Top 5 Stories In Copywriting & Content Marketing This Week – July 24th 2015

Round up

 

Hi there,

 

This week we’ve been looking at branding and how good content can help you to really sell to your customers in every sense of the word. We’ve compiled our findings for you in our weekly round up. Here’s our five most useful posts:

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Top 5 Stories In Copywriting And Content Marketing This Week – July 17th 2015

Round up 

 Hi there,

This week,  we’ve been taking a look at content marketing, analytics and SEO in our blogs and social streams. To cap the week off, we wanted to draw your attention to some of the big stories that have caught our attention. Here’s our five most useful posts:

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5 ways to INSTANTLY improve any written business communication

bottle pixels Whatever sector you’re in and whatever role you play in your company, accurate, effective and compelling written communications are a key factor in success.

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How to create irresistible fashion copywriting that sells

In a world where consumers have virtually unlimited choice regarding what clothes they buy and where they get them from, to have a successful online fashion retail business  you need to ensure that everything you do is exceptional. Your clothes, exceptional. Your deals, exceptional. But you also need people to know how exceptional your offering is. That means utilising fashion copywriting which is irresistible.

Here we’d like to guide you through some of the fashion copywriting techniques that will help your brand to excel.

Preach to the choir 

Speak to your audience about what’s in their heart” – Jonathan Lister

Not everyone wants to buy your products. They don’t fit. They’re too expensive. They’re not the right style. But that’s fine; you weren’t going to sell them anything anyway.

Rather than trying to appeal to everyone, your fashion copywriting should speak directly to your core customers, using language, attitudes and perspectives that they’re familiar with. To do this you need to A) Know who your audience (your core demographic) is B) understand how to talk to them C) leverage this information in your copywriting.

If for example your main customers are teenage girls, then you should speak in a young, vibrant and fun voice that will resonate with them. Avoid the urge to throw lots of trendy ‘buzzwords’ or teen colloquialisms in there though as this will usually come across as insincere and forced. At the same time, avoid dull or over-elaborated language that will bore them.

Similarly if you’re selling high-end suits for men, adopt a professional and dependable tone of voice that will resonate with that particular audience.

‘Sell the sizzle’

Marketing guru Elmer Wheeler once said that marketers should “sell the sizzle, not the steak”. This principle is highly relevant to fashion copywriting, as people are not necessarily buying your clothes, they’re buying the way that they think your clothes will make them feel about themselves.

Wheeler elaborated on his now famous soundbite more by explaining that, “What we mean by the “sizzle” is the biggest selling point in your proposition – the main reasons why your prospects will want to buy. The sizzling of the steak starts the sale more than the cow ever did, though the cow is, of course, very necessary!”

In the same way, having exceptional clothes to sell is very necessary, but when you’re selling them you need to emphasise the benefits that your product will bestow. Will it make them sexier? More confident? Appear more professional? Provide complete comfort? Last for a particularly long time?

Understand what it is about your products that ‘sizzles’, and make sure that your copywriters are getting this across to your customers.

Brand your copywriting for success

“Your brand is a story unfolding across all customer touch points.” – Jonah Sachs

To ensure that your business experiences continued success rather than small victories with one or two popular products, you need to have a strong and consistent brand.

Branding for success means determining what makes your fashion retail business different from the competition, and telling a positive story that will set it in the best possible light. Within this story should be your unique selling propositions, which highlight what is special about your brand, and provide compelling reasons for people to buy from you.

Once you’ve created a brand blueprint, you need to put in place a system of ensuring that this branding is present and consistent across all of your product descriptions and website copy. The most effective solution is to create brand tone of voice and style document that can be easily distributed to in-house fashion copywriters and copywriting agencies as needed.

Think mobile first

Not so long ago, if someone was looking to buy new clothes they’d make a special trip to the high street, or set aside a portion of time for browsing through a catalogue. Today though, with most people owning a smartphone (and UK ownership levels predicted to reach 43million by 2017), things are far more spontaneous. People are clothes shopping on their lunch hour, on the train, whilst waiting for a bus, or are suddenly taken by the idea of buying a new dress while sitting watching TV.

Even if they’re not actually shopping on their mobile, the way people process information is changing to reflect the emerging mobile paradigm. They consume information in short nuggets and in very short spaces of time, and they’re far less loyal to one particular source. Therefore online businesses need to adapt their web content to be ‘mobile first’. This means:

  • Keeping copy succinct
  • Writing shorter sentences and paragraphs
  • Using sub-headers and bullet points for reading ease
  • Getting straight to the point and focusing on it throughout

Create power images

From novels and movies to television advertising and persuasive articles, imagery has the power to shape our minds and influence our behaviour. If you’ve ever read a good book that left a lasting impression, chances are it’s because the author created some compelling imagery to accompany the story. Could it be that the rolling green hills of Tolkien’s shire, the chaotic claustrophobia of Hunter S Thompson’s Las Vegas and the descriptions of your next product range all share something in common?

To leverage the power of imagery in your fashion copywriting you might try building pictures in your readers of minds of how they’ll look or feel or act when they’re wearing your clothes. For example you might plant the image in their mind of boldly striding through a crowded club or public space, or of enjoying themselves and feeling free at the beach, or taking part in an action sport in complete comfort.

Work out what people want, how your clothes can fulfil this need, and then create an image which will link these two together.

