I joined Anchor Marketing & Design one year ago as a nervous, excited little copywriting intern. I’d never interned with a marketing agency before, but I had spent hours pouring over all kinds of articles titled “how to be a copywriter” and watched approximately 3,000 youtube videos along those same lines. I was so ready to get out there and prove myself.
Well, I must’ve done something right, because my bosses kept extending my contract. Somewhere along the line they started calling me “the machine” (and I’m 90% sure they mean it in a good way). #sitdown #behumble. Here I am, one year later, a real employee and part of the Anchor team.
Four things surprised me when I started working here.
- Office culture. I expected yelling, stress, unachievable deadlines, and maybe a few all nighters. Instead, I got open communication, clearly outlined expectations that reduced (and basically eliminated) stress, and great working hours. I can work from home when I need to, which is a tremendous perk (and it means more cuddle time with kittens who are pretty good at voicing valuable feedback in word docs like “xjsxxxjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj5”). It’s important to work in an office where you feel like you’re a valued team member whose voice is heard. I don’t just clock in, work, and clock out. I’m part of a team, and we work together, bouncing around ideas until they’re perfect. It’s not the copywriting team vs. the graphic design team vs. the marketing team vs. production team vs. client relations team. It’s everybody working together towards common goals. And it works.
- The Beer. This girl loves her brews, so you can imagine how excited I was the first time I opened our refrigerator at the office and found it fully stocked with beer. My excitement only grew when I had my first office meeting and was offered a Rahr before we began. It’s a marketing agency thing, evidently. You won’t find me complaining!
- A little bit of this, a little bit of that. Since working here, I’ve had the opportunity to branch out. In addition to copywriting, I’ve gotten to try my hand at content creation, digital + inbound marketing, and social media. When I got my upgrade from “intern” to “hired employee”, my official title got an upgrade too. Now I’m the “copywriter + social media coordinator”, and I ain’t mad. It turns out that in marketing, everything is so deeply intertwined, it’s really pretty important to have a solid understanding of all areas of marketing, even those that you aren’t involved in. The more you know, the better you are at your job. Knowledge is power, and all that.
- Anchor is a small but powerful team. This is going to sound braggy, but I promise I wasn’t forced to write this (I came up with it all by myself, thank you very much). Based on the amount of clients we work with and the quality and quantity of work we produce, I expected the team to be much larger. In reality, because each employee is so darn good at what they do, we’re actually on the smaller side. Walking in on my first day here, I couldn’t believe how much was being achieved by so few people. Go team!
Here I am, one year down at Anchor Marketing & Design. Here’s to the next!
Do you work in a boring industry? When you talk about your job, do people quickly zone out? Maybe you work for a plumbing company, or sell life insurance, or make drywall (someone’s got to do it). One of the most challenging parts of working in these industries is writing for them. It can take a moment to generate interesting content for a deodorant company, after all. But, if you work for a company that doesn’t excite 90% of the population, don’t worry! Just because your industry is “boring” doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to writing bland content. In fact, some of the most epic marketing campaigns were created for companies that seemed the least likely.
How do you do it, then? How do you write interesting content for less than fascinating industries?
Here are a few tips:
- Avoid dull language. There’s a fine line to tip-toe around when writing for boring industries, although the same is true for writing about most things. Use words that capture attention and keep your audience interested – without losing them in the chaos of your flowery verbiage. For example:
- Too Boring: The handsome man walked in the room.
- Too Elaborate: The devilishly good-looking male homosapien strutted into the lavishly decorated abode.
- You want to find a happy medium – something more along the lines of: The attractive gentleman walked briskly into the room.
- Be educational. What are people searching for on Google? What do they want to know about your industry? No matter how mundane your product/service is, there will always be people who are interested in knowing something about it, as it pertains to their problems or interests. For example, if you work for a hardware company, you have a never-ending list of instructional DIY content you can write. If you own a chair rental company, you can write about tips for throwing great parties, how to select the right chair for your event, and so on.
- Show you’re a human being. It’s 2017, and it’s no longer necessary (or effective) to employ robotic language and phrases. Speak/write conversationally. Use apostrophes. Maybe it sounded better in your English 101 class to write “They would not budge.”, but “They wouldn’t budge” is easier to read, and you’re much less likely to lose your audience this way. The more like a real human being you sound, the more your customers will relate to you, and in turn, the more they will like you. The more they like you, the more likely they are to spend money with you. The more likely they are to spend money with you…well, you can probably see where this is going. Take Geico, Allstate, and Farmers Insurance, for example. Most people would probably agree that insurance companies aren’t exactly sexy. These three specimens, however, have scooted ahead of the competition and established themselves as interesting, trendy, relatable, and even funny. How’d they do it? They weren’t afraid to push the envelope (tastefully), they showed their brand’s personality, and they didn’t give up: they stayed creative.
