Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Want to Optimize Your Marketing Copy? Keep It Short and Sweet

I once had a client for whom I'd written a 300-word mini-article ask me, "On second thought, a 600-word article would fit my template better. Can we just pad this piece out to 600 words?"
I also recall my response: "Can we? Yes. Should we? Not necessarily."

If brevity is indeed the soul of wit, then you want your marketing content to be the life of the party -- not the guy reeling off some rambling epic tale with apparent beginning or ending as he blocks your way to the bathroom. Effective, powerful, entertaining writing makes its point and then gets out of the way, instead of monopolizing the reader's time and patience.

Brevity doesn't necessarily entail squishing everything you write down into soundbites, though the runaway success of Twitter has proven that 140 characters can go a long way. But it does mean adopting a "less is more" approach and viewing your writing with a surgeon's eye. Here are some advantages to concise writing:

It's easier on the eye. The eye gets fatigued as it pores over massive blocks of text, and the more text the page contains, the less of it actually seems to matter. Clear, concise writing is easier for the eye and brain to handle, giving you better odds that your reader will actually want to keep reading.

It packs more of a punch. I find that my writing always turns out better when I've overwritten and have to reduce the word count. This kind of forced edit requires me to condense and purify my work, cutting out digressions and extra phrases until the writing becomes airtight. What's left is all muscle -- a lean, mean content machine.

It's more versatile. A 500-word article will prove easier than a thousand-worder to integrate into a variety of situations, formats and templates. A few short paragraphs of website content leave you more room for other page elements than an elephantine chunk of writing that has to hog center stage.

Is there still room for longer-form copy? Absolutely. In fact, your web developer or SEO specialist may advise you to go a thousand words or longer on certain anchor posts, web pages, or other mainstays of your marketing content. But if you're going to write those thousand words, make sure the piece you're writing needs every one of those words to convey its ideas and emotions with maximum impact. In other words, let the length fit the depth and vice-versa.

If your written content feels flabby, fails to hold the attention or just makes your eyes hurt, take out your red editing pen (or hire mine) and start cutting away the fat. You may love what you find underneath!

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

4 Benefits of Partnership Marketing

Do you sometimes feel as if it's your brand against the world? Marketing your products and services can seem forbidding when you're trying to shine in a galaxy of businesses, whether they compete with you directly or not. If you're tired of going it alone, why not hitch your star to a partner organization?

Partnership marketing is nothing new; you see it all around you in the form of affiliations, co-sponsorships, charitable efforts, and cross-marketed promotions. but have you ever really thought about how this approach might benefit your business? Here are four advantages that may merit your consideration.

1. Visibility Benefits

Two brands working together will naturally make a bigger footprint on the public consciousness than either of those brands working separately. When your visibility increases, so does your perceived success and importance as a brand. There's also the benefit of success by association. If another notable brand clearly thinks highly enough of you to want to cross-market themselves with you, then a bit of their own prestige rubs off on you (and presumably vice-versa).

2. Cross-Audience Benefits

Do see other companies out there whose target market overlaps with yours to some degree? If so, both of you can benefit from partnering up on certain marketing efforts. Sometimes these partnerships make obvious sense. For example, if you've ever noticed the sea of MacBooks at your nearest coffeehouse, you can easily see why Apple and Starbucks had every reason to hook up. But even when the association is relatively subtle, you can still use this strategy to trigger prospective buyers to think of you more frequently.

3. Reputation Benefits

Reputation doesn't just mean size or success -- it can also apply to values and virtues. By partnering with a good cause that naturally aligns with your company's established values or priorities, you can genuinely help individuals or groups in need while also helping your own brand image. Unless you feel strongly about doing all your good deeds anonymously, this form of partnership marketing just makes good sense.

4. Product/Service Collaboration Benefits

You don't have to stop at simply cross-promoting your products or services with those of another business. Why not collaborate with that business to create a cross-branded product or service? This collaboration could range from licensing one part of the product or service to creating a white-label offering or even a full-blown project merger. Now you have something that you can sell with the power of two marketing departments working together.

Of course, you'll have to create new marketing content to support these efforts -- but heck, you can always hire a professional copywriter or other talent to help you with that. It's well worth it if it enables you to explore the full potential of partnership marketing!