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The Elements of High-Quality Written Content

Writing is a funny thing; most of us will read and write millions of words in our lifetime, and despite the growing preference for static and moving images in social media and advertising, we are constantly surrounded by text. Literacy is one of the first things we learn at school, and it is a skill we will spend much of our academic lives practising and refining. And yet producing high-quality written content remains elusive for many of us. This is one reason so many businesses choose to outsource content writers, and at Agency Stack, we go the extra mile to generate outstanding written content that you will be proud to hand over to your clients.

Many of us, also, can recognise a good piece of writing when we see one but would be hard-pressed to explain exactly what makes it so effective. Like a good photograph, video, or piece of music, there is some ineffable quality to a good piece of writing that means it connects with us without us being able to put our finger on what that quality is. In reality though, there are principles that content writers follow to ensure their work achieves what it intends to. In this blog, we break down some of the underlying elements of good content writing.

Tone of Voice

The tone of voice you use is hugely important to the overall effectiveness of the finished piece. For starters, it needs to be consistent. If your piece starts off as technical or formal, then slipping into a conversational tone midway through will baffle the reader. Even if they can’t put it into words, something will just seem off. Tone of voice is composed of many elements, like the kinds of words and sentence structures you employ, use of humour, imperatives, and much more. A good content writer will be able to closely match or create the tone of voice that best suits the company they are writing for, keeping in mind their brand image and intended audience.

Cohesive Structure

Having a clear, logical structure will help guide your reader through the piece. For argument’s sake, imagine we’re talking about a longer piece of writing like a blog or an article on a website. The most basic structure – the one we all learn in school – is introduction, body, and conclusion, and this actually holds true for most types of writing. But within that basic structure, there is plenty of room to play around. Breaking the body down into smaller parts and using headings to differentiate them will go a long way to making your piece digestible and easy to read.

It Tells a Story

We use the term ‘story’ somewhat loosely here, but it’s essentially another way of thinking of structure; rather than introduction, body, conclusion, a story has a beginning, middle, and end. Even the smallest units of content are usually most effective when they tell some kind of story. Think of the last meme that made you laugh: what we tend to love about them, even if it’s only on a subconscious level, is how cleverly they can suggest a whole narrative with just one or two images and a few well-chosen words. The same is true of social media posts and blogs.

Good Editing

As we’ve already mentioned, much of what we feel about a piece of writing happens at a subconscious level. If your content is full of spelling and grammatical errors or unwieldy sentences, your reader is less likely to think of you as professional and authoritative. Good editing is key to good content writing.

How Agency Stack Can Help

Improving your written copy is one of the best ways to enhance your clients’ overall brand image and your own in the process. Our professional content writers are Australian-based and speak English as a first language. Their skill, experience, and dedication mean they can write on any topic, to any length, and within tight deadlines. To talk to us about our white paper content writing services, get in touch today.

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How to Match Blogs with Expectations

When it comes to white label digital marketing, getting your blog list written for you may be at the top of your wish list.

Blogs may be fantastic for SEO purposes, and an obvious service offering, but they’re time consuming to write, and even trickier to get right. Who hasn’t come across a terribly written blog that does more harm than good?

In fact, no matter how professional your “back end” digital marketing services are, it’s those “front end” services like blog posts that are going to get the most notice. In short, you’ll be judged by the quality of your blogs just as much as the quality of your website development!

You’ll also be judged by the quantity of your blogs. More is more when it comes to digital marketing content and this applies to your bottom line, too. Afterall, you don’t want to write just one or two blogs a month. To turn a healthy profit, you need to write fifty to five hundred blogs a month!

We all know the quantity doesn’t equal quality, even when you have the very best copywriters on your team.

Don’t Turn Good Jobs Away 

There’s only so much you can manage, before you have to start turning jobs away. Agency Stack doesn’t want you to turn any jobs away, which is where our white label content creation service comes in.

Imagine if you could add an entire team of Australian-based professional copywriters to your business at the click of your fingers, as and when you need them. That’s what Agency Stack offers.

