Marketing Services – Who's to Blame?  You or Your Supplier?

Marketing Services – Who's to Blame? You or Your Supplier?

So you’re running a business and you’ve contracted out the various marketing services your business needs.  The problem is: you’re not happy with what you’re getting.  Maybe you feel it’s poor value for money, or the quality of work that’s being produced isn’t generating the returns you would realistically like to see on your investment. What can you do about it?  The likelihood is that you’ve felt uneasy for quite a while, largely because a period of time has to elapse before you can see how effective an agency’s work really is. To complicate things, it may be that your outside supplier was recommended by a trusted friend or business colleague.  Or maybe there are one or two people in your company who are perfectly happy with your current arrangement? (The assumption here is that you’re the one who’s in a position to do something about the problem, either by removing the offending supplier or by persuading colleagues that you all have a liability in your midst!) It’s usually the case in this type of predicament that your gut feeling is right and you should therefore take whatever action is necessary – sooner rather than later. Nevertheless, it may be a good idea to draw up a list of what your main issues are with the arrangement – whether or not other people will be involved subsequently in working with you to find a solution. What Are Your Concerns? As with all business problems, you first need to identify what’s going wrong – and then find ways of putting it right.  This may sound obvious, but have you considered... Read more...
Six Ways A Recruitment Copywriter Can Help You Win New Clients

Six Ways A Recruitment Copywriter Can Help You Win New Clients

Recruitment consultants will be only too aware that an experienced recruitment copywriter can play a major role in their marketing success.    With a certain amount of experience, you’ll be confident in your ability to write those killer ads that attract high quality applicants. And yet… how confident are you in your ability to cast your net wider and use integrated marketing techniques to bring in high quality clients?  This is a marketing challenge of a different order requiring more than a modicum of strategic thinking.  It involves standing back from the fray and coming up with a plan.  Rather than spending your time fire-fighting and responding to situations on a day-to-day basis, it may be time to delegate a lot of what you do to a freelance recruitment copywriter.  Not only will this free-up time to focus on landing new clients.  It will also hand responsibility for a range of specialist copywriting tasks to someone who performs them proficiently and cost-effectively on a daily basis.  With your new-found freedom, you can concentrate on The New Business Plan!   Consider your options…  All recruitment consultancies are different so there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ marketing solution.  That said, having a copywriter in place will allow you to implement a range of options speedily and professionally.  This may involve a little trial and error at the outset.  Not all techniques work for all businesses, but most copywriting techniques can be used for ‘split-test’ comparisons.  A challenge that faces so many marketing people nowadays is how to narrow down the bewildering array of online and offline options so they fit in with both your strategy and your budget.   ... Read more...

Advertising Copywriting – Talk Your Client Through It

In the maelstrom of marketing activity with which we’re all bombarded on a daily basis, it’s hard to believe that advertising copywriting was once a lead creative skill in what was the most dominant aspect of marketing. Clients of a certain age would be forgiven for being confused by the range of techniques that now contribute to sales success.  We’re talking here about things like social media and blogging, SEO and the multifarious forms of online copywriting. They would probably identify with some of the themes of this article – but what about today’s younger generation of marketers and copywriters?  Are they missing a trick by overlooking the proven skill-sets of advertising and direct response – in particular, the value of the creativity that advertising copywriting brings to the party?   Nostalgia – or Amnesia?  There’s a general feeling around that advertising copywriting isn’t what it was: to wit, the nostalgia surrounding the ‘Mad Men’ phenomenon.  In the 1970s and 80s when Saatchi & Saatchi reigned supreme in the UK, advertising was definitely at the ‘sexy’ end of the marketing spectrum.  Today, it’s seen as a bit player in the marketing mix and, when it comes to ‘digital marketing’, advertising barely ranks as an ‘extra’. Back in the day, to win your metaphorical ‘Equity Card’ (Equity being an actors’ union for all you non-UK readers) you had to have ad agency experience and know how to master the art of ‘creative concepts’.  As that usually entailed working with an art director, there really weren’t too many entrees into the business other than securing a job in an ad agency. ... Read more...

