Great Copy: The 11 Commandments For Producing Content That Sells

Great Copy: The 11 Commandments For Producing Content That Sells

Great copy is more than just an afterthought. We all want a website that truly works as your always-on-duty sales partner. We all want marketing materials that truly resonate with your audience. That means your messaging is more than an afterthought. Too many business spend thousands on website redevelopment, only to populate the pages with a message that misses the mark, for one reason or another. Great copy is what keeps people invested. It’s a headline that convinces them a click, and a call to action that convinces them to buy. It’s a compelling message between those two points. The commandments of great copy ring true whether you are in the b2b or b2c niches. The 11 Commandments of Great Copy It Provokes Emotion – We all fancy ourselves rational people. We’re all logical and well reasoned. The truth is, we don’t buy a convertible because this one has parts that are built to structurally last longer. We buy a convertible because of the freedom. We buy a convertible because who wouldn’t love the wind blowing in your hair at 80 miles per hour on the Interstate? This goes beyond cars. We buy the computer that helps us get more done, the clothes that make us look better, and the coffee maker with the timer so that we can prep our morning drinks the night before. In other words, we’re not just buying a product. We’re buying how that product will make us feel. Emotion is also achieved through a masterful reveal of the benefits. We want to feel safe, fulfilled, happy, and empowered. Emotion is the key ingredient...

Other Ways to Create Valuable Content

Blogging consistently takes a great deal of time and energy, but fortunately there are other ways to create valuable content. None are meant to be a substitute for a strong blogging strategy, but instead they can enhance it. Where does your audience hang out? Make sure you are using those channels to get the message across. It doesn’t matter how large or small the piece of content is. It’s about finding alternative ways to help your message resonate. 6 Ideas for Valuable Content Newsletter People tend to overcomplicate the newsletter idea. It doesn’t need to be a printed brochure that is both professionally written and designed. Instead, it can be as simple as a generic, no frills plain text email if the message is sound. Maybe it’s linking out to five stories you found valuable this week, or this month. Maybe it’s including a meaningful quote, and what’s new in your industry, or in your business. The content doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does have to be valuable. A newsletter can go out one or two times a month, and can be as simple or as elaborate as you choose to make it. Case Studies Do you have a customer who has used your product or service to overcome their problem? A simple case study highlighting their accomplishments, and how they were able to achieve success could do wonders for your business. This is an easy way to create valuable content. One-on-One Interactions If you are responding in email to a client or customer, make sure you take the extra step to provide value. Provide them with your...
The Value of Stories in Business

The Value of Stories in Business

Stories in business give people a reason to choose you, versus the hundreds of other options that are all a click away. Throughout my young adulthood I wanted to be a reporter or columnist for a large daily newspaper. I wanted to experience city hall, and talk with the people who shaped our local and national policies. It’d be an honor to show the public how government impacts their lives on a daily basis. It’s a noble task to keep the public informed – especially in these times. I wanted to experience the noise and hustle of a loud urban newsroom. I wanted to write amongst the clickity clack of other reporters (even though I know it’s computer work and not typewriters), and the adamant telephone conversations as they collect the days news. The romanticism of the job swept me away. I spent much of my 20s working for some medium-sized weeklies and dailies. I discovered I had a passion for in-depth feature work, and I began to win some awards for it. And for awhile, I kept the dream alive. Then I begin to hear stories about 100 reporters being sacked from a newspaper over here. Another 100 over there. A few large urban newspapers stopped printing their paper edition. The truth is that journalism was dying before the housing market crashed in 2008. I began to realize that my dream job barely existed anymore. If I worked hard enough to land a position in an urban newsroom, they’d be working equally as hard to lay off the reporters with little seniority. Why fight the vicious circle? Some...
Giving Your Audience What They Want

Giving Your Audience What They Want

Are You Keeping Your Audience Happy? Your audience has pressing questions they want answered. People have problems they want solved. By the click of a mouse, they chose you. The words you give them matter. Do you spend high valued blog real estate easing their pain, or do you spend it talking about yourself? There’s a big difference. Understanding your audience and providing the type of content they’re looking for is a big part of online marketing. People new to your website will literally spend a few split seconds determining if it’s the right location for them. If what they see is more about you than about them – they are likely going to move on to the next search result. What can you do? Create a Valuable Blog Let’s spend a quick second establishing what your blog is not. It is not a place to hammer home why people should buy your product 1,000 words at a time. It’s not a place to carry on in the same tone as a television commercial. It’s not a place to be you-centric. Instead, it’s a place to: Address the most common customer questions. You can think back to think back to the questions you’re asked in person, ask your customers, or conduct some simple keyword research to determine what your audience wants to know. Give away your best content. Routinely offer tips, tricks, strategies and how-to’s designed to make your readers’ lives better. Make your posts easy to read. This means reading and copy editing your work before you publish it. It means making your posts visually friendly with great...
Developing a Successful Content Marketing Plan

Developing a Successful Content Marketing Plan

Developing the right content marketing plan can play a significant role in the success of your marketing and business. Let’s back up for a minute and define content marketing, and talk about why you need it in your business. From Content Marketing Institute: Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action. Now, the way your customers consume is changing. The buying process within your industry probably looks nothing like it did five years ago, 10 years ago, 20 years ago. They have questions. They’re seeking the right information as much as they are the right business. They want to know how your product will improve their lives. They want to know what makes your service different and better than the other people who do what you do. They’re online, sifting through competitive websites, and they want to know why they should buy from you. This is where your content marketing comes into play. Website content, blogging, infographics, social media, brochures, and other potential avenues for reaching your customer can all become part of your content marketing plan. Questions to ask as you create your content marketing plan: How often am I going to blog? Your blog should be the cornerstone of any content marketing plan for a few reasons. The goal is always to attract more readers and potential customers to your website. Each blog post that you create serves as a window to your website. If someone Google’s the...
3 Content Marketing Mistakes, and How to Fix Them

3 Content Marketing Mistakes, and How to Fix Them

Don’t let these content marketing mistakes cost your business. Content is what convinces customers to take action. It’s what causes someone to click on a website or blog post. Ultimately it’s also what causes someone to buy, register, download or share. If it’s not connecting with your audience in a meaningful way, it’s hard to keep them invested, and even harder to convince them to read. Writing for the web can seem like a wide open, intimidating proposition. But your content may not miss by much. Below are three of the most common content marketing mistakes, and what you can do to fix them. Fix These Content Marketing Mistakes, and Your Results Will Improve Mistake #1: It’s Not Written to Your Reader You might have years of experience in your industry. You might even have a specialized education and an advanced degree. You know your stuff inside, and out. That makes you a valuable resource for your customers. Don’t forget that. It also makes you prone to some common content marketing mistakes. Now, stop writing above your customers’ heads. There’s a knowledge gap between you and your customers for all the reasons stated in the paragraph above. They don’t know what you know about your industry. When your reader stumbles while reading your marketing content, it doesn’t make you look smart. It drives them away. If you’re lucky they’ll go to a dictionary. It’s more likely however, that they’re going to the next search result. Here’s what you can do to fix this content marketing mistake: Stop using inside industry terms and acronyms. If they absolutely have to be...