Our copywriters are not just Australian-based SEO experts, they’re creative forward-thinkers, too. We sat down with them to ask them some of their favourite blog post styles to demonstrate some of the ways they might approach your content.

Our copywriters can adopt any tone of voice to accurately reflect your business, so you can feel proud to put your stamp on the results.

Our Top 5 Blog Post Styles

Our copywriters love to think outside of the box, but there are some tried-and-tested blog post styles that simply work, that they think every business should adopt at least once.

1. The List 

As humans, we are drawn to short, sharp concepts. For example, if we are attracted to a brand then we want to know about their top selling products. We love articles that tell us “The Top 5 Holiday Destinations in Australia” and blogs that demonstrate “Ten Ways to Wear This Best Selling Skirt”. Lists are memorable and easy to understand, which is why they make such great blog posts.

2. The Story

Great stories are engaging and hard to forget, which is why presenting your brand or product as a story is such a winning concept. Stories allow you to emotionally connect with your readers and build out your brand messaging and identity in detail. The best blog posts use stories to add value to any given brand or product, by making it more special to customers.

3. The Interview

Interviews represent a simple format that appeals to our natural sense of conversation. If you have someone behind the scenes who has the gift of the gab, why not let one of our copywriters interview them for some great blog content? We can also edit their responses to work better for your search engine rankings.

4. The Cheat Sheet

We’re all short on time these days, which is why customers want a cheat sheet for everything. A quick and easy guide to a product or service is invaluable to curious customers who want to assess the value of your business without receiving a “hard sell”. Cheat sheets indirectly tell someone what’s great about your product or service, without spelling it out.

5. The News Reader

If you’re dealing with an information-based business, having a regular news bulletin is a great way to show that you’re staying on top of industry developments. By presenting a recap of recent industry news and even expressing a unique take on it, you position your business as a leader in the field, which builds customer loyalty and trust.

To find out more about Agency Stack’s blog writing skills, contact us here.

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The Anatomy of a Killer Pitch

The Who, Why, What, How and When of Successful Pitching

Unlike some run of the mill white label SEO services, Agency Stack is committed to assisting our partners in growing their businesses. What better place to start than with tips on how to deliver a killer pitch?

So, how do you hit all the notes that will ensure your pitch resonates with your prospect?

Follow these steps and you are well on your way.

Step 1 – Establishing Passion and Credibility: The Who

Your pitch is your opportunity to drive home the things your agency stands for and what you’re passionate about. Tying this passion to the key concerns that drive your client’s decision-making process is a great way to establish a rapport and cement you in their mind as the right fit for their requirements.

A true pitch aficionado can exhibit this passion by punctuating their presentation with points of interest that bring the story to life. These anecdotal elements serve to highlight your message and establish memory touchpoints that will be recalled when your prospect is reviewing your offering.

Whilst your passion will ignite your prospect’s imagination, it is evidence of your capabilities that will convince them that your agency is The Who they are seeking.

Credibility comes from proof of your subject matter expertise and professional experience. Examples of positive outcomes achieved for organisations in similar situations to your prospect will further reinforce your pitch.

Step 2 – Identify the Problem: The Why

Referring to the issues that confront your client is a great way to demonstrate an understanding of their business.

You: “So because you are in Industry X, you are often confronted by situation Y, am I right?”

Your Client: “Yes that’s correct, situation Y is one of our biggest concerns”.

Adding these dialogues into your pitch is a big part of establishing “Why” your prospect should choose you and your agency.

It should also be noted that asking questions you know will prompt a yes answer, sets up a mindset of agreement in your prospect that will be useful when it comes to proposing your solution, and ultimately when closing the deal.

Step 3 – Propose the solution: The What

The What is the combination of products and services you’ll propose to achieve your client’s desired outcome.

Whilst it’s important that your client understands the elements of your solution and the roles they will play, most clients will be focussed on outcomes as opposed to the intricacies of Advanced SEO or PPC bidding strategies.

Read your audience and be patient. Give your prospect the chance to ask questions or contribute some of their knowledge. Never forget that appearing condescending, or baffling your client with jargon, are two ways to alienate them and lose you the pitch.

