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Marketing blog

Fifty Shades of Grey. Take inspiration and boost your business’s marketing.

Earlier this week on a dreary February evening I broke my usual weekday routine to see movie of the moment Fifty Shades of Grey.

Despite the bad reviews I enjoyed it. It made interesting conversation and debate with a friend, her teenage son and girlfriend.

What’s the secret to this film’s success? 

Curiosity and the focus on raw human emotion?

A gap in the market?

This subject is not often broached and used as a main story-line for a major film. You’ve also got the build-up and fan base. It was huge. Millions of books have been sold across the globe.

Love or hate it, you can’t deny that Fifty Shades of Grey is a marketing triumph.

What can you do to give your marketing campaigns a boost?

1. A bold and noticeable campaign.

For a while now the trend in marketing has focused on subtle ways to promote a business through content marketing and social media.

All good, but maybe a bold and out-there campaign is what’s needed to jolt people away from their routine and take notice.

Break the mould and surprise your customers.

I’m thinking real life models (in place of manikins) in clothes shop windows – it would get people looking.

A coffee shop revamp that introduces 20 new teas and a free salsa lesson with every 20th coffee bought.

Or a performance from a local group in a electrical shop, showcasing the latest amps and speakers.

2. Jump on the bandwagon.

As per this blog talk about what’s current. Put your own spin on news and local issues. Blog and use social media to express your thoughts.

Views, likes and shares will draw people to your business and website.

Google favours a popular blog or social media post.

Do this regularly and your website hits and ranking will soar.

3. Go back to basics.

Remind people what you do.

When promoting your own business, it’s easy to get side-tracked and miss out important details in promotions.

Everyone’s in their own world, and new customers follow you on social media.

Show how your service or product will benefit them.

If you need inspiration on what to talk about, get out there and talk to your customers. 

You could hold a workshop, event or inspirational talk, give away free samples etc.

Take feedback on what people like about you and use the answers as a basis for a blog, social media update, newsletter, email or marketing campaign.

4. Timing.

Valentine’s Day was an obvious date to release the film but, it’s also that time of year when everyone needs a boost.

Can you take advantage of up-and-coming local and national events?

Or special occasions and times of the year?

Start planning. Draw up a promotion plan for the year ahead.

You can build up the momentum with teasers on what’s coming up, or for an event, offer incentives like early-bird offers and extra benefits for booking early.

Plan promotions across a variety of platforms.

A well thought-out, creative campaign can perform better than lots of one-off promotions.

Also by planning in advance you get everything done in good time and allow for distractions and delays.

I hope this blog has given you some ideas for your business.

Good luck with your marketing projects.

Vanessa

My service.

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Marketing blog

What does a copywriter do?

I recently received a call from someone who wanted me to copyright their newly written children’s book.

It’s misleading but a copywriter has nothing to do with copyright law.

We have the almighty task of writing for business.

We wear many hats.

We could be a journalist one day, writing a blog the next, and then move onto writing for a website and doing all the research, SEO and behind the scenes tasks that you don’t think about.

The exact role of a copywriter varies.

Some will have a specific job within a company, or if you’re a freelancer every job is different.

Many will have a background in marketing or journalism, and some are skilled in writing for a specific audience such as the medical or law community.

It’s hard to define but we are all writers.

We aim to find the most effective way to connect with the audience and achieve the desired outcome of the job.

Whether it’s to sell, promote a brand, or move up the pages on Google.

Today’s copywriter.

Before online marketing, a copywriter’s role was to research and creatively write for various types of media such as magazines, newspapers, flyers, posters, radio etc.

We still do the above but the role has evolved to writing for and competing in the online world. 

We now

Write with SEO in mind.

Essential to get found by the target audience.

Write for various online platforms.

Such as websites, blogs, emails and social media. There are techniques, tactics and behind the scenes tasks for all.

Develop an all-round marketing strategy.

Looking at each business type, target audience, goals and tactics.

Effectively write for print.

It’s still a good option. It will help compete with online marketing.

Copywriting and marketing go hand-in-hand.

A good copywriter will ask lots of questions.

Be up to speed in the latest SEO techniques, and have experience in writing for different audiences across different platforms.

