I totally understand why many business owners hate writing their own marketing content. You spend hours bashing away at a web page, blog entry, or sales letter only to get a disappointing reaction from your target audience -- time and effort you could've spent on other crucial areas of your business. But many folks shoot themselves in the foot by committing small acts of self-sabotage without realizing it. The difference between so-so content and good content, or between good content and great content, can hinge on some tiny, subtle choices. Take a look at some little changes you can make that will vastly improve your marketing content's effectiveness.
Switch From Passive to Active Voice
Some people fall back on passive voice in an effort, I think, to sound more formal and elegant. Passive voice does indeed create a distancing effect -- but you don't usually want that when you need to make an emotional impact. Compare the statement "Gourmet cookies and cakes will be served at the event" to "You'll enjoy gourmet cookies and cakes at the event." I've shifted the subject from the cookies and cakes to the reader, where it belongs, while replacing the lame verb phrase "will be served" with "You'll enjoy." You can use passive voice once in a while for variety's sake, but don't let it suck all the vitality out of your writing. If you see multiple passive phrases in your text, look for ways to make some of them active.
Use "You" Instead of "We"
I've covered this problem before, especially in relation to "About Us" web pages. You're proud of your business and your brand, and of course your audience wants to hear you talk about your features and benefits. But ask yourself how many times you see the word "we" in your content. If you're going "we we we all the way home" like the Three Little Pigs, you can turn your audience off unintentionally. Readers don't want a lengthy list of what you do, they want to know how they benefit from what you do. So instead of constantly saying things like, "We offer x, y, and z services," look for ways to say "Here's how you'll benefit from our x, y, and z services."
Compress Your Phrases
Just as people sometimes use passive voice to make their content sound more "important," they also stuff extra words into their phrases to round out and complicate them. Don't do this. Extra words bloat a phrase while diluting its punching power. Consider one of the most common offenders, "in order to." Why not just say "to?" The more compact your phrases, the more power they contain. Go through your drafts with a red pen (or its digital equivalent) and look for words that can go.
Keep the Structure Simple
Wouldn't you love to make your marketing content both easier to follow and easier to create? You can achieve both goals at one stroke by simplifying your content's structure. Start by deciding on that structure before you start writing. The most straightforward structure in most marketing content involves an initial pain statement ("Don't you hate this problem?") followed by a solution statement (Well, here's how we come to your rescue!") and finishing with a call to action ("Contact us today!"). You can start writing at the beginning, middle or end without wandering down a rabbit hole because you already have your road map for the entire journey. Better yet, your audience will appreciate the clarity and flow of the final result!
These tips should make marketing content creation less strenuous while boosting the power of the content itself. But if you'd like even more surefire results without investing any effort at all, reach out to me for professional copywriting help. How's that for a quick and easy solution?