change. It is a good investment. Working with us means that our customer will save time, save money, and their brand will look amazing, so they will as a result feel amazing, happy, and confident, which can have a positive affect on all other areas of your life.

When you have addressed the objections of your audience and put reassurances in place, you have now paved the way for them to make the logical arguments with themselves to change their inner no to a “yes”. Now, how do you put all of this together for your own digital presence? Or put it all into one powerful headline?

Time Has Measurable Value

Most people believe that given the time and tools, they could learn how to create or do anything, and that is absolutely true. The world is full of products that could be made by anyone given the right circumstance. But time is fixed. We can’t squeeze another minute from a day, or month from a year, and no one has a garage big enough to hold all of the tools needed to make all of the gadgets they desire.

I made this for you!

Every single product or service has a message from its creator, “I made this for you so you can do other things that you enjoy or need to focus on”. The same is definitely true for building a digital brand and presence. It is also true of what you are doing for your own customers.

You can certainly take the information I have shared with you here and flush out a journey for your customer that includes visual space, your magic, logical reasoning and assurances.  You can read Joseph Sugarman and as many books on the subject as you can find. In fact, I highly recommend reading multiple books about copywriting, as each author will have a different style and perspective. One will resonate with your own voice. That is what I did, because I wanted to master words to go along with the beauty and tech that we build. I like Sugarman because he and I are similar people, with very diverse interests and skills. His voice is optimistic, he believes his customers are intelligent, and he gets excited about new ideas and technology. Rather than using trickery and manipulation to get a sale, he enjoys empowering his audience with the information they need to make an informed decision. I like to give you enough information to go off and do something yourself if you are so inclined.

You already know from reading above that I am systems oriented, so you probably can imagine that I have to come up with a system or method for writing copy. I tore through all of the copywriting books and marketing books and courses I could get my hands on, and have put together a process for writing great copy. I would love to share it with you.

Get Help! And Books!

If you would like to put your copywriting woes behind you, getting started is really easy!
It requires a bit of training, a process, and practice. Many people have been in the place where you are right now, realizing that you need to learn to write sales copy. I certainly was! It helps to have someone show you where to start, even if it is just baby steps.

Get My Tools!

It was very challenging to shorten this article, because there is so much more information to give you. Very importantly is creating that process that works for you. I have a worksheet that I created for myself that I print out and use for each article or campaign that I write for myself or a client. That worksheet represents thousands of dollars in training and courses, and dozens of hours of reading and testing. When you are ready, I would very much like to share that worksheet with you. First I would like to learn a bit more about you and your product or service! It costs absolutely nothing to click the button below and fill out a form to tell me about your business and product and copywriting journey. In exchange, I will send you links to three books that you MUST own and refer to continuously, plus a fun headline writing tool. I will be reading each submission carefully and responding with my thoughts. Your response will help me help you and other businesses in your shoes. Your responses are extremely valuable. I look forward very much to hearing from you, and sending you what you need to get started on your successful copywriting journey!

Future Bright - Wendy Louise Nog

-Wendy Louise Nog, Founder

Future Bright

Content Marketing Strategy – 5 Keyword Tricks For Content Marketing Bliss!

Content Marketing Inspired By Search Engine Optimization

~by Millicent Skiles

Having a strong Content Marketing Strategy for a local audience is just as important as if you have a national brand and audience. Content Marketing is now critical to establishing a vibrant digital presence for your business. A beautiful website is a powerful tool, but providing quality content is what drives traffic to it.

Used strategically, content paves the way to a sale by creating and distributing relevant and interesting messages that attract a target audience. This content usually takes the form of text, imagery, audio, or video and can be found on websites, blogs, and social-sharing platforms.

Tucked inside this content are keywords commonly used by people when they search a particular subject. And that’s where Content SEO (search engine optimization) comes into play. Technical SEO is important, but this year your content will be in the spotlight!  You need to optimize your content for search engines because that means you are optimizing your content for people. When you are looking for Search Engine Optimization in the North Bay or in the “Wherever Bay”, be sure that your provider has an accompanying process for Content Marketing.

