Is your niche the same as your audience?

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Audience, target market, niche, which is which and what means what? Much of the time these terms are used interchangeably, but they are not all the same. Simply put by marketing guru Michael Port, “Your target market is the group of people you serve. Your niche is the service you specialize in offering to your target market.” Audience is similar to target market, but let’s look at each alone.

  • Audience - This is the largest of the three. Your audience is the group of people you aim your marketing at in general. For example, if you are in the Health and Fitness industry your audience, is all those who have an interest in keeping fit and healthy.

  • Target Market - Within your general audience you then have a target market of people who may be interested in what you provide - they also may not be interested. So again, within the Health and Fitness industry you may target runners and the items or advice they need for running.

  • Niche - This is the ‘why’. Why are you doing what you do? What problem do people have that you can help solve? To narrow the example down again, your niche in this area may be runners who are mums and dads.

In regards to the content you produce for your business, it can also be aimed at each of the three - the wider audience, a more defined target market and then a smaller section again - a select niche. If we use the above example of the Health and Fitness industry, content writing topics for you may look like this - 

  • Wider Audience - 5 simple steps to staying fit and healthy.

  • Target Market - 5 ways running helps you stay fit.

  • Niche - 5 tips to fit running in around work and family life.

When providing content to your readers, you must decide who you are writing to from the start and which segment of potential customers you wish to aim at. For all of these three levels, the common thread is the same - you want to educate (eventually sell) directly to those most likely to buy.  

Whether it’s a broad audience or a select niche, we can help define your content marketing. To find out more, contact us

Creative Writing: How to nail it!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017


Your first foray into the world of Creative Writing competitions can be tricky when you aren’t aware of how they work. Your love of writing may not be enough if you forget important items that make it a competition. Don’t miss out on a spot at the top by overlooking these 5 important points.

  1. Check the theme - Many creative writing competitions have a theme, and as the writer you need to use this throughout your story. If you don’t use the central theme as set out by the competition guidelines, your entry is going nowhere.

  2. Get familiar with the rules - The theme is not the only rule you must follow. There will be word limits, font type and size, line and paragraph spacing and the list may go on. Omitting items that may seem trivial, could in fact hold your entry back from progressing to the final stages.

  3. Choose a compelling title - As they say ‘first impressions last’ and the title of your story is the judges’ first look into what your work is about. Take some time to think about a title that is not only relevant to your story but also eye-catching and one which makes people want to read it.

  4. Stand out from the crowd - As a writer you already know how important plot, setting and characters are, so be sure to make your piece stand out to your target audience with a storyline that is as far from typical or overdone as possible. Draw the reader in from the first line with something that entices them to keep wanting more (i.e. NOT the weather).

  5. Don’t miss the due date - This one may sound like a super simple point, but between going to school, playing sports, hanging out with friends and home-life, things can get pretty busy, to the point where before you know it, the due date was yesterday! Get started early and maybe even make your submission early so you do not miss that deadline.

The Writing Group recently sponsored the Spark Creative Writing Competition 2017. This competition, open to high school students across the Sutherland Shire in Sydney, had $1000 worth of prizes up for grabs and we are looking forward to the winners' announcement soon.

If you need any help with your writing tasks, big or small, contact us today - hello@thewritinggroup.com

The Importance of Meta-Tags (and how to nail them!)

Saturday, November 11, 2017

What are Meta-Tags?

Meta-Tags are small pieces of HTML code included in the header area of your website. They don’t appear on the website itself, but describe the content of the site when they appear in an online search. Meta-Tags are a simple, summarised version of what people can expect to find on your website. They tell search engine users what your site is about.

3 parts to Meta-Tags 

  1. Tag Title - The first words that appear when your site comes up in a search. These must match your website, or the search engine can choose to display something different.
  2. Meta Description - Your site’s summary; what you are offering people.
  3. Keywords - If you took all other words away, a searcher should be able to work out what you offer just by reading the keywords. Keep them relevant.