Example questions a copywriter will ask.

  • What would you like to achieve by hiring me?
  • Tell me about your customers, who do you want to target?
  • What do you want customers to do?
  • What’s your background and what inspires you?
  • How do you differ from the competition?
  • Describe your brand.

I might encourage you to build-up your reviews and testimonials online to help with your SEO and building trust with your customers.

Or suggest trying a print or email campaign for customers what are not on, or responding to social media.

It’s also about knowing when less is more.

Where a few words or decisive sentence is all that’s needed to entice action.

Or when a lengthy blog piece will benefit.

Who can benefit from hiring a copywriter?

Anyone that needs help finding the right words.

If you’re struggling to find the right approach, pondering on how to connect with your customers, or if you simply need some tips on how to write successfully online, a copywriter will cut through the confusion and guide you in the right direction.

A marketing company or a graphic designer.

A perfect combination. Copywriters can write for individual pieces or help out on large marketing projects.

Publications.

A copywriter writes to attract, humour, provoke, gain attention and is well suited to write for magazines and newspapers. Many copywriters are journalists.

Direct with a business.

You could be a small business looking to improve your marketing and attract new customers, or a large established company looking for someone to take a new approach with campaigns and projects.

Whatever your needs, a copywriter will rise to the challenge of the job and help you achieve your goals.

I hope you enjoyed my blog. 

I am a freelance copywriter.

If you would like me to write for your business or publication I’d love to hear from you. Get in touch.

Vanessa

My service.

Categories
Marketing blog

The small Welsh businesses doing it for themselves

A Costa coffee? Or a smoother, higher quality coffee at a slightly lower price in calm, cosy and more imaginative surroundings.

Or for tea lovers how about an orange and lemon rooibos tea with a luxurious handmade rose and vanilla truffle to set it off.

A tongue-in-cheek Welsh humoured gift, or maybe some hand made ethical and affordable Welsh jewellery.

Or go vintage and pick up a one off gem of a present that will outshine the rest.

I always notice a small business and there seems to be more popping up in Pembrokeshire and throughout Wales.

And with this re-emergence comes plusher, brighter stores with imaginative surroundings, strong brands, Welsh produced goods, quirky websites and followings on social media that the branded giants just can’t compete with.

Here’s just a taster of the many inspiring small businesses in Wales today.

Small businesses leading the way in Wales

The Chocolate Froglet, TenbyThe Chocolate Froglet Tenby An old fishmongers in a side street of Tenby, is now transformed into a tantalising and charming chocolate shop.

Watch as Karen makes the chocolates in front of you, and choose from the huge selection of truffles, chocolates, fudges, treats and hot drinks. The quality of the chocolate is superb.

Flavour combinations are inspired by cuisine and ingredients from across the globe. In a nut shell, going in this shop will make you and your kids smile.

Cwtch Cafe Pembroke Dock A calm and warm haven Cwtch Cafe is artistically decorated with doors for tables and local art on display.

With friendly owners enjoy quality coffee, home made breads and flavoursome food. The odd cocktail and film night is on offer, and I hear a gallery down stairs may be in the pipeline…

Ffwrn Fishguard A new offering in Fishguard, the owners (very nice French and Welsh), have converted the old town hall into a beautiful French influenced open-plan café/bar.

A long banquet style table sets the scene for social gatherings, and the large French paintings, piano, vintage TV, barrels of beer and delicious fresh pastries all help to create a lovely homely atmosphere.

A perfect setting for musicians to do their thing, they recently showcased some of the best acts at jazz n blues festival Aberjazz.

More like this in Pembrokeshire please!

Vintage GoodsGigi, Fishguard Vintage is big in the cities, but the branded clothes seem to take over in the Shire. So when I come across this little shop I was thrilled.

It was so homely and well decorated I thought it had been there for months but it had just opened. Find old radios, one-off designer clothes and vintage accessories.

The pulling power is simple, be different, stand out from the crowd and discover a new you with a classic vintage find.

No website as yet, but the shop has opened as an extension to Edelweiss Antiques, Gigi is situated at 8a Main Street, Fishguard.

