Every business wants to publish creative marketing materials. We want them to stand out, and get noticed. We want them to position our business as alone in the pack. But how do we do it?

That’s not the question you should be asking, by the way. I’ll get to that in a bit. But first…your instincts are not wrong. You need to differentiate your business from everyone else out there. But it’s time to rethink how you go about it.

Before you publish your next piece of copy. Before you:

  • Rewrite your website copy, or any other content
  • Redo your logo, or your website, or your business cards.
  • Before you write a sales letter to your customers…

Ask yourself, this question: Does it advance the sale?

I wish I could take credit for this extraordinarily profound, yet simple insight. I’m a big fan of David Garfinkel’s copywriting podcast. In one episode, Garfinkel shared an anecdote about the time he asked famous sales letter copywriter Dan Kennedy about creativity in your copywriting. Kennedy responded with the above question.

With that Question in Mind, Creative Marketing is Easier

I’m a big believer in experimentation in your copywriting, and in your marketing. We should be looking at ways to reach more customers, and improve our businesses. We don’t grow by living inside the box.

If you’re in B2B, make your marketing more personable than anyone else’s. If you’re looking to revamp your about page, go into a higher level of detail. Let people get to know the real you. Be authentic. Be charismatic, and earn people’s trust. Try new mediums, such as landing pages and sales letters.

Write Right Sell Now

But…(There’s always a “but” right?) Find what works. You can use Google Analytics, the Mozilla Rank Checker plug in, or your own website sales to give you the true answer. You have to measure what works in order to understand how to improve.

Once you know what blog posts, web pages, and other marketing materials are doing well, you can look for ways to improve them.

Over time, you can develop an eye for what works as you’re writing. It’s critical to keep your writing focused on one main theme or idea. If your creative flash involves a diversion from what you’re selling in the moment, it might be more useful somewhere else or not at all.

The purpose of your marketing content differs from non-fiction, fiction or other types of writing. With your marketing materials, you are persuading people to take action (mostly to buy). You may come up with some of the best material you’ve ever written, but if it’s not persuasive or valuable, it needs to be eliminated.

Stay focused on the main intention for your marketing materials. The best creative marketing isn’t written to win awards. It’s written to advance the sale. If you can keep your copywriting focused on that main effort, your marketing will be a success!

Matt Brennan is a Chicago-area marketing copywriter and copy editor. He is also the author of Write Right-Sell Now

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