Why is copywriting good for business…?

Why is copywriting good for business…?

It is probably a truism to state that a significant percentage of companies cut corners when it comes to writing copy for their website and their other sales and marketing materials – e.g. company brochures, product leaflets and corporate presentations – not to mention their direct marketing and advertising campaigns. The reason why is obvious enough. Everyone can write, right? Then why spend extra money investing in someone else to do it for you? You can save all that time, money and effort by doing it all internally.

The trouble is, however, that although we can all write, we cannot all write well. Writing good copy is a skill. It requires an innate ability to step into the shoes of the reader in order to understand their emotional and rational drivers. It requires an appreciation of the psychological factors that underpin both explicit messages and implicit meaning to persuade a reader to believe in your brand. It requires an excellent command of the English language, so that sentences are written and structured in such a way as to make it easy for the reader to understand the context of what is being said. It demands an absolute understanding of how business works in general, the ability to learn quickly about a particular organisation and the products and services that it sells, and an in-depth familiarity with both the sales and the marketing functions.

Another important consideration to bear in mind is corporate branding. Now, you might think that your logo is your brand, but that’s like saying your skin is your body. It’s not. It’s just the visual exterior for all the different elements that have to be put in place behind the scenes to create a specific personality and character for your business. Virgin is an excellent example of a company with a really strong brand proposition – one of the reasons behind this is the amount of effort they put into making sure they write in such a way as to consistently express core values associated with their brand, such as ‘providing heartfelt service’ and ‘being delightfully surprising, red hot and straight up’.

Thinking about the importance of good copy content from the point of view of digital marketing strategy, search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo are constantly tightening up their algorithms, shifting the focus onto the provision of high quality readable content relevant for specific keywords – it is now a double-edged attempt to find the right balance between robot and person, and this is a real skill in terms of search engine optimisation (SEO). If appearing in natural search results is one of the core aims of your digital marketing strategy (and it probably should be for most organisations), this means that the quality of your copywriting will make or break the efficacy of your efforts.

How do I make my copy stand out from the crowd?

Good copy is engaging to the target audience. It’s as simple as that. Therefore, consideration must always be given to demographics to make sure that the tone of voice you adopt is appropriate to your customers’ profiles. Do you know who you are selling to? Many larger companies invest a great deal of time and effort in defining their customer segments, and there is no reason why the same approach should not be taken by every business, regardless of its size.

Good copy reflects the brand proposition. In an ideal world, content should always be consistent in the way that it is written, and this consistency should apply across all sales and marketing materials, and all advertising and direct marketing campaigns too. One should have the sense that one is reading different chapters from the same book. Therefore, it stands to reason that one should have clear guidelines in place that define a framework within which all copy is written. This does not mean that the same copywriter should be employed to write all your materials – but it does make sense for the same team to be involved, if at all possible. The end result will warrant it.

More than anything, good copy is an art form. Some people can play a musical instrument or paint technically well, but that does not mean that they have the natural flair to do so, nor a passion that comes straight from the heart. Good copy is highly readable, and creating it is the fundamental aim of a good copywriter. There are also tools you can use to measure the quality of the ‘ease of readability’ of your copy content, such as the Flesch-Kincaid test, but these add little value in most instances to the process, in our opinion.

How should I brief a copywriter?

A good brief really can make the difference between the success and failure of your copywriting project. Begin by introducing your organisation. Add a description of your products and services and give your copywriter plenty of literature to read. Invite them in to your office so that they get a feel for the atmosphere, and make time for them to chat with the key people. Share your business plan with them too – once they’ve signed an NDA, of course. Tell them about your customers, give them a copy of your brand guidelines, and explain the features and benefits you wish them to talk about. Outline any company USPs and core propositions you might have.

Provide them with a list of relevant competitors too. One of the best ways to pick up good copywriting ideas is to check out the competition by reviewing their websites. This will enable you to better understand how they market themselves, and their products and services, to potential customers. You can also conduct a technical audit to identify their primary keywords, which you can then use to populate your content, where it is appropriate to do so.

