Monday, May 23, 2022

4 Subjects for Your Summertime Marketing Content

This June 21st will mark the official first day of summer, even if those of us in Texas feel like the hot weather always gets here quite a bit earlier. Unless you sell snowshoes or winter coats for a living, you'll most likely run your business at full tilt during the summer months. Have you thought about how the season might influence your marketing content and strategies? If not, take a look at four subject areas you can mine for more powerful, effective, and relevant content marketing this summer.

1. Summer Fun

What does your target audience do for fun in the summer? Many folks like to jump in the car and head for the nearest beach, fishing hole, or lake. Others prefer to hit the hike-and-bike trails, get in as much golf as humanly possible, or cheer for their local baseball team. Still others prefer to hide from the sun and lose themselves in summer movies or reading. Think about the activities your customers and prospective customers tend to gravitate toward. Do you provide products or services that might either enhance that experience or possibly even make that experience possible for them? If so, drive those points home in your upcoming blog articles, direct mail postcards, sales letters, and other summertime marketing content.

2. Summer Fitness

Summer fun and summer fitness tend to go hand in hand. People want to get the most out of their vacation time, which often means preparing themselves physically for their favorite athletic pursuits. Summertime is also beach time, a thought that sends many individuals to the gym for some quick toning up, or to the local boutique for a more flattering bathing suit. But fitness involves more than just flexing muscles and fitting into bikinis -- it also requires people to think about their sleep quality, nutritional intake, stress levels, and many more essential factors. If your business caters to any of these needs and concerns, add the appropriate seasonal spin to your marketing content.

3. Summer Events

Summer hosts a wealth of events that many of your clients may observe and enjoy, starting with the summer solstice on the first day of the season. As we turn the calendar page from June to July, your Canadian customers will celebrate Canada Day. Here in the States, July 4th obviously means Independence Day, accompanied by all the holiday's traditional sales, outdoor spectaculars, and other income-generating activities. Then there's National Bikini Day (back to the bikinis again!) on 7/5, National Hot Dog Day on 7/20, National Watermelon Day on 8/3, National Left-Hander's Day on 8/13.... Well, you get the idea. Build little marketing campaigns around the events and holidays most likely to resonate with your target market. Since many potential buyers may not even know about some of the more obscure days on the summer calendar, you'll want to spotlight those days in your emails, blog articles, and social media posts.

4. Summer Heat

I already mentioned the summer heat. Some people hate it, others live for it, but everybody responds to it somehow. Sweltering summer temperatures affect everything from household climate control systems and meal choices to water consumption habits, skin protection strategies, and concerns about senior, child, and pet safety. Think about all the potential industries that may serve these needs, including your own. Everybody's talking about the heat anyway, so why not turn the conversation back toward your business? Create content about the various ways you can help your audience endure the heat more safely, comfortably, and/or efficiently, and you'll get all the attention (and business) you can handle until the mercury finally starts to drop.

Smart summertime marketing strategies can definitely help your business get a head start on a more profitable fall and winter. But do you have time to generate the content needed to make these strategies work? You do if you engage the services of a skilled, reliable marketing copywriter. Contact me today so we can cook up the right web, blog, and print marketing content to make your summertime business sizzle!

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Writing a Press Release? Read This First

You've got something spectacular to share with the world, or at least with your organizations' target market. So, stop the presses! Alert the media! Issue a press release! Wait, you don't have a press release? You've never written a press release? You wouldn't know where to begin with a press release? Okay, never mind. Re-start the presses.

Actually, press releases aren't hard to create once you know how they work and what you need to include. Distributing is easier than ever, too, thanks to the online templates offered by so many of today's digital media publications. Just paste your content into the right fields, fill out the other information, make sure you've followed all the publication's rules regarding formatting and word count, and hit Submit. Of course, there's still the press release itself to be written -- but the following tips should make that go more smoothly for you as well.

Invert That Pyramid

First and foremost, a press release is a news story crafted for publication as such, even if it's actually submitted by a business for purely promotional reasons. News stories follow a traditional structure known as an inverted pyramid. The most newsworthy facts sit at the top (the wide end) of the pyramid; this is your "Who, What, Where, When, Why" section, a.k.a "the lead," and it should be the first information your reader sees. Once you've nailed these key facts, you then move to the middle section of the inverted triangle, or the "body." Here's where you fill out the key points you established in your opening with explanatory information, interview quotes, and detailed breakdowns of attractive features and benefits you want to impress your audience with. The upside-down point at the bottom of your inverted pyramid is known as the "tail." This is where you wrap everything up with final followup information. (See below.)

Just the Facts, Ma'am

When you're trying to talk up an exciting new development, product, or service, it's only natural to fall into hyperbole. If you think something is wonderful, why wouldn't you use the word "wonderful?" Well, it shoots down your objectivity, and journalism (in an ideal world, anyway) is supposed to read as an objective presentation of facts. If you remember "Dragnet," you probably recall the cops steering this or that eyewitness away from a rambling editorial diatribe with a gentle but insistent, "Just the facts, ma'am." If your story really does have items that your audience will respond to, let the facts speak for themselves. You can always add a bit of hype here and there by placing it in someone else's mouth via quotes: "We're excited about this wonderful new way to help our clients thrive," et cetera.

Tell Your "Tail"

Remember that "tail" I mentioned earlier? It might occupy the least distinguished level of the inverted pyramid, but that doesn't make it unimportant. On the contrary, this section provides crucial details such as whom readers should contact to get more details about the story. It also serves as a kind of passive call to action: "The company directs interested parties to contact so-and-so for additional details and a free initial consultation." 

Even if these pointers help to clear up any confusion you might have had about press release composition, you may still feel less than enthusiastic about actually sitting down to write the stupid thing. But you can remedy that hassle easily enough simply by contacting me and letting me put my years of experience as a freelance copywriter to work for you. So stop the presses (again), and let's get the word out!