You always know when a piece of marketing really does its job on you, even if you don't know exactly how or why. The words leap off the page, grab you by the throat, and compel you to keep reading all the way to the end. By the time you reach that final call to action, you're dialing that phone number, clicking that email link, visiting that website, or placing that order. You also know when your own marketing content doesn't work -- because you don't see any of that responsiveness from your target audience. Where did you go wrong when your blog, print marketing, or web content may promise remarkable features and benefits that should get your buyers chomping at the bit? The problem may lie, not in what you say, but how you say it. If your marketing content just seems to sit there against a background of crickets chirping. take a closer look at it and see if you need to make any of the following fixes.
Replace Passive Verbs With Active Verbs
Question: What do "is," "are," "be," and "have" share in common, aside from their utter blandness as word choices? Answer: They all count as passive verbs. Passive verbs can suck the life right out of your marketing copy. Compare them to active verbs such as "make," "present," "establish," "pose," "offer," and "promise." Better yet, see how many of the passive verbs in your current content you can replace with these more robust, high-energy options -- and then see for yourself how those changes turbocharge your content.
Go Light on the Vocabulary
Of course you want to impress your audience with your intelligence, knowledge, and industry savvy. Just don't fall into the trap of fattening your text with five-dollar words. The more complex your vocabulary, the more potential obstacles you throw in front of your audience. If your ideal buyer doesn't know half the words you use, how can you hope to sell to that person using those words? A simpler range of shorter words will usually make a greater impact, not only because more readers can understand it, but also because it naturally hits harder and makes for easier, more pleasant reading (no matter how educated the reader).
Clear Away the Fluff
When you read a piece of marketing content, you probably find yourself thinking two things: "What's in it for me?" and "Get to the point." No matter how well you answer the first point, you can still lose your readers by fumbling the second. Don't spend paragraphs setting the stage for the goodness to come; start with the goodness and get better from there. My playwriting teacher used to encourage his students to start a scene in the middle and fill in the necessary background along the way. When reviewing your work, trim out all unnecessary verbiage. Fluff belongs in a vacuum cleaner bag, not in your marketing content.
Interact with Your Audience
Did you ever read a piece of marketing content that didn't seem to acknowledge your presence at all? If you can't think of any examples, you probably just don't recall the failed content in question -- and why would you? People like it when you talk to them or with them, not at them. Since your marketing content does your talking for you, you want to leave room in it for the reader's own imagination and internal responses. If you want an example, look at the beginning of this paragraph. I asked you a question, and your mind probably generated an answer. You interacted with the content, whether you realized it at the time or not. If you really want to maximize the power of this approach, ask questions that make your readers answer, "Yes." Get your target audience agreeing with you, and that final call to action will yield the response you want.
Make these changes, and your marketing content should make a much more vivid impact on your target market. Need some professional help from an experienced marketing copywriter? Contact me today!