A blog about copywriting best practices, insights, and more.
Well, not literally. But you get the idea.
Halloween is upon us, and in the spirit of the spookiest of seasons I've decided to have a little fun with a post about using your content marketing strategy to raise brand awareness from the dead (See what I did there? Don't worry folks, I'm here all week).
We all know brand awareness is important, but sometimes defining the actionable steps a business can take to raise it can be difficult. That's why we're going to focus on three content marketing strategies that you can deploy right now to improve the chances of becoming your next customer's favorite haunt.
Create Social Media Posts That Treat Instead Of Trick
When it comes to our favorite brands, it can be easy to forget that at the end of the day they're operated by people just like you and me. We've all heard stories about certain companies posting cringeworthy content on social media in an effort to drive engagement only to see horrific results.
Take the famous case of Cinnabon, for example. Following the death of iconic screen actress Carrie Fisher back in 2016, Cinnabon took to Twitter in an effort to pay tribute to the Star Wars actress by posting a tweet that appeared to promote one of their products. The online response was swift as social media users called out the brand for being tacky while trying to capitalize on the passing of screen legend, and Cinnabon had to deploy damage control almost immediately.
So what's the lesson here? When you're using social media to increase brand awareness, be careful not to post something that drives the wrong kind of awareness. I liken social media engagement to an old rule about writing angry emails: if someone upsets you, wait 24 hours before responding. A majority of the time you'll find that what you want to say will be completely different after you've slept on it, and you won't burn any bridges in the process.
Same goes for social media posts, which is why I would suggest keeping a majority of your social media posts tied to a content calendar. That way you'll have a social media engagement strategy that has been planned, reviewed, and slept on long before the posts are live.
See HubSpot's 11 Social Media Calendars, Tools, & Templates to Plan Your Content
Of course, I also know that when it comes to social, it's important to be timely, too. So should you feel the need to jump on a trending topic and believe it's a post that just can't wait, make sure you have a team (not one person, but several) to run the idea by beforehand.
Because the more eyeballs you've got on your content, the better.
Keep The Cobwebs Off Your Website's Blog
Okay, so I'm going to look like a real hypocrite here, and rightfully so, because I get so busy working for clients that I rarely find time to post on my blog. It's kind of like the lawn care guy who's got the worst yard in the neighborhood because he's busy cutting everyone else's grass all day, but sooner or later, the HOA is going to come calling and he's going to wish his place didn't look like a haunted house.
Same goes for blogging. Maintaining a regular posting schedule on your company's blog is by far one of the best ways to drive organic traffic for relatively little cost. It's also a great way to increase your visibility in search engine results by improving your Google ranking.
Check out Neil Patel's step-by-step guide to improve your Google rankings
I can't stress the importance a blog has for brand awareness. Your blog gives you the opportunity to speak to industry challenges, promote your products and services, share relevant content like articles, infographics, surveys, spreadsheets, educational videos ... the list goes on.
If you're looking to improve your blog today, a good place to start would be to write a few posts that answer your customers' most commonly asked questions. Not only does this drive engagement and increase brand awareness by providing customers with valuable information, it also works to shorten the gap between the customer awareness and consideration stages.
And don't forget to put your blog content on the content calendar, too!
Step Out Of The Shadows And Into The Light
If your customers can't see you, how are they supposed to know your brand even exists? Most business owners know they've got to advertise to a certain degree to land new clients and customers, but a surprising number of businesses fail to take it a step further, leaving people who could potentially be their next best customers—as well as their brand image—in the dark.
This is where I believe a lot of brands really have the opportunity to shine by meeting customers on their terms. Start by thinking outside of the traditional marketing box to identify touch points you've either overlooked, or failed to properly cultivate in the first place.
For example, you may be posting on social media, but are you certain you even know who your target audience is? A social media post using language designed to engage Generation Z is essentially worthless if you're selling retirement homes. The same goes for Baby-Boomer-style copy designed to drive traffic to a page selling Monster High Dolls—unless you're targeting a generation that's looking for gift ideas for the grandkids around the holidays. Then you may be onto something.
Check out HubSpot's advice on finding your target audience
The point is, you've got to know who your target audience is, and to do that you've got to step out of the shadows to let them know that you're more than just a brand—you're human, too. Start online conversations about relevant topics that aren't just about getting leads, represent your brand offline in local community events, and use a content calendar to plan a quarter's worth of high-value content that'll educate audiences, answer their questions, and provide real value.
