Month: July 2021

When The Power of Words is not enough

Talk about under-selling our own skills and services. At TPW we are all about The Power of Words. It is, after all, our brand name and our USP. But, we humbly admit, there are times when words are just not enough. Awkward, I know …

Take the beautiful graphic on FLOW that accompanies this blog as an example. I tried to write about it, but couldn’t do it justice. It became a bit mumbo jumbo; alienating and boring too (yet more warts and all confessions).

This particular beauty was created by the inimitable Regine Wilber of Essence Design under the TPW umbrella for a new client, Framlingham College. Not our usual niche, as such. But a smashing project to work on, bringing copy and creative design together for a website that’s refreshing, progressive and packs a punch. To get a real sense of when and why graphics work wonders with words, here are some thoughts from Regine herself:

“‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ – the same is true for data visualisation,” says Regine. “It’s much easier for the brain to see the connections and understand concepts if it’s created as a graphic. It’s a proven method that not only helps to comprehend complex data, it gives creators the chance to emphasise and focus the data to clearly make a point. Florence Nightingale’s Rose Graph, published in 1858, is a brilliant example of using design to bring the stats to life and make them undisputable.”

Effective infographic ingredients

Feeling swayed by the idea of using infographics long-term, but not sure where to start? Typical ingredients of an effective infographic include:

Our info-overload age

In today’s Information Age (or info-overload, let’s face it), we need visual aids more than ever if our brains are not to be scrambled. Think of the Covid-19 pandemic. Chances are, you’ve seen an exhaustive amount of public health messages about the R rate, hygiene or vaccinations in the past 18 months. With wide-ranging visuals intended to catch the eye, they speak loudly and clearly when words alone are not enough – or too complicated perhaps, to comprehend.

The science bit
Infographics are, therefore, a brilliant way of helping your audience (whoever they may be) understand a complex topic. This was seen in a study at Near East University when an anatomy-themed infographic was used alongside traditional teaching materials. Its information was shown to be not only more effective, but also more permanent in the mind. As our brains do less work to digest visual content – yet process images 60,000 times faster than text – more and more businesses are catching on to the appeal of infographics to engage, educate and entertain. 
Why we work with graphic designers from the get-go

Keen to create infographics that metaphorically smack people in the chops with their aesthetic appeal and clarity, team TPW collaborates with graphic designers from the very start of each project. This allows us to write to imagery; you may be surprised to hear that this is often not the case. In the words of our happy client, Framlingham College: “The Power of Words completely understood our ambitions and tone of voice from one briefing”.

Contact us for the power of words and the power of truly great graphics – or alternatively, view our dedicated infographic services webpage.

5 & a 1/2 content marketing mistakes to forget

So, it’s international ‘I Forgot Day’ today (2 July) aimed at making amends for those things that you’ve forgotten. But, true to TPW form, we thought we’d flip it on its head and use this random day as a peg to advise you of the content marketing mistakes that you may have unwittingly committed, as a reminder not to do them again.* Just forget them – and move on.

  1. Frequency turns to folly

A recent Hubspot report revealed that 70% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing. It’s hardly surprising that there’s such a focus on churning out content, given the relatively high return on investment (ROI). Businesses that blog allegedly generate 13 times the revenue of those that don’t. 

But it’s also true to say that this perpetual whirlwind is creating a content conundrum: brands know they need to jump on the bandwagon, but they’re showing an ill-considered willingness to sacrifice quality. Here’s the thing: bad content is worse than no content at all. So, don’t fall into the trap of sacrificing quality for quantity – commit to the creation of clever, captivating content.

  1. Writing reams & reams

Of course you feel passionate about your brand and the products and/or services that you have to offer. Such passion is sure to shine through in your writing. Still, you should stop and ask yourself whether your readers are likely to have as much interest in the minutiae as you. This isn’t to say that you should place a strict limit on the length of your blogs or web pages. And, as you may well know, Google has a penchant for blog posts between 1,760 and 2,400 words. Sigh. 

But you shouldn’t pour your heart, time, and money (if you’re hiring a writer) into saying everything there is to say in one go. Think miniskirts when you think content: long enough to cover the essentials, but short enough to keep it enticing. You never know, there may be scope for a series, or a blog trilogy (TPW’s particular favourite).

  1. Ad hoc = unadvisable

Content without a plan is just noise – that people may find distracting at best. Blogs, eBooks, case studies, and whitepapers (try not to use that word; it’s a sure fire way to make someone not read your content) play a crucial role in convincing clients and customers to engage with your business. But if they’re distributed willy nilly then there’s no story and no educational journey to go on for the reader. This is where TOFU, MOFU and BOFU come into play. But we’ll save that for an entirely different blog. 

Planning is absolutely essential if your content is to be suitably engaging. You’ll ideally resist the temptation of immediately putting pen to paper. Sure, you might come up with a one hit wonder. On the other hand it might not resonate much at all. Either way, it is an ill-advised strategy that won’t lead to sustained content marketing success. It’s always better to plan ahead, weighing up your ideas, and reaping the rewards of your forward-thinking content strategy.

  1. Sales-driven 

We get it – you want people to visit your website and buy your stuff (B2B or B2C). But care must be taken not to scare away your prospective customers with conversion-focused copy. It’s far better to take a softly-softly approach – engaging your audience with stories that are zeitgeisty, and have zeal – oh, and that also happen to tie in with your USPs. 

Advertorials are your only opportunity to get away with a bit more of a sales approach. Like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, it’s disguised as editorial. But, TPW thinks that’s ok. Everyone is playing this game. Readers aren’t stupid and they’re not to be duped. But just remember to keep it newsworthy and not overly promotional.

  1. Audience who?

As Head of Content, I’m quite used to receiving requests for blogs about office relocations and digital transformation. While such news may be a boost for the business itself, it’s generally of no interest to its clients or customers. Back of the knitting is our favourite phrase. It’s too inward looking – too focused on you, leaving your audiences on the sidelines.

Showing how you solve clients’ problems is the content marketing gain or even just educating them a little on what they may not know. Like a post-it note to your target audience’s brain, it needs to be memorable, yes; but only to those that matter to you. So easily said. So hard in reality.

5.5 Pegging content to random international days

TPW will learn from this content mistake, forget – and move on.

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