There are lots of other things to consider too, of course. Outline what needs to be produced. Agree word counts to aim for, and establish a timing plan and deadlines.
Finally, you should always agree on an appropriate call-to-action.

What makes a good copywriter?

One of the primary qualities to look for in a copywriter is their ability to quickly become an expert in what you do as a business. Much like a journalist, this entails research, planning and interviewing skills. A good copywriter is an innately curious and passionate creative, who likes to ask lots of awkward questions with gusto and enthusiasm. As previously mentioned, a good copywriter also has to be a sales and marketing professional. Finally, a good copywriter should be passionate about your brand – and knowledgeable about all the facets that make up a brand – its values, vision, views and virtues.

The best writers will question and challenge your brief in a direct but tactful way. If a copywriter doesn’t do so, this may be a sign that you have engaged a ‘yes’ man. This might be good for your ego, but it probably won’t be good for your business…

Next steps

We hope that you have find this article helpful in opening your eyes to the benefits of investing in good copywriting. Hiring a specialist copywriter to write for your business is likely to give you an edge in a more and more content-focused digital marketing environment. However, it is tricky to do so – we urge you to use a series of tests before you make a final decision. If you would like to find out more about any aspect of copywriting, please email Stephen Brown, our head of strategy, at stephen@abacusmarketing.co.uk, and he will be delighted to assist you.

[INFOGRAPHIC] A Closer Look At Eye Tracking

By Kristen Montana

The process of eye tracking is undoubtedly complex, but the concept itself is fairly simple: movements of the eyes and their measurements are used to infer various analyses.

Eye trackers can either be remote (screen-based or on a desk top) or mobile (head-mounted).

If you’re wondering how it actually works, near-infrared light is directed toward the pupil and this causes visible reflections in the cornea which a high resolution camera is able to pick up on.

Confused? Don’t be. Leave the tech to the tech people.


WHY SHOULD MARKETERS CARE?

The data that eye tracking provides can reveal insights such as:

  • Why do some products engage would-be customers more than others?
  • Will a product gain attention and then traction when placed in the market?
  • What features consistently engage potential customers?

UX designers in marketing can benefit too. With biometric sensors, data can also measure emotional and cognitive responses, which can drastically improve the user experience. Marketing, among a multitude of other fields, can learn a lot from eye tracking, a continually evolving industry.

Scroll down to learn more about eye tracking with an infographic provided by iMotions, a biometric research platform that simplifies human behavior research through smarter software.


iMotions eye tracking infographic


Since 2005, iMotions has developed a software platform that lets researchers integrate best-in-class biosensors, eye tracking, facial expression analysis, EEG, GSR, EMG, ECG and Surveys in one unified software platform. To learn more about eye tracking, download their 26-page guide right now, free of charge.

The post [INFOGRAPHIC] A Closer Look At Eye Tracking appeared first on Wilde Agency.

Picture This: Four Art History Principles for Humanizing Digital Experiences

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Creating customer-centric experiences often revolves around mining data to identify patterns of behavior. But what are the emotions driving that behavior? What are the universal feelings that make us all human and that can, in turn, make your brand experiences feel more human?

Through the ages, art has served as a powerful tool to help us make sense of the world we live in, the people in it, and the way we collectively view things. Here, we explore core themes in Western art that can help brands craft digital experiences that speak to our shared humanity.

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Existential Evidence

From cave-painters’ handprints to Instagram, people have always felt the need to confirm their unique, individual existence. We have a basic human desire to distinguish one person from the many. Today, when so much of life is conducted online where you have no physical presence, your digital identity is what gives you a voice and lets you function online as “you.” The media may have changed, but the value of identity remains. Allowing people to express – and then protect – their unique identity is essential to a positive customer experience.

