Tag Archives: Reader

The Future of Indoor GPS Part 4: Read the Room with RFID Tags

RFID-Industry-Predicts

In the previous installment of our blog series on indoor positioning, we explored the future of Ultra Wideband technology. This week, we will examine RFID Tags.

The earliest applications of RFID tags date back to World War II when they were used to identify nearby planes as friends or foes. Since then, RFID technology has evolved to become one of the most cost-effective and easy to maintenance indoor positioning technologies on the market.

WHAT IS RFID?

rfid_works

RFID refers to a wireless system with two components: tags and readers. The reader is a device with one or more antennae emitting radio waves and receiving signals back from the RFID tag.

RFID tags are attached to assets like product inventory. RFID Readers enable users to automatically track and identify inventory and assets without a direct line of sight with a read range between a few centimeters and over 20 meters. They can contain a wide range of information, from merely a serial number to several pages of data. Readers can be mobile and carried by hand, mounted or embedded into the architecture of a room.

RFID tags use radio waves to communicate with nearby readers and can be passive or active. Passive tags are powered by the reader, do not require a battery,  and have a read range of Near Contact – 25 Meters. Active tags require batteries and have an increased read range of 30 – 100+ Meters.

WHAT DOES RFID DO?

RFID is one of the most cost-effective and efficient location technologies. RFID chips are incredibly small—they can be placed underneath the skin without much discomfort to the host. For this reason, RFID tags are commonly used for pet identification.

Image via Hopeland

Image via Hopeland

One of the most widespread uses of RFID is in inventory management. When a unique tag is placed on each product, RFID tags offer instant updates on the total number of items within a warehouse or shop. In addition, it can offer a full database of information updated in real time.

RFID has also found several use cases in indoor positioning. For example, it can identify patients and medical equipment in hospitals using several readers spaced out in the building. The readers each identify their relative position to the tag to determine its location within the building. Supermarkets similarly use RFID to track products, shopping carts, and more.

RFID has found a wide variety of use cases, including:

WHAT ARE THE CONS OF USING RFID?

Perhaps the biggest obstacle facing businesses looking to adopt RFID for inventory tracking is pricing. RFID tags are significantly more expensive than bar codes, which can store some of the same data and offer similar functionality. At about $0.09, passive RFID tags are less expensive than active RFID tags, which can run from $25-$50. The cost of active RFID tags causes many businesses to only use them for high-inventory items.

RFID tags are also vulnerable to viruses, as is any technology that creates a broadcast signal. Encrypted data can help provide an extra level of security; however, security concerns still often prevents larger enterprises from utilizing them on the most high-end merchandise.

OVERALL

RFID tags are one of the elite technologies for offering inventory management with indoor positioning. Although UWB and Bluetooth BLE beacons offer more precise and battery-efficient location services, RFID is evolving to become more energy and cost efficient.

Stay tuned for the next entry in our Indoor Positioning blog series which will explore AR applications in indoor positioning!

A Guide to Promotional Writing Part 4: Attract Traffic With Compelling Website Copy

The Mystic Media Blog will be devoting our expertise into a five-part series of articles detailing the ins and outs of Promotional Writing. The series will cover several topics, including general techniques, suggested processespress releases, , website copy writing, and social media. Last week, we covered how to generate publicity by writing an effective press release.

Website copywriting is perhaps the most common form of promotional writing. The internet is an international hub for both information and e-commerce. Websites are created everyday to advertise and offer services, products, and information. They can be created for businesses, blogs, applications, social media, contests, specific products, and more. All websites share one common goal: attract the target audience. Whether a website is attempting to sell something or simply relay valuable information, the goal is to attract as many relevant viewers to the site as possible and entice them with effective copy writing. In this article, we will detail techniques for achieving this goal.

Know the Ideal Reader

As with any piece of promotional writing, it’s crucial to know the target audience before starting. The ideal reader should feel the copywriting was crafted specifically for them. Make an outline describing the ideal reader. Will the content of the site appeal specifically to men or women? What industry might this person work in? What is their socio-economic class? What degree of education did they receive? What brought them to the site?

