Recently I found myself chatting with a marketing consultant who expressed some frustration with a client's attempts at writing his own PR: "He's a great businessman, he's a strong writer, but he tries to turn everything into an ad."
A salesperson's first instinct is to sell. When given an opportunity to appear in print, we all feel an urge to bombard that empty space with the details of how great we are and why. But we must remember that the only articles that interest readers is one that gives them something of value instead of simply lunging for their wallets. If you want us to make an emotional investment in your brand, ell us why we should care about what you do and how you do it.
You can promote your value through any and all kinds of marketing content. For example, you can issue a press release announcing an item of community interest. Your company's grand opening, improved product line, or expanded service area is a news piece, and your audience gains immediately by knowing more about what's happening in their town or neighborhood. A sufficiently large announcement attracts the regional or national press. In any case, a good press release informs first and advertises second.
What about other forms of marketing writing that use subtlety to win readers' interest in your business? Again, the key is to give them something attractive and meaningful to their daily lives. Here are a couple of examples:
Solve a problem. How many of us have needed a quick, authoritative answer to some vexing question, from how to unclog a drain to how to choose a business broker? Post an online article providing ready answers to a question, and you've taken a thorn out of your lion's paw. Add your company's contact information to the bottom of the article, and that lion will reach out to you the next time a similar thorn comes along.
Entertain. A funny, touching, or exciting human interest story makes a great feature article. Entertaining your readers is a surefire way to grab their attention and make them want to learn more about your products or services. And true-life stories can be powerful testimonials. Touch their hearts and they'll think of you when it's time to buy.
I once knew an insurance agent who made a point of saying, "I don't sell insurance; I help people buy it." When we educate instead of sell, we help our potential customers get what they want. By increasing your value to your target audience by enlightening and entertaining them instead of hard-selling them, you earn their trust, respect, and loyalty. If you'd like help crafting the kind of content that can capture their hearts and minds, contact me so we can position you as the best thing that ever happened to your customers!