Future Bright

Algorithms Are A Reflection Of What People Are Searching For

Understanding how keywords are used provides valuable market research into the minds of customers. What are they looking for specifically? What keywords are they using?  

Search engines like Google or Bing use algorithms to rank web pages based on the keywords people use the most. These evolve constantly, so it pays to check them regularly. It is, after all, people’s search behavior that defines these algorithms.  Google looks at your content and your business location to match you with people doing searches nearby.

Two Types Of Keywords

There are two types of keywords to consider when developing a Content Management Strategy. 

Short Tail Keywords

Short-tail keywords contain no more than three words and tend to be broad, such as “baby food.” 

Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are combinations of four or more words that people might use to narrow the focus of their search, like “baby food recipes for 8-month-old vegan.” 

A good Content Management Strategy pays attention to both short- and long-tail keywords. Tailoring content to what people want is more likely to be read – and shared – and this will rank it higher in future searches.

Five Tricks For Finding Good Keywords

So, if keywords are so important to a Content Marketing Strategy, where do you find them? Here are five places to start: 

  1. Wikipedia ~ If you type “baby food” into Wikipedia’s search bar and scroll down to the table of contents, you’ll see a list of topics that include “picky eater” and “nutritional needs.” These topics are recognized by industry experts as highly important and can be mined for keywords. Be sure to check out the “see also” section, which provides a wealth of other related topics to explore.
  2. Keyword Search Suggestions ~ Conduct a search on Google, Bing, or YouTube and you’ll notice a drop-down menu suggesting popular search-phrase combinations. Type in “baby food,” for example, and “baby food recipes” and “baby food delivery” pop up. This tells you what’s important to people. While you’re there, take note of web pages that earned the highest rank. Study the first 100 words of this content to learn the keywords they’re using.
  3. Reviews of Products and Services ~ Customer reviews do more than make you look good (or bad.) As readers discuss a product, they will include specific keywords. Take note of this. While you’re at it, check out the reviews on your competitor’s website. This is an especially good way to find long-tail keywords, which can help identify niche audiences. Including these reviews on your social-media platforms can also improve your ranking, as Google recognizes social sharing.
  4. Google Keyword Planner (advanced) ~ Google’s free Keyword Planner is meant to drive Google’s ad sales, but it is highly worth investigating. This tool refreshes daily and can introduce new keywords related to your business. It ranks the effectiveness of keywords (low, medium and high) according to competitive ad placement, which can give clues to what customers are attracted to.
  5. Keyword Planning Tools – Free And Paid ~  There is a wide range of available tools that will help you identify keywords including short and long-tail.

By this point, you probably have a hefty list of keywords, and this is a good starting point. But as SEO expert Neil Patel points out, “There is no such thing as SEO without content. You need words, articles, substance, keywords, verbiage.”

How To Turn Keywords Into Content

This is where the art of SEO informs your Content Marketing Strategy. While you want to sprinkle essential keywords throughout your content, the trick is to do so naturally, without resembling a sales pitch. 

Good, relevant content engages, informs, and even entertains customers. Quality content earns a customer’s trust and establishes you as an authority. And that, in turn, encourages customers to do business with you.  In our keyword research for this article, we learned through discussions on Reddit (another great source for finding relevant keywords) on the topic of Content Marketing that people are searching for a process for developing good content.  For this reason, we have created a free checklist to help you get started.

Useful Tip!

Re-purpose That Content!

If you are putting time and expense into creating content, imagery, or graphics, be sure that you maximize its use!  A presentation can be turned into a blog article.  A client meeting can inspire a topic for a workshop or info-graphic.  Re-purposing content will also ensure that you have the same voice everywhere you go.  There are many ways to package and present content (your knowledge).  The Presentation Geeks have written a great article highlighting some of the ways that you can put your content to use.

This Article Is An Example Of Long Tail Keyword Use

If you do a Google search for “Content Marketing Strategy” you will likely see 4-5 ads (they are paying $27 per click), and the top listings may be Hubspot, SEMRush, Neil Patel, and other top content providers.  We can’t compete with that.  But if you do a search for “Content Marketing Strategy In Marin” there is very little competition.  This works well since most of our clients are in or around Marin County, and we love supporting our local businesses!  It can take two weeks for Google to start showing your content in search results, so while you wait for them to catch up, you should be promoting your content on all of your other platforms.