Step 4 – Your implementation plan: The How

Whilst it is important that you explain to your client how you plan to fulfil all of their requirements, a pitch is no place for excruciating detail.

Imagine you are teaching someone to drive a car and you want them to understand how the brakes work. You do not spend hours explaining momentum, acceleration and drag coefficients. You point to the brake pedal and say… “When you want to stop, press that.”

Applying the KISS principle is a good way to ensure that your prospect will not become overwhelmed with detail.

When it comes to establishing The How, think like a driving instructor.

Step 5 – Closing the deal: The When

You have engaged, intrigued, and entertained your prospect through your presentation.

It is time for the four most important words in your pitch.

“When can we start?”

If you have done your job well, there should be nothing to prevent your client from pulling the trigger. You will be surprised how many clients sign up if you simply ask them to.

If they do not, then ask them if there was some part of your proposal that was unclear.

Getting the contract could be as simple as clearing up some small matter of ambiguity.

If your prospect is still non-committal or is asking for time to review your proposal, then put a time limit on it by asking “When can I contact you for an answer?”.

This may seem harsh but if they are not going to sign then, they are already gone. You’re better off spending time finding a prospect who is a good fit for your agency rather than chasing one who is not.

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Why Content Writing Is the Most Powerful Weapon in Your Marketing Arsenal 1024 683 First Move Support

Why Content Writing Is the Most Powerful Weapon in Your Marketing Arsenal

For centuries, human beings have connected with one another through content writing. A well-constructed narrative enables the articulation of complex concepts that may otherwise be misconstrued, misunderstood, or simply ignored.

Take for example the ancient texts at the heart of a complex belief systems such as Christianity, Buddhism or Judaism.  The content written in these tomes makes extensive use of parables and fables to establish and maintain the behavioural expectations of the faithful.

They elicit emotional reactions in the reader that transcend socio political status, gender and age group and create bonds between large numbers of practitioners that can, and do, extend across millennia.

Without these texts at their core it could be argued that there would be no continuity of messaging and therefore the ability to maintain an organised set of behaviours within these large groups would not be possible.

Such is the power of content writing to establish a brand.

“Wait a minute” I hear you say, “what do you mean brand? We were just talking about religion that has nothing to do with branding.”

Actually, it does.

We often talk about brand in terms of logotypes fonts and colours but this is actually confusing a brand’s style with the thing that is at its heart – The Brand’s Promise.

So what is a brand’s promise and why is it important?

A brand’s promise is the thing or things that inspire an emotional connection between an individual and an entity whether that be practitioners and their religion, supporters and their team, or purchasers and a product.

Big brands spend millions understanding their target audience and the things that are important to them. They go to great lengths to create descriptions of their ideal customers and then set about building a laser focussed messaging framework designed to resonate specifically with them.

Taking a look at communications from some of the world’s best defined brands it is clear to see who their target personas are simply by examining their content they create to promote themselves and their products.

Apple

This video, in Apple’s own words talks about “Greatness behind the Mac”
It leverages the personal brands of celebrities and influencers that Apple know will resonate with their target audience.  It then ties in almost subliminal Apple product placement to those personalities and in doing so it positions those products as the unifying element that lead “Making it”

If you reverse engineer it, it is not difficult to see that every word of content written for this video is articulating the Apple Brand Promise that desire, drive and commitment plus Apple equals success.

The target persona? Intelligent young people who are creative, rebellious, and highly aspirational.

Menu Log

In this video Menu Log, like Apple, have tied a killer personal brand with their own to articulate their brand positioning. That “There is nothing more Pimpin’ than ordering from Menu Log.”

Target Persona? This one is a little trickier to divine.

You must consider the audience that a personality like Snoop Dogg would resonate with. You also need to think about the individuals for whom using a premium service like menu log is a low involvement decision.

