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Demonstrate the benefits: how to use powerful picture-words

Well, women all know the feeling before waxing – the main wish is to get through it as rapidly as we can, with as little pain as we can. And this is what this billboard promises with the very clever use of “on and off”- instead of saying it will be fast and painless.

Demonstration is better than description

In sales writing one of the challenges is to demonstrate and explain processes, services, results with words instead of showing it. If people can observe something it is always more powerful than reading or listening to an explanation about it. In the above example, if I go to the salon, and see how quick it is, I would be impressed.

Picture made of words

Fortunately, words can also do that: with expressions which make us feel the impact instead of understanding and analysing it. If I say fast, it can be anything from 1 second to a few minutes or an hour depending on what process I am talking about. But expressions like ‘with a click of a button‘ imply that you just push a button and it happens, A more powerful way of saying ‘You can order online fast and easy’.

The same thing happens with ‘the blink of the eye’ – we all know it is one second and unconsciously imagine this blink and fell the speediness. The ‘on and off’ example just does the same: in one second the was is there, and in the other it is not.

As easy as 1,2,3

‘As easy as 1,2,3’ or ‘as easy as abc’ are again great picture-expressions: as we read them we feel how fast it is, and feeling is always stronger than any other understanding.

Be careful: it is not the same as idioms. If I say ‘as easy as pie’ – which is a widely known idiom for being easy – nobody will think of an actual pie, or nobody will feel the easiness. Idioms are also great elements in writing, but in this case, will not have the same impact of showing a picture in our head.

From a great night to goodnight

This Uber ad is displayed on the tube and aims to draw the attention to their better and quicker alternative for late night party-goers. And as discussed above it plays with the “great night – goodnight” word-picture, much much better than “get to your bed in 18 mins”. The good-great word couple can be used the other way round in slogans, headlines: ‘good for you, great for your children‘. Or ‘good people, great results’. Or an actual slogan of Eden Eco Solutions: ‘Good for your business. Great for our world.’

Note, by the way, using a non-round number (18) as the length f the journey. We pay attention and believe more numbers which are not round, so it becomes more credible. Even if in the example it is completely hypothetical, just wants to suggest a very short period.

We take only ‘Wow’ as an answer

If you provide services – like we do with content – we all know there are three types of reactions from our clients when we show them our work. They either say – hopefully in a very rare case – ‘no, this is not something I wanted’, or they say, ‘Fine.’ And the best is when they are impressed, and say ‘Oh wow, this is better than I imagined.’ Instead of writing on our website that we work until our clients are satisfied, why couldn’t we say: ‘We work until you say Wow.’

Use a few of these word-pictures in your copy and it will be more powerful and will clearly demonstrate what you are saying.

Words and photo by Timea Kadar, Global Head of Content at ContentBonum

 

 

 

Books for commuters – how to target your audience

This ad targets a very specific audience; those who spend 20-40 minutes commuting on the tube and would need some entertainment during this time. It is clearly articulated in the ad that it is going to be short, and both the copy and the picture makes the impression that these books are impossible to put down.

The star of this ad is not a specific book but the fact that any item of the series is a good choice for commuters. What we can learn from it is to target bravely. This ad clearly doesn’t target real bookworms – probably even annoys them – but this doesn’t matter. Doesn’t matter until they have a very strong, easy-to-recognise message sent to their target group, and a unique selling proposition they can point out.

How to find the right target audience for your business

These are your ideal clients, you would like to attract and talk to, so get to know them as much as you can. The best is to set up a so-called buyer persona, i.e. the profile(s) of your target group (sex, age, profession, family status, financial status, hobbies, likes, dislikes etc.).

What are their issues/problems that they look to solve when looking at your business? What are their desires you can fulfill? What is the USP (Unique Selling Proposition) of your business they are attracted by? You can either do a market research with an online survey, or interview a few of your clients. Look at the your customer service complaints and questions, and search for keywords in google and on social media.

By talking to a niche you gain more sales instead of missing out

What kind of misbeliefs do people have about your industry and specifically about your business? During networking try to talk about your business to as many people as you can and listen to their reactions. How do they misunderstand it? What are their questions? Look in the news, media, Facebbok groups and forums dedicated to your profession, what people normally ask and what kind of opinions they share.

As soon as you find out the answers to these questions, you will be able to create your buyer personas and talk only to them. Use their language, write about their problems, and desires, and address them specifically.

Don’t worry losing some of the audience if you are not talking to ‘everyone’. You are more guaranteed to get the attention of your real target group as a reward.

Copy and image by Timea Kadar, www.writefab.com Read my quotes about words on Instagram.

 

Five things I learnt from my kids about marketing

Probably none of the books about raising a child talk about how in fact parts of this procedure are like convincing your leads to buy from you. But while you can always bin the bad leads, and look for new ones, well…with kids all is left is to try harder.

Concise and repeated call to actions

I quickly learnt that the polite “It would be great if you could get dressed and we could leave in 10 minutes.” has a way less conversion rate than “Get out now.” And the more times you repeat the CTA, the better. The same way: no conditional in marketing call to actions, unless you want readers to contemplate what if NOT… and don’t suppose they will notice that one and only big red button – if it is there just once.