How can I make Meta-Tags work for my website?

Although they don’t necessarily add to your ranking in an online search, when written carefully, Meta-Tags can assist with customer engagement and click-throughs to your website. They are important because they can help convert your search engine appearances into website visitors when done right. 

There are a few things you can do to make sure your site gets click-throughs from the Meta-Tags you use, including:

  • Keep Meta-Tags short and sharp so they don’t get cut off at the end when they appear in online searches. 
  • Ensure they are relevant to what people will find on your site by including keywords specific to what you offer. However, don’t stuff a whole lot of keywords in there, write naturally.
  • Encourage the reader to take action, e.g. with a special deal for a limited time only, or offer something for free. Make them curious to find out more.
  • Focus on getting your message across rather than getting your brand name in there. Searchers can find out more about your business name and brand once they click through.
  • Make Meta-Tags compelling and connect with the searcher on an emotional level to encourage them further to click through.

If your Meta-Tags aren’t working for you, ask us how we can help. 1300 073 078



How to choose your niche - a 5 Step Guide

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

As they say, ‘Do what you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life’. Using this theory and starting with what drives you, can help nut out your niche in a few simple steps and then steer your direction for targeting customers.

What? Why? Where? Who?

  • What are my interests and passions? Your niche lies within your own areas of interest. It’s something you think about every day, something you are good at or enjoy doing and something that drives you. When you are passionate it shows in your words and actions, and people see it. Using your interests to decide on a niche is the perfect place to start.
  • Why do people need my product/service? Sit down and have a think about what problems people have and how your niche area can help solve them. This is simple, but effective. Everyone loves the perfect solution to a problem!
  • Where do I find my target audience? Now you need to put yourself in the mind of a potential customer. Why do they need your product or service and what questions will they be typing into Google? Nut out the keywords they will most likely be using to search the net and investigate sites they use. This will help narrow down your niche as well as find and refine your potential customers.
  • Who is my competition? Once you have narrowed down your niche market, research who your competition is. Decide what it is that they provide, that you can do better - and then do it!

How?

  • After you’ve sorted out your niche area, marketing to this group comes next. You’ve already done your research on where they ‘hang-out’ online, so you need to start hanging-out there too. 
  • Use your previous keyword research to narrow down blogs that your ideal customer frequents. 
  • Start commenting on blogs - answering questions and giving helpful information (maybe recommending your business on occasion).
  • Target your own business blog to this niche customer, including answers to common questions you’ve observed and, of course, inserting keywords.

Once you have found your niche and decided to write a targeted blog, having expert help can tweak your marketing even further. 

To find out more about blog writing packages by The Writing Group, drop us a email, hello@thewritinggroup.com.au or call 1300 073 078.



Reasons your Website Copy isn't Working (and how to fix it)

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Great website content is the key to getting important traction online, but, get it wrong and you could be driving business away. Rather than keyword stuffing and putting up shoddy content at the last minute, take a closer look at just how important (and easy) it is to get it right.

Problem 1: Not engaging 

Long, drawn-out sentences will lose many people from the get-go. If customers don’t feel compelled to read on, they won’t. If they can’t find the information they need quickly, they’ll move on. 

Fix it - K.I.S.S - Keep It Simple, Silly! Website copy must engage and excite from the start. 

  • Hook them in with webpage headings and sub-headings that answer their questions straight up.
  • Produce succinct, well-written copy that’s informative and to the point.
  • Use bullet points and plenty of “white-space” for easy reading.

Problem 2: Too generalised

If you’re not inside the head of your target customer, you may as well be writing to a brick wall. Information that doesn’t address real customer pain points is a one-way ticket back to Google.

Fix it - Determine your target market and niche customer. 

  • Write copy that sets the tone you’d like your brand to portray.
  • Let customers know what sets you apart as the expert in your niche market.
  • Answer the questions your customers are typing into search engines.

