How To Create Marketing Content That Sells

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Find out how to make yourself perfectly clear by creating highly-effective, compelling content that will call your readers to action.

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  • 1. Amanda ODonovan + 1 416 456 3859 amanda@amandaodonovan.com www.amandaodonovan.com How to Create Marketing Content that Sells | powerful | persuasive | communication |
  • 2. Creating Compelling Content Communication involves the transfer of information between people. When the message remains intact, communication is highly effective. When the message is muddled, it will be ignored or misinterpreted. This guide will show you how to navigate the most common communication hurdles, and make yourself perfectly clear. 2 Contents Out-House or In-Source? either way, make sure you understand the process Targeting the Message guesswork is no substitute for research Copy that Resonates get emotional and show them you care Do I make Myself Clear? keep things simple Case Studies create a sense of community and demonstrate success Whitepapers establish thought leadership and share insights Web does the message change with the medium? 12 ways to Improve Your Communication takeaway tips for effective writing Food for Thought real-life copy horrors At the End of the Day steer clear of clichs Power Talk money-making words and phrases Amanda ODonovan + 1 416 456 3859 | amanda@amandaodonovan.com| www.amandaodonovan.com amanda@amandaodonovan.com 2008
  • 3. Out-House or In House In-Source? Whether you do it yourself or engage the services of a writer, you need to understand the process involved. Discussion, interviews, research and source documents play an important role in producing clear, consistent, compelling messages. 3 A Balance of Time, Budget and Expertise Good communication takes time and costs money. It must also respect deadlines and budgets. Spend your time and money wisely, and be sure you know where to locate your source information. n What are my strengths? Play to your own and engage others for their expertise. n Can I afford the time? Spend your time wisely, where you make the most impact. n What are the hidden costs? Dont miss valuable new business opportunities by taking on too many roles. n Who is the subject matter expert? Whether youre collecting content from multiple contributors or providing the information yourself, consider bringing in an editor to give your message pace, interest and a common voice. A Collaborative Process When you outsource, youre creating a collaborative project between yourself, the writer and the content providers. Discuss the purpose of the piece, its audience and key messages. If youre coordinating content, ensure that each contribution supports your central message. n Research, write, test, edit and proof Discuss these stages with your writer and build in time to accommodate each one. n Outsourcing takes time Engaging a writer is more than a handoff. Youre in this together. n Editing isnt a quick fix Editing an existing piece can often take as long as creating it from scratch. Remember that an outside contributor needs to understand your business, your audience and the purpose of your message. n End results reflect briefing quality The better you brief, the sharper the results. Make sure that youre clear about the message you want to convey and can direct the writer to the people and the data that will support it. Amanda ODonovan + 1 416 456 3859 | amanda@amandaodonovan.com| www.amandaodonovan.com amanda@amandaodonovan.com 2008
  • 4. Targeting the Message If you dont know who youre talking to, and whats on their mind, you will be wasting your time, energy, money and message. Guesswork is no substitute for research. 4 Get to Know the People you Want to Reach n Ask your peers. n Survey the market. n Speak to your employees, partners, suppliers and clients. n Visit websites, chat forums, seminars, tradeshows. Who are They, and What are They Thinking? Unless you understand your audience, you cant begin to know where theres a need for your products or services. When you aim for the right target, your message will hit home, instead of the trash. As a result, youll be able to continue an intelligent conversation with your prospects and clients. n Where are they from? Dont go global if your market is local. n What are their responsibilities? Make sure youre talking to the decision-maker. maker. n What are their goals? Look to the future and see if youre both heading in the same direction. n Can they describe the pain? Before you can heal it, you have to feel it think problems, not products. n What do they fear, and what do they hope for? Tap into fears and aspirations, so you can align your products and services with emotional drivers. Amanda ODonovan + 1 416 456 3859 | amanda@amandaodonovan.com| www.amandaodonovan.com amanda@amandaodonovan.com 2008
  • 5. Copy That Resonates Get emotionalbecause most buying decisions arent entirely logical. Your copy needs to connect with your audience in a way that encourages action. Think about healing the pain, not flaunting your features. 5 Show Them you Care n Ask questions When you create a conversation, you suggest youre looking for a long long-term relationship. n Empathize with the pain And show them that other people feel it too (case studies). n Uncover the passion Identify a collective passion and demonstrate that you share it. People like to buy when theres a common connection. n Describe a brighter future If you can demonstrate how tomorrow will be better, your audience is more likely to share your optimism. n Explain whats different or better Be crystal clear about why your offering stands out from the crowd. n Highlight your generosity when somethings FREE Human nature loves something for nothing. Shout about it, but exercise caution around Spam Filters. Its not all About you n Theyre not passionate about product features Passion and emotion go hand in hand. Only a select few get excited about product features. Thats usually a conversation for later in the sales cycle, or deeper into your website. n What can your clients expect from you? How fast do you deliver? Can you offer advice and support? n Will it be cheaper, easier, quicker, less painful? Whatever you are offering, its always relative to something else. Be clear about the advantages of picking your product. Amanda ODonovan + 1 416 456 3859 | amanda@amandaodonovan.com| www.amandaodonovan.com amanda@amandaodonovan.com 2008
  • 6. Do I Make Myself Clear? Good communication is about clarity. Too often we try to be clever but appear obscure. Complex, abstract sentences littered with acronyms make it look like youre hiding something. Keep things simple, without being simplistic, and your message will come across loud and clear. 6 Know what you want to say Plan before you start to write. Why are you writing and what action do you want the reader to take? Be economical Remove anything that doesnt add information: Replace Dear Valued Customer. We would like to aid you in the discovery of a solution. To assist us in this process, please let us know what difficulties have been experienced by your company. WithWed like to help you. Please describe your problem. Wed Write as if youre talking to your reader If you wouldnt say it face-to-face, dont say it at all. Remember, its a conversation. face, Avoid jargon and empty phrases Ongoing, hands-on, leading-edge, mission-critical, core competencies, groundbreaking, global basis, taking critical, ownership. Overused jargon and phrases become meaningless. (Were all guilty)! Spell out acronyms Dont assume your reader understands them, so offer the full version the first time it appears in your document. Dont be passive These sentences contain more words , are impersonal and convey less information: ReplaceAn email was sent to all employees. With Rebec