Tuesday, May 23, 2023

If You Can Write a Letter, You Can Write Your Own Marketing Content

Anyone other than me remember Coronet Films? I was subjected to countless of these short "educational" films during my years in school, instructing young people on everything from why they should drink more water or eat more vegetables to how they should dress for different situations. Well, maybe it's because i'm frequently doing research related to my writing work, but somehow or other my YoutTube feed presented me with a 1950 gem entitled "How to Write Better Social Letters." (You know, back when people actually wrote letters by hand, on that ancient substance known to the elders as paper.) Dated as the film may be, it makes some legitimate points about how to organize your thoughts for readability and write with a specific audience in mind. You know -- like you have to do when writing marketing content.

Do you find marketing content creation intimidating, confusing, or simply alien to your experience? If you enjoy writing letters to people, you might know more about this discipline than you give yourself credit for. Think about how the following letter writing tips can apply to your copywriting efforts.

"Write how you talk." You can't expect a high-handed tone and scholarly vocabulary to come across as warm, natural, or relatable to most B2C or B2B audiences., any more than you'd expect these choices to resonate with a friend or family member reading a letter from you. In this case,  when I say"you" I mean "your brand," which will have its own distinct personality. Think of a business as a person writing a letter to someone who needs and wants that person's help, advice, and reassurance. Try to picture both your brand and your audience as individual human beings on both ends of that communication. The right tone will naturally follow.

"Tell a story." Effective storytelling and effective marketing go hand in hand. When you're recounting a memory or anecdote to someone in a personal letter -- or even talking about it over the phone -- you naturally begin at the beginning, don't you? You set the stage, introduce the events in the order they occurred, and then reach a slam-bang conclusion. This structure gives your story a logical, easy-to-read flow that keeps the audience's attention and prevents confusion. Simply follow this same kind of structure in your marketing content. Introduce a problem, throw in enough details to engage the emotions, and then segue into the solution (which, of course, is your product or service).

"Put a bow on it." It's easy to wrap up a personal letter -- you just summarize the gist of what you were talking about, add some compelling final comments, and then invite the recipient to reply, come visit sometimes, or whatever will keep the relationship rolling along. Well, that's exactly what you do when you conclude a piece of marketing content. you wrap up your points and then encourage your audience to take the next step based on what you've just communicated. It's as clear and surefire an approach as appending that final "Sincerely Yours."

See what I mean? If you know how to write a letter, you know how to create marketing content. but of course the fact that you know how doesn't mean you're obligated to do it yourself. Contact me if you'd like to hand this task over to an experienced freelance copywriter. After all, even a casual letter requires some time, effort, and skill!

Monday, May 8, 2023

What Is Your Business Doing This Summer -- and How Are You Marketing It?

Officially, we greet the first day of summer on June 21st, although here in Texas the summer heat arrives long before summer itself. We've already seen Cinco de Mayo come and go, and Memorial day will be here soon enough. When you're already out in the sun grilling and partying, you're pretty much doing summer, right? And we'll get a glut of other bg events coming up. There's Mother's Day, Memorial Day (if we're letting May sneak into the summer schedule), Flag day, Father's Day, Juneteenth day,  Independence Day, Labor Day....even such "niche" holidays as National Hot Dog Day, National Mountain Climbing Day, and National Watermelon Day. 

What summer holidays pertain to your business, what are you doing to draw customers on those days, and what marketing measures have you taken to let us know? Here are some ways to get your target audience's attention.

Festive videos - TV commercials have traditionally advertised summer sales and events, but they generally require elaborate planning, production, and editing. If you want to show the world what you're up to this summer, you'll find it quicker, cheaper, and easier to hit YouTube and other video channels with short, exciting, funny, compelling clips. You might already have some footage left over from previous summer promotions that you can cobble together in support of a high-energy scripted voiceover. You can also run some sort of video submission contest related to your upcoming summer spectacular, with creative fans sending in their own video essays or examples of fun in the sun. A lucky winner gets a prize -- and you get free promotional content!

Article-based promotions - Do you send out periodic email blasts and/or newsletters? Do you keep your business top of mind on the internet through regular blog posts? Now's the perfect time to plant announcements about your huge summer sale, fundraiser, or public gathering in the form of short but sweet articles. The articles can focus on the promotion itself, or they can be skilfully written to incorporate that information as tidbits within larger topics. If you blog frequently, you can touch on the subject multiple times without necessarily jamming the promotion down your target market's throat -- especially if the larger subject of the article deals with some other issue that naturally segues into your exciting news.

Direct mail - Don't let today's digital world cause you to ignore good old direct mail. There are always some folks who will respond better to a tangible ad, coupon, or announcement in their mailbox. The right combination of high-voltage written content, vivid graphics, and an offer they can't refuse will help ensure a big turnout or big sales figures. Better yet, targeted distribution techniques such as EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail) can help you send exactly the right pieces to exactly the right neighborhoods.

I've only scratched the surface of the many ways you can market your summer activities. There's still time to get the word out, of course, but your window of opportunity is narrowing. If you need help creating the right marketing content to make your summer sizzle, contact me and let's turn up the heat!