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Kinesis

The human body is designed to move. Through time, artists have grappled with portraying the power of movement not just physically, but in the patterns of nature, in divine and human affairs, and now, in the constant flow of data and information circulating throughout the planet. When designing a digital experience, we imagine users going on “journeys” that take them from awareness to desire, past obstacles and distractions, to fulfillment and conclusion. And, while kinetic energy is the essence of the digital world, experience design is the process of understanding and harnessing it.

Spatial Awareness

Movement is futile without a sense of where you’re going. Because the ability to make sense of space is a key survival tool (“Exactly how far away is that lion?”), our brains reward us for developing it. There’s something inherently dopamine-inducing about depictions of illusory space.

The foundation of most interaction design is in spatial awareness; indeed, the illusion of spatial awareness is widespread. Digitally, we use a form of imaginative spatial awareness to navigate through non-linear, digital experiences – identifying a destination and then plotting routes through multidimensional space to get there. On the Internet, we move deeper into a website as we shop. Servers live in a diffuse cloud. Even our operating systems uses a physical metaphor of layers of folders and files.

Interaction designers need to think like classical artists, considering not just surface and signage, but also the fundamental principles of volume and plane, solid and void, mass and scale in order to shape the space in which we reside, prompting customers to step inside and soar. Spatial awareness is also key to designing interactive experiences that accurately reflect the virtual world that we increasingly live in, especially as virtual reality becomes more common in marketers’ toolkits. 

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Open and Closed Forms

Movement and spatial awareness equip us to explore the digital world. But what kind of world do we imagine it to be? Is it logical or capricious? (The same can be asked about us as humans.)

Human history is the story of this conflict, and exploring this dynamic with open and closed forms has long been an artistic tradition. Closed (or tectonic) forms are self-contained: edges are respected and there’s no coloring outside the lines. They propose an orderly and organized, but somewhat immobile world, full of balance and harmony. On the other hand, open (or a-tectonic) forms respect no boundaries, but seem to point outward to an infinite world, where growth and movement are inevitable and desirable – a Dionysian view driven by emotions and instincts.

This conflict between open and closed forms remains very much alive today. Internet founder Tim Berners-Lee argues that the Internet’s fundamental nature is open: its laws and protocols are

open, fluid, and public. Even the structure of websites reflects the tension between open and closed. A gaming experience, for example, should be more fluid, with crossing paths, and a dynamic feeling of infinite possibility. In contrast, a financial experience should instill feelings of security, with more predictable and linear paths. Every brand experience should be architected to reflect the brand tenets and the emotions it’s meant to evoke.

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To grow well, digital will need to mature, deepen, and acquire art’s wisdom of human experience. With every experience we craft, a union of technology and emotion is needed: a mutually beneficial symbiosis to give art relevance and digital a soul.

Find out how to reach this balance and more by downloading the full report PDF.

By Matthew Maxwell, Associate Creative Director, SapientRazorfish London

Presenting the Kiss-O-Meter!

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In celebration of Valentine’s Day, we’ve taken a look at what it really means to be in a relationship as a Millennial in our modern world. It’s crazy to think that just five years ago the phrase ‘swiping right’ might have been associated with swiping a credit card correctly, and online dating was still frowned upon by some. Today, the idea of spontaneously meeting someone in a bar that you haven’t yet pre-vetted online can feel foreign. Consequently, the conventions of relationships, especially casual relationships, have completely changed.

Unsurprisingly, Millennials are taking a much more fluid approach to dating than older generations: 4 in 10 Millennials think it’s acceptable to regularly hook up with strangers they meet on dating sites and apps compared to just 1 in 10 people over the age of 65 (Truth About Youth).

That being said, you may be happy to hear that romantic idealism is still alive and well. While online dating has certainly transformed the way we think about relationships, it doesn’t mean that romanticism has disappeared. Finding love is still very much aspirational—given three wishes for the future, 31% of Millennials would choose to meet their soul mate or stay with their current partner forever (Truth About Youth).

