Local advertisers: words and phrases that make customers groan

In this look at local advertising we’re going to focus on the next favourite words used by well-meaning but non-savvy advertisers … next, that is, after the famous first prize winner, WE (as in we-wee). This follows on from the last article which focused on the issues that cloud the effectiveness of the same ads.

words that make customers groan in local advertising
These words are not necessarily bad or even unsuitable (in themselves) for sales. However according to my research in dozens of local magazines and handbooks, they have become irritating because they are used by so many advertisers, and so they are relegated to cliché status. (Don’t forget that most clichés started out in life as very popular words which everyone loved and used over and over again, which is why they became clichés. One of life’s little ironies.)

The top 10 over-used words and phrases in local ads, and why they put customers off

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Local advertisers: key ways to p*ss off potential customers

What with we-weeing and more we-weeing being discussed at some length across the social media lately, with most comments and observations being positive and curative (!!) several readers have asked me to go into a bit more detail on the cringe making mistakes some local advertisers make with their hard-earned ad budgets in local magazines and other publications.

Local advertising mistakes on How To Write Better

Where I did my research on local advertising

In order not to get all the air let out of the tyres on my car and/or my house being burned down, I decided to preserve anonymity and gathered together a selection of local magazines – the types that are handed out free or put through mailboxes – from a number of locations in and around central England. These tend to be produced on glossy paper in either A4 or A5 sizes.

The common denominators were frightening in their vastness – it didn’t seem to matter what English county or city was involved. Everyone was making the same basic advertising mistakes that can be the difference between capturing live leads and losing them. [Read more…]

Content writing: curated articles that aren’t vanilla sh*t

If you like to learn about creating better content BUT are fed up with the droves of boring, “vanilla,” repetitive, useless articles that fill up the internet, stick with me. Here are a few that I think are excellent: I’ve learned from them, and so will you. Your time reading them will NOT be wasted…

good articles on content creation on HTWB

…because no-one has time to waste on boring, vanilla, hot-air articles on content creation.

…and, we’ll be curating similarly good, powerful and useful articles on here in the future as they crop up. Does that work for you? If so please say so in the comments below. In the meantime…

Emails: what’s the best time to send them?

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How to optimize your blog’s images in 3 easy steps (and why you should)

Blog writers, in particular, often forget to optimize the images we use to illustrate our words – so losing some potentially valuable SEO traction. Yet with just a few simple key strokes you can benefit from greater Google visibility. To show us how, please welcome USA-based content marketer Owen Hunt

How to optimize your images and why it's important

We’ve all heard that images are important to add life to our content and spice up otherwise boring and bland content. What we haven’t discussed nearly enough, is how important optimizing images is for your overall SEO. We spend so much time on text and behind the scenes optimization that many of us forget our images.

Without properly optimizing your images, you could be leaving half of your SEO potential on the table. [Read more…]

Local advertisers: stop writing we-wee and start getting a decent ROI

Just over three years ago we published about the we-weeing problem in marketing material, and much as most pro writers like me bang on about it, it’s still raging away.

Local advertisers we-weeing on their customers HTWB

This historic little guy, Manneken Pis, has been we-weeing on people in Brussels, Belgium for 400 years. Fortunately this is good, for his business.

The reason why I am throwing the toys out of my pram this time is because I feel sorry for the ever-constant stream of local magazines that set up in all good faith, sell advertising space to local businesses, and go out of business themselves within a couple of years.

Why? Here’s my theory and it’s not their fault … it’s the fault of the we-wee local advertisers who, because they we-wee, don’t get the results they should from their advertising and so eventually abandon the local magazines as not cost-effective. Naughty, naughty and frankly, bloody ignorant.

Local advertisers: stop writing about how wonderful you are

(NB: After my rant, you’ll find 10 Tips on how to do it right, below!) [Read more…]

How the SO WHAT? test can boost a lot of your business writing

Although the SO WHAT? test originally was written to test the content effectiveness of your elevator pitch, actually you can use it to test almost any promotional statement. Here’s how it works…So what test for all your marketing on HTWB

The basic idea behind the SO WHAT? test

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