rose thorne, buy bras online, Sue Dunmore, Rose and Thorne lingerie, good value strapless bra

5 Silly Mistakes Product Description Writers Make without Realising

Let’s be honest for a second: most of the product descriptions out there sound like they were written by robots, for robots. They’re bland, have no personality, and a lot of the times don’t even include everything a consumer may want to know about the product. Because prospects feel like they have no connection with the brand and its products, they move on to the next company.

Product description can have a major influence on the buying process. However, most small businesses ignore their importance and create something that is incomplete, ineffective, and just plain boring. Not to mention, they rarely address the questions and needs of their prospects.

Here are some of the most common mistakes product description writers make without even realizing and how to correct them.

Not Offering Enough Information

You’ve worked for months to design or source a product that you are certain will help and please your audience. Now, you’re so excited to share it with the world that you don’t take the necessary time to write a proper description. As a result, your sales aren’t as spectacular as you expected them to be.

Resist the temptation of hitting the publish button too soon. We understand your eagerness, but what’s the point in working so hard on something is your audience won’t know the benefits they can enjoy if they choose your product?

Put together a list of questions people might have about your product, even if they seem obvious to you. Remember, this is something new for your prospects, so take the time to describe your product in detail.

Not Being Specific

How many times did you read a product description that ended up confusing you even more? Skip the general explanations, and focus on the specifics, such as dimensions, quantities, and other information that might help your customer get a better picture of the product. After reading your description, your prospects should be able to understand what the product is, how it works, and how it can help them.

Not Offering Social Proof

Your product could be the best on the market, but your prospects aren’t just going to take your word for it. They need to know that others have made an investment and it has benefited them.

That’s where social proof comes in handy.

Testimonials play a vital role in how well your products sell. Whether you ask happy customers to review it or work with an influencer in your niche to promote it, social proof is a powerful tool that can help you get more people interested in your products.

Not Putting Your Personality into It

While it’s vital that your descriptions are professional and include all the information prospects need to understand what your product does, the way in which you present it matters just as much.

Think about it this way: how would you present the products to one of your friends? What would you tell them and what words would you use? Write an authentic description, and your chances of capturing your audience’s interest will increase greatly.

rose thorne, buy bras online, Sue Dunmore, Rose and Thorne lingerie, good value strapless bra

Rose and Thorne bras use strong descriptive language

Not Spending Enough Time Editing

Whether you’re a professional product description writer or a small business owner who’s trying to create an accurate presentation of his services, editing is a crucial part of the writing process.

Take the time to prepare, plan, write and edit your content. Don’t assume that if you’re an expert and you’ve written numerous product descriptions in the past, then you are safe from mistakes. Read your text out loud and try to picture your target audience’s reaction. Would they get bored? Is the copy clear enough or will it confuse them? Rephrase it until you are satisfied with the content and are certain your audience will understand and connect with your message.

Don’t forget to be engaging even if the product you’re selling is highly technical. Talk to your prospects as you would with your friends and use an active voice.

Crafting the perfect product description is no simple task. But, if you learn how to do it and stay away from these common mistakes, it will help you get more prospects curious about your product and eager to try it.

3 Ways to Change Your Business Thinking & Actions for 2018 Success

 

Use the code “2018success” to grab a seat with a 50% off end-of-year special!

This November, we’ve got another breakfast seminar happening! We will be covering 3 ways to change your business thinking and actions for 2018 success. 

Has your business reached a standstill even with new business strategies and tactics implemented?  

Perhaps it is time to renew your thinking with us! Getting your thinking right is the key to developing the right business strategy and tactics. Digital marketing is one of the most effective tools to utilise when unlocking business growth and boosting brand awareness. To help you better understand how incorporating digital marketing and the right business strategy can unlock secrets that underpin success, we have this insightful breakfast seminar lined up for you.

About our speakers

An experienced B2B expert, specializing in direct response marketing and new business development.

A well-recognised leadership coach, workshop facilitator, keynote speaker and author, focused on entrepreneurship.

Practical tips you’ll learn

  • How to break old patterns of thinking to make fresh and effective plans
  • Which crucial steps to take to boost your digital strategy
  • SEO techniques to attract traffic to your website
  • How to implement ‘the basics’ really, really well for brand awareness

If you’re serious about starting the new year with the tools needed for success, you wouldn’t want to miss 3 Ways to Change Your Business Thinking & Actions 2017.
A light complimentary breakfast is included!

23rd November, 2017

7:30am – 9am

The Common

1 Faraday Street, Lvl 2, Suite 7
Parnell
Auckland

The Common

Use the code “2018success”at the checkout to get a 50% discount!

RESERVE YOUR SPOT

How to do a super simple competitor strategy analysis

When it comes to a marketing report, you may dread the idea of seeing pie charts, bar graphs and numbers floating around. That’s not to mention the accompanying dry, boring analysis of these results, written in what looks to be a different language.

If you think this, you’re so very wrong.

Recently, I wrote up a competitor strategy analysis for a client, Living Goodness. The results took no longer than 30 minutes, there were no graphs, and the report reads just over a page long!

Read on to find out exactly how I accomplished this – it’s super simple, I promise.

How to do a competitor strategy screenshot 1

Seriously, this is 97% of my report – short and simple!

#1. Find your competitor

If you’re running a business and have no idea who your competitors are, you need to remedy this quickly.

Open up your internet browser in incognito mode and Google search a few keywords on what your business is about. Why incognito? Well, the search results will be personalised to your search history so you want to find a competitor that is worth analysing.

Living Goodness sells sauerkraut, so I typed into Google, “sauerkraut nz”. Google has been working on improving localised searching since around 2015. While obvious searches such as “Italian food” will bring up local restaurants, I needed to localise Living Goodness keywords so that Google knows I want to buy this product from a local store, as opposed to just needing a sauerkraut recipe.

Living Goodness ranks on the front page for “sauerkraut nz” (yay!) but so does a competitor. This will be the target of my strategy analysis.

 

living goodness google ranking

Third place on the front page of Google! Yay Living Goodness!

 

In a new document for notes, I made three subheadings:

  • Website
  • Facebook
  • Instagram

You’ll need to adapt these to suit the media platforms of your client.

#2. Website

From the competitor’s website, I can see all their social media buttons on the top right. This is the first difference I note. Living Goodness’ social buttons are in the footer of every page, but that requires scrolling down to see. Placing additional social links somewhere on the homepage where they will be visible to visitors is the first thing I make note of in a section called “suggestions”.

living goodness website

There’s not much above the fold on the Living Goodness website…

I embark on a journey across the competitor’s website, making note of what they have and what Living Goodness don’t have on their website.

Along the way, I kept asking, “why?” For example, the competitor lists recent recipes on a sidebar on their landing pages. Why is this? Well, as a mere consumer searching for sauerkraut products, I can see that it will prompt me to head to the recipes page, especially if there’s a delicious concoction that catches my eye.

A sidebar can easily be installed into websites as an automated widget – this means any new recipes uploaded will reflect in this sidebar without additional action, thus providing fresh content for each time I visit their website.

#3. Social media

Next, I compared the social media platforms of Living Goodness with their competitor. I pulled up their Facebook and Instagram pages, and scrolled through like a scorned ex-girlfriend.

How often did they post? What sort of content were they posting? Did they do something different on their social media pages that Living Goodness didn’t do?

Who had more followers? Why and how? These were all very important questions that I needed to ask.

I also compared the hashtag activity because everyone knows that behind every successful Insta-famous account is a strong hashtag game (also pretty photos, of course). As this competitor sold products that were pretty similar to ours, I derived a list of hashtags that our client doesn’t use but should do.

Living Goodness’ products are very visually appealing, so their Instagram needs to reflect that.

#4. Suggestions

Of course, I didn’t want Living Goodness to copy their competitor post for post. This strategy was merely to boost their digital presence, just based on my observations of their competitor.

One important thing I had to keep in mind at all times was objectivity. I had to see Living Goodness’ competitor from the eyes of a hungry 20-something-year-old who just wanted buy sauerkraut.

This allowed me to cruise through their website and social media platforms from a fresh perspective. What would I first notice if I wanted to buy some of their products? What would annoy me if I were trying to see their stockists? If I needed to read reviews of their products, was it easily accessible?

With this frame of mind, I also turned my attention to Living Goodness’ own platforms to see what needed to be changed.

From all this, I wrote out a brief but very useful competitor strategy, using clear subheadings and bullet points. Easy to write, easy to read!

Living Goodness facebook page

I all but stalked the social pages of Living Goodness. As you can see, this is a proven and justified technique.

#5. Client meeting

I scheduled a meeting with the lovely Fiona from Living Goodness and ran through this report with her. It was important that she took the same journey I did, so in a few cases, I got her to open up the social media platforms to see exactly what I was referencing.

Next time I conduct a competitor analysis, I could include screenshots to highlight my points. As it was, Living Goodness only have one major competitor, and as I had explained my strategy clearly, it wasn’t just another boring report to be tossed aside.

When it comes to working for a client, it can be too easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. This report showed that we like to keep an eye on the industry to boost the presence of Living Goodness.

 

Now are you ready?  Here’s another article about How to Compare your Website with a Competitors

Innovation game, conteneo

Interview: Luke Hohmann, Conteneo Weave

Luke is in town for the Agile NZ conference and graciously agreed to give us an interview.

Innovation game, conteneo

Prune the product tree innovation game

I first ran into Luke because I am a particular fan of his Innovation Games sub-brand.  Check out these for your next team brainstorming session.  There are 12 games all explained in detail.  Some are part of the Conteneo Weave platform e.g. Speed boat. I can see good uses for “Buy a Feature” and “Prune the Product Tree” games for marketing and new product development.

What’s Your latest work?

Conteneo has recently introduced some powerful new capabilities to the Weave platform, most notably, anonymous participation in forums. This means that organizations dealing with sensitive or challenging topics can create a truly safe – and scalable – means for internal and external stakeholders to collaborate. We have also completed localizing our Weave platform in German, Spanish and French, greatly expanding the ability to promote collaboration around the world (with more languages to come).

What’s impressed you?

I’m a curious person, so I’m impressed by a lot of things! I was impressed when Kevin Durant joined the Golden State Warriors and they won the NBA Championship. Mostly, though, I am impressed by our customers. They keep doing things with our Weave platform that we’ve never imagined – and once we see them, they make complete sense.

What’s the next big thing?

Historically, Conteneo has focused on serving large corporations who want to increase engagement and improve operational effectiveness by identifying, shaping and aligning on their customer’s priorities and their internal priorities. These entities have hundreds to thousands of teams in multiple locations who need to collaborate at scale. What we’ve found is that smaller organizations are facing similar challenges!

Like larger companies, smaller companies have project portfolios that exceed available funds. They need to better understand customer needs and align their organization to deliver products and services to these needs. Accordingly, our next big thing is quite profound: we are extending our business model to make it radically easier for small companies to use the Conteneo Weave platform. Specifically, we’re creating a self-service approach that will enable companies with teams of arbitrary size to leverage collaborative frameworks. We’ll be releasing these improvements in Q1 2018 – and we’re really excited about how we’ll be able to help organizations of arbitrary size and scale.

Check out Luke’s website where they integrate games with problem solving and project prioritisation.

 

Raz Chorev, Marketer, Australia,

Raz Chorev talks Email Newsletters

Raz is CMO of Orange Sky CMOs in Sydney, Australia.  We caught up recently and got his insights into the latest in email newsletters for business marketing.

Raz Chorev, Marketer, Australia,

Raz Chorev

You’ve been doing email newsletters for years. How frequently do you change something major e.g. layout, frequency, type of article?

Every couple of years: content, structure and design.

When you assess the analytics on a newsletter, what are the top 3 metrics you use?

Open rate, engagement rate, and unsubscribes. This keeps me focused on people opening the email, reading / engaging with it, and not getting pissed off or bored with it.

Do you have a view on whether B2B brands should re-use blog content in newsletters?

Content can be repurposed, based on the audience. not the sender. You can use blog posts, videos, images, tweets, quotes – anything to engage your audience and add value to them as they read.

What’s one tip for the future in newsletters?

Talk to your audience, like as a person, like in a conversation. See what I’ve just done here? Don’t talk AT them. Try talking WITH them – and they’ll respond.

What’s your favourite AdTech for newsletters?

I’m not fussed either way. they are all pretty similar. it’s your content which is the most important, not one fancy feature over another.

Connect with Raz via LinkedIn or Orange Sky outsourced CMOs.

team work, teamwork, teamwork.com, bad example payment update, payment expiry date,

SaaS renewals that are easy for customers

A robust, scalable business is always based on strong processes.  And if you are in the business of offering a Software as a Service (SaaS) product, you will doubtless have a recurring revenue model.

Our business debit card expires tomorrow and so I’ve been in the throes of receiving alerts, notifications and emails from a range of providers asking me to update my card details so they do not lose their revenues.  The experiences were very varied from the best, smoothest, least painful to the worst where I had to raise a support ticket.

Given SaaS firms risk losing revenue from non-renewals, this is a critical business process.

Here’s what we found

  1.  The earliest “nag” emails came from Hootsuite, Unbounce, Xero and MailChimp.  They were sending them 30 days prior to expiry.
  2. The laggards include Upwork, Skype, FeedBlitz, Teamwork and LinkedIn (from 10 to 5 days in advance),
  3. The “best” process just allows me to update the expiry date on the card (PayPal) without having to re-enter all the other information
  4. The “worst” don’t send me a link into the EXACT page on my account where I can update my details after logging in.  Skype was particularly irritating with a hideous UX on their mobile browser. They leave me failing to find the right billing page detail and resorting to search / help / customer tickets.
  5. The Very Very Worst was Teamwork where they successfully hide the link in an upgrade screen which is not where I’d look to find my payment information (see below)
team work, teamwork, teamwork.com, bad example payment update, payment expiry date,

Hard to find link for payment information on Teamwork.com

Mystery shopping

Any customer process needs testing and constant monitoring to keep it relevant and improved.  Clues which may indicate you have this problem can be found:

  • Check the exit pages on your website
  • Check the long dwell time pages (that you don’t expect)
  • Check the customer service enquiries
  • Check the Searches on your website

When did you last mystery shop your business?

A Successful Blog Deserves a Great Design: Builders That Have the Tools You Need to Make Your Blog Great

Building a successful blog takes a lot of hard work and patience, but the rewards are totally worth it. One problem many businesses and bloggers face, however, is that no matter how much time and effort they put into creating great content, they just can’t seem to convert as well as they’d like. Are you in that situation? Are you getting a good amount of traffic and new visitors but are just having a hard time converting those visitors into subscribers and customers?

Your content might not be the problem. Your traffic might not be at fault either. The problem might be your site design.

How Your Blog Design Contributes to Your Success

Your blog is a powerful tool for promoting your business. Blog posts can drive traffic to your website, helping those visitors find information, products, services and solutions for the challenges they face. Your blog can build your brand and your reputation in your industry. A well-optimized blog can convert readers into fans and fans into customers, and it can do all of this around the clock on autopilot. That’s pretty amazing, isn’t it?

But it takes more than just great content for a blog to reach its full potential and to achieve the highest levels of success. Great blog content requires great design in order to organize and present that information in ways that are easy for visitors to consume. Powerful visual elements convert better and help you grab people’s attention when they land on your website, reeling them in long enough for them to actually read your content and benefit from it.

People today expect a successful blog to look beautiful, to have bold, professional design. If they come to your site and see poor design and confusing layouts, they’re less likely to take you seriously and are actually more likely to click away and visit one of your competitors instead.

Anyone Can Build A Professional Website

But you don’t need to hire an expensive graphic designer to have a beautiful blog design. You can actually do it yourself, and you don’t need to have any formal training or professional design skills. Many top blogs today are designed quickly and easily using web builder software like Wix, SquareSpace and Weebly. These apps allow normal people like you to create a fully-functional blog, to customise layouts and colours and create a blog with powerful design elements. And it can all be done in less time than you ever imagined, thanks to simple drag-and-drop design functionality. You can literally give your blog a professional makeover in minutes without knowing the first thing about coding or programming.

Website Builders Offer Thousands of Design Options

The top website builders all offer hundreds of layout templates that are highly customisation. You can change around the colour schemes and re position graphics, call-to-action buttons and other design elements with the click of a button. There are tons of mini-features that can be added in a snap. You can drop in your company logo, create an about page with photos and blurbs from your staff. You can create e-commerce elements to display and sell your products right there on your website. With all the customisation options available, you literally have thousands of design combinations to work with when you use one of the top site builders. Check out a site builder comparison to see detailed reviews of all the features available with the best website builders.

No matter what type of business you’re in, there’s a builder with lots of options that will give you a lot of flexibility when creating your new website design. Whether you’re a caterer, artist, retailer, writer or licensed plumber, today’s website builders can set you up with a professional site in minutes.

 

We Review a Service Business Website

We pitched a client – we didn’t win.  And so I decided to show you all how we assessed their website in scoping out the work that is needed to improve the search engine optimisation for this company.

They offer a local service and have two principal products.

First impressions of the website

Hubspot, website assessment, website grader

Free appraisal offer for your website

Go to the Woorank checker or Website Grader tool on Hubspot.
Find out how your current site performs.  Both give you a score out of 100.  Easy to see your score.
This site scores 53 out of 100.  Definitely in the could-do-better group.

Summary areas for improvement

  1. Both the named services should be in your meta description
  2. The Headings structure needs adjusting so it includes H1 as well as H3 (currently all 4 are H2 which is not good)
  3. Change the SSL certificate from BlueHost to your own business name
  4. Incoming links are low – so we’d recommend getting local directory listings to improve this (there are 36 free ones)
  5. You should be on Google My Business as well because that will enable Reviews and a location pin to appear when people search

Improve website messaging

I think there’s some other places where a bit of clearer marketing communication could help
  • Strapline.  The name of the business does not describe what you do [I also provide sensational services – but of a different type]
  • Pearl Waterless is a strong point of difference for one of the services – but you don’t EXPLAIN it.
  • Plus it’s a “Green” product and you could be selling the environmental benefits.
  • One service page does not have any heading titles, it doesn’t have any testimonials and it doesn’t explain that you offer a mobile service
  • The other service page has a gigantic photo and doesn’t explain the service in detail compared to the other service page.  They should be similar – consistency matters.
  • You have a Facebook page but there’s no link to it on the site.  42 people have shared your website onto Facebook – but you aren’t tracking links like this.
  • Have you got any customer testimonials?
  • Have you got any photos of your ACTUAL Team doing the work?
  • Any funny stories to tell about your jobs? What about the Facebook photos you share – the team celebration – could these go on a blog on the website too?

Why would you change?

What’s important here is that the website owner sees a rapid return on investment for his marketing spend.
The areas where I believe we can show a quick ROI are the services descriptors and aligning them to search phrases, pulling out the points of difference.  And then making it super-easy for the site visitor to get in touch by phone.   That rapidly increases enquiries, the business owner feels his spend is justified.  Later we can get more sophisticated.
And so if you would like us to improve the SEO and re-write some of the pages, go to our shop and buy our SEO Starter Pack and then come into the office and we’ll prioritise, get started and tick off all these things for you.

Kiwibank, this is how I’d re-write your email

Kiwibank email text confuses

Kiwibank email text confuses

And I made a fool of myself on LinkedIn by explaining how I totally mis-understood Mark Wilkshire’s message.

Re-write to clarify the message

Here is how I would re-write the email in order to prevent others doing what I did.  [Aside: surely I’m not the most stupid customer Kiwibank has…please, humour me!]

Dear Rebecca

You have a Notice Saver bank account with Kiwibank.  The interest payments for this account come from our PIE Unit Trust.  The money you save in your account is invested in the fund and profits are paid back to you in the form of interest.

As an investor in this fund, we are obliged to share its recent financial performance with you. You can view an electronic copy of the financial statements for the year ended 30th June 2017 on our website via this link.  

[insert rest of the statutory text here].

Lots of love, Mark Wilkshire, Kiwibank

Why is this clearer?

I think this text improves the context for receiving the message.  It explains an investment I didn’t know I had and how the investment performance is relevant to my personal situation (bank interest).

Personally, I wouldn’t try to push out messages about other investments in this message.  Make it simply about this one thing, and how to contact us.

The full truth about what I did on Kiwibank

And, I would anticipate possible confusion among customers by enabling self-help tools on the website to be advance programmed to have answers to questions relating to this investment.

My “Kiwibot” experience below reveals more about the lack of customer orientation and more about the regulatory communication box-ticking which probably sits behind this email misunderstanding.

Kiwibank Bot does not answer questions

Kiwibank Bot does not answer questions

 

 

Why the HELL NOT?