Engaging content

“Tell us a story! Tell it again. Tell an other.” Kids need stories like they need air and food but my sons listen only until it is absolutely engaging. If I want to get off with a very simple one, or it is not exciting enough, I can see their disappointed face and/or they tell me it was much worse than the previous one. They will wait for a new one, but your customer will not.

Give them a reason

The parenting books and articles often emphasise how effective it is to add a reason to our requests and indeed it works from an early age. Just like with adults! Still marketing materials so many times lack the argument and justification why our customer should do what we ask, why it is good for them. This, on the other hand, should not result in a very long and explanatory call to action.

Being consequent

A basic rule in parenting. If I promised them that we go to the adventure park during the weekend, they don’t care if it is rainy, if I have an urgent work to finish, if it is closed. They will not let me escape it, because “You promised it!” This tends to be valid for your target audience. So if you promised them a blog post each week, a pdf right after the exhibition, a Facebook live each month, keep it. It is no excuse, you are busy with product development or you are on conferences. The consequence in communication is a must.

Listen to your heart

There are several books and articles about parenting and millions of pieces of advice from the family, neighbours, school etc on how to raise them. But nobody knows in advance, nobody can guarantee anything. You just have to wait and see what works and what doesn’t. Do what you believe in and keep trying. Am I still talking about the kids or is it now about marketing?

 Copy and image by Timea Kadar, www.writefab.com, Read my quotes about words on Instagram.

 

 

 

 

 

How I got 1,000 free Twitter and Instagram followers respectively in 30 days (and why some expert tips suck)

#1 Disclosure: I am not at all an expert on Twitter and Instagram, in fact, I didn’t have too much to do with these channels, but for a new project it was impossible to ignore it (and it is generally impossible to ignore these). So I opened my accounts and searched for expert tips which I followed – as much as I could.

#2 Disclosure: I am still not selling anything so I can not show how these followers convert to sales, at the moment I am just building an audience.

Follow the followers

I found it much easier to connect and socialise on Twitter and Instagram than on Facebook. One common advice is to see who follows some of the biggest influencers in your industry and follow them as you share the same interest. This proved to be amazingly effective, many of them followed back and even new people followed. In my case the affinity is travel, so it attracts a quite wide range of people.

Platforms that could be useful

I also found twiends.com that shows you Twitter people in the location or affinity you want, but basically, Twitter does this by itself anyway. Twiends is free but if you pay a weekly $9,95 you are featured to more people and will have even more followers, but I am not sure how relevant they are.

For another $19,99 per month at commun.it you can save time and engage your followers by thanking top followers, sending an automated reply to fresh fans, in which you can welcome them and ask them to follow tour Instagram/blog/Facebook. The platform has many other similar features. I tried both for free, and at this initial stage I didn’t see a dramatic benefit, but at a later stage – or for an other industry – these might be useful.

To grow Instagram followers I tried a few platforms – among them Influxsocial, this again increases visibility and proved to be great, however, I am not sure how many followers came from here, or from my own activity (looking for the followers of influencers). There are a lot of providers selling tonnes of fake followers who look real, but obviously, this is not an option if you want to do it seriously.

Quality follower

A general advice reads that you should look at who to follow, how active they are, what they post and react to their posts, like, comment, share. Sounds great, but I was overwhelmed by the social vibe, everybody sending automated/real messages, it is impossible to spend minutes with each profile – apart from running our usual business.

But I agree, in some niche and specific areas or at a later stage it could be good. Instead, I concentrated on a few selected ones and kept engaging with them, liking, re-tweeting, and this created a mutual relationship.

Engaging content

This is the million dollar tip that you can read everywhere and is quite obvious, but the fact is that there are thousands and thousands of unbelievably engaging content out there – especially in travel. So what I did is posting the photos that had a positive feedback earlier in my other channels, and I posted a lot. I tried to figure out what people like but the volume of likes was not enough to judge it. I also studied what others did and just went on my own posting as much as I could, and on Twitter re-tweeting with some own comments.

Guest-posts

This is also a popular advice and makes all the sense. However just getting into it, messaging with people back and forth takes an enormous time, not to mention writing the piece itself, and eventually, it can easily get sunk in the threads. So what I did was asking for interviews, I just had to send a set of questions and I usually got back great content and pictures – and some good partnerships.

#Hashtags

I admit it was a pain at the beginning, and for someone who loves writing, it is a struggle to talk in hashtags. The expert tip is to choose the right hashtag as these are your “keywords.” Well, easier said than done. Again I experimented with these, there were some I always used, some I selected from the suggestions twitter offered, and I also looked out for what others did. By the end, it was quite fun.

Just enjoy

After all the best advice – that by the way, nobody gives – is that you should enjoy it and explore how the content, the people, the interactions from the thread.

Image and copy by Timea Kadar, www.writefab.com Read my quotes about words here (this is not the instagram profile I detail above, but  new one): www.instagram.com/writefabulously