Bait, hook, sell 

As we mentioned earlier, people are increasingly promiscuous with their information sources and where they seek their solutions from. Though you may achieve a healthy loyal following who eagerly anticipate your product launches, many more will have more of a casual flirtation with your brand. Your goal with this latter group should be to very quickly entice them, convince them and then close the sale.

Bait – Alongside attractive images of your clothing products, your product descriptions should also be highly desirable. Use the techniques above to make this so.

Hook – Once you’ve got their attention, you need to hook them on what you have to offer by selling the sizzle as discussed earlier. Emphasise the benefits of your products, and bring in your brand USPs for maximum effect, such as affordability, luxury stylings or even something more practical like fast delivery times.

Sell – You’ve convinced them, but you haven’t made a sale until they’ve checked out. Your aim should be to make this process as quick, intuitive and straight forward as possible. Provide a clear call to action such as “hit ‘buy now’ to purchase this item”. When they take this action this should lead them straight to the checkout page, and everything about this should also be kept as clear and simple as possible.

If you consistently employ these techniques in your fashion copywriting, you should begin to see some great results. If you need any advice on creating irresistible online fashion content, or have a copywriting project you need handled, get in touch with Big Star Copywriting.

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How to make your products look highly desirable – secrets of top online fashion retailers

According to Mintel, there were more than £10billion worth of clothing and footwear sales online in the UK in 2014, accounting for almost a fifth of fashion sales. There’s certainly a sizeable market out there for online fashion e-tailers then, but there is also no shortage of competitors.

If you’re selling clothes and other fashion items online, then having highly stylish products that people actually want to buy should obviously be high on your list of priorities. But to stand out from the rest you also need to do everything you can to make those products appear as desirable as possible in your online store. That starts with having professional images of the clothes in question, but it doesn’t end there. Your textual content is every bit as important as the photographs of your products, and you should take some time to ensure that you’re getting it right. Here we take a look at how two of the UK’s top online fashion retailers are making their clothes appear even more desirable to web consumers.

Asos

product descriptions

According to Silverbean, the information people want most is about pricing and promotions, and features about the product they’re buying…information about sizing, how to care for clothes, and large, clear images (or videos) to demonstrate the cut of fabrics and how they move on a model.

Take a look at a few of Asos’ product descriptions and you’ll see that they understand this. To the left of the page, customers can view a selection of images of the product from a variety of angles, and they even have an option to watch a video of the product modelled on a catwalk. Over on the right meanwhile is displayed a clear and comprehensive range of information, organised into three clickable categories. ‘Product’ displays specific bullet-pointed pertinent information about the product, such as ‘soft touch cotton jersey’ and ‘machine wash’, while ‘Brand’ provides positive information about the brand in question, and ‘Info’ provides highly detailed information regarding the materials that the product is made from and how to look after it.

You’ll see this approach replicated methodically across Asos’ product lines, and the main thing to take away from this is that the online retailer presents all the information that the customer needs, making it easy to access and to understand. If you’ve ever clicked away from a retail site because it was too frustrating trying to find out the information you needed about a product, you’ll know the importance of this.

For your clothes to be desirable, they must appear to be what the customer is looking for, and that means you need to give them all the information they need.

Net-a-Porter

Fashion copywriting

Net-a-Porter take a similar approach to providing necessary information, with neat clickable sections of info positioned to the right of the product images. But they also include a little more prose description, under the heading ‘Editor’s Notes & Details’. For example the site’s description for Gianvito Rossi Patent-leather T-bar pumps reads, “An elegant alternative to your classic pumps, Gianvito Rossi’s T-bar heels have been immaculately crafted in Italy from glossy black patent-leather. Wear yours with office tailoring and evening outfits alike.” The e-tailer cleverly addresses the use directly as if they’re a friend recommending what to wear on a night out, or a knowledgeable personal fashion advisor. This gives the reader the feeling that the product has been curated especially for them.

The take away from this is that you need to know your audience and then develop a consistent tone of voice that will resonate with them, building their trust and engagement with your brand.

Invest in your product descriptions for maximum ROI

These two brands and other top online fashion retailers have climbed to the top by creating a consistent site experience with excellent informative and compelling product descriptions at its core. To replicate their success therefore, you should develop a consistent blueprint for your content that takes the factors discussed into account, and invest in your product copywriting equally consistently.

If you need any help with product copywriting or planning your content, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Big Star Copywriting.

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How to leverage brand voice in short-form fashion content

A common pitfall for fashion brands online is that they fail to capitalise on this brand voice sufficiently in all online areas. They put all the hard work into creating and honing their brand voice on their actual website, but then they pull back and miss the opportunity to further cement their brand image through […]

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How to make your food product descriptions tastier

As an online food retail business, you probably spend a long time either creating your own products to make them as mouth-wateringly delicious as they can be, or assembling the kind of product ranges that culinary dreams are made of. And that’s great, but people can’t taste your products through the screen, and unless they’ve […]

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Five steps towards building a compelling brand story

Whatever sector you’re part of, if you want to be a recognisable and respected part of it, you need to build a solid brand story. If you want a place at the top of your particular food chain and you want conversions by the virtual bucket-load though, you need to make your brand story irresistibly […]

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In-house copywriter or copywriting agency?

If you’re considering taking on a copywriting agency or copywriter, you need to read this first.

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How email copywriting fits into the email marketing lifecycle

How email copywriting fits into the email marketing lifecycle – how good copywriting affects every stage of your email marketing campaign.

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