Trade Ghouls For Goals This Week
When brainstorming your next content marketing plan to raise brand awareness, you don't have to rethink the wheel. In fact, you can get started right now. Consider working on the following this week:
Take these steps and you'll be well on your way toward building the kind of long-lasting relationships that increase brand awareness organically and without the five-figure ad campaign. And with any luck, when it's time for your new best customers to pick up the phone or place an order online, your brand will be fresh on their minds—and not some zombie's down the street.
(Sorry, I just had to get in one last pun.)
Most business owners know that advertising is crucial to landing more contracts, selling more products, and keeping your brand on the hearts and minds of potential customers.
However, it’s not uncommon to let your ad copy fall by the wayside. I’ve seen this happen for a variety of reasons, but the main reason is probably the most obvious one: money.
When it’s time to determine where budget cuts need to be made, some businesses make the mistake of heading straight to the marketing department, ready to slash email campaigns, shred sales letters and annihilate ad spend without taking into consideration what they stand to lose in the long run.
And once those losses are realized, it could mean putting your company in a precarious financial position.
There are countless reasons to take your company’s ad copy seriously, but for the sake of keeping it simple, I’ve listed my personal Top Three below:
Ad copy can make or break your conversion rates. Copy that entertains is great. Copy that informs is even better. But if your ad copy isn’t resulting in a ROI that justifies ad spend, well then you might as well be throwing your hard-earned advertising dollars into a burn barrel.
When addressing lackluster ad copy, the answer isn’t to cut advertising spend altogether, but to remedy it. That means keeping a close eye on key performance indicators like email open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates, landing page conversion rates . . . you get the idea.
If a particular KPI isn’t measuring up, it’s time to focus on creating more engaging copy—not eliminating a campaign altogether.
Bad copy can result in a bad reputation. The best ad copy accomplishes several things. First, copy should always speak directly to your customers’ wants and needs. Accurately identifying your target market, and then speaking to them on their level, is key to winning more loyal customers.
Second, ad copy should always get your customers talking. According to a recent Harris Poll, more than 80% of Americans still seek recommendations before making purchases. That’s because word of mouth is still the most powerful form of advertising that’s out there.
And when the word on the street is that your brand is pushy, salesy, or flat-out annoying to the folks viewing your ads, people are going to take notice.
Ad copy can add lasting value to your brand. We all rely on measurable results following ad campaigns to determine what’s working and what isn’t. No doubt about it—a business can’t run efficiently without analytics.
But there are other benefits from great copy that the numbers guys often fail to notice. Take the GEICO commercials, for example. From cavemen to talking geckos, the admen at this longstanding nationwide insurance company have won the hearts and minds of millions through their clever (and often hilarious) advertising efforts.
And when you can slide a mention of your brand into the Monday morning watercooler conversation, then you know you're on to something that's often difficult to quantify, but valuable nonetheless.
The wrap up: From digital email marketing campaigns to straight-to-mailbox direct mail, ad copy should be taken seriously no matter what the medium. Every single word your business puts out to the masses has the ability to make or break your brand.
If you’ve run the numbers and find your ad copy is coming up short, don’t be afraid to stir the pot by either revamping your current copy, or replacing it altogether. Try new things, test, and then test some more. Over time you’ll develop the ability to refine your copy to your customers’ tastes. And that’s something that is sure to get them talking.
This week I would like to share a guest post from Belle Balace, marketing guru at visme.co. Take it away, Belle!
If you want to be the best, you have to learn from the best. So how do you learn from the best to become one of the best copywriters? You can always start by researching and studying their works. You may also want to reach out to them for some copywriting tips and career advice.
And then there's always the old-school way: reading books.
Don't know what copywriting books to read first? Here's a useful visual made with Visme of the top 10 most-read copywriting books recommended by 10 of today's best copywriters you can start with!
Remember the old marketing naysayers who claimed years ago email marketing was dead?
John Cagle is a freelance B2B MarTech copywriter living on the Florida coast. He specializes in copywriting and content marketing for businesses seeking brand recognition through print and digital channels. John is the owner of Firewave Media DBA Cagle Copywriting & Content Marketing, a Florida company.