In honor of romantics everywhere, we’d like to present the Kiss-O-Meter! We asked people all over the world how old they were when they had their first romantic kiss. Daring Brazilians had their first kiss at 14 years old followed by Chile, France, Mexico and the US all at 15. On the other end of the spectrum we see those in China and Egypt choosing to wait until they’re a bit mature at 20 and 21, respectively.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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The post Presenting the Kiss-O-Meter! appeared first on McCANN Truth Central.

5 Behavioral Science Marketing Tips For The Travel & Hospitality Industry

By Lianne Wade (Vice President, Customer Insight)

As we are in the depths of winter — with a blizzard just hitting New England with more than a foot of snow — many of us are happily considering vacation travel plans for this year, hoping for that warm refuge of palm trees and tropical drinks.

A good deal of time is spent planning that next vacation by checking reviews, researching destinations, and comparing travel prices between companies. And today, most of this is done on mobile devices.

For travel & hospitality marketers, it is important to be in front of us would-be travelers throughout the consideration and purchase journey in order to be there at the right time, with the right message, and in the right channel. And it’s becoming more challenging than ever to do this with online and social media influences and the many choices these represent.

How do travel marketers meet this challenge and compete effectively?

One approach which is creating a buzz in the marketing industry is applying the science of human behavior to motivate action — something we do every day at Wilde Agency. Behavioral science studies how people make decisions, and research has found that up to 95% of decisions are made subconsciously.

How do you tap into these subconscious decisions to motivate consumers to prompt the desired actions you want?

There are literally hundreds of behavioral science principles, but I’ll share 5 of these principles and illustrate how they can be applied to the Travel & Hospitality industry to connect with empowered would-be travelers.


1. PERSONALIZATION

Consumers are expecting a customized, tailored experience from travel brands. One way to accomplish this is to leverage data that you have about consumers and deliver customized messaging and offerings across multiple channels.

Psychographics can enhance your data, covering lifestyle/interests/attitudinal information which can be used to connect with consumers at a deeper and more meaningful level.

Millennials and GenXers rate personalization as the most important element to their mobile experience. (Tweet this!)

Uber does this well by providing a personalized experience, storing a customer’s payment info in exchange for one-click car rentals and tracking of their chosen vehicle.

And, more and more consumers want to feel home away from home while on vacation. How do travel marketers answer this need?

Here are a couple of examples:

Airbnb introduced a new service, called Airbnb Trips, to give guests a more personalized experience by making restaurant reservations, tour bookings, and offering guidebooks with a local flair.

Airbnb Trips Screenshot

For the growing segment of pet lovers out there —79.7 million of us representing 65% of US households according to the APPA National Pet Owners Survey — there are hotels such as Marriott, who accommodate pets and treat them like real guests.

But how do you reach these pet owners and lovers? Enhance your data by appending information about their pet ownership status and market to them with customized messaging and service offerings that appeal to their pet interests and needs.

Marriott - Pet Friendly Hotels


2. COGNITIVE FLUENCY

We are all essentially lazy people, as we don’t naturally want to work too hard to get the things we want.  There is a behavioral science principle that supports this called Cognitive Fluency.

If something is easy to understand or do, you will be more likely to take action, and it will be more credible as well. (Tweet this!)

How does this apply to travel marketing? First, a couple of facts according to the 2015 Adobe Digital Index Travel Report:

  • Mobile devices are being used more often among travelers. One of every $5 spent on travel comes from a mobile device.
  • 72% of consumers rank simplification of tasks as the most important aspect of the experience.

Consumers expect a streamlined mobile experience and will abandon an app or a website if it is too difficult… And, well, JetBlue is listening. They offer integrated boarding passes with Apple Passbook. This provides a seamless customer experience encouraging consumers to want to fly JetBlue.

Chatbots, or Digital Personal Travel Assistants, are also becoming popular because they know customers’ preferences for airlines and hotels and help streamline the process of choosing/changing plans.
A specific area of opportunity for travel marketers is sending SMS texts to consumers. In a study by OpenMarket Chatbot Survey, 54% of mobile consumers find it very useful to respond conversationally via Chatbot SMS text, yet 75% of consumers are not receiving SMS notifications from travel companies. So travel marketers, listen up and start sending those texts — but in the right context and in combination with other channels.

