Transcript – Three of the Best Aviation Copywriting Projects with the Best ROI
Paula Williams: Hey. Paula Williams.
John Williams: And this is John Williams.
Paula: We are ABCI. ABCI’s mission is…
John: To help all of you, ladies and gentlemen out there in the aviation world sell more of your products and services.
Paula: Absolutely. So, today I wanted to talk about three copywriting projects that have the best return on investment.
John: Well, you said you wanted to talk about it. Does that mean I leave?
Paula: Well, you want to talk with me about it, don’t you?
John: You said, “I.”
Paula: Okay. Today, we would like to talk about three copywriting projects that have the best return on investment. How’s that?
Paula: Okay, cool. You can hire a lot of different people to do a lot of different things for your company, right?
Paula: And, there are a lot of different marketing tasks that you can hire a lot of different companies to do things for you. One of the things that I think is the most difficult skill to obtain, and we struggle with this as a company because we’re always building a team of copywriters and we’re always working with them and developing new copywriters and other things because this is such a hard thing to find and such a hard thing to do, right?
John: I’m not a copywriter. I wouldn’t know.
Paula: Well, you do know how hard it is to find a good [crosstalk]
John: Yes. I do actually know that.
Paula: Okay. And a lot of people will go ahead and build a website. Maybe your website was built one or five or ten years ago, and maybe it was built by you or by one of the free website builders or by a design company that did a wonderful job of making it look beautiful, but didn’t do a great job of writing.
John: Other things.
Paula: Exactly. Project number one that has a great return on investment is copywriting your website or re-copywriting your website. You may have a website that you totally love, but nobody’s visiting it. Nobody is coming to you. People that visit your website aren’t leaving their contact information or aren’t picking up the phone. You have any number of indications that your website is just not doing the job.
John: That it needs to be doing.
Paula: That it needs to be doing. It may look fine. It may look absolutely beautiful and have fabulous photography and great design, beautiful graphics, and all of those things, but that does not help if you don’t have good writing that actually explains the difference between your product and service and the guys next door, or the guys down the street or at the next field, right?
Paula: We like to do a thing called the logo test, where if you were to take yours and your competitor’s websites and just swap logos, would people notice? Would they know any different?
John: There’s a lot of them that wouldn’t be any different.
Paula: Yeah, exactly. You look at a lot of FBOs, a lot of MROs, a lot of flight schools, and a lot of other companies, and they don’t really explain their competitive advantage. They don’t really explain how they are different or better, or why they’re the best choice for… [crosstalk]
John: Differentiation is absolutely required.
Paula: Exactly. And to be able to find of you using the most common keywords for the product or service that they’re looking for. So, when they use Google, Bing, or whatever. DuckDuckGo, anything like that, you want to make sure that your site is being found.
So our process when we do copywriting for a website is to, first, do keyword analysis. What are your competitors scoring for that you’re not? What are you scoring well for that your competitors are not? Is that an accurate reflection of reality?
John: Not to put too fine of a point on it, but the copywriting has to be nailed down. That’s what your Google search is going to work on.
Paula: Right. Exactly.
John: The words you put in that.
Paula: We write for human beings. So, somebody visiting your website will be compelled to take the next step and will feel this is super clear, concise, and really powerfully written. But we also want to make sure that we’re including the right keywords so that people are finding you for your local area, people are finding you for your specialties, and people are finding you for your competitive advantage.
John: And you have to be able to put keywords in a manner which makes sense and doesn’t look like you’re stuffing them.
Paula: Exactly. Right. So, that’s project number one is your website. So you may want to have copywriting on your website. Maybe the whole site is fine, except that you have one or two pages that aren’t performing. That’s totally fine. We can do that in your project hours. This is something you can use your project hours for if you’re one of our marketing lab members.
If you need your whole website rewritten, we usually estimate about an hour per page for that analysis, and writing, and editing, and everything else. That’s a pretty conservative estimate. Sometimes it takes longer than that.
John: That’s just writing. That’s not designing and putting in graphics, and so forth.
Paula: Of course. We’re just talking about copywriting today.
John: I know.