Nom Nom Chocolate Founder Liam Burgess is a Carmarthenshire lad with a love for chocolate. Liam and the team use local produce to create luscious chocolate with interesting flavours such as Welsh lavender and peanut butter.

I sense a strong brand that appeals to the locals, the foodies and those in the know. I look forward to the website and growing popularity of Nom Nom Chocolate.

Black Dragon Crafts In the Carmarthenshire countryside, Annie Wealleans and her team create Celtic inspired, hand crafted jewellery from scratch using pure, naked pewter.

This is an inspiring, ethical and environmentally friendly business.

To give you a taste of how this is achieved take a look at the website, they take you through the process of the jewellery making. I hear they’ve recently enjoyed success in the US..

Cadwaladers

Cadwaladers Starting out in 1927 in Criccieth making ice cream, they’ve expanded their offerings to hot food and drink with cafes throughout Wales.

Their friendly and positive nature (and delicious ice-cream) has helped to build up a huge following and compete with the branded coffee shops.

They post tweets of their ice creams, welcome dogs and give a 10% discount to NHS staff. There’re onto a winner.

Llaeth y Llan Yogurts I had to include this great little co. The draw is simple, high quality yogurt produced in the lush countryside of North Wales.

It’s become a familiar staple in the supermarket (along with a whole load of other Welsh produce). The website is friendly and open, with their story, recipes, competitions and easy contact routes.

The yogurt is delicious and its always good to hear the non Welsh pronounce the ll!

I Loves The DiffI Loves The ‘Diff An innovative company selling quirky Welsh humoured inspired gifts.

They make everything fun and keep their business at the heart of Cardiff and Welsh goings on. Always tweeting and posting funny pics, they’ve built up a huge following.

The website is the right combination of not too cluttered but with enough links and images to keep you interested, it’s also very user friendly and easy to buy from.

Confused.com They’ve made it big using their Welsh roots and humour as a basis for their marketing campaigns…

LandofsavingmoneyandgettingtherightdealgogoGoCompare.com.

Just a few examples of the many out there, it’s clear the small business is making a comeback.

And it’s great to see the Welsh brand growing outside of Wales. It seems we (the Welsh) are finally starting to realise our potential!

If they can do it so can you

In future posts I will explore what it is that makes a small business successful.

I’ll give some practical ideas based on my own and others’ experiences, on how you can find your unique pulling power and give yourself an edge to draw in the customers and keep them coming in.

There are so many more great small businesses out there in all shapes and sizes, which I will no doubt include in later posts.

Let me know if you are one and have something to offer to small business enthusiasts, I’ll write about you in my blog.

About Me

I’m a freelance writer with a background in marketing.

If you would like me to write for your website, marketing or for your publication, then please do get in touch.

Categories
Marketing blog

Need some content?

Content marketing. A creative tool, a means to attract and engage. Great for SEO. 

Gone are the days where marketing solely involved producing a flyer, ad or newspaper article. Those easy days are gone.

I’m not discounting traditional methods, it can attract a pool of customers who are not responding to online methods, but producing informative and engaging content is the way to go.

A few things to think about

Where are you putting the content.

Your website, a blog, a guest blog, social media, an email… There are different tactics for each platform.

Is it SEO optimised.

Google and other search engines favour high quality content. The right use of keywords, title tags and meta descriptions help, along with a host of other factors. It’s an on-going process defining what makes good SEO.

Promote it well.

Social media works for all businesses. Use it to your advantage. Use good quality photos, images and videos to help your content get noticed. Endorsements from champions in your field can work wonders.

And obviously what you write is important.

This is where a copywriter shines. Think about what you want to achieve, what your customers want to know, the tone, length and timing of your content.

How I can help

I can write some fresh, interesting and SEO optimised content for you. 

Through some creative and targeted copy, I’ll help you build a strong brand and customer base.

I’m an experienced copywriter with a background in marketing. I regularly blog and write my own online articles, and I’m passionate in helping out small businesses. See my service.

My customers vary from small businesses, creative start-ups, marketing agencies, B2B and publishing companies.

Prices start at £120 for a 1000 word blog or article.

Contact me for an informal chat about your requirements.

Vanessa