Digital Personal Travel Assistants


3. AUTHORITY PRINCIPLE

Remember when travel agents were the only way to book travel? Understandably, in our digital world, the number of travel agents has dropped significantly since 2000 when there were 124,000; now down to 70,000 in 2016.

In 2015, 18% of travelers worked with an agent, a significant 50% jump from the previous year. They are making a comeback!

You can thank Millennials, in part, for this resurgence. 34% percent of Millennials said that they had consulted a travel agent in the last 12 months — higher than any other generational group; and 39% plan to do so in next 2 years.

Why? Travel agents offer consumers unique, personalized experiences with the expertise to do the research and help travelers enjoy unique vacations. They are considered the new concierge.

Although I’m not a millennial, I use travel agents. I recently made a return visit to Hawaii for a two-week vacation with my husband to celebrate a special anniversary (and return to the place of our honeymoon). I didn’t think twice about using a travel agent, as I wanted to be sure that our experience would be just as special as our first trip to these magical islands.

And I was glad I did; our agent provided us with exceptional service, great rates on hotels and transfers, valuable advice, tips on the best luau, fabulous restaurants with one-of-a-kind views, and several other extras along the way that made our return visit very special to us.

This trust that Millennials (and others, like me) have in travel agents reflects the Authority Principle.

That is, you are more likely to heed advice or take action from someone you look up to or admire, or trust as a credible source. (Tweet this!)

Travel booking companies can promote the personalized service that agents can provide consumers, reducing stress from the travel planning process and relying on the agents to ask the right questions to get the experiences you seek.

Departure Lounge, an innovative travel agency and coffee/wine bar in Austin, takes it to a new level by providing a space where visitors can discover the world’s top destinations in an upscale, interactive discovery zone while enjoying coffee, wine and treats.

Departure Lounge


4. SOCIAL PROOF

Many of us rely on the advice of our friends, peers or others that are similar to us, even if we don’t know them.  This is called Social Proof, and it can be a very powerful motivator, particularly in the travel industry.

The growth of user-generated content (or UGC for short) provides authenticity and can influence consumers towards a brand more than the brand itself can. We want inspiration and validation from our peers.

Overall, 76% of consumers trust UGC content over brand content. (Tweet this!)

And Millennials plan travel 89% of the time based on content posted by peers online! This is according to Hospitality Technology, 5 Ways Social Media Has Transformed Tourism Marketing.

Hotels, airlines and travel sites are picking up on this trend by using this UGC. Kimpton Hotels used guests’ wedding photos and encouraged them to take photos, tag them with the hashtag #KimptonWeddings. It was free, authentic, and can be used across marketing channels, such as Twitter.

#KimptonWeddings Campaign


5. VISUAL STORYTELLING

“A picture is worth a thousand words” is still true today, and perhaps even more so in the Travel & Hospitality industry. Providing a visual narrative is very powerful. Look at the growth of Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.

Visuals which tell a story can help travel marketers emotionally connect with consumers, by allowing them to visualize themselves in the unique experience. (Tweet this!)

And coupled with storytelling, it will be more memorable as well.

According to the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association, travel marketers are leveraging visual storytelling more. 89% use content creators and demand for visual assets (such as video and photography) continues to grow. Other sources for visual storytelling are UGC and social media influencers.

So utilize visual tools in your travel website user experience and across social media platforms.  As part of this, tell a story to pull them in and include authentic videos/photos of real people and places.

South African Tourism’s video is a good example of a brand telling a story in an emotional and visual way.


Should you want to learn more about how behavioral science can be applied to the Travel & Hospitality industry, download our travel and dining infographic, based on our proprietary behavioral economics research study.

Should you want to speak to us, contact John.Sisson@WildeAgency.com and learn how behavioral science can be applied to your specific marketing challenges to influence the consumer behaviors you desire to achieve your goals in 2017.

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