Most business owners recognize the crucial importance of written content in their marketing efforts. If you own a company or manage a brand, you've got to create website, blog, email, and sales letter content that makes a powerful impact and compels the proper action. If you've written your share of content that looked fine at first glance but failed to achieve the results you sought, don't despair -- you might have missed the mark due to some common, correctable missteps. Before you publish or send out your next piece of written marketing content, ask yourself the following key questions.
"Who Will Read This Content?"
If you've had any success in your business, you probably know who falls into your target market and how to reach those individuals most effectively. But in addition to understanding where to find your audience, you must also understand what segment of the population that audience represents. What do your typical buyers worry about or struggle with? What level of education do they have? What values do they uphold? What priorities influence their shopping choices? If you can't answer these questions with confidence, work with a marketing strategist to create an imaginary construct called a buyer persona. You now have an imaginary ideal customer to write for -- which means you write much more targeted content.
"What Benefit Does This Content Provide?"
Once you know the frustrations, concerns, and other pain points that make life more difficult for your ideal buyer. Have you addressed these pain points in your marketing content? Few approaches grab someone's attention more firmly and easily than sympathy for that person's situation. When you show that you know your audience's problems, you can position yourself as the solution to those problems. For instance, if you sell mattresses, you want to talk about the misery of restless nights, chronic back pain, and other issues that cause people to shop for an alternative to the torture device they currently endure night after night -- and then offer that alternative.
"Does the Content Inspire Responses?"
If you think of marketing content as a kind of one-way address system, think again. While your buyers can't intercept your message or reply to it in real time, you can (and should) evoke the illusion of a conversation. One of the more effective copywriting tricks in this regard involves asking question after question: "Do you hate scrubbing gunk off your dishes after every meal? Do you sigh when you see white spots on your glasses after you pull them out of the washing machine?" Et cetera. You can practically hear the aggravated audience member yelling "Yes! One hundred percent!" in reply. Notice that "Yes," by the way. When you keep throwing out questions with obvious "Yes" answers, you're achieving two important goals. First, you're using positive language instead of negative language, even when describing negative scenarios. (You don't want to establish yourself as a Debby Downer.) Second, you're getting your audience member to agree with you again and again, establishing that you're both on the same wavelength. Next stop, sale!
"Have I Trimmed All the Fat?"
Sometimes a perfectly acceptable-looking draft can reveal small but telling weaknesses on careful review. Check your marketing content thoroughly for any little extra verbiage that might dilute your message or bog down the flow. For example, do you see an "in order to" where a simple "to" would do the job? Look for any ways you could make your message more compact. Replacing passive phrase constructions with active ones should help you trim this fat while also adding power to your message. While you're at it, replace any needlessly fancy vocabulary with clear, plain words. The changes might prove as simple as "use" instead of "utilize," but the end results should include clearer, more readable text and a more direct impact.
Would you rather feel assured that your marketing content will always hit the mark without having to serve as your own editor and proofreader? Let a professional copywriter craft your content for you! Contact me today to learn more and get started on the easy path to greater marketing success.