Smells like April Fools’ Day. You know, immature and cheesy, with a quick, bright finish. At least according to Google Nose, one of the latest additions to Google’s long line of new technologies that never seem to quite make it past April 2.
Certain companies can generate high-quality, extremely relevant prospecting lists with the click of a button. How? Most display networks provide transparency into ad placements that you can use as the backbone of outreach campaigns for SEO programs.
Turn on the TV around 3 a.m., and you’re sure to see some cheesy infomercial with a sales pitch that makes you cringe. The cheese-factor isn’t limited to late-night TV, though. Thanks to a variety of copywriting mistakes, the World Wide Web has turned into a 24/7 cheese-fest.
So, what kinds of mistakes are Web copywriters making these days? And, more importantly, has your sales copy fallen victim to any of them?
1. Too much hype
This gets the No. 1 spot on the list because hype has spread through Web copy like some kind of flesh-eating virus. That’s because most of the copywriters out there mistake hype for excitement. Instead of big, bold, red text and a million exclamation points, your sales copy should get readers excited about the product itself.
Unfortunately, lots of the Web sales copy you see is designed to create a giant diversion away from the product. Instead of having a reasonable discussion about the product — and creating excitement about what it can actually do — copywriters try to stick a giant elephant in the middle of the page. In the end, the sales copy is what people remember, instead of the product itself.
2. Ridiculous promises
Yes, this is a type of hype, but it’s such a big mistake that it deserves its own spot on the list.
Here’s what you need to remember the next time you sit down to write some sales copy (or approve what someone else has written for you) — your target audience is full of intelligent people who are going to see right through ridiculous promises. If you make these promises with the hopes that people will believe them, you’re treating your audience like it’s stupid. That’s a great way to make people dislike you. And if they don’t like you, they’ll never buy from you.
What kinds of ridiculous promises are floating around out there?
• How about the trading program that promises to make you rich after just 10 minutes of work per week? (Is there really anything that can make you rich in 10 minutes per week short of driving to the nearest gas station and buying a lottery ticket?)
• Then, there’s the SEO company that promises to give you a Top 5 Google ranking for any keyword, in less than three months. (If you know anything about how Google operates these days, you know that’s an impossible promise to keep.)
• And then, there’s my personal favorite — the cookies that promise to give you a bigger bust. (Anyone who has even a little bit of common sense knows that this is absolutely ridiculous!)
3. Not enough emotion
Most people are going to buy your product because of how it makes them feel. Good sales copy will either show people how much easier life will be once they’ve got your product, or it will show them how scary life will be if they don’t buy your product.
If your Web copy doesn’t create one of these two emotions, the odds of you making any sales are slim. After all, most people are looking for reasons not to spend money. If you take emotion out of the equation, they’ll be able to talk themselves right out of making a purchase.
Think of it in terms of trying to give ice cream to someone on a diet. If you offer them boring vanilla, they’re going to turn it down. But if you offer them exciting rocky road, they’re going to ignore their diet, just this once.
4. Giant paragraphs
Web readers are notorious scanners, and they’re especially scan-happy when you plunk some sales copy down in front of them. Give them paragraphs that could dwarf the State of the Union Address, and you’ll see their eyes glaze over — and your profits will go out the window.
Instead, make sure your Web copy is easy to scan. That means coming up with bullet-point lists and bite-sized paragraphs that won’t look intimidating to someone who’s trying to get the facts in a hurry.
5. Leaving unanswered questions
Even though you’re not writing a news story, you still need to attack your Web copy like a journalist would — by making sure you give the “who, what, where, when, why, and how” details. Remember, people are looking for reasons to keep their credit cards in their wallets. Not knowing all of the facts or feeling fuzzy on the details is the perfect excuse.
Bottom line — the more questions people have when they get to the end of your copy, the lower your chances of making any sales.
Nicole Beckett hates cheesy sales copy as much as you do. That’s why Premier Content Source’s SEO copywriting services are designed to grab readers’ attention and highlight products’ features — without the cheese.