Paula: Okay. Just the copywriting, one hour per page, and it makes a huge difference. Some folks that we’ve worked with are getting a lot more traffic to their website after we rewrite one or two pages. Or rewrite the whole site, depending on how long it’s been, how your site appears in the search engines, what may have changed over time about your business model or about your team, or anything else that maybe need your “About Us” section rewritten.
John: Yeah. And some of these things need to be… you need to understand the difference between phraseology. You can tell them about the guy with their photography versus jet photography.
Paula: Yeah, we’ve talked about this before.
John: Doesn’t hurt to re-say it.
Paula: Exactly. It’s one situation that we had. We found out that his website was optimized for aircraft photography. That’s fantastic, but not a lot of people look for aircraft photography. More people are looking for jet photography, and his argument was, “Well, aircraft photography is more inclusive and more accurate, and I also photograph helicopters and turboprops, so I don’t really want to say jet photography.” But after looking at those numbers and deciding, “You know what? You can get people to your website, and then you can drill them down to the turboprops or the helicopters, and say, ‘I also do this,'” but what you want to look at..we look at three factors for keywords. One is relevance. One is popularity, that’s number two is popularity, and number three is competition. That was an opportunity where “Okay. Aircraft photography is a little more relevant, but jet photography was 10 times more popular at the time.”
John: We convinced him to change it and his results went sky-high.
Paula: Exactly. He had a lot more people coming to his website. You got to look at the numbers. Sometimes, you think you know what your keywords are but without really going through those reports and figuring out, “What should I be emphasizing if I have a choice between two keywords that seem pretty relatively equal?”, those are the factors that we use to make the decision there. That’s thing number one, your website.
Thing number two, another copywriting project that has a great return on investment, is a featured article. Now, this is something more likely to be about your customers than about you. Right?
John: Very subtle difference, but huge in return.
Paula: Exactly. To give you an example of this, Turbines Inc. does PT6A engines. They do overhauls, they do repairs, they do… Basically, anything that can be done to a PT6A engine, they do. But, there’s only so much you can say about a PT6A engine. What’s more interesting is the aircraft and the people that fly PT6A engines, because PT6A engines are used in firefighting aircraft and agricultural aircraft, and drug enforcement aircraft, and all of these cool things that are so much more interesting than talking about the tolerances of a particular turbine blade. We can only do so much of that. That’s fine to do a featured article about your process or something along those lines, but it’s so much more interesting, sometimes, to do it about what your product is for or the history of your product, or interesting things about your customers, and other things like that.
We can always find some great ideas for a featured article that we may even be able to place in the aviation publications, or make it newsworthy enough that it will be good for a press release, or included on your website as a blog article.
Those articles on Turbines Inc.’s blog are really cool. We’ve had some of our best copywriters write those things, and they’re really good. It’s really interesting to find out that the drug enforcement agency used an agricultural aircraft with a PT6A engine to eradicate some of the marijuana fields in South America. Who knew? There are a lot of things that I did not know about a PT6A engine and, frankly, did not care all that much. I care more about people and planes, and incidents, and things like that than I do about a particular internal working of an engine.
I know you may be different.
Paula: You like the how-it’s-made, kind of, features.
John: That, sure.
Paula: Yeah. That’s cool, but you could do both. There’s no reason you can’t do one of the how-it’s-done and how-you-do-it-differently than anybody else videos or featured articles. And then the next month do an “About Our Customers”, “About A Cool Customer”, or “About A Cool Use of Our Product” featured article.
Featured article, we usually figure about three to four hours for, basically, the conjecture. What are we going to write about? the planning, here are the keywords that we want to capture, the writing, and the editing. Featured articles are also a very cool use of those project hours, and sometimes those articles can be years and years old and still be bringing traffic to your website if you’ve invested in a great article.
Paula: Okay. Project number three, that has a really great return on investment for aviation copywriting, an email autoresponder. A lot of us have products or services that are really complicated, right? Some folks do a software that handles the aircraft logbooks. Or our clients have all kinds of cool stuff. Aircraft brokers, we can talk about what goes into the pricing of an aircraft and all kind of things that people don’t know. It can be pretty complicated, and you may want to break that down. There are two reasons for that: 1 because you have to deliver a lot of information and people just can only absorb so much at a time, and number 2 because a relationship takes a while to develop. If someone is getting an email once a week from you about a particular topic, it becomes more credible than if they just read one thing from you.
