January 1, 2018
Upskilling with Podcasts & the Challenges of Copywriting for the Web
VM Weekly Roundup #thisweekineverything
Welcome to our industry news roundup, where the rubber meets the roadmap.
Are you a podcast listener? We’re always stoked to find a great new one to put in the listening the queue for the next long commute, jog, or spare afternoon. This list of suggested podcasts from Wordtracker is geared specifically for small businesses, but the few of these that are more subject matter-focused than entrepreneur-focused are great for anyone with an interest.
10 Second Tip: Whether you find one you like listed here or search on your own, podcasts can be a great way to learn new skills for free.
Test Drive: “The Social Media Lab” podcast and “The Brutal Truth About Sales and Selling” podcast might be our favorites from the list. (And if you have any favorites, we’d love to add them to our queue.)
Social Media Engagement
You know it’s important that your business has a presence on social media, but does that fit into your customer service strategy? This link gives a great list of suggestions for places to start for any business.
10 Second Tip: Choose the level of social media involvement you know you can commit to, whether that’s going to be in-house or with outside help, and commit to building engagement on that platform for at least six months for best results.
Test Drive: You may already have a social media strategy in place, and that’s great! But there are a few questions that are always good to ask when you’re reviewing engagement on your social platforms, such as: are you solely putting out content? One thing that we find many businesses overlook (or more likely, simply don’t have time for), is to have a system in place for responding to customer questions, comments, and (gulp) complaints in a timely manner. It’s the best way to build positive engagement over time, and social media users increasingly expect it as a given. It’s better to think through how you’ll want to respond to users ahead of time than to get caught playing catch-up or, worse, discouraging interested customers from interacting with you again.
Copywriting for the Web
Writing copy for online spaces is trickier than ever. We all know that headlines are critically important both for onsite SEO and for getting clicks from shared social media, but the ideal headline for each purpose can look very different. Landing on the right headline for your content will almost always be a compromise between these two tensions.
10 Second Tip: The link above explains the difference between what’s required for SEO headlines and what’s different for actually generating user interest and clicks, but it boils down to this: SEO keyword targeting requires a headline that’s as straight-forward and accurately descriptive as possible, whereas interest-generating titles often leave a breadcrumb trail that you’ll have to click the link to follow–think “clickbait” headlines for an extreme example (don’t write clickbait; annoying people will backfire).
Test Drive: Find a middle ground by coming up with a few ideal headlines for SEO purposes as well as a few purely for generating clicks. When you look at your list, can you find any ways to combine the two? This exercise usually leads to an interesting compromise, but if you’re still stuck between choosing one method or another, choose what best suits your purpose. If you’re writing a headline for a blog post that’s time-sensitive, you might want to lean towards the interest-generating headline to boost clicks in the short term, whereas an informative page of content that will live on your website and populate in related searches indefinitely will benefit more from a standard SEO approach.