Small businesses are no longer limited by the size of their marketing budget – they can develop and use a platform to learn how to write to sell. The development of content marketing allows businesses of all sizes to compete.
A strong website with engaging and powerful content can level the playing field. Make sure you are doing everything you can to be a resource for your customers. It’s easy to pay attention to advice from marketing experts, and start spinning your wheels, thinking you are doing things right. When you write to sell, it’s important to keep your larger marketing message and strategy in mind as you develop, create and promote your content.
Good copywriting has always been about building value. This is as true for the more classic direct mail advertising as it is for your blog post today. The difference is, today’s blog reader has sought out your writing. They are interested in solving their particular problem, and if your business can help, its value increases. It’s that simple. Quality content will outperform promotional content as you write to sell.
Your blog is a great tool to provide value to your readers. You can position yourself in a visible way online by simply answering their most common questions, and providing key information for people looking to make a purchase. Here are some questions to think about next time you are in need of a topic for your next blog post:
- What are the most common questions that your customers want answers to? Chances are people want to know online, as well. This can give you a built in audience.
- Can you weigh in on a news topic that impacts your industry? Communicating your professional, and well-informed opinion naturally positions you as an expert in your industry.
- Are there quality third party resources that can be beneficial to your readership? Obviously don’t point them into the arms of your competitor, but if there are good neutral resources, it can be a great way to be naturally helpful to your audience.
These are just a few ways to build value with your blog, as you write to sell. When you position yourself as a quality resource, it becomes more difficult and unlikely for your readers to seek someone else out.
Utilizing Benefits over Features
Maybe there is a sliver of loyalists in your customer base who understand the technical specifications of your product or service. Those specifications are the product features.
The rest of us care about how your product or service will fix our problem or heal our pain. Picture a computer salesman asking you how many gigs of RAM you want your next machine to have. Many of us would probably look at that salesman like he had three heads.
Now, picture if he asked if you needed a machine that supported video games, photo editing, or watching video. We all know whether we need a machine that supports those activities or not. The ability to perform those functions on a computer would constitute the computer’s benefits. When you write to sell, you’ll want to stress those benefits.
Grabbing and Holding Your Readers’ Attention
A reader is going to spend seconds at the most determining whether they want to read your post. It is up to you to grab their attention, and persuade them to act based on the information that you provide.
Here are some quick ways to grab and hold your readers’ attention:
- Writing headlines that clearly state the benefit of take away within the post.
- A strong lead paragraph that spells out what readers can expect from the post.
- A clear hook, or message that quickly moves readers from beginning to end of the post.
- An easily conveyed idea that the whole blog post works to support.
Distinguishing Your Business from the Competition
What makes your business different than everyone else that sells what you sell? Good copy answers that question.
For example, I am a former journalist, and have used my blog as a way to convey techniques for writing stories that sell. I understand the power of a strong narrative, in motivating people to take action. This might be different than a writer with a more traditional marketing background.
Using a Call to Action
As a business owner, you are trying to be the most beneficial resource possible to your customers and clients. Do you have a product or service that can help them out of a particular problem? Do you have a book that offers a more in-depth level of detail that can help your customers out?
Blogging is not a time to be shy. By all means, include a link, and point your readers in the right direction. Here’s the caveat, and where many businesses might become confused. Your post should be more than just a sales pitch. Include the helpful information to help your readers solve their problem. But don’t be afraid to offer additional resources.
A call to action doesn’t have to be for a sale, either. You can ask people to talk about their experiences with a given issue in the comment section. You can ask people to email you for more information. You can have people email you for coupons, or special offers. Really the possibilities are endless, and calls to action are a great way to interact with your audience, build up a trust, and ultimately use your blog to sell.
Write to Sell – Conclusion
Your blog needs to convey a certain informative, persuasive, but not overtly-pushy tone. Remember that no one is reading 8 hours worth of commercials before they make a purchasing decision. They are conducting valuable research.
Your blog can still drive profits for your business. Make sure you understand how to write to sell.