Repetition is psychologically another contact, and those of you that have been in our sales courses or in any of the other else’s sales courses know, that it takes a number of contacts to build up a relationship, to the point where somebody feels comfortable writing a big check or making a big wire transfer, or something like that. Building that relationship takes some time, and an email autoresponder delivers quality information over a period of time. Most of us use some type of an email system, like Salesforce, HubSpot, MailChimp, Constant Contact, ActiveCampaign. I could go on for days about how many email software systems there are. If you don’t have one, we can set one up for you. If you do have one, we can work with what you’ve got and just build those emails and set them up to be triggered by a certain event.
Somebody visits your website, somebody fills out a particular form, requesting information on a particular topic, that kicks off a six-week autoresponder, as an example.
John: I think we should touch on something else.
John: The word copywriting and what it used to be, what it really is, compared to… When you first started, nobody knew what that was.
Paula: Right. There still are a few people, not as many as there were… Jesus like 2006 or whatever, when we started doing this. And when I would say copywriting, they think, intellectual property protection, they think, like trademarks, copyrights, patents, and intellectual property. That is not the kind of copywriting we’re talking about today. Copywriting is actually an advertising discipline that has to do with…
John: Writing copy.
Paula: Yeah, the written word. And, a lot of people think, “Well, it’s all going to video now.” That is true to a certain extent, and we will talk about videos in future and past episodes. And videos becoming a lot more prevalent, but still, those machines and a lot of people still want to read. Reading something that’s been written has a tradition of being so much more authoritative than something that you see on video. Ideally, you want to do both, and there is nothing wrong with having a copywriting project in conjunction with a video project. You have a summary that’s written and you also have a video, and then that gives you the best of both worlds. Or in some cases, video or copywriting is better for one reason or another.
Copy always gets through. A copy will go to a text message. A copy will go to an email address. A copy will go a lot of places that a video will not, so that’s why we still do copywriting, and we still think it is incredibly important.
John: Words like you were saying that just go to a text or an email, video generally runs at 30 frames per second. Each frame is typically five meg. That’s 150 meg for a second. Hard to get that through. Just saying.
Paula: Exactly. Especially in existing relationships with people where you already have people opening your email, it’s just super easy to send a written email, and you can always embed a video, which may or may not work. That’s fine. You don’t lose anything as long as you’ve got both formats there.
Paula: Yeah. Another thing, we still use human-being copywriters. We really really really enjoy working with human beings. Kathryn Creedy, one of the best in the business, has been around forever. A couple of up-and-coming people that we’re starting to work with, Misty and Felicia. Both are great people who have a really good sense of how to communicate with other human beings. And that’s something that cannot be done, yet, very well by a machine.
John: As a matter of fact, even the purveyors of AI for copywriting will tell you, it’s great. But you have to have a human give it a good copy to start with.
John: If you’re going to do that, at this point, you just will have a human writing.
Paula: Yeah, and sometimes you can start with a great, super well-written article and then use AI to chop it up into a million bits or rephrase it, or reframe it and other things, repurpose it. We’re all for saving time when we can and saving you money when we can.
John: But it needs a solid, good, well-written copy, the work.
Paula: Yeah, exactly.
John: In order to function well and give you good output.
Paula: Yeah. So, the phrase “garbage in, garbage out”.
John: Still applies.
Paula: Still applies. That you have to have a great human writer on the front end and a great human editor on the back end to make sure that all of this is going to work the way that you want it to. Anyway, that’s my two cents about that.
But, point for today, three fantastic copywriting projects that always have a good ROI, if they’re done and deployed correctly, of course. Website, featured article, and email autoresponder. If you have extra project hours this month, let’s use them on a copywriting project. We’d love to get our writers busy, and we’ve got a couple of new ones that we’re breaking in, as we mentioned. And, if you do not have project hours left, let’s talk and see if we can get something for you that will be very cost-effective, and a way to get our folks started and keep them busy as we’re going through the learning process and make sure that you have a fantastic product in the end that has a good ROI.
Paula: All right. Thank you. See you next week.