Category Archives: Business Writing

4 Ways to Make Your Call to Action More Compelling

Around here, we recommend to our clients that basically every piece of marketing collateral they write include a call to action. The call to action helps direct the reader, helps show them what step they need to take next—whether that means buying a product, signing up for an email newsletter, or simply clicking to your business website.

The idea is that you can’t just assume people will do what you want them to do, any more than you might assume your teenage son will take out the trash for you. Generally speaking, if you want it to happen, you need to say so. That’s what makes the call to action so valuable. It’s a prompt for your reader to do the thing you want them to do.

Not every call to action is effective, though. You might ask the reader to do something, and the reader might effectively say thanks but no thanks. The good news is, you can make your call to action more persuasive, more effective, more compelling—and we’ll show you how.

Write with Repetition

The human brain naturally looks for patterns, and for repeated words and phrases. It seeks out concepts or ideas that are important. That’s a psychological feature you can exploit in your calls to action.

Here’s how. Say you want your reader to save money on their auto maintenance needs by choosing your oil change and lube shop over a dealership. You should write a marketing email or blog that uses that key phrase—save money—several times over. Then, when you get to the call to action, frame it similarly. Save money by scheduling your oil change with us now!

By that point, your reader’s brain has been trained to really hone in on that phrase, save money—and ultimately to associate it with your call to action. By clicking the link or calling you on the phone, they assume, they’ll be able to save money, as promised throughout your content.

Make it Urgent

Are you familiar with the concept of FOMO? The fear of missing out? It’s a marketing principle that hinges on this basic idea: People don’t like to feel like they’re being excluded, or that they’re somehow not getting the same perks that other people are getting.

Along similar lines, people don’t like to think that there’s a really great offer that could pass them by. Your call to action can be more effective when it connects to this sense of urgency, then. Include phrases like limited time offer in your call to action, and motivate readers to follow through before they miss their window!

Focus on Benefits

This may be the most foundational, more important call to action rule of them all. If you want people to do something, you’ve got to show what’s in it for them. You’ve got to tell them that they will be better off for having done the thing you want them to do. You have to convey benefit to them.

That’s why your call to action won’t work as well if all it says is contact us today. Why should people contact you today? What value will it provide them? How will the experience enrich them? Those are the questions any good call to action must address.

Take Away Risk

One final way to make your call to action more compelling: Eliminate fear and risk. Let the reader know that they have nothing to worry about. Call today for a free consultation—with no obligation. Order today, and we guarantee you’ll love our product—or your money back. Those are the kinds of reassurances your customers are ultimately looking for.

And speaking of which: There’s no risk and no obligation when you call the Grammar Chic team to ask about our content writing services. We’d love to chat with you about how we can transform your calls to action into real money-makers for your business. Contact us to begin the process: 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

Leave a comment

Filed under Business Writing, Social Media

Why Content Marketing is Perfect for Brand New Companies

Launching a new company is always a little daunting—and one of the greatest challenges of all is building a name and a reputation. A well-established brand like Coca Cola can fall back on decades of associations and general consumer familiarity; when you have a startup that nobody’s ever heard of, though, generating buzz can feel like an uphill climb.

One of the best ways to stake out a name for your company is to invest in content marketing. Indeed, we’d say that content marketing is uniquely helpful for brand new businesses—and we’ll tell you why.

Content Marketing Makes You Credible

Why should consumers trust you with their hard-earned money—especially when you don’t have much of a track record to fall back on? To cut through their distrust and cynicism, it’s vital that you prove yourself to be reputable and authoritative.

Content marketing can help you do that. You can display real thought leadership, and offer invaluable insight and advice. You can prove that you know what you’re talking about through helpful blog posts, how-to videos, etc.

The secret here? You have to give away content that’s actionable and valuable. That’s the only way buyers will know that they can trust you to truly help them.

Content Marketing Drives Traffic

The website of a brand-new, not-yet-established business offers limited interest to the average consumer. Social media posts and blog entries that speak more immediately to consumer needs, though—those things can grab attention. And in doing so, they can also send people to your website.

Content marketing is the gateway. It’s what gets people through the door. But once they’re in, you can use compelling calls to action to point them to your website, where you can lead them down the sales funnel. As a subset of that, you can always use content marketing to grow your contact list; for instance, by asking for a name and email address in exchange for a really compelling white paper or downloadable PDF.

Content Marketing Can Clarify Your Value Proposition

The bottom line, really, is that consumers may have a hard time wrapping their head around what, exactly, your new business offers—or what’s in it for them. Content marketing can be your vessel for identifying problems and pointing to your company as the solution. And by showcasing your know-how in a non-salesy way, you can ultimately help consumers feel more comfortable doing business with you, providing them a better sense of how you can deliver value—and how they can benefit.

If you’re starting a new business, you can use content marketing to get a head start on your branding—and we’d like to help. Have a conversation with the Grammar Chic content marketing team today: Reach out at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

Leave a comment

Filed under Business Writing, Content Marketing, Content Writing, Social Media

5 Rules to Improve Your Email Marketing

Tired of sending emails to your subscriber list and getting nothing in return? There are some simple steps you can take to transform your email marketing campaign into a powerful, results-getting arm of your broader content marketing strategy. In this post, we’re going to break it down for you, with some foolproof tips and strategies.

Rule #1: You MUST Write Compelling Subject Lines

You’ve got a short window of time in which to make a strong first impression and to persuade your recipient to actually open and read your email. Your email subject line is where you do that, so it’s got to pop. Put some time into this. Force yourself to keep it to seven words or less. Convey value in your subject line. And make it sound personal, without including a specific recipient name. You’ll also want to keep playing around with new subject lines, A/B testing them and finding what works and what doesn’t work for your audience.

Rule #2: You MUST Segment Your Email List

Your emails need to convey value that is specific to each recipient—and while you can’t afford to write a personal email to everyone on your list, you can at least break down your list into some sub-groupings. Here at Grammar Chic, we have clients who come to us for marketing and clients who come to us for resume services, and it wouldn’t make much sense to send marketing-related emails to resume clients. That’s where segmentation becomes invaluable.

Rule #3: Your Emails MUST Offer Value

What’s in it for me? That’s what your recipients will be asking as they read your email. They need to walk away from it with something of value, whether that means news on an upcoming product, a discount, a promotion, or an actionable tip. Make sure your emails have substance. Make sure they convey value.

Rule #4: Your Email Campaign MUST Have a Clear Goal

To tell whether or not your email marketing is succeeding, you’ll need to define success. Are you looking to get phone calls? Website traffic? Buys for a specific product or service? Your email marketing objective will impact your metrics as well as your actual CTA.

Rule #5: Your Emails MUST Be Brief

Nobody has time to read a 500-word email. Get to the point. Be light and engaging. And be fun to read. Really, those are invaluable traits for any successful marketing email.

Transform Your Email Marketing

These rules will help you turn your email marketing list into a true asset. To really take things to the next level, we’d invite you to consult with our writers and email marketing pros. We can help you craft email messages that get results.

Learn more by reaching out to Grammar Chic, Inc. today, either at 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net.

Save

Save

Leave a comment

Filed under Brand Management, Business Writing, Email Writing

Why Small Businesses Don’t Pursue Content Marketing

The benefits of content marketing are well-established. If anything, they have only been vindicated and solidified in recent years, with more and more marketing firms doubling down on content and study after study confirming content marketing’s mettle.

Those benefits—increased brand visibility and authority, more consumer trust, qualified leads, thought leadership—would seem like no-brainers for small business owners, but actually, some small companies remain resistant to content marketing. There are a few reasons why.

Reasons Against Content Marketing

A Lack of Strategy

One reason why small business owners shy away from making a content investment is that they just aren’t sure what they want to do with it—draw traffic to their website? Increase their brand prestige? Educate leads? Remarket to previous customers? To make content marketing work, you need to know what you’re trying to accomplish, something you can determine through talking over the possibilities with a firm like Grammar Chic.

A Lack of Time

Some small business owners, knowing full well that content marketing is an ongoing process, are worried about time commitments. That’s not really an argument against content marketing, though; rather, it’s an argument for bringing in a content development team. This will require a bit of a time commitment on the front end, as you work to get the content developers up to speed on your brand, but over time it can really be an efficient way to work.

Brand Concerns

If your company is a funeral home, an accounting office, or an automotive F&I provider, you might think that what you do just isn’t sexy enough for content marketing—but actually, all brands can benefit from cultivating trust and displaying thought leadership, and all companies can find a content angle that works for them.

Industry Red Tape

Highly regulated industries, such as financial planning firms and law practices, will impose some rules about what you can and cannot say in content marketing. This can be frustrating, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t a way to write content that is valuable to your consumers.

Lack of Talent

You may not be a writer, plain and simple—and that’s okay! There are other ways for you to create content. Plus, you can always outsource the writing to a firm like Grammar Chic, where writing is what we do all day, every day.

Insufficient Data

Establishing a content marketing strategy will give you a data-backed baseline which you can then use to prove ROI. For your first month or two, you won’t have that kind of data, but really the only way to get it is to start putting up some content.

Overcoming Obstacles to Content Marketing

The bottom line: With the right counsel, you can work your way around any content marketing objective—and start reaping those benefits! Start the process today by reaching out to our team at Grammar Chic, Inc. You can visit us online at www.grammarchic.net or we invite you to call 803-831-7444.

Leave a comment

Filed under Business Writing, Content Marketing, Content Writing, Social Media

How to Write Copy for Facebook Ads

We’re big believers in using Facebook as a channel for good, engaging content—but as we’ve noted in the past, content marketing isn’t necessarily sufficient all on its own. Facebook increasingly forces marketers to pair their organic content with paid ads; if you don’t play ball, don’t be surprised when your organic posts start slipping out of newsfeeds, and your overall engagement starts to tank.

In other words, Facebook basically makes you pony up for paid ads—if you really want your Facebook marketing efforts to bear fruit, anyway. But there are other reasons to use the Facebook Ads platform, as well. Simply put, Facebook Ads is a really good advertising platform. It allows all manner of advanced targeting and audience segmentation, which means that, if you know how to use it, you can really get a lot of bang for your buck, without wasting a lot of ad dollars.

We’re not going to get into all of that today, but we are going to highlight one especially important part of the Facebook Ads process—and that’s copywriting. Facebook will allow you to include an image, headline, and body text with each ad, and it’s imperative that all three components are firing on all cylinders. The engagement you get from your ads hinges on the harmonious functioning of these three items.

Tips for Writing Compelling Facebook Ads Copy

So, to begin with, you should have an image in mind. Starting with the image is the best way to go. If you’re working with a graphic designer, commission the image before you finalize your text; if you’re doing it by yourself, find the image you want to use first, then write copy to match it. Remember to let the image do a lot of the talking; you don’t need to use your limited copy space to explain or describe the image. People can see it for themselves.

Speaking of which, remember your character limits. You only get 25 characters for your headline, and 90 for your body text. Brevity is key!

Lead with value. You want the reader of your ad to do something—click through to your website, LIKE your company Facebook page, or something similar. Your headline and your ad copy should tell the reader what’s in it for them if they take that action. Explain the benefit to reading your ad and doing what it says.

Include strong verbs. Make sure your entire ad copy reads like a call to action, including verbs to indicate the actions you want your readers to take.

Remember who you’re writing for. Your Facebook ads will be targeted to a specific audience, which should match up with one of your own buyer personas or customer demographics. Knowing who you are writing for can provide some invaluable insight into how you write your copy—which values to highlight, which pain points to address, etc.

Test everything. Write a few variants on your headline and test them against each other; keep track of which headlines get results and which don’t, and use that as a template for future copywriting.

Get Help with Your Facebook Ads

A final thought: You can always outsource your Facebook Ads copywriting to the pros. Grammar Chic’s team can deliver ad text that is short, punchy, and powerful. Talk with us about it. Visit us online at www.grammarchic.net or call 803-831-7444.

Leave a comment

Filed under Business Writing, Content Marketing, Social Media

3 Reasons Your Email Marketing Doesn’t Work

Email is an incredible and still-undervalued marketing tool—one that allows you to reach out to both past and potential clients directly with a personalized message and a tailored value proposition. It’s something we use for our own marketing here at Grammar Chic, Inc., and it’s something we recommend for our clients.

Sometimes, though, the best intentions for an email marketing campaign fall short, and emails are sent out without any kind of response coming back. Sometimes, email marketing just plain doesn’t work—and when that happens, it’s important to ask yourself why.

There are a number of possible reasons, but really three main ones—and today we want to look closer at each of them.

You Haven’t Segmented Your List

Email is best used in a highly targeted way, with messages being tailored to segments of your subscription list. For example, here at Grammar Chic, we have some clients for our resume writing division and other clients within our marketing wing. If we’re sending out a promotion for content marketing services, it doesn’t make as much sense to send it to the resume crew. Instead, we’d tailor it to the part of our email list that comes to us for marketing expertise.

Make sure you work with your email list to divide it and segment it into different audiences—and that your message always mirrors the people you’re sending it to.

Your Headline Doesn’t Grab Attention

This is always the struggle with email marketing: How do you grab attention and make your email stand out within busy inboxes? The headline is everything—your best and only chance at a strong first impression.

Some basic tips for writing good email headlines:

  • Keep it brief—seven words or less!
  • Avoid words that will run you afoul of spam filters—Sale, Free, 50% Off, etc.
  • Be clear about your value proposition; how will the reader benefit from reading your email?

You’re Not Clear in Your Value Proposition

And that brings us to the final point: Some emails don’t work because they just don’t have much to say. Everything from your headline to your body text to your call to action should spell out the value you’re offering to readers—the “what’s in it for me” of reading your message and responding to your CTA at the bottom. If your value offer is unclear, readers just won’t know what to do with your message.

These are all potentially fatal blows to your email marketing campaign, but the good news is that all of them can be corrected. The first step is to meet with the email marketing strategists at Grammar Chic, Inc. Contact us about a consultation today, either at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

Leave a comment

Filed under Blog Writing, Business Writing, Content Marketing, Email Writing, Social Media

How to Write Great Content for Short Attention Spans

There is always more and more online content vying for readers’ attention—yet it seems like the average online attention span is getting shorter all the time.

This is something that any content marketer has to take into consideration. You need your content to be read and interacted with, yet your audience may have very little patience to sit through anything that isn’t totally optimized to keep them engaged.

So how do you optimize your written content? Here are a few tips to consider.

Start with Buyer Personas

People are going to be a lot more willing to read your content if it feels like it was written directly for them. That’s why you need to start with your audience, and ideally with a well-composed buyer persona. What are the pain points you need to address? What are the values? What kind of language should you be using—highly technical or extremely casual? And what do your readers ultimately want to gain from your content? To answer these questions, you have to have a pretty good sense of who you’re writing to.

Structure it Well

It’s also important to make sure you organize your content in a way that makes it easier to read—and, for that matter, to skim. Some ways to do so include:

  • Write in short paragraphs
  • Avoid long sentences
  • Use subject headings to break up the content
  • Use bulleted lists whenever you can
  • Make sure you end with a good summary of your main takeaways/action steps

Don’t Let Your Words Stand Alone

A plain black-and-white page of text is inevitably going to be a little boring, and strain the average reader’s attention span. Images, infographics, and embedded videos can spice things up significantly, while also helping to break up the content and make it more digestible.

Be Clear in Your Value Proposition

Put yourself in the shoes of your reader, and ask: What’s in it for me? The reader should be able to walk away from your content with some value, some specific benefit. You need to emphasize that value up front, both in your headline and in your introduction, ideally in the first paragraph. Let readers know that they will see a benefit from reading your content.

Don’t Be Afraid to Go Long

A final note: Short attention spans do not necessarily call for short content. There is still plenty of room for articles that go in-depth and provide more specific value. In fact, a reader with a short attention span may prefer these articles; a flimsy blog post may seem like a waste of time, while something more substantive may seem like it’s a lot more worthwhile.

You can create content that engages even the ficklest reader—but if you need an extra hand in enhancing your content, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Grammar Chic can help you write content that gets read and engaged with. Learn more at www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.

Leave a comment

Filed under Blog Writing, Business Writing, Content Marketing, Content Writing, Social Media, Web Content