Problem 3: No Call to Action

High volume traffic to your website is one thing, but are you converting it into sales? Would you believe many businesses don’t have ‘Call to Action’ buttons on their website? Even worse still, business contact details are hidden amidst an intricate web of clicks - BIG mistake!

Fix it - To convert website traffic into customers you need to give them a direct line to contacting you.

  • Make your contact information easy to find and don’t forget an email address.
  • Include a ‘Call to Action’ link on every single page.
  • Address pain points in your Call to Action. Instead of “Call us for a pest inspection”, you may like to say “Get rid of cockroaches in your home now! Call us”.

Sometimes it just falls into the too-hard basket, especially for time-poor business owners. Get your website up to scratch by getting the pros on the job. Contact hello@thewritinggroup.com or call 1300 073 078.







Bill Gates Knew his Stuff - Why Content is Still King

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

In 1996 when Bill Gates was CEO of Microsoft, he published a paper titled ‘Content is King’, discussing the newly-born Internet as a means of marketing for businesses heading into the future. Nowadays, this is true more than ever, with many and varied forms of content available to companies for use online to promote their wares, and if they’re clever about it, without even having to pay for a single advertisement. Here’s a look at why we should all hail the mighty Content King.

As a marketing tool, content is not ‘in your face’

Gone are the days of relentless cold-calling and multiple paid advertisements, content in its’ many forms is the perfect marketing tool. People don’t realise they are buying into your product as they read or view each medium. Content is nice and subtle, which most people find a welcome contrast to ‘in your face’ marketing. Before they realise it, they’re hitting the checkout button.

Content makes connections

Particularly if you keep an up to date blog on your site, regular readers will develop a personal connection to your brand, making them more inclined to purchase from you rather than a competing business who offers a cold website only. Relationships establish trust and trust secures customers. Reach out, make the connection, and they will come!

People are searching and content has the answers

If you want to know something in 2017, you don’t ask a friend, you ask Google - standard. Therefore, if you know what your customers (or potential customers) are asking, you can devise content that provides the answers. It’s so simple, it’s almost too good to be true. Write blogs, produce short videos, construct memes, or go ‘live’, all with the single goal of helping people solve problems. 

Content done right, can establish you as the expert

Quality content which is useful to customers and provides value can set you up as a leader in your field, which is exactly where you want to be! Establishing yourself as a leader in your niche is the perfect way to market your product or service, and great content will get you there. Once you are seen as an expert in your field, your name is on the lips of many and in their Google searches, further spreading your mastery and making you the go-to person or business. Bingo!

One quality blog post can perform better than a few hap-hazard attempts, so getting it right is imperative. Why would you waste time when ‘the masters of content creation’ can do it for you? Let us help you set yourself up as a guru in your field and connect you with customers - hello@thewritinggroup.com.au 


3 Ways Copywriting for Business is like the State of Origin

Monday, July 03, 2017

Every year it’s the same old rivalry between the Mighty Blues and Maroons - State of Origin! It brings out the competitive streak in even the least-sporty amongst us, and unfortunately for those of us born and bred in New South Wales, the outcome is not often a win. A game of football or 3, may not seem like a natural analogy to use when it comes to writing website copy, but when it comes to a trained eye, there’s some clear correlations between the origin series and copywriting for business.

1. You start off not knowing the outcome.

At the start of the Origin series, everyone is pumped - the players, the coaches, the fans. There’s three big games ahead and no one knows the outcome (although it may be slightly predictable where NSW is concerned!), but they’re excited for the future. When it comes to copywriting for your website that initial buzz is also present among all involved - the business owner, the staff, the copywriter - everyone has a bunch of fabulous ideas that they’re hopeful will score some big goals. The game is on and everyone is working hard for a win!

2. You’re halfway there but need to do the hard yards in the editing phase.

By the mid-way point of the Origin series - there’s one of two possibilities on the table - it’s either ‘Even Stevens’ or a clear winner can be seen.  This is this toughest part and the editing phase of your business copy is no different. The ideas are down and now you are all labouring away to make everything work just how you want it to. If you bury your head in the scrum for too long you may drop the ball at some point during the edit, so stopping for a bit at half time and regaining focus is essential to a successful outcome. Listen to your coach’s (read: editor’s) advice and prepare for a big finish.

3. You publish and get a result with lots of engagement = win!

The final game has arrived and if there’s been a tough battle between teams, the end result of a series win is relief. When you get to the publishing phase of your new website copy and you share it right, the results will be rewarding. Lots of new traffic to your site and customer engagement, leading to a boost in sales is your ultimate win. 

The difference between a good and bad result for your business is in establishing clear goals, communication, teamwork and of course, getting just the right copy. Now, if only our ‘Mighty Blues’ could get that right!

Let The Writing Group help you score a win with your website copy. Email hello@thewritinggroup.com.au or call 1300 073 078.



Has Video Killed the Blog Writing Star?

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Just as the Buggles predicted Video would kill the Radio Star, can we say the same about Video overtaking written content?

Video content seems to be everywhere and everything when it comes to marketing right now. According to Cisco it currently accounts for 69% of all consumer traffic on the net, which is predicted to rise up to 80% by 2019. In our fast-paced society, videos are quick to watch, naturally engaging and easily absorbed by consumers, so why wouldn’t they be the next big thing to attract potential customers? But, has video killed the traditional blog?

Video Content

It’s trending for a reason – humans love visual input! (Netflix binge, anyone?) But, just as with an Academy Award Winning Drama, quality trumps quantity.

Video content must be top quality to make the biggest impact and it needs to really connect with the viewer so they feel compelled to share.

The time it takes in shooting, re-shooting and editing videos can become inefficient and costly, unless you can commit to a strong video marketing campaign.
Still want to do video but afraid of poor quality letting you down?

Snapchat is THE place for “Behind the Scenes” clips, making it more forgiving for self-filmed video. Add this to the power of it being the platform with the largest usage, but with (currently) small business sector uptake, and you can capture the attention of your market with little competition. 

“When you’re on Snapchat, you’re in Snapchat, you’re not in a news feed, you’re not scrolling down…it’s a completely controlled environment. You’ve basically got their attention for 10 seconds.” 
Kerwin Rae, businessman, entrepreneur, investor and international speaker.

If you already have a huge following on other social media, use this power to upload just small snippets of video on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for quick attention grabs, without the need for extensive editing. Always end with an outro featuring your social media handles and website address.

Written Content

Not to be outdone by the video boom, written content is far from being video’s poor cousin. Apart from SEO, well-written blogs and website content are critical to give your audience somewhere to go once you’ve hooked them with video. Written content – especially valuable and share-worthy content – is the backbone of your marketing strategy.

So how do you get your audience to read your content?

1.      Make it something worth reading!

2.      Share it, share it, share it!

3.      Talk about it!

When talking with a colleague, friend or potential customer and a relevant subject comes up tell them you’ve written a blog. Something like “Hey, I just wrote a blog about that, you should check it out.” Give them your business card, drop them a link or show them right there and then on your device.

Stuck for words?

Start simply and commit to just one blog per month. The absolute key is providing value to your ideal audience and keeping it as precise and targeted as possible.

Only address one single topic per blog post. Why? Well, for starters, it saves other topics for future posts but, importantly, writing on just one topic allows you to delve deeper into it and give better value to readers.

Google algorithms are being tweaked all the time to give the best user experience. Simply, the more often you are putting up fresh content, the more likely you are to be found.

The Verdict

Rather than being rivals, video and written content work hand in hand for smart business owners. Attention-grabbing video can entice and excite and written content creates value and information. Both are integral parts of the customer engagement experience and, therefore, your sales and marketing process.

Just in case this Blog has put you in the mood for some Buggles, click here.

