What I write


Strategic brand development/tone of voice

How your brand talks to your customers is a vital is a key tool in ensuring they start to think about your brand in the way you want them to. That means using the right imagery, the right tone of voice and, most importantly, the right communications strategy that precisely identifies your customers’ needs and desires — whether B2B or B2C. I’ve been involved in this kind of brand development at a very senior level including, most recently, the launch of a brand-new insurance brand in Australia.

Website content 

I’ll write your website for you and make sure the copy is sensibly SEO’d (see below).

And whilst I’m more than happy to come in and fill in the gaps on your wireframe, my clients tend to get more effective sites when I’ve been involved right from the start. This allows us to jointly get the messaging hierarchy and UX (‘user experience’) strategy right from the outset.

SEO 

No point having a website if nobody ever finds it. But be careful with SEO (search engine optimisation). You need sales more than you need window-shoppers who don’t convert.

The days of trying to manipulate Google by ramming your site with keywords is, happily, long gone. These days it’s far more important to be relevant and useful to visitors.

You might find that Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are more valuable to you than Google for getting visitors. Google have done their best to kill off Adwords as a useful traffic generator so explore the social media alternatives

Blogs

These keep your website fresh. Google likes that and so do your customers who can look forward to new stuff each time they visit. They might even subscribe! You can read my own regular blog that’s full of hints, tips and opinions about advertising and marketing at nobody scrolls.co.uk.

Online and offline advertising

Press, radio, TV, posters, online banners. Be clear who you want to talk to (the people most likely to buy what you’re selling) and even clearer about the specific reasons they should buy from you.

With all advertising, half the battle is getting the headline right. Probably 50% of an ad’s effectiveness is due to the headline according to many studies over many years. That’s why you need an experienced advertising copywriter to help you.

Direct Marketing 

Actually, I believe that all copy is really direct marketing copy. What’s the point of writing copy if  you don’t want the reader to respond in some way? But specialist, hard-sell dm copy is my core skill. Honed at The Reader’s Digest for five years and then sharpened in the subsequent years as a freelance copywriter, working for pure direct mail clients like Which? and The Folio Society.

Love it or hate it, traditional direct mail is making a comeback. We’re so used to getting endless emails that a nicely written letter in the post is a novelty and still massively effective when done properly, with the tried and tested dm techniques applied.

Business to Business Copy 

It’s a sad fact that a lot of  B2B copy written by less experienced freelance copywriters is extremely ineffective. Often, in B2B publications, and on B2B websites and emails, you’ll see copy that is trying to be clever and glib when it should be focused and sometimes quite technical. It’s really hard to write copy for a B2B audience – you have to learn about the words the audience uses and their very specific business needs and motivations.

I often have to work a little harder to get my B2B clients to really think about their key messages because they’re perhaps a little inexperienced in advanced copywriting and marketing techniques. But, ultimately, to be successful the techniques you use are identical to the ones you’d use for any other audience. Be specific, be simple, be clear. Help the audience in some way

Sales Letters and emails

All forms of advertising are there simply to replace the one-to-one, face-to-face conversation that any company would really like to have with its customers; but the personal sales letter or email is perhaps the closest we get to this in the copywriting world.

Simon Plent Direct Marketing Limited crop

You can address her by her name. You can talk to her about her specific interests and needs. You can offer her a special unique deal.

Emails are immensely powerful when done correctly, B2C or B2B. And especially when they’re emailed in conjunction with a specifically created website landing page to click through to. Don’t forget, like everything digital these days, it’s all about ‘mobile first’.