Post from: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources
Even the best brands tend to experience success in a cyclical pattern. Brands emerge, grow, stabilize and, finally, decline. Reasons for a brand dying are numerous. However, just because a brand is dying does not mean it is dead. Reinventing a brand is possible with proper planning. The first step is discerning if your brand is dying.
Seven Common Indicators that your Brand Might be Dying:
The brand no longer builds customer loyalty: Your customer base is a great way to gauge the performance of your brand. If customers no longer hold loyalty for your brand, it might be time to look at your brand’s image and performance. Causes could be as simple as increased competition or it could point to more serious concerns, such as a lack of quality.
You brand is never mentioned by the press: Being mentioned in the press shows that your brand is more than a product or a service. It secures your spot as a leader in your market or category. Failure to gain press exposure could indicate a need for brand planning.
Profits and sales for your brand are declining: Market trends, buyer opinions and other factors will directly influence sales. A strong brand can often weather many of these natural market shifts. If your brand finds trouble at every little shift, it might be time to consider reinventing your brand.
Customers respond with negativity to your brand or products: From poor product quality to failure to PR mistakes, there are many reasons why a brand might develop a negative reputation. If this happens, it is important to address these issues, work on re-inventing your brand and prove to customers that the past is the past.
Competitors never compare their offerings to your brand: A sure sign that you are a force within your market is frequent comparisons by competitors. If competitors do not notice you, there is a chance that customers will not notice you as well.
Brand vision and goals are prioritized below financial goals: Though profits are essential to the success of any brand, visions, mission and core values are defining factors in powerful brands with long-term success. If your business has lost sight of these factors, your brand could be declining.
Employees lack enthusiasm and high-quality employee retention is low: Powerful brands embody their brand mission and values in every aspect possible. If employees are not enthusiastic about your brand and it is hard to keep high-quality employees, it could indicate a lack of faith or interest in your brand. Re-inventing can help to solidify your brand and spur enthusiasm within your business.
Re-inventing your Brand and Stopping the Decline
One of the most important aspects of re-inventing a brand is proper research and planning. Before you can rebuild your brand for success, you must first understand what has caused the brand to die. This is often a matter of simple market research and analyzing past brand trends and performance.
Recommendations for re-inventing your brand include:
Determine what you hope to accomplish by rebranding
From making your brand more accessible to distinguishing yourself from competitors, understanding what you hope to gain from rebranding will provide an easy way to monitor and assess the results of your rebranding effort.
Create a unique identity for your brand
With Internet technologies and a globalized market, even local businesses are often in competition with other businesses from all over the globe. Creating a unique identity and establishing key, value-driven aspects to your business is an essential part of re-inventing a brand in today’s competitive marketplace.
Analyze progress throughout the re-invention process
From customer surveys to in-house research, monitoring the changes that you make and the impact they have on brand performance can provide valuable insight. Whether you are determining the best way to optimize your brand image or simply recreating your brand slogan, obtaining feedback can help to ensure you are not simply repeating the same mistakes that led to the decline of your previous brand.
Re-establish value for your new brand
Many businesses make the mistake of trying to use previous brand success to establish their re-invented brand. This method often provides poor results. Establish value and reputation within your customer and client base for your new brand from the ground up. This will help to solidify your brand and drive the branding process as you progress.
Give your re-inventing efforts time to mature
Re-inventing a brand might take longer than initial development of a brand. Like any marketing effort or business process, seeing tangible results will take time. If you are analyzing progress, you can use these metrics to assess success while the brand matures. Frequently changing aspects of your re-invented brand can reduce trust and hurt your reputation before you have even truly begun.
Re-inventing a brand is a common practice in today’s rapidly changing markets. Determining if your brand is dying and establishing a recovery plan are the most important parts of the effort. These tips and strategies can help to determine if it is time for you to re-invent your brand.
Denise Wilson writes about brand innovation and brand remarketing for Cloverleaf. Denise also enjoys writing about marketing and other various branding topics when she has time.