Image source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8r-tXRLazs

Article by Rachel Allworth ~ The Writing Group ~ hello@thewritinggroup.com.au



Make your Website the HERO of your Business in 10 EASY STEPS!

Monday, May 01, 2017

Follow these Website Superpowers:

1.     Hit the Headlines

Use a headline that is not only catchy, but uses keywords and includes terms that your customers are searching for online.

2.     Keep it short and sweet

Keeping paragraphs simple creates more white space, making for easier reading and higher reader engagement.

3.     Use bullet points

Most people scan online text and don’t read all the written copy, so use bullet points or numbered lists to draw attention to details.

4.     Include sub-headings

Again, these make content easy to read and are great for SEO too!

5.     Important information comes first

A few succinct sentences with all the necessary information need to be front and centre. Add details after you’ve obtained the reader’s attention.

6.     Know your target audience

To write copy that’s well directed at your niche market, you need to ask yourself these questions - Who are my target customers? What do they want? Will they understand the content? Will they want to share it?

7.     Don’t use jargon

Following on from number 6, keep your copy simple. Don’t write in industry-specific jargon that potential customers will not understand.

8.     Infuse with personality

Decide on the personality you want your brand to portray and inject this into your copy. Creating a connection with the reader will make them feel like they know you and want to make contact.

9.     Keep them clicking

Don’t fall into the trap of keeping each page on your website a solo entity. As much as you can, use hyperlinks to direct readers to your previous work and other pages on your site that they will want to see.

10. Don’t forget the call to action

On every single page you must include a call to action link from which to convert website traffic into customers. This is a big one - do not forget!

Website copy can be tricky to devise, but keep it simple and engaging and you’re up, up and away!

If you think this is a job for Superman –The Writing Group will SAVE YOU! Drop us a line at 1300 073 078 or hello@thewritinggroup.com.au.

Article by: Rachel Allworth - The Writing Group Copywriter

Common Copywriting Peeves and How to Avoid Them – Literally

Monday, April 24, 2017


Here’s a brief guide to the words that make a copywriter cringe and how to avoid using them. 

Let’s start with the mostly superfluous word in the title of this blog -“literally”. It demonstrates the very problem with using more words than necessary to get a message across. If you’re saying exactly what you need to say, then the word “literally” has no place in a sentence. That is, unless you are using a phrase that is commonly known as a metaphor in a literal sense. See the difference between these two uses of this word: 

“I was literally laughing my head off.”
- Superfluous and impossible! 

“He couldn’t swim but he literally jumped in the deep end.”
Useful 

Hence

This word is used very little in everyday conversation and yet it appears regularly in online writing. I think what irks me about this word is that it feels unnatural to write something that I am unlikely to say out loud. The lesson here is to write like you speak, particularly when you are writing blogs or other pieces that will be read by the public. You don’t want to come off as pompous or condescending. 

Holistic

I love the meaning of this word, but its overuse, particularly in marketing has driven me away from using it myself. Holistic solutions, holistic strategies – to me, this overused word devalues the noun it precedes and doesn’t add value to the message. Sure, your business may look at your clients’ problems “holistically”, but is this word descriptive enough to have you stand out from the crowd in your market? Think about how your business helps your clients and get specific. 

See the difference here: 

“We take a holistic approach to writing digital content.”
- doesn’t say a lot about what we do. 

“We write engaging and relevant digital content to drive conversations with your target audience.”
-far more articulate. 

Peruse

My 20-year disdain for this word makes me cringe every time I read it. Used more in the 1990s in sales letters and emails when we were trying to sound clever and sophisticated, I’m yet to hear someone say this word in regular conversation without sounding a tad self-important. “I attach our quotation for your perusal” used to be a commonplace. The words “review”, “information” or “consideration” are much better substitutes. 

Regardless of your audience, keep the language simple and concise when writing to them. And if you have trouble keeping your Hences and Holistics under control, get in touch and we’ll handle it for you. 

Email hello@thewritinggroup.com.au or call 1300 073 078.