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Benefits of Hiring a Professional Copywriter

5 March 2019

I know what you're thinking. I wrote papers every other day in college – how hard could it possibly be to write the content for my own website? And really, why should it be so hard? I know all the ins and outs of my own business – I know all about our mission and our market... Piece of cake, right?

Well, not really. Most businesses find after only a few paragraphs, that even though the information is there in the mind, translating it effectively into engaging, yet concise copy can be quite a challenge. Especially here in the digital age.

Any prospective client most likely has a lot, a lot, of other sites they intend to check out. Yours just happens to be one of them. If they don't see something they like within the first few seconds, they're clicking right back out, and all your beautiful graphics go unseen. Do you think you have the creative mojo to hook your readers within the first couple lines?

Let's try a quick exercise. Go to Google, and search for some of your competitors. Go to their home page, and see what they're bringing to bat with. Most likely, it's bland and uninteresting... Well, alright! Here's a great chance to score some runs on the other team!

And one more thing – while you're on these other sites, take a look at the grammar and punctuation. I'm sorry to say that commas and apostrophes are so horrendously misused these days, it hurts. This is something that is almost always overlooked, and though the average user probably won't notice, you don't want to lose the one that does. If they happen to be grammar freaks like me, using their instead of they're is a real deal breaker.

So here's how it works: if you click this copywriting link, or the one below, you'll be taken to a digital .pdf questionnaire, where we'll get some basic information about you. Where are you from, how long have you been in business, what's your favorite part about what you do, etc. This allows us to get the information directly from your mind, but then to translate it into snappy, engaging, witty (dare we say poetic?) copywriting.

The most important thing we want to work with you on, is the voice of your website. Unfortunately, snappy logos and fancy graphics are insufficient alone. They may act as the face for your site, but every good looking face needs the voice to match. As you're reading this, you ought to be able to hear the energy, enthusiasm, and overall distinctive qualities that make it different from any other blog you'll read – just as no two people sound exactly alike.

Most likely, those other sites you were checking out had a bit of a monotone quality to them. I don't know about you, but I sure never paid attention to the monotone professors, and I'm definitely not going to want to stick around a site with plain copy!

So, what is your voice? Is it... Formal? Informal? Intimate? Serious? Playful? Perhaps it's many of these. Perhaps it's none of these. The options are virtually limitless. We want to work with you to make sure your site gets the copy it deserves. Your site is a supermodel, and we want to give it the heart throb tone it needs to become irresistible.

So what do you say? Care to copy with us?

If you have any questions, need more information, or you just want to talk, we'd love to meet you. Fill out a quick Contact Form, or call us today.

Responsive Web Design

1 March 2019

From laptops to smart phones to tablets, one thing's for sure: the website game is changing. The world wide web has gone from the desktop to the palm of the hand, and presenting your pages adequately means keeping up with the myriad of different devices that we now use to explore the Internet. Not long ago, this would have meant chaos for us, as we would have tried to maintain several different versions of the same site. Luckily for us (and for you), the cutting edge of technology has provided us a solution: Responsive Web Design.

What Is Responsive Web Design?

Glad you asked. Responsive Web Design is a collection of technologies and techniques that allows us to create a single site, viewable from any device. How is this possible? Using this design structure, the website actually adapts to the device, and changes depending on what you're using to look at it. Therefore, although the very same site will look different between a laptop and a smartphone, it remains one entity, with the same graphics and content. Care for an example? Check out this blog post on your smart phone. Or better yet, just make this window smaller, and see how the page responds. You'll see that nothing is lost – everything remains intact. It's just a little... Adapted. Pretty cool, huh?

Why Should Anyone Care?

You might be surprised at just how many people in this day and age use smart phones and tablets as their primary tool for browsing the Internet. Furthermore, with such a wide variety of devices out there, it's imperative for anyone with a website to anticipate the diverse needs of the potential consumer market. We now have a beautiful resource in front of us: the ability to make universally viewable websites. To disregard this means to shut yourself off to many.

With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility

Change isn't always easy, and it's important to be aware that: while our websites are adapting to all these different gadgets, our content must adapt as well. A smaller screen requires a more urgent attempt at capturing attention. By thinking with a “mobile-first” mindset, we're forced to prioritize content over flashy graphics. This idea is called Progressive Enhancement.

Altogether, it encourages efficiency – we get the message out there faster to accommodate for smaller screens and smaller attention spans. With Responsive Web Design, we are forced to think about what the user will see first. Content strategy has never been more important as we enter into yet another new era for web design.

Technology is evolving, and though it certainly means shaking things up and rattling a few cages, the time to build a website has never been more exciting. Responsive Web Design seems to be the future, and implementing it in means becoming more receptive to the subconscious needs of the target market. Contact Us today to learn more about Responsive Web Design, and how we can make it work for you.

Why Your Website and Blog Should be Integrated

1 February 2019

It is common for many organizations to have a company blog. However, many companies have a blog that is completely separate from their corporate website. Meaning, a company will have a website on one domain name (yourcompany.com), then have their blog hosted on a completely different domain and site (companyblog.wordpress.com).

Having a blog is great. A blog is an excellent way to market yourself/your company online. Blogs can engage customers, captivate website visitors, provide a platform to brand your expertise among many other useful marketing strategies.

The bad news is that having a blog that is not integrated into your corporate website essentially waters-down your efforts. Let's face it, Blogging takes time, effort and thought. Time is of the essence, if you're spending the time, you must use proper form to maximize your efforts.

Here are the top 3 reasons why we’d recommend integrating your blog into your corporate website:

#1 An Integrated Blog Creates a Better User Experience

Let's face it, gaining a website visitor is a big deal. There are countless websites and places for our prospects to visit on the web. If that prospect has chosen your site, it is the website owner's responsibility to ensure the visitor has the best possible experience. Keeping the visitor on your site encourages the visitor to explore your site and also helps potentially foster a precious website contact/inquiry.

Keeping visitors on your site is a big deal. This not only increases an important website metric – time on your site – but it also provides an opportunity for the visitor to get to know more about you in a single, integrated place without having to jump about from site to site. The user experience is smoother, less confusing and far more pleasurable.

#2 An Integrated Blog Helps Your SEO Efforts

You may already know that a site that is updated on a regular basis and has fresh, relevant content is more likely to generate better search engine rankings than a static site that is rarely updated or changes.

This is another key reason why integrating your blog into your corporate website is such an excellent strategy for building a strong site. When people search on Google, if your blog is integrated, the blog content appears to be fresh, regularly updated information that Google will recognize. #3 An Integrated Blog Keeps Your Online Business Streamlined

Managing a website and blog are time consuming tasks, even if they are both integrated. When the site and blog are two separate entities, the process is unnecessarily time-consuming. The chances of both the website and blog staying fresh, when they are not integrated are so much lesser due to the amount of additional effort. Many times, changes are made to one site, and not the other.

We are big fans of platforms like WordPress and Blogger, but these platforms should be utilized properly so that business can maximize their efforts. If your business is experiencing this issue and you need help digging yourself out of this situation, we would like to work with you, contact us today by clicking on this link, or simply call 843.816.1203!

Why You Shouldn't Use Outlook, Hotmail, GMail or other email account/packages for Email Marketing Campaigns.

1 February 2019

You risk getting your domain blacklisted Sending attachments or graphics, or email content your customers and prospects did not request risks you being blacklisted. This is a serious issue for small businesses as your domain name normally matches your website and entire brand (if your domain name does not match your website and entire brand, you need to quit reading this and call us immediately). Legal Reasons Anti-spam laws state that you must offer a simple ability for the recipient to unsubscribe from your Email Newsletter. When business do not utilize a proper email marketing platform, the ability for the recipient to unsubscribe is non-existent. Measurement When you're not using a proper email marketing platform, there are no metrics to measure your efforts and response. This is a 'blast and hope' scenario with no analytics to backup your effort. Thus, you have no data to base any type of follow-up marketing activities. Design Considerations When you're not using a proper email marketing platform, it is next to impossible to obtain a professional-looking design. The poor design poses a challenge to maintaing the integrity of your brand. Also, when not using a proper email marketing platform, your graphics can get caught in spam filters, so your true message is never delivered. Administrative Nightmare When you're not using a proper email marketing platform, each time an email address bounces back, this bounce will land in your inbox. This causes you to have to manually clean your email list, which is not efficient, you and your team have better things to do during the course of the day. Also, you must carefully monitor unsubscribe requests, good email marketing platform handles this for you through an automated system. Conclusion So, in the end, all of this adds up to serious issues. When making an attempt to do an email marketing campaign without a proper platform, you'll end up spending more time than necessary for a result that is unprofessional and ineffective. Its a no brainer to contact us so we can assist you with your online goals.

This Is Not Your Father's Oldsmobile

1 January 2019

I had the good fortune of starting in the communications business under the tutelage of one of the last century's giants of advertising. This was Don Gwaltney, back when he was recently retired from the Chicago home office of Leo Burnett.

I met Don by happenstance at a golf tournament, the Heritage, on Hilton Head Island. That was about 15 years ago. I was shooting video with a Canon GL2 and Don had just bought one. He asked if I would tutor him on how to use it. After a few lessons, the tutoring flip-flopped. Don started teaching me how to make ads and before long we were doing all the national advertising and website development for Spring Island, a blue chip retirement community where Don lives.

Don's Burnett background includes co-authorship of the Marlboro Country campaign, considered the most successful ad campaign of the 20th century. He wrote the presentation rationale and all the copy for the first year of that campaign and then got bored and switched over to work on Parliament cigarettes. He created two campaigns for that brand: Night People and London Discovers Parliament. Later, he also authored three other cigarette campaigns, including the infamous U.S. campaign for the French cigarette, Gauloises.

Later, in 1989, after creating dozens of other campaigns, Don was solely responsible for the creation of the most popular campaign in the history of General Motors: This is Not Your Father's Oldsmobile. According to Google, that line has been plagiarized over 600 thousand times. Unfortunately, that campaign only lasted a couple of years because, according to Don, "The Olds challenged us to beat Chevy's Heartbeat of America, which we did. My song was song of the year in the world of advertising in 1990. But, unfortunately, the Olds division of GM didn't measure up. The Olds cars GM produced were, in fact, your father's Oldsmobiles. This was the beginning of the colossal GM decline which had to be rescued with federal funding." Don was named Chicago's Creative Man of the Year in 1988 and here is a copy of one of more than a few stories written about him: This story appeared in SCREEN, a Chicago magazine, on Dec. 12, 1988.

SCREEN’S BEST...AGENCY CREATIVE

Not Your Father’s Olds

by Dennis Rodkin When Leo Burnett in September rolled out its spiffy fall Olds campaign, nobody was more impressed than the man in the driver’s seat, BurnettVP/group creative director Don Gwaltney, SCREEN’s Best Agency Creative. Gwaltney had watched as the simple, boppy lyric he put together for the Cutlass Supreme launch last spring grow into the cornerstone of the automaker’s biggest and most energetic campaign ever. “We went from a campaign last year that was received less favorably than anything we’ve done in 12 years, to this campaign that broke the bank,” exults Gwaltney, treating an interviewer to his own basso very profundo rendition of the “This is not your father’s Oldsmobile” that has caught on like wildfire.

Quickly as he is to pass credit to the rest of the sizable Burnett team that crafter the campaign, Gwaltney is admittedly proud of the song, which he says “gets the generations together feeling good about each other in 30 seconds.” That’s just what the automaker ordered; Olds sales were flagging thanks to a reputation for building sturdy but undersized cars, and the entire product line needed a lift. But courting a new generation had to handled adroitly, so as not to alienate the solid customer base Olds has built. If the song doesn’t collar consumers, the great stars will. The various spots feature the likes of Frankie Avalon, Roger Moore, the Judds, Abigail Rockwell (granddaughter of Norman), and even a pre-pregnancy Lisa Marie Presley. You simply can’t miss these commercials.

“This campaign is generating tremendous enthusiasm all around,” says Olds ad manager Gerry Card.

“That slogan is the banner we’re marshaling our forces under.” Having worked with him in various arenas since Gwaltney started covering Olds for Burnett in 1978, Card says the new campaign is exactly what he’s been expecting from the “bigger than life” adman.

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