- Don’t get bogged down in company jargon. One of the fastest ways to make your readers’ eyes glaze over is to use words like “CRIN” and “NPO”. Avoid using inner-company/industry lingo as much as possible. If you must use a company jargon buzzword, follow it by a short, simple explanation of it’s meaning. A good rule of thumb: write for a 5th grade reading level. You won’t lose credibility in writing more clearly and simply. Instead, you’ll have a better chance of getting through to a wider audience.
- Get to the point. Shorter is usually better. Particularly in the digital world, the more direct and concise you are, the better reception you’ll receive. With approximately 23094238 things vying for a person’s attention, you’ll only get a few seconds before your audience moves on to the next thing. In those precious moments, you need to grab their attention, and keep it. So cut the fluff, be clear, and wrap it up.
When you’ve brainstormed your topic, written your content, and are ready to publish, ask yourself one final thing: would you read it? If it’s not interesting to you, it’s not interesting to anyone else, either. Writing is a process. In a way, it’s like like taking photographs. Sure, you could snap a quick shot and be done, but no one will give that photo a second glance. Just like it takes time and practice to make your photos interesting and worth people’s time, it takes time and practice to write quality, interesting content for companies that are perceived as dull. Always remember: just because your company is boring doesn’t mean you have to be.
The reason you’ve stumbled across this post is because you saw the inane title flash across your social media or search engine results page and you reacted. Micro-moments are what influence blogs like this…and I’ll be frank, I know that you don’t have time to read this. So don’t read the whole thing, it’s ok, I won’t be offended. Just scroll, read the bold and get on with your life, because “Ain’t nobody got time for that this!”
Don’t Waste Your Time
Listen (or “read”), we live in an “on-demand” world where people need original content NOW…and if you aren’t answering a question that’s on the mind of your audience, it becomes that much more difficult to connect with them. Not only will your messaging fall in with the clutter, it won’t be of interest to the consumer and your content may never be seen.
Micro-moments are an important way to think about your consumer’s actions
Think with Google™ considers “Micro-moments” the moment when a consumer decides they need to get to a device to do something. That “something” could be anything, really…a quick need to buy some smart light bulbs before you go on vacation, the answer to “how many ounces are in a cup”, texting someone or chatting with friends on social media. It’s 8 ounces, by the way. Google actually defines Micro-moments as:
Micro-moments occur when people reflexively turn to a device—increasingly a smartphone—to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something. They are intent-rich moments when decisions are made and preferences shaped. In these moments, consumers’ expectations are higher than ever. The powerful computers we carry in our pockets have trained us to expect brands to immediately deliver exactly what we are looking for when we are looking. We want things right, and we want things right away.
So how do Micro-moments apply to you?
I don’t know, you tell me. Your due-diligence on audience research will help you discover how you can use these moments to your advantage. Although I don’t know how it can directly relate to your business, I can help offer up some things to think about:
- Get on top of Search! If someone has grabbed their phone to research or buy something that pertains to your business, you should be near the top of the results.
- Don’t forget about email! Email has about the longest shelf life of any marketing you’ll ever do. You have their email because they showed interest in your product or service in the first place. Use it as a tool to educate, nurture and convert!
- Make your website work for you! Online brochures are fun, but a website that includes actions and evolves with the needs of your consumer, are a way to change the game for your brand.
- Order an App! No, I don’t mean the kind that comes with side of ranch and a moist towelette! If someone is picking up their phone for an action, give them a reason to open your app! If you aren’t already under development for your new native application, you should seriously begin considering it – the world is becoming very app driven…very quickly. Stay ahead of it!
- Track ‘em! Not technically a way to use micro-moments to your advantage right away, but tracking the effectiveness of your efforts create opportunities for improvements. Don’t ignore the facts!
- And when they forgot to buy…remarket! Yes, we know they went to your site (how? We tracked them!) – but they forgot to complete their purchase. Consumers move so quickly, we’ve got to catch them at the right point. Use remarketing to target Google, Social Media, Email and wherever else you need to get back out in front of them!
I have faith in you. You can do it. Make every moment count! If you have any questions or want some quick consulting, hit that contact button up above.