When crafting content, strive to include your keyword(s) within the first 100 words. This will give it more weight in the algorithms. To ensure you’re sufficiently hitting the keywords, run your content through an online service that will scan text and create a word cloud highlighting your most frequently used keywords.

While it’s easy to get caught up in the keyword and SEO strategy, just remember that your customers want to hear a real voice. Be authentic, be real, and remember that your customer is a human being, not an algorithm.

Millicent Skiles - Content Marketing Specialist

Millicent Skiles
Content Writer & Editor

415-235-1205

millicentskiles.com

Future Bright Wendy & Stephanie

How SEO and Social Media Work Together

What’s More Important? SEO or Social Media?

Social Media brings instant, short-term traffic.  SEO is more long-term and will establish your position in search rankings for the long-term.

It takes weeks, even months, for SEO adjustments to your website to be reflected in search results.  Social Media on the other hand can be used to immediately drive traffic to your website.  Once a visitor arrives at your site, if you have an engaging interface that encourages visitors to explore additional pages, they will click through your website.  This engagement demonstrates to Google that your content is relevant to a particular type of visitor and search.  Google takes note and boosts your ranking for those types of searches and visitors.  For this reason, it is important to consider social media and SEO as working together.

Fact:  Social Media can bring instant traffic, but if you stop posting, traffic stops.  SEO takes longer to increase traffic but also sustains traffic longer.

What Is A Better Investment:
Social Media or SEO?

New Business:  If you are a new business with limited funds and you need to generate revenue in order to move forward, use Social Media to drive traffic to your site for sales.  Using that revenue, then invest in an SEO strategy that works with your Social Media profiles for long-term growth.

Established Business:  If you are a more established business, invest in a full assessment of your web presence.  Use SEO best practices on your existing website and social media platforms.  Utilize social media campaigns to drive traffic back to your site, and then monitor engagement, making changes to your site content as needed over time.

Our Method

Our method typically entails first ensuring that a website is using all of the best practices for SEO such as using key words, key phrases, meta tags and image alt tags, fast site speed & SSL.  Put simply, we get your house ready for visitors.  Then we use Social Media to drive traffic to your site, which, as mentioned above, is faster than getting SEO results.  We use heat maps & analytics to see how visitors interact with your site, and then modify the site content, organization and layout for achieving your engagement goals.  By the time this has been executed, which takes a couple of months, Google will have started to reflect modifications to your site, and your pages may begin to appear in searches that you have targeted.

Over time, we then use Google Search Console to even more closely fine tune your site for search results based on what searches your site is appearing in, and how you rank in those searches.  As an example, by looking at Search Console, we could see that Future Bright was appearing in searches for SEO professionals in our home town of Mill Valley.  We created a landing page specifically for that search, optimized it, and now that page is beginning to appear for that same search, and visitors who click on the site will see a page created especially for them.  You can view the page here.

After about six months have passed, a clear picture emerges of which social media platforms are most suitable for your business, what search terms are being used to find your business, and what type of content is most engaging.  Using that information, you can continue to create content with confidence, and with the tools that are in place, monitor the success of that content, and adjust as your audience interest shifts.

Conclusion:

First ensure that your site is using best practices for SEO and also has Google Analytics and a Facebook pixel installed.  Then use Social Media to drive traffic to your site.  Monitor engagement on your site with a heat map, and adjust for user experience.  Utilize Google Search Console to learn how you are doing with searches for your keywords, and adjust or add new content based on those results.

How SEO and Social Media Work Together

How To Make Social Media & SEO Work Together

  1. Install Analytics Tracking Onto Your Website
  2. Create social media profiles on relevant platforms
  3. Identify key words to use in your content
  4. Write content on your website
  5. Share your content on your social media platforms to drive traffic back to your website
  6. Use good layout and internal links (UX) to encourage visitors to look at multiple pages & convert
  7. Read your analytics reporting to learn what is/not working
  8. Adjust, refine, repeat