Category Archive: Copywriting

I’m busy. I’m stressed. I have 8.25 seconds. WTFSIC? | Marketing for Our Short Attention Spans

Copywriting, marketing

WTFSIC? aka Why the F**k Should I Care?

The average attention span of a consumer today is 8.25 seconds. That’s down from 12 seconds in 2000. That’s also less than the attention span of a goldfish (9 seconds), although I have no idea how they go about measuring that.

Put yourself in your overwhelmed, frazzled, impatient customers’ shoes, and for their sake, ask yourself WTFSIC? every time you create / write / develop / post a marketing message / tagline / tweet / headline / blog / email / or ad.

That’s right. Every time.

If you follow this advice, it should keep you from falling into the trap that businesses so easily fall into –

  • talking about your products from your company perspective instead of the customers’.
  • describing the product’s features, but not the benefits.
  • thinking that a prospect will make the leap of logic that you’ve made in your clever ad, and understand why your product is so great, without you spelling it out.
  • assuming that prospects will take the time to click around your website to learn about your product.
  • believing that the only thing you have to do to get prospects to give you their email address or request a sales call, is to display a “Learn More” button on your website.

“Learn more”? Seriously. Why would the average adult consumer, who has 360 messages firing at them every day via TV, radio, web, and print media (source: Media Dynamics), take the time to click a “Learn more” button? Even prospects who are actually in the market for your product don’t have that kind of patience.

What they do want is for you to describe your product’s benefits (not features) in a very brief, concise message, using simple, non-buzzword language, in a way that tells them immediately how it will make their life better, starting tomorrow. This goes for the B2B and B2C space (after all, all purchase decisions are made by the same frazzled humans).

Oh, and maybe give them a value-added resource too (like a white paper, an infographic, a how-to guide). Note: I did not say “give them a brochure about your company”. Because that requires thinking. A purely value-added piece will be useful to them and will make it abundantly clear what your product will do for them, right away.

Don’t make them think. Don’t make them click. Don’t make them hunt for where to click. Put the WTFSIC right on your homepage. In fact on every page of your site. Or at the top of your email (or better yet, the subject line). Or at the top of your ads. Make every single word in your marketing messages be meaningful to your audience. Spell out for them exactly why they should consider your product.

So, what do I want you to do now?

Every time you craft a marketing message, stop after every sentence and ask “WTFSIC?” It will force you to think from your customers’ perspective (after a while, this becomes embedded in your thinking process) and craft marketing messages that get them to take action. And ultimately sell more of your product. Because that’s why you’re in business, right?

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If you need help crafting concise, meaningful, compelling marketing messages, websites, blogs, or graphics, give me a shout. This is what I do best. But be prepared to hear WTFSIC a lot.

 

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How to Write the Perfect Blog Post | Follow this Guide to Maximize Your Post’s Visibility

After writing hundreds of blog posts for different audiences, industries, and organizations, you definitely learn what works and what doesn’t. This infographic reflects best practices I’ve used to achieve post visibility, social reach and shares, and conversions on the calls-to-action. Enjoy!

A Guide to the Perfect Blog Post

Want a copy of this infographic for yourself? Why not hang it in your cube for quick reference, or just for cube decorating purposes. Contact me for a printable, hi-res PDF.

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Secrets from the Field: 10 Questions to Ask on Facebook to Boost Social Engagement

conversation

Facebook is still king of social media. With 1.35 billion monthly active users, its just too big to ignore. Two-thirds of online US adults are Facebook users and the average user spends 21 minutes per day on Facebook.

To make the most of your time investment in your Facebook page, you’ve got to grow your followers and generate lots of engagement (comments, shares, clicks to your website) amongst them. And there are ways to accomplish this that are guaranteed to boost your numbers. I know, because I’ve done it.

Just like in a social situation, you are much more likely to be the center of attention if you engage in a two-way conversation, i.e., ask interesting questions of those around you, rather than talking about yourself ad nauseam. Right? The same thing holds true on Facebook.

So, if most of your organization’s posts are all about your business (for example, using Facebook only for sale announcements), you won’t gain a large following, and those followers won’t become engaged evangelizers of your brand because they won’t feel emotionally engaged with your brand.

Therefore, mixed in with the sale announcements, try a few truly conversational posts where you pose interesting questions of your followers. (When you start out, you may have to “plant” a few answers to get people responding – sometimes no one likes to be the first one to speak up).

Here are ten of the questions/conversation starters I’ve used with success on Facebook (you’ll want to customize them for your own business). Note, they are in random order.

  1. If you had your own personal theme song, what would it be?
  2. If you had an hour for yourself, what’s the one thing you would do?
  3. What book inspired you the most? And why?
  4. What’s your word for the day?
  5. If you had your own tagline, what would it be?
  6. What are your 3 top goals for this year?
  7. What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?
  8. What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to ______ ?
  9. What was a turning point in your life?
  10. If you could run a workshop for a day, what would you teach?

And don’t, don’t, don’t forget to post your question with an image or photo! If you haven’t heard the news by now, Facebook posts that include imagery garner 3 to 5 times the amount of engagement as posts without an image. That can add up to a lot of shares and clicks to your website.

If you are too busy actually running your business to think about social media, 3to5 Marketing can help. Contact me today for advice, implementation, post-writing, social media graphic design, or all of the above!

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Write Great Taglines: Get Rid of the Double-talk and Really Turn Heads

Writing great taglines

Although they are sometimes the last thing on everyone’s list, taglines are one of the most important aspects of your brand. Especially when you are lesser-known or new brand, your tagline is responsible for creating a theme and value system that shapes customers’ perception of your brand, as well as frankly, explaining what you do at a glance (assuming your company name isn’t “Healthy Dog Biscuit Company”).

Some of the most memorable corporate headlines include:

There are some things money can’t buy (MasterCard)
Just Do It (Nike)
Think Different (Apple)

These taglines are so ubiquitous, they’ve practically entered our daily lexicon. So, what makes these taglines so effective and memorable? They are:

– Understandable
– Simple
– Clear
– Focused
– Customer-centric
– Double-talk & buzzword free
– Evoke an emotion
– Describe a tribe to which you want to belong
– Tell a story

If you (or your copywriter) can write your tagline with these elements in mind, it will make your business much more memorable and help it stand out from the competition.

For inspiration, below are some of my favorite taglines. Some are from well-known brands; others are small businesses. Some are clever double entendres, some make you want to belong to the tribe, and some are simple and self-explanatory.

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Great taglines Great taglines
Great taglines
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Great taglines

Need help copywriting your tagline? Contact 3to5 Marketing for professional inspiration.

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