Once all these questions are answered, elaborate on the relevance. A person’s line of business would affect the type of humor you’d consider writing into the copy. Their level of education would affect whether the writing is designed to appease a standard for intelligent writing, or to simply be clear and understandable to the common man.

Upon becoming familiar with the Ideal Reader, outline the Desired Action Response. Would the ideal response be an immediate purchase? Would it be to inquire more about the services outlined in the copy? Is the copy intended to lead the reader elsewhere on the site, perhaps to the services section or pricing?

Every sentence should be contribute to generating the Desired Action Response. At the end of any given page should be a Call-to-Action making the Desired Action Response one click away.

Detail Features and Translate to Benefits

If the copy is advertising a product or service, the main purpose of the piece will be to accurately detail the features of the product or service and translate them into benefits. Before writing, finalize the research and create a full list of features and specifications regarding the product or service.

We touched upon the process of translating features to benefits in Part 2 of our Promotional Writing Series: Perfecting the Method, but it’s too important to skip over in this article. Once you’ve written out the features, it’s vital to translate them into benefits.

Readers are selfish. People don’t read web pages out of consideration for the writer, they read things they think will be relevant to them. Instead of simply listing the features of a product or service, explicitly link them to benefits which make it easy for the reader to imagine how the product or service could enrich their lives.

The research is often the meat and bones of the piece. Once all necessary information is detailed, the rest is easy.

Avoid Hyperbolic Description

One of the most commonly made mistakes in copywriting is overselling. Copywriters will dress up the product or service they are representing with an abundance of hyperbolic adjectives. Writers are eager to refer to a product as “innovative,” “cutting-edge,” or a “breakthrough” because it makes their job easier. Readers today are too smart to be persuaded by hyperbolic description. They want the facts. If you save them time by giving it to them straight, they are more likely to believe in what is written about the product.

Check out this great article on avoiding meaningless marketing jargon.

Optimize for Google

Google is a direct path to information. On average, Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second, 3.5 billion searches per day, and 1.2 trillion searches per year. Optimizing copy for Google is vital to attracting visitors searching for the product, solution, or information offered on your website.

The first step toward SEO is to identify keywords pertaining to the subject of the copy. The best way to find keywords is to rely on your intuition and search what anyone would search if they were looking for the subject of your copy. Through Google searching, anyone can also find the top competitors and identify what keywords they are using to attract visitors. Once the key search terms have been identified, ensure they are sprinkled in throughout the copy. Remember, it’s not worth it to sacrifice the integrity of the copy with keyword stacking. As with most aspects of life, a healthy balance is crucial.

Keywords aren’t the only factor which goes into SEO. It’s also important to write an attention-grabbing headline and effective meta data. More than anything, the writer must ensure that the content itself is relevant and informative to the ideal reader.

For more on SEO, check out this great informative article.

Presentation Is King

Short, concise paragraphs with direct points entice readers. Consider ways of spacing out copy to make writing as consumable as possible. Readers love lists and paragraph headings because they allow them the privilege of deciphering what is relevant to them and choosing what to read.

Next week, we’ll conclude our Promotional Writing series with an entry on writing for Social Media. Stay tuned!

At Mystic Media, our vast experience in strategic marketing and application development has given us expertise on all formats of promotional writing: from copy writing, search engine optimization, social media marketing, web design, and more. Learn more by clicking here or contacting us by phone at 801.994.6815

A Guide to Promotional Writing Part 2: Perfecting the Method

The Mystic Media Blog will be devoting our expertise into a five-part series of articles detailing the ins and outs of Promotional Writing. The series will cover several topics, including general techniques, suggested processes, press releases, website copy writing, and social media.

Last week, we tackled an overview of Promotional Writing and covered some general techniques for writing engaging copy. This week, we’re going in-depth into the processes you can use to ensure the smooth creation of compelling copy.

WRITING AN ENGAGING TITLE

Where to begin is often the hardest part of writing.

When competing with an overload of content aimed at drawing attention (be it emails, newsletters, website copy, advertisements, or what have you), it’s vital to begin by capturing the audience’s attention. The title of any piece will determine if the reader will continue to read it. The key is to connect with your audience immediately by ensuring them that the piece is relevant to them.

