I am often asked to give feedback with marketing eyes on content people have created.
What follows is the kind of answers, hints and tips I give.
Where will this content be used or published? Offline? Online, and on which platforms?
How much do they know about the subject already? Is this the first information they have received about it?
Will this content be included with another communication or a series of communications?
Where does it fit into the marketing process for this service or offer?
Is it easy to read?
- Have another look at the style of writing.
- Have you used a formal or ‘corporate’ style of writing? Or is it friendly?
- If so, beware of this. You will get better results by using a conversational tone of voice, and a storytelling style.
- Start with the most important message first.
- Bring in the next most important point.
- Then, write the rest – in order of importance – until you have answered every possible question the reader may have in their mind before they decide to sign up and buy.
Think about your ideal client, the reader, and how they will react to your writing.
How do you want them to react? What do you want them to know? How do you want them to feel? What do you want them to do upon reading your content?
Headlines, headings and sub-headings break up chunks of text and make it easy for people to read and relate to your messages.
It is difficult for the human eye to cope with anything more than 2 lines together on a computer screen so include plenty of white space in between sentences.
Use phrases from some of your best testimonials and use them as sub-headings, presented in quotation marks.
Write in short sentences and short paragraphs.
A one sentence paragraph can work wonders in sales and marketing communications.
For example, when you are writing an ‘about me’ section, place each sentence into a paragraph of its own.
See how words are more noticeable when there is white space before and after them. They become an island among the other points connecting to the rest of your story.
Get noticed. Then be understood
Test your writing. Read it aloud and notice when you pause.
Notice why you pause.
Is it because the sentence is too long to absorb?
Or is it ambiguous and would be better written with greater clarity?
Imagine presenting it to an audience.
Video yourself reading it. This alone will help you to refine your content into a sales and marketing gem.
Calls to action
I mentioned earlier about the action we want people to take.
Start with the end in mind. We are all familiar with this famous quotation.
What is your reason for writing this communication? What is your goal?
How will you know when this communication has achieved what you set out for it to do?
When you have answered those 3 questions, you will know what you want people to do and can write your content with the end in mind.
If your goal is to make a sale, what else does the reader want to know in order to make a buying decision?
Emphasise the value to make the price feel a snippet.
Include in your content every benefit to persuade someone to book a consultation with you, sign up to your service, etc.
With ‘you’ in mind, start by asking your client some questions.
Ask them where they are now, what is happening for them, what would they like to happen.
Then introduce yourself and how you help, what you are offering, how much it costs and testimonials to show how others benefit.
After the word ‘You’ (see below), the most important words are:
The headline or first heading
The next sentence.
Think about what is most important – and urgent – to your client.
Make it easy and obvious to contact you, and include your contact details up front.
Last but not least
The most important word of your content:
The reader is interested in their own problem or situation. They want to read about themselves. Use the word ‘you’ as many times as possible and especially more than the word ‘I’, ‘me’ or ‘my’.
Two more things before I go
- Go through your content and write down all the benefits they gain in working with you. Your biggest benefit works best at the beginning and people need to feel this is true for them so they will keep on reading.
- Include specific ways in which your service has made a difference to clients’ lives. What did they achieve exactly? Did they gain something or give up something? How did your service help?
Take a break from your computer screen and your mobile phone.
Get a pen and paper and make notes.
First, write down everything you want the reader to know, feel and do.
When you are happy you have included everything relevant for the reader, you are ready for the next step.
Turn your notes into a style of reading that flows and has your reader staying with you through to the end.
Or until they click the action button you want them to take.
- Writing, and
- The fruits of your creativity
And there is more
For a deeper dive into the fascinating topic of copywriting, my phone number is 07711 361532. Please call.