Picture the following scenario and you have your answer.
Kids: “Mum what’s for dinner?”
Mum: “It’s dad’s turn to cook”
Dad:  in a thought bubble “Get delivery like a G … See”

The persona in this case would appear to be Men aged 35 to 50 with kids who are earning a decent  income and are low on cooking skills.

So what does Snoop Dogg have to do with writing content for my clients?

Of course, not every organisation has a budget like Apple or Menu Log but that does not mean you can’t write killer content for them.

Talk to your client and their customer facing staff, find out who the people are that are responsible for purchasing decisions related to their products and services.  In many cases there will be multiple customer archetypes to deal with and each of them will have a different set of purchasing triggers.

To successfully address your client’s customers, you must develop a positioning statement and content for each persona with whom they wish to engage.

As an example:

Acme Door Widgets is a company that manufactures door hardware.  Two key purchasing decision makers that they need to influence will be Interior Designers and Carpenters.

For the client to secure an order for their door handles you will need to create a positioning statement that reflects the concerns of each of these individuals and then write content that will substantiate both of those positions.

For the interior designer it is important that every element of every room is tied together from a visual perspective. They need to feel that door handle supplier they choose will give them a range that will enable them to reflect their vision in every room in the building.

For them the positioning statement might be
Acme Door Widgets, Providing Interior Designers with a range of door handles that will never fail to perfectly offset their vision.

In this instance it is important that the content you write reflects the way that that Acme Door Handles’ range of styles, finishes and colours can be combined to create a limitless set of combinations to deliver on any aesthetic choice the designer makes.

On the other hand, the Carpenter has to fit 250 door handles to complete his part of the project. He may have an opinion about the look and feel but his key concerns are likely to be related to ease of installation, quality of fitment and product longevity.

Our carpenter hates it when the fitment of handles is inconsistent, and he has to modify his fitting process to accommodate this. He also worries that a door handle may randomly fail due to a manufacturing fault causing him to have to return to the job and replace the offending component.

For him, your client’s positioning might be something like:

Acme Door Widgets, Providing Carpenters with door hardware solutions that perfectly fit first time and last a lifetime

For the Carpenter Persona, the content written should speak to the rigorous quality control that Acme Door Widgets apply to the assembly of their door handle kits and the product testing they do to ensure that their door handles continue to open and close for decades to come.

Why should I go to all that trouble for the sake of a few blogs and social posts?

Whilst it may seem a lot of work to define and establish your customer’s buyer personas before writing a single word of content you will find that it pays significant dividends in the long term.

These dividends include but are not limited to:

  • The ability to create a content delivery roadmap means that your content team will never have to wonder what they should say in the next blog or social post.
  • Fewer issues around tone and subject matter mean production delays due to client pushback and the need to rewrite content become a thing of the past.
  • Communications that resonate with your client’s ideal customers will deliver better results than ad hoc posts that may completely miss the mark.

At the end of the day, a client who is happy with the results your content writing efforts generate is far more likely to stay than one who is not.  Everything you can do to ensure that client retention is money in the bank for you and your agency.

If you need help creating quality, targeted content for your clients then Agency Stack has your back.

Our team of content creators are capable, on deck and ready to roll with messaging that is guaranteed to resonate with the key decision makers in their target markets.

Contact us now for an obligation free content consultation.

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How To Effectively Edit Your Copy

When it comes to ecommerce marketing nothing works better than perfectly crafted content that helps people in knowing the trade and purpose of any business. Content also helps in enhancing the rankings of any website in search results. If you want to enhance the exposure of any ecommerce website and boost its online visibility then content is the key. A lot of ecommerce retailers tend to outsource copywriting tasks to digital marketing agencies and freelance writers, but there are some businesses who want to be in total control of content creation and maintain in-house copywriters for this purpose. While in some cases business owners tend to write content for their business on their own as they want to be in total control and be sure about the quality of content that is being published on behalf of their business. However, writing an effective copy of content is not an easy task. It takes a lot of time, energy, creativity, and skills to craft a good content copy for a blog or newsletter that is capable of  answering the queries of consumers effectively and making conversions. We have put together some really valuable tips that will help those who want to write content on their own for their business and digital marketers who aspire to be effective copywriters and editors. These tips are listed below:

Keep it Concise Yet Comprehensive:

When it is about quality content, always remember, less is more. Don’t try to make your content copy longer by adding too much details, only jot down the information that is necessary for your user to know.. The average attention span of readers is very little these days, a lot of them don’t even tend to read the content if they see a large number of words, many of them leave it midway, and a very few people read the entire copy if it is too long. Therefore, if you are capable of expressing a narrative or story in lesser words do it. Don’t try to expand the number of words in your content copy, it won’t benefit you anyway. In simple terms, when it comes to a content copy, “the shorter, the better” stands true.

Keep it Simple:

Readability of content matters a lot these days, you can’t expect every single reader of your content to be at the same intellectual level. Therefore, the need of the hour is to keep your content as simple as possible by avoiding the use of complex words that are not used often during everyday discussion. There is no need to make your content complicated or unreadable for common people, you should cater to the needs of a variety of audience and if you are using simple language in your content, it will be able to attract more number of readers and ultimately help you in making more conversion through your content.

Proofread Your Content:

There are a number of effective tools that can help you in rectifying grammatical and spelling mistakes in your content. A popular tool for this purpose is Grammarly. These tools will also help you in maximising the readability and correcting the sentence structure of your content. However, before turning your head towards any tool, you need to figure out your own mistakes by yourself. The best way to identify mistakes in your content is reading it out loud. If you are not comfortable while doing this you can take help of your computer to read it for you. If you observe any issue you will be able to rectify it immediately before any tool points it out. Just make sure your content is well structured and grammatically correct, it will create a better impact ultimately.

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Our Content Copy Tips & Tricks

Great social media management requires the pooling of many skills. From having an exciting eye for design, to creating engaging campaigns and knowing how to craft exceptional copy. At first it can feel like a lot to master all while being able to keep a finger on the pulse. When it comes to the creative, clever and concise captions that make good copy and content great, we’re here to help. If you’d rather outsource copywriting to our team, we totally get it! If however, you’re ready to take on the task of sharpening your copy skills, here are some of our best kept secrets to give you a head start.

First of all, what does good content copy look like?

When writing for social media and marketing campaigns a few things should differ. You have to create a perfect blend of sales pitch and conversation all in one. Great copy is also genuine. Try to be authentic and know what you’re writing about and why you’re writing it before you begin. Know who you are talking to as well. That way you have a better chance of connecting with them through your copy.

Some other things we do to write great copy include:

  • Ensure what you’re writing is actually going to be of interest to your audience. Use headlines in your writing to interest your readers too. You can get creative with spacing your captions so certain sentences are your “headline” before readers are prompted to click “see more”. Make sure your copy headlines, titles, and openers do you justice. Make sure they capture the most interesting point of what you’re trying to say or leave people so intrigued that can’t possibly scroll past!
  • If you’re stuck on content ideas there is nothing more valuable than what has been done before. Many people overlook the content they’ve done before, but not only is it a great source of inspiration, but a great place to improve and better your work. Look through your old content and copy. See what worked and what didn’t. You can recycle the parts that worked into new ideas and write EVEN better copy in your content.
  • Establish your voice. Nobody wants to read something that has no personality. There is enough copy out there for your audiences so making yours stand out will ensure it’s effective and engaging. Avoid speaking passively. Be confident in your copy and you will quickly establish your business as a point of authority in your niche. Excite your readers and capture exactly what your business is about by ensuring your copy is written with an active, engaging voice.
  • This one probably goes without saying but check! Your! Grammar!  And then check it again! And even once more for good measure. We all know it’s easy for typos to slip through the cracks so you can never be too careful checking your copy. Have it run over by a few different people for good measure. The last thing you need is your readers to be distracted from your point by a typo or grammar mistake that could’ve been so easily avoided!
  • Devising a style guide for your captions and copy is a little extra effort that will go a long way. It will save you time in the future and ensure your business is represented through your copy with a cohesive and effective style. You can also set character limits to optimise your copy style to your audience.