Instead of titling a piece with a factual statement on the subject, propose a problem. By proposing a common, easily relatable problem, you’re much more likely to connect with the reader. If the opening message connects with the reader, they will continue to read.

Say you’re working for an application development firm writing a newsletter or advertisement about a business intelligence app.

Instead of opening with: “New App Makes Business Intelligence Easy”,

Ask the viewer: “Trouble Keeping Up with Your Workflow?”

Whereas the first example incites a reaction in which the reader may immediately reject the notion of a new app, the second incites empathy. Most people have occasional trouble with their workflow, thus the headline is directly relevant to them. It’s a problem they need to solve. There’s no risk in reading on, but failure to read may prevent the audience from enriching their life with a solution.

Check out this informative article over at Author’s Den on promotional writing which offers four formulas for writing a good title.

ESTABLISH THE DESIRED ACTION RESPONSE

Unlike an essay, the goal of promotional writing is not to demonstrate a thesis, but to persuade the reader to take action.

The Desired Action Response is whatever the writer intends for the reader to do after they finish the piece. It could be to buy something. It could be to click something. It could be to ingrain the brand in your brain. In the case of a blog, it could be to engage the reader with an opinion and prove your expertise. Before  diving into a piece, it’s vital to phrase the Desired Action Response into a single statement and move forward based on generating the action.

For more on the Desired Action Response, check out this “formula” for good promotional writing.

OUTLINE BASED ON STIMULATING ACTION

Once you’ve established the Desired Action Response, every sentence in a promotional piece must contribute to the goal of triggering it. The process of outlining offers the opportunity to design a piece to induce a specific train of thought which could potentially cause the reader to take action. The process of outlining will strengthen the argument and improve the flow of the writing.

Before writing, create a flow-chart of the streams of thought which would have to go through a consumer’s mind in order to act. Focus on both positive effects caused by the product or service, as well as the negative effects the product or service helps the consumer avoid. As you flesh out your thoughts, strengthen your argument by analyzing how a reluctant consumer might poke holes in your points and actively working to stay a step ahead of the curve by addressing potential pitfalls.

For more information on honing your arguments, check out this cool article over at Mind Tools about analyzing your relationship with your audience.

Upon completing a flow-chart, write an outline of the piece using sub-headings to specify the purpose of each paragraph. Create a logical structure based on how best to order the argument. Ensure that each paragraph pushes forward the ideas from the paragraph preceding it and/or sets-up the next paragraph. Once you’ve created a logical structure, flesh out your paragraphs with complete sentences, cap the piece off with a call-to-action and you will have a complete first draft!

RAVICE, RAVISE, REVISE

A first draft will sometimes suffice when it comes to copy writing, but most businesses hold their work up to a higher standard. For those interested improving their craft, the process of revision is crucial to not only understanding the medium, but to maximizing their skills.

If possible, it’s always helpful to get a proofread from a person who has distance from the piece. When a writer has been working on the same project for hours, it’s hard to get enough cognitive distance from the writing to accurately identify mistakes. An outside proofreader can read without context and therefore give unbiased opinions and observations.

If you don’t have anyone to proofread for you, spend a couple hours doing something else and come back to the piece. When you return, you should have the distance you need to objectively proofread.

During the proofreading process, be sure to consistently link features to benefits. A feature describes a product or service, whereas a benefit describes the positive effects the product or service has on the reader.

Instead of writing: “The new Macbooks come with Retina Display”,

Write: “The new Macbook’s Retina Display screen is easier on your eyes, creating unparalleled clarity in the viewing experience.”

The first statement describes a feature of the product, while the second directly links the feature to a positive effect on the consumer, making for more effective marketing .

The goal of revision is not simply to correct grammatical errors, but to hone what’s on the page and fully realize ideas. Once the benefits of the product or service have been effectively and efficiently communicated with the goal of provoking the desired action response, publish it and get started on the next one.

In the next entry of our Promotional Writing series, we’ll tackle how to write an effective press release. Stay tuned!

At Mystic Media, our vast experience in strategic marketing  and application development has given us expertise on the all formats of promotional writing: from copy writing, search engine optimization, social media marketing, web design, and more. Learn more by clicking here or by contacting us by phone at 801.994.6815