Shut it down. Shut everything down. “Don’t spend one more dime” they said. I was surprised by this reaction, to say the least. I was like…
You see, Anchor has been in Fort Worth and running as a digital marketing and design agency since 2008. Through the years we’ve strategized with clients on marketing efforts to spend budgets wisely and most effectively. Along with helping larger companies, we have a passion for helping small businesses grow here in our hometown.
Our team had worked hard on these campaigns. Like I said above, working with and growing great small businesses in Fort Worth is something that drives us. We planned out buyer journeys for the client’s personas, built landing pages, created offers and…analytics told us we were converting some pretty high percentages. By all defined measurements, the campaigns were running successfully. In fact, I can’t recall converting such high percentages before.
So why stop marketing dollars now?
In one word, it was capacity. The campaigns had actually been so effective that our client ran out of capacity to take on any new customers. After I heard that the issue was not with the performance of our work and completely to do with the fact that the work had outperformed their expectations, I was like…
Ecstatic & Elated
Ecstatic that the client was able to see such great return on the campaigns & Elated (and proud) that our team achieved such great performance levels.
What’s next for everyone? Well the client needs some time to re-evaluate the growth plan. Anchor is continuing that type of work for other clients – and excited to be doing it!
The shelf life of any given tweet is a mere 24 minutes. How do you get maximum exposure and ROI for that tweet? There’s a science to it, and it involves more than blind fate and a dash of good luck. The good news is that you don’t have to be a social media management company to get it right! Here’s how to tweet for business:
- Use hashtags correctly. Always include at least one hashtag to obtain exposure and repeat visibility, but don’t go overboard. A tweet that has more than two or three hashtags will look spammy, and will take away from the overall experience of the tweet. Don’t blindly hashtag! It’s a good idea to do your research first. Find out what hashtags are trending and relevant, as well as hashtags that people consistently follow/look up. It can also be wise to include more specific hashtags that people may be looking for in your area when hunting for your kind of business. For instance, if you’re a photographer in Charlotte, NC, you should research what hashtags people are using to find photographers in your neck of the woods. If your tweet includes #charlottencphotographer and no one else has ever used that tag before, you just wasted 24 precious characters on something no one will probably ever look up.
- Include a link. Always, always, always link back to the related blog/article (bonus points if it’s your own blog!) that you’re tweeting about. Make it easy for your followers to do what you want – to click. For instance, the more clicks you get on a link that leads back to your website, the more hits you’ll get on your website, meaning more potential for business.
- Include a great visual. Whether it’s a gif, a meme, a photograph or a video, your tweet will need something to grab attention. A cunningly written tweet is not enough – it must go side by side with a great visual. Not surprisingly, tweets with images are 94% more likely to get retweeted. Find out what your target audience wants to look at (hint: gifs are a hit with millennials, and cute animal pictures are a hit with…well, just about everyone), and go from there.
- Tweet frequently. Since the lifespan of a tweet is so short, your best chance of being seen is to tweet frequently. It may seem repetitive to tweet 3-10 times a day, but the chances that your followers are going to see all 10 tweets are pretty slim. Tweeting with consistent frequency increases your chances of visibility. Just make sure that you’re writing quality tweets that people will want to read.
- Use a call to action. Get people to do more than just “favorite” your tweet or even retweet it. The goal for your tweets (I can only assume) is to create more business for your company. If this is the case, you must give people a reason to follow the link, to visit your website, to watch the video, to sign up for the webinar, to do whatever you want them to do. Use clear verbs that prompt action. “Click the link to…” is a popular line because it works.
- Avoid “Click-bait” headlines. As tempting as it may be to tweet something that ends in “I couldn’t believe what happened next” or “People are outraged at this…”, don’t do it. Click-bait has become less and less enticing to the masses, and people will see your brand differently (hint: not in a good way) if you employ those types of tactics. Be genuine, upfront, and clear.
- Use personality. Take Wendys, or Taco Bell for example. They know how to write sidesplitting and relevant tweets that showcase their brand’s voice. Don’t be afraid of a little sass, if your target market can handle it. Humor, when appropriate, is almost always appreciated, and Twitter is the perfect place to exercise it. Just don’t get too personal!
You won’t have to follow every single rule on the list for every single tweet you write, but it’s a great place to start and a solid guideline to keep in mind. For example, if you’re live tweeting during a football game – which is a great idea if that fits your target market – you won’t necessarily need to include a link, but you’ll want to use a trending hashtag or two and maybe a relevant gif.
If you’re lacking inspiration, here are two examples of some darn-near perfect tweets.
What do you think? What are some of your favorite businesses on Twitter?