Post from: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources
Twitter announced its new advanced advertising interface for small businesses and other self-service advertisers recently. It doesn’t matter if you’re operating a small online store or are the webmaster of a local car dealership, if you currently use Twitter Ads or have been invited to join, you now have an all access pass to powerful targeting and reporting tools. Prior to the announcement, these advanced options and reports were only available to big brands and big spenders.
The advertising platform has been available by invitation only since last March and these recent adjustments have been made based on user experience. As feedback rolled in over the past year, Product Manager Ravi Narasimhan explained in the announcement’s blog post that “two requests kept coming up: marketers wanted access to more robust targeting tools, as well as a pathway to all the bells and whistles of our advanced interface if they desired it.”
This slow but steady roll out of Twitter’s advertising platform and its subsequent updates is part of the network’s effort to monetize the site. So to attract more businesses of all sizes, the Twitter Ads team has launched several new ad features, including audience targeting, advanced campaign controls and expanded reporting and analytics, that smaller businesses and webmasters weren’t previously able to access.
Reach the Right Tweeter by Interest, Device and Gender
I think we can all agree that communicating a message to a relevant and specific audience is imperative to advertising success. So whether you’re promoting an individual tweet or your actual user account, Twitter has now given you the power to select your audience by interest, device and gender.
Interests can be targeted using two different methods. The first method uses @usernames, which will select users that have the same interests as the followers of the selected user. For example, if you operate an ecommerce store which sells mostly shoes, you might consider targeting users with the same interests as the followers of the @shoesdotcom account.
Hundreds of interest categories are also available to use separately or in conjunction with the @usernames interests. You can select very broad categories, like beauty, education, gaming, music and style or very specific subcategories like hair care, college life, online gaming, jazz and women’s shoes.
The appearance of your Promoted Tweets can also be limited based on a user’s specific device and platform. Several choices are available including desktop/laptop computers, iOS, Android and BlackBerry.
Targeting tweets by device can help you drive users to optimized content on your website. And if you’re tweeting about your new mobile app for a specific mobile device or tablet, it can also help you increase app downloads.
Products, websites and apps can also be gender specific, so Twitter has also enabled the option to segment your target audience by women only, men only or all genders. You might wonder how this is possible since Twitter doesn’t even ask users to specify their gender in their user profiles. The site uses an algorithm to identity a user’s gender by signals like account name, real name, and followed accounts.
Advanced Campaign Controls and Reporting
All new and existing Twitter Ads users have the option to convert to the new advanced campaign dashboard. If you’re interested in deeper campaign controls, multi-campaign optimization and more detailed reports and analytics, you should definitely consider making the switch. However, it’s important to remember that this is a permanent decision – once you go advanced, Twitter claims that you can never go back.
The deeper controls include scheduling start and end dates for your campaigns. Currently, basic dashboard users are only able to manually start and stop campaigns. This feature can be helpful especially if you’re using Twitter to promote time sensitive material like sales promotions and online and offline company events.
Expanded reports can now be generated to analyze how targeted audiences interact with your Promoted Tweets and Promote Accounts. These campaign analytics can also be drilled down by device, location, gender and interests.
In a recent blog post, Twitter Product Manager Christopher Golda, explained that these reports include all engagements that Promoted Tweets receive, including earned media. These further insights will give you a more complete view of the impact your ad campaign has on encouraging engagement and increasing brand visibility.
Ready to Get Targeting? Not So Fast.
Unfortunately just because you own a smaller business or website doesn’t mean you can use these new features immediately. Access to Twitter Ads is still by invitation only, so if you’re not currently signed up, double-check the email connected to your Twitter account for an invitation. If you’re like me, you might have missed (or ignored) the email when it hit your inbox.
If you’re a business owner, webmaster or developer who does not have access to Twitter Ads, you can request access by visiting business.twitter.com.
Adrienne Erin is an internet marketer and freelance writer who wrote this post on behalf of HydroWorx, a company that builds custom plunge pools.
Post from: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources