Metrics: “Math” for Marketing

(A necessary evil; unless you like math)

Metrics; a marketing student’s fear because it implies math. But alas, poor Yorick, it must be discussed! Metrics are integral to the advertising process. It’s all the data that tells you (and your boss/client!) that your ad campaign worked. Metrics means to measure and that’s all you’re doing, measuring the quality of your ad. Metrics that can be measured are reach, likes, follows, etc. Luckily, most social media platforms make metrics really easy to track. So, let’s jump into understanding metrics.


Note: All the references to where specific metric trackers/information is located on Facebook is reflective of how it is in January 2020. This may change in the future!

You can find Facebook’s ad metrics under the “Facebook Ad Dashboard” -> “Manage Your Ads” (Adams, 2019). You can look at metrics for your entire account, per campaign, per ad sets, and per a specific ad. These are good to know because; in example, if your campaign did poorly, you can see which ad was the weak link in the set.

Pro Tip: When looking at metrics on Facebook, make sure to look at the date range (upper right corner)! (Adams, 2019) 

Steph’s Tip: Instagram’s metrics can be found in two places. The first: in the upper right corner are three lines, click this and go to “Insights”. This will show you the metrics for your entire Instagram page. The second location is per post. Just click “View Insights” to see the insights for that specific post.

One benefit of Facebook’s ad metric system is that they’re specific. You can see active hours, locations, etc. for your ad (Adams, 2019). From this you can get insights like “no one cared about our ad from 2pm to 4pm” so next time you won’t advertise during that period. You can customize the data columns you see as well. This way, you’re only looking at things you care about (As my boss always says “work smart, not hard”).      

Facebook’s “Creative Reporting” section is very cool. It’s essentially a table of all your creatives (the picture part of the ad) and tells you how they did. This is good to know because you can learn from your audience this way. In example, if no one clicked on the ad without a call to action button, make sure to add one next time!

Pro Tip: Just play around with the Ads Manager for a while. I’ll be real with you; the Ad Manager may look crazy and hard to understand. Luckily Facebook; and most social media platforms, make everything intuitive for the user (you!). So just click around and get hands-on experience with it!


Reports are essentially Excel spreadsheets without having to hand-input the data. They take all your data  (metrics) and make it easier to use for business-purposes (ex. using filters to see only campaigns that are 200 impressions or more). Facebook has an in-app “Excel spreadsheets”-esc report creator you can use instead of Excel. This option’s great because Facebook has a share feature (send anyone the link) so you don’t need Dropbox or to upload a large email file to share this report. You can always throw the Facebook report into Excel though if you want to do Excel-specific commands.

Remember: An ad being shown is different than an ad being seen (Adams, 2019)! An ad being seen is reach and an ad being shown is impressions.

Pro Tip: Look at the reach vs impressions when considering your target audience! If your impressions are very high but your reach is low, your target audience may be too wide (Adams, 2019).

Common Question: “Which metric matters the most?”  

Answer: Whichever one fits your objectives most! If your objective was to get click-throughs to your site, it’s key to look at the click-through metric. The other ones are also important, but for a place to start, always look at the one that tells you about your goal.

Also, always look at your billing (“Amount Spent”). This is because companies care about money. To be effective, you need to find a correlation between your results and the amount of money you spent. If your goal was to get a high click-through rate and you got zero, but you spent $10,000 on it? Heads will roll. To find the exact amount you’ve been charged, go to your account billing. This data can also be exported easily if you need to send it somewhere (ex. the accounting dept.). Lastly, much like your regular bank statement, make sure you’re checking you’ve been charged properly!

The Takeaway

Metrics are key because they summarize the benefits of your ad campaign. This is especially good data to show your boss! It’s important you understand what it means though. ALWAYS make sure to look at the data and try to pull key insights like your TA’s active hours. Pay extra attention to the metrics that relate to your advertising goal. Lastly, always make sure you’re being billed properly!

Personally, I like the reminder to check billing after each campaign. I’m one of those people who would also forget to check if I don’t see it right away. Facebook’s current layout has it that payments/billing are on a separate page. This could result in Facebook (or any social media) overcharging you or have you paying billions for a campaign that’s ineffective. Remember, marketing campaigns are run for a reason and that reason’s usually to make sales! If your inputs (costs) end up higher than your outputs (sales), what’s the point? So overall, check your bank statements, but always consider what your costs are in relation to its effectiveness!

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References

Adams, M. (2019, October 2). Advertising on Facebook. Retrieved from Linkedin Learning: https://www.linkedin.com/learning/advertising-on-facebook-2/facebook-is-an-advertiser-s-dream?u=2109516

Facebook Ads; How Do They Work?

(Almost as easy as understanding magnets)

You understand the basics of social media marketing, but how do these things even work? This section will cover target audience, budget, and more!

Here’s the two-step process to advertising on Facebook:

Step 1: Have a Facebook/social media account
Step 2: Add a payment method to the account (gotta pay for those ads somehow)
And done! Blog post over (just kidding). Though it’s *technically* that simple, there’s still some other information you’d want to know, so keep reading!

If you’ve created an account before, adding a payment method will be under “Manage Ads”. Then “Settings” (gear-shaped icon) followed by “Ad Account Setup” (fill out all the info here). Lastly, go to “Payment Settings” (billing info including payment methods)
(Adams, 2019)

Settle Account: The section where you pay outstanding balances!!! (Adams, 2019) Personally, I don’t know if Facebook debt is a thing but don’t take that chance.

Pro Tips:

  • If you’re new to advertising, Adams recommends advertising under your own account
  • Set up your advertiser account (different than your personal account/page)! This is where all your advertising-themed stuff goes! (Adams, 2019)

Remember: The Facebook Ad Structure:

  • Campaign (the whole project’s goal. Check out “objectives to know” from my last post linked [HERE])
  • Ad sets (the defined placement, target audience, etc.)
  • Ads (the visuals of the ad)
    (Adams, 2019)

Split Test: An A/B test. This is a test where you compare two different ads to see which one is the best. The winner should be the one used in the full-scale campaign.


How to Choose a Target Audience (TA) for Facebook Ads:

  • Make sure your TA are people that will complete the objective (ex. Make it people who are likely to “buy now!”)
  • Consider audience size! (Facebook has a fuel gauge-style indicator to help you visualize if your audience is broad or specific)
  • You must know your TA’s location (country, city, etc.) because some place (ex. China) have different advertising laws
  • Know your TA’s age! Mainly so you don’t waste time targeting the wrong people, but also advertising laws for kids are different than adults
  • Gender & Language are also options to consider (depending on the product/TA)   
  • Narrow down your TA even more by targeting via interests (Use tool “Detailed Targeting” in Facebook)
  • Define the behaviours & connections of your audience for even more specific targeting
    (Adams, 2019)

Behaviours: “activities people do either on or off Facebook” (Adams, 2019)
Connections: Targeting based of prior connection you have to that person (example: a like on your page) (Adams, 2019)

Note: Location is important to know! (Adams, 2019). To help with this, Facebook offers targeting features such as excluding locations, targeting by location vicinity, and more.

Pro Tip: Facebook lets you save an audience you create. This is great if you’re planning on using the same audience multiple times! (Adams, 2019)

Steph’s Tip: Create a Persona

Before doing any of this on Facebook, create a TA persona! A persona is essentially a fictional person who’s the ideal fit for your target audience. Include things like their age, address, likes, dislikes, friends, everything! This way, before you start inputting all this into Facebook (or another social media), you have a clear idea who you want to target. 


The Budget:

Facebook will give you a suggested budget but honestly, just ignore it. They’re going to recommend a huge amount because they want you to spend it on their site! (cost control will keep Facebook on-budget though; don’t worry!)

Daily Budget: “How much you plan to spend per day”(Adams, 2019)
Lifetime Budget: “How much you plan to spend over the whole campaign” (Adams, 2019)

Pro Tip: (for daily budget), running an ad continuously is a very involved task! It’s recommended to set a set timeline (ex. two weeks) instead. This gives you a chance to look at the ad’s analytics easier (Adams, 2019)

On Facebook, when you get charged (example: click-through, impressions, etc.) is dependant on the ad objective (Adams, 2019).


Pro Tip: Ad scheduling (pictured to the side) is a more advanced way to run ads. This feature lets you pick the specific days/times your ad runs. This is good if your TA is usually only online at a certain time.

Placement: “where your ads show up” (Adams, 2019)

The Facebook Ad Manager will recommend placements for you automatically, but for better ad-control, you should look at these placements yourself. This is important because copy for different ad sizes or orientations. A graphic will look very different horizontally versus vertically! Much like ad medium, always consider the placement!

Devices are also important to consider. This is because if you only want ads to run for desktop users, don’t waste money running them to mobile users! This also works for specific devices (Apple VS Samsung targeting).

Different Ad Placements (on Facebook):

  • Feeds (will show up in the news feed as a sponsored post)
  • Instant Articles (god for blog-like media)
  • In-stream videos (essentially midroll ads for videos)
  • Right column (will show up on the righthand side of content)
  • Suggested videos (will show up as a recommended video)
  • Marketplace (will show up as an ad within Facebook Marketplace)
  • Stories (will show up as a sponsored story)
  • Messenger Inbox (will show up between chat threads)
  • Messenger Sponsored Messages (will show up as a chat message)
    (Adams, 2019)

Note: Facebook owns Instagram and is partnered with other networks (example: HuffPost) so you can advertise on those apps through Facebook (Adams, 2019)

The Creative:

Remember! Always consider ad placement, ad objective, and the TA when doing the creative for an ad! If you don’t, your ad might not make sense and become a total waste of money!

For creating your own ad, Facebook offers a feature where you can input up to six images for one ad. Facebook will A/B test these images to find the best image for your ad! Super easy testing!

Pro Tips:

  • Facebook offers a stock image library (powered by Shutterstock). This is completely free to use, and the final image won’t have the watermarks, don’t worry!
  • Use display links to make your ad look cleaner and more professional!
    (Adams, 2019)

Don’t forget to have a call to action! Facebook offers a feature called “Call to Action” that’ll add a call to action button to your ad for you.

Always refer to your “Ad Preview”! This makes sure your ads look clean, clear, and under control!

Pro Tip: Keep in mind Facebook’s ad policies! A newsfeed ad can NOT contain an image with more than 20% text (Adams, 2019). “The landing page must be relevant to your ad” (Adams, 2019). This means if you link to your site through a Facebook ad, you must mention your offer. 

The Takeaway:

These tips really work off the basics of an ad (if you need a refresher, check out my previous blog HERE!). It’s really important to understand four things:

  1. Your advertising goal
  2. Your target audience
  3. Your ad placement
  4. Your creative

Some tips to help understand your target audience is by creating a persona. Remember to include things like interests and behaviours! It’s also key to understand your budget and budgeting for an ad because no one wants to waste money!

To help me remember these tips, I like to think of ads I hate and why I hated them. So, if it’s annoying to be getting ads for things that’re irrelevant to you, know to target your ads! If it’s annoying to get ads not scaled to the device, don’t do that! It’s annoying (word of the day lol) and no one will like your company after that.


Thanks for reading this blog! If you have any comments, be sure to leave them below! Leave a like and subscribe as well to keep up with my blog. Lastly, be sure to tune back in for more posts going forward!

References

Adams, M. (2019, October 2). Advertising on Facebook. Retrieved from Linkedin Learning: https://www.linkedin.com/learning/advertising-on-facebook-2/facebook-is-an-advertiser-s-dream?u=2109516

How To Advertise on Facebook (featuring pro tips)

(Yes, these can be used on other social media platforms if Facebook dies; RIP)

What’s up, Gamers Marketers! We’re back at it again with another SparkNotes-esc. blog post. Today’s episode will be about Facebook! Now; yes, some could argue it’s a dying platform, but don’t worry! These tips can work for any social media platform (just tailor the specifics to whatever you want to use).

Today we’ll be looking at Megan Adam’s “Advertising on Facebook” (Adams, 2019). If you read my last dive into Ian Lurie’s “Learning to Write Marketing Copy”, this will follow a similar format. There will be multiple entries, so be sure to read them all! Let’s just jump into it!

Reminder: Know your “why”! If you’re making ads for no reason, it’s not going to do anything but waste money.


Overview: 
Social media’s great for interacting with your audience. This is because your audience is already in the mood to interact. This means that their brains are turned “on” making them more open to looking at/consuming your ads. Plus, it’s great because it can be super cheap! Just creating content is next-to free and paid advertising is priced on a spectrum you set. (If you want some tips for writing copy for social media, check out my post HERE! ).

Here’s a simple overview of what advertising on Facebook (or any social media) will look like:

  • Have a goal (the reason to advertise)
  • Decide your target audience (don’t waste money showing Grandma Fortnite posts!)
  • Define the budget
  • Decide how you’re going to pay for the ads
    (Adams, 2019)

Here you can see an example Facebook ad pulled from Adams’ video (Adams, 2019). Let’s dissect. ——–>

Red Circle: “Sponsored”. This indicates to the reader this is a paid promotion. For legal reasons, ALWAYS disclose ads are ads.

Blue Circle: Engagement on the post. This is evidence that your advertising is getting to the target audience (and is working).

“Learn More”: The call to action! The part that can take an ad from “oh that’s neat” to “I need to buy that right now!”.


Remember: This is all customizable! Social media platforms want advertisers so it’s generally pretty easy to find an ad type (ex. video, still image, gif, boomerang, etc.) that works for you.

Common Question: “Can I run multiple ads at once?”

Answer: Yes! It’s also super easy to keep track of everything too. Just look under the “Manage Ads” section in the drop-down bar (Adams, 2019).

“(…) the [Manage Ads section] will become your constant companion, your tool, and a ready means of defense.” – Luke Skywalker

Pro Tip: The “Manage Ads” section is your hub for advertising on Facebook. It’s where you can see current ads, past ads, where you set-up ads, and more. It’s important to be familiar with this tool.

Sections of Note in Manage Ads:

  • Campaign (where you decide things like your marketing objective)
  • Ad Set (where you decide your target audience, your ad placement, and budget/scheduling)
  • Ad (where you do the visual part of ads)
    (Adams, 2019)

Objectives to Know:

Awareness: “to generate interest in your product or service” (Adams, 2019)
Consideration: “to get people to think about your product and be interested” (Adams, 2019)
Conversion: “Get people interested to use/buy!” (Adams, 2019)

Pro Tip: Adams recommends starting with the “conversion” objective (Adams, 2019)

Ways to Target Ads:

  • Geographically (location)
  • Demographics (age, gender, etc.)
  • Interests (hobbies, liked pages, etc.)
  • Behaviours (purchase habits, device usage, etc.)
  • Connections (people who like you page or even their friends)
  • “Custom Audience” (ex. people who subscribed to your newsletter)
    (Adams, 2019)

Words to Know

(vocab to drop to impress your boss):

Clicks: “the total number of clicks on an ad”
Click-through Rate (CTR): “the total number of clicks received, divided by the total number of impressions” (basically, how many people clicked on your ad after seeing it)
Cost per 1,000 (CPM): “the average cost paid to receive 1,000 impressions on an ad”
Cost per click (CPC): “the amount charged when someone clicks on your ad”
Frequency: How often an ad is shown to one person (don’t go crazy on this or people will start to just tune out your ad!)
Reach: “total number of people who see an ad”
(Adams, 2019)

The Takeaway

Advertising on social media can be great. It’s cheap, it’s easy, and your audience is already in the head-space to look at stuff (including your ads). Though, just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean you should waste resources. Before you start, have a clear understanding of four things! Your goal, target audience, budget, and how you’re even paying for this!

Personally, this section was very “Marketing class 101”. A lot of the stuff I learned in my intro-level marketing class was here! If you’re just starting out or need a refresher (catch me rereading this blog in a few years!) this is a great section to start! Plus, the basics are basics for a reason! They’re the foundation for everything else so it’s pretty important to have a good grasp on this info before getting advanced.       


Don’t forget to like this post if you liked it and follow this blog for more marketing student content! Also, be sure to check back in soon to see my next post on advertising on Facebook!

References

Adams, M. (2019, October 2). Advertising on Facebook. Retrieved from Linkedin Learning: https://www.linkedin.com/learning/advertising-on-facebook-2/facebook-is-an-advertiser-s-dream?u=2109516

To Consider During Those Times You Just Can’t Do Anything

(An introspective look into student life & how to overcome the dread of not doing anything)

Hi,
As this is a blog written by a student for students, I feel an important part of the student life is taking breaks. Maybe you’ve read my last post about Lurie and how to write copy. He’s a professional (and old!) and he said to take a break so it must be true. But “take breaks” is obvious, overdone, overplayed. “Take breaks” is the “drink water” of “how to get rid of acne” threads. So why blog about it?


Here’s the thing, sometimes you just feel like you can’t. Can’t do school, can’t do fun stuff. Even if you’re not doing anything; except opening and closing various apps for an hour straight, you just can’t put pen to paper. It’s frustrating. You know this thing (a paper, a project, a quiz) is due soon but you have so many things you’d rather do instead. So what do you do? You do nothing. Stuck in the depressing student-limbo between “but I can’t do [thing I want to do] because I need to do this schoolwork!” and “but I just can’t bring myself to do this schoolwork”.


So how do you break this slump? (all tips provided from personal experience)

  • Do something else. If you have three projects due, try working on the one you find the most interesting. Tbh, do something unrelated if you need a brain-break. In example, instead of writing my next blog (#comingsoon), I’m doing this lol
  • Take it in chunks. Hey, doing one question in a 20-question worksheet is better than zero
  • Change your location. Literally sit in an open area at a school or cafe. Make sure your back is NOT to a wall. The social pressure to actually do work when you know people can glance to see what you’re doing is immense (imo)
  • Reward yourself. Do something that makes you happy after you break through the rut and do something. A reward doesn’t need to be saved for finishing a whole paper! Reward yourself for finishing a page
  • Make plans with friends. Seems counter-intuitive, huh? Here’s the thing, make plans to hang out with your friends but if you make it for 6pm, get there at at LEAST 5pm. In the time you’re waiting for them, knock out some schoolwork. Plus, when your friend walks up you look so good because (a) you’re early and (b) you look like you have your life together
  • Power through. Arguably the least fun option. Regardless, sometimes you just need to do it. Think of it as the HIT (high-intensity) workout but schoolwork. Go hard, knock it out, be done. (sometimes this is unrealistic but it’s an option)
  • Just save it. Worst comes to worst, do it tomorrow. Unless it’s due tonight, there’s no harm in taking a mental health day to just do things that make you happy

Overall, literally just do anything. I don’t care if you bake a cake, go shopping, vacuum, write a blog post, or whatever! By doing anything you’re being productive and that’s good. Break out of this “do nothing” rut by doing anything! Any sense of feeling productive has the chance to pull you out of your productivity slump.

Note: I know that for people with depression & chronic illnesses, it’s not as easy for y’all. Don’t worry about the tips above! If you’re really struggling, linked below is a image & blog about the spoon theory. If you’ve never heard of it, I’d highly recommend you check it out. Even if you’re not depressed/chronically ill, I’d recommend.

Remember: You got this 💪


If this helped, leave a like or comment! Also, I’d really like to hear your tips for how to get things done when you feel bad so leave those in the comments too!
New post coming soon; stay tuned!

Just click on this graphic to be taken to the site explaining the spoon theory more in-depth 🙂

References:

Gifford, B. (2019, March 8). What is Spoon Theory?. Retrieved from https://happiful.com/what-is-the-spoon-theory/

How to Get Your Avengers to Assemble

(tips for when you applied for that management position; even though you’re unqualified, but then you got it)

This section pairs management with copywriting! Here are some extra tips on how to manage this specific style of team.

You and your team working together

Your Duties:

  • Organize the team (you’re the Nick Fury in the team)
  • Mentor the team (be their guiding light)
  • Advocate for the team (be their cheerleader. Not just to them but in front of others)
  • Not writing copy! (you’re in charge of managing people to write copy, not writing the copy!)

(Lurie, 2014)

Pro Tips:

  • Be respectful (be considerate of the team’s schedule and writing as an artform).
  • Build a list of freelancers (note their areas of expertise, styles, etc. This is useful if you need an extra hand for a specific project).
  • Set aside one day a month to allow team members to dedicate time to a passion project
  • Require vacation! (This is important for the writer’s mental health and the quality of work).
  • Avoid binges! (Plan out your schedule)
  • Make editing a part of the schedule (Don’t let editing get forgotten).
  • Never throw your team under the bus with a client (Don’t embarrass your team members).
  • Don’t have too many meetings (Nothing will get done!).     
  • Understand mistakes happen (Acknowledge a mistake and move forward).
  • Try to give writers projects that will work to their strengths.
  • Use an editorial calendar to plan (Keep it flexible).

(Lurie, 2014)

Conclusion/Takeaways:

As a team lead, you are only supporting the team. Do not write copy. Be respectful of the team and mental health days (vacation, passion projects) are key. Schedule and plan! Keep the plan flexible. Did I mention to plan and schedule?

Don’t let this be you

So the secret to getting your avengers to assemble? Treat them like people! Don’t be Ebenezer Scrooge and make them work tireless hours (and don’t forget to plan and schedule!).

If you have any questions or comments, leave them in the comments section down below!

Sources:

Lurie, I. (2014, May 30). Learning to Write Marketing Copy. Retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/learning/learning-to-write-marketing-copy/

Rewriting (fixing) Other People’s Copy

(how to deal with Jim when he asks you to “look over” his copy at 4:50 pm)

Obviously, these are tips for when you’re asked to “look over” (edit) someone else’s copy. Keep in mind, if Jim actually asks you to do this right before home-time, subscribe and check out my post about team management!

General Tips:

  • Don’t do a complete rewrite! (You probably don’t know the full context, have the time, and it’s just rude). 
  • Ask for general context to the writing (this helps to understand the writing and style).
  • Look out for unnecessary words. (Condense sentences).  
  • Look for/use active voice!
  •  Clarify the call to action (make it easy for the reader to understand ASAP).  
  • Keep the format in mind (writing for a brochure is different than a blog).

(Lurie, 2014)

Social Media Specific Tips:

  • It’s frowned-upon to edit posts after publishing (have it perfect before publishing).
  • Once it’s on the internet, it’s forever!
  • Don’t be offensive (avoid topics that could cause distress such as tragedies).
  • Have fun! (consumers can tell the difference).
  • Keep it brief (400 characters or less make it easier to read).
  • Use images! (avoid stock photos and irrelevant images).
  • Use active voice!
  • Generally, follow the 80/20 rule (80% of content is non-promotional content, 20% of content is promotional content).

(Lurie, 2014)

Conclusion/Takeaways:

When asked to look over someone’s copy, don’t fully rewrite it. Ask for context so you understand what’s going on. For social media, it’s important to understand that posts are forever. Don’t post anything without being sure about it. Images are great when used properly! Keep posts brief and don’t be offensive.  

An example of Wendy’s twitter

Note: Yes, some companies can get away with being “offensive” (ex. Wendy’s Twitter is known for being savage), but they are a very rare case! They built their internet following on this but it was a burning star of the time; it burned hot and bright (popular and well-know), but is now died out. Would recommend to not attempt to rekindle that magic.

 If you have any questions or comments, leave them in the comments section down below!

Sources:

Lurie, I. (2014, May 30). Learning to Write Marketing Copy. Retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/learning/learning-to-write-marketing-copy/

Giving Headlines

(the quick and dirty tips for writing headlines)

Good for YouTube, bad for copy writing

Headlines are very important as they’re the first point of contact to the consumer. Here’s some tips on how to create an impact and get the reader to keep reading.

  • Don’t be mysterious! (This isn’t YouTube clickbait. Be clear upfront so people know what you mean from the start).
  • Blank-sheet-of-paper test it. (“Show a stranger your headline. Do they understand the basic concept behind it”? (Lurie, 2014)).
  • Avoid scaring the reader! (Imply the lesson but try a positive twist. “Drive high and you will die” is scary and won’t entice consumers to continue to read).
  • Remember: A headline isn’t a caption! The headline is the first pitch to consumers.
  • Write headlines with a specific benefit of feature showcased (This could include testimonials).    

(Lurie, 2014)

Pro Tip: Never write more than 5-6 lines per paragraph, no more than 13 words per line, and no more than 3-4 paragraphs per section (Lurie, 2014).

Conclusion/Takeaways:

Headlines are the first touchpoint to the consumer. Be clear with what the headline is about. Don’t scare the reader. Also obviously take the reasoning for writing the headline. In example, I’m writing a fun student-oriented blog for marketing. To keep the vibe fun, I’m making my headers fun and joke-y while still getting the general point across. If I were to write a blog for older people in the industry, I’d choose more straight-forward headers like “How to Write Marketing: Headers”.

If you have any questions or comments regarding headlines? Leave them in the comments section down below!

Sources:

Lurie, I. (2014, May 30). Learning to Write Marketing Copy. Retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/learning/learning-to-write-marketing-copy/

The Write Stuff, Baby!

(pro tips for writing copy)

This is the part when you put pen to paper and write! Summaries and tips will start from the first draft stage (yes, you should do a first draft) to the final paper. At the bottom of this post is a graphic I made that is a visual summary of the past posts for quick reference. 

Remember: you have the ideas inside of you already! You just need to pull them out!

Pro Tip: Spend 5-10 minutes doing a free-write. Write everything you think of; non-stop, until the timer us up! (Lurie, 2014)

First Draft Tips:

  • Think about the do’s and don’ts of what you’re writing about
  • Keep the style and collateral in mind
  • Have important info at an eyes glance so you don’t lose focus looking for them
  • If you’re stuck, write from the middle (content) out (intro/conclusion)!
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff (grammar and spelling), it’s the first draft!
  • Break up your writing into chunks so tasks are easier to manage
  • Remember the key goal of the copy

(Lurie, 2014)

General Writing Rules to Consider:

  • Address the reader directly (use you & your). According to Ian Lurie, “copy that uses this tip works 25-30% better on average” (Lurie, 2014)
  • Write for people, not for SEO (search engine optimization)
  • Sarcasm doesn’t work; don’t be subtle! (Don’t force the reader to think)
  • Tell people why they need to care

(Lurie, 2014)

Finishing a Copy:

  • Get a fresh set of eyes! (You’ve become so blinded and blurry from working on your copy for 3+ hours that you don’t know what’s good or not anymore. Get a friend, co-worker, or other to look it over).
  • Save formatting & spellcheck until the end (Get all the content 100% great first)
  • Use the active voice!
  • Don’t be needlessly fluffy with word choice (writing direct is right(ing))
  • Make things make sense (be clear) (group like-thoughts together for clear readability)
  • Avoid niche phrases/slang. (My friend Harrison lives in Texas. If he were to write a copy that says: “If it were a snake, it’ve bit me!”, the copy won’t be effective for anyone but those who knows what that phrase means).
  • Proofread with human eyes! (spellcheck and grammar checkers aren’t enough).  

(Lurie, 2014)

Quick Definitions:

Active Voice: the subject is doing the action.

“If it were a snake, it’ve bit me”:  What you would say if something you were looking for was right in front of your eyes the entire time.

Conclusion/Takeaways:

Its important to write a draft so you have a general guideline about what you want to achieve. Address the reader directly. Also be direct with content. When finished, get it looked-over by someone with “fresh eyes”.  

Do you like this summary graphic? Tell me in the comments below!

Sources:

 Lurie, I. (2014, May 30). Learning to Write Marketing Copy. Retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/learning/learning-to-write-marketing-copy/

The Pre- (Copy)Writing Workout

(“be prepared” – the girl guides)

^ You swimming in copy

Before you can even start writing, you first need to have the proper preparations in place. Michael Phelps didn’t win gold without warming up before getting in the pool! This  is the same thing except you’re Michael Phelps and you’re swimming in copy.

Prep Steps:

  1. Have everything you need with you from the start. This will stop you from constantly stopping to grab these things later. (includes: water, pen and paper, tissues, etc.)
  2. Get rid of the phone! Technology is great but phones are a major distraction.
  3. Tell people who might bother you that you’re busy. Before you start, tell them you’re going to be busy. This stops you from having to tell them later when they bother you.
  4. Engage the brain! If your head isn’t in the game, you won’t get anything done.
  5. Create a plan but don’t overthink it!

(Lurie, 2014)

Pro Tip: Backup your copy! This is important to prevent the devastation of losing hours of work. (Lurie, 2014)

Tips to Create a Plan:

  • Spend 30mins max. on it
  • Look at your notes regarding the audience (this can be from the client, your boss, etc.)
  • List all the collateral the copy will be used for
  • Make two lists for style; one of styles that will work and one for styles that won’t

(Lurie, 2014)

^ You after you prepared to write copy

Conclusion/Takeaways:

Having good preparations is important. Take away distraction from the start and get ready to be in the “working” mindset. Create a plan of the copy before starting any writing. Channel Michael and prep to win (or to write)!

If you have any questions or comments from this section, leave them in the comments section down below!

Sources:

Lurie, I. (2014, May 30). Learning to Write Marketing Copy. Retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/learning/learning-to-write-marketing-copy/

Swimming: Michael PhelpsPortraitTime Inc. StudiosNew York, NY USA08/29/2016SI-523 TK1Credit: Simon Bruty

How To Write Marketing Copy (featuring pro tips)

(feat. the answer to “why do I need to learn this crap anyways”)

Have you ever opened a document and realized you needed to spend four hours looking through paragraphs to find what you were looking for? Watching the time pass as you skim through page after page? Luckily, this is not that. Welcome to “How to Write Marketing Copy”, based off content from Ian Lurie’s “Learning to Write Marketing Copy” (Lurie, 2014).

The layout of this content is SparkNotes-esc. and will break content up into clean, easy-to-follow, and easy-to-reference notes.

Step 1: Overview

Before you can write good copy, you need to understand what and why you’re writing. To start, what even is copywriting?

Copywriting: “Writing copy for the purpose of advertising or marketing” (Lurie, 2014).

Elements to Good Copywriting:

  1. The actual writing (this is about writing after all)
  2. The attention-getter (grab your readers attention ASAP so they keep reading)
  3. The handshake (the first and last thing a customer sees. Make it count)
  4. The creative visuals (people “eat” with their eyes)

(Lurie, 2014)

Important Reasons to Create Copywriting:

  1. Communicate a call to action (example: buying your product!)
  2. Deliver significance (inform your audience about your product)
  3. Appeal to the right audience (you can’t target everyone, use copywrite to target your market)
  4. Deliver value (no one wants their time wasted! Make every minute count) 

(Lurie, 2014)

Pro Tip: Remember, marketing’s about delivering value, not selling! If copywriting for the purpose of marketing, good copywriting delivers value to the consumer. Delivering value is KEY!

^ actual image of you writing copy

Elements of Copywrite:

  • Collateral (brochure vs webpage)
  • Medium (printed vs online)
  • Style (the vibe of the writing)

(Lurie, 2014)

Confused about the difference between collateral and medium? Think of a burning building and you’re a fireman. The hose (the medium) transports the water (the message) from the truck to be sprayed through the nozzle (collateral) on the burning building.

Conclusion/Takeaways:

 Copywriting is about delivering value to the right audience. It’s usually the first and last thing a customer sees so it needs to grab and hold attention. Elements of a copy are: collateral, medium, and style.

If you have any questions or comments, leave them in the comments section down below!

Sources:

Lurie, I. (2014, May 30). Learning to Write Marketing Copy. Retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/learning/learning-to-write-marketing-copy/

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