Is Your Copywriting and Marketing Too Dependent On Google?

Has your business become over-reliant on Google when it comes to online copywriting and marketing?  Should you be shifting some of your online focus and re-balancing it with more offline activity? With all the changes that have taken place at the search engine over the last 12 months – we’re talking Penguin and Panda again! – you’d be forgiven for being a little uneasy, especially if a large percentage of your orders or business enquiries are generated through the use of search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques. Massive investments of time and money have been undone for many thousands of companies who’ve fallen victim to Google’s kaleidoscopic changes in their approach and responses to SEO.  We all know how important it is for website pages to rank highly with the search engines, with Page One ranking being the Holy Grail. Imagine the feeling – if you haven’t experienced it already – of waking up one fine morning to discover that the pages on your website that once ranked highly and generated lots of traffic have suddenly plummeted in the rankings!  Imagine the horror, the realisation, that your once-cushy cash-cow is now a dead duck! How could Google do this to you?  After all, you or your SEO people had followed all the Webmaster Guidelines in great detail to make sure you didn’t fall foul of their strictures.  Like a headless chicken, you’d be running around wondering what to do.  Sue Google? Sack your SEO advisors?  File for bankruptcy?  Slit your wrists – or worse? You’d given up on all that old-fashioned offline stuff two or three years ago.  ‘Online’ was where... Read more...

Website Copywriting – A Street View

If the way websites work is totally alien to you – worry not, help is at hand.  And if you know next-to-nothing about website copywriting, this article will provide a good starting point for you to turn things around. Whilst it’s true that website copywriting may seem like an obscure topic to many people, there may come a time when you need to know more – or even get involved with the writing process yourself! That’s why it makes sense to find out what website copywriting involves.  Whether or not you want to become an exponent yourself is very much a personal choice.  Speaking as a freelance copywriter, I have a somewhat weighted view of the whole subject. Ironically, it’s the very skills I acquired over many years of copywriting that have convinced me everyone in business should at the very least understand the principles of web copywriting and its potential as a marketing tool. As with any learning curve, it’s important to start with a general overview of the subject and then drill down to the specifics.  In this case, you’re looking at the context in which websites operate, together with the influences that affect their success, or otherwise. When it comes to using actual copywriting techniques, it’s important to bear in mind that – almost more than any other marketing tool – websites do not work in isolation.   To begin at the beginning… Online marketing is complementary to offline marketing.  That much is obvious.  How online marketing skills are deployed depends on how responsive the market is to the overtures that online marketing makes.  In general,... Read more...

Copywriting For Aliens: Park Your Rocket And Read!

It’s hard to be humble when you’re an alien.  With heads as big as yours – and brains to match – you’re probably wondering why humans have made everything so-o-o-o complicated. Here’s a good example… We’ve made a science out of earning a crust.  We’ve called it a million things: economics, Capitalism, Marxism, marketing, accountancy, advertising.  And to cap it all, someone invented copywriting! I wouldn’t blame your average alien for rolling on the floor laughing (and even that’s been made complicated by what’s known as text messaging.  “ROFL for short,” they say – but now it’s so short that only those in-the-know know what’s going on!) No-one can know if you think Earth is a let-down.  We can only guess that the research you did before landing here didn’t prepare you for our human foibles.  In the interests of inter-galactic harmony, it’s probably a good idea if someone approaches you with a few billion words of explanation. Let’s take the aforesaid ‘copywriting’, for instance.  Of all the mysteries in all the world, that may seem a bit random – but, hey, that’s what we’re like here.  Eeny-meeny-miney-… copywriting.  Get it?  No?  OK – no surprise there then. I’d like to think I can explain about copywriting, mainly because I’ve spent most of my life doing it.  Now you’re probably thinking that’s insanity.  Humanoids live for 80 years and spend a massive chunk of their lives doing something really obscure. We have a phrase here on Earth (everyone’s always saying it).  “Life’s too short,” we say, “for wasting it on XYZ.”  We say it, but don’t practise what we... Read more...