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How to: Write persuasive marketing content

We’re happy to launch our “how to” series! Through these blog posts, we’ll aim to put together short guides or steps to be taken in diverse matters regarding digital marketing, content creation, lead generation or audience acquisition. For the first topic of the series, I’ve chosen one that I think makes the difference between a good marketer and an excellent one: how persuasive your content can be.

When you’re writing marketing content, you (should) always have an end goal in mind. By marketing content, I’m referring to newsletters, social media posts, content you’re sending to your media partners for their channels, ads or even digital content. The reason you’re putting it out there is to get the readers to do something, which could be:

•    Generating awareness to your products or services
•    Getting them to inquire or make a purchase
•    Moving them through the sales funnel, so you stay on top of their mind

Each objective can be measured with a specific set of tools, which we will be addressing in a future blog post. For now, let’s focus solely on creating content that influences your audience. Whilst we could do a list of top tips, 5 things to do, 10 steps not to miss, I’m only going to focus on this:

Present benefits, not features

If you’re rolling your eyes thinking “seriously, is that it?”, let’s do a test. Look through your inbox at some of the newsletters you’ve received or check some social media posts. How many of them are actually talking about the uses of the product or service and how many are just listing features?

This is an old habit dying hard of marketing. When the first toaster appeared, you had to say what it does – toasts bread. When the second toaster appeared, they probably compared themselves to the first one, saying it does this faster or looks better. It wasn’t until competition really developed when they started to refer to how it saves time for you to be with your family.

People aren’t interested in features, they are interested in what this means for them. You should always be writing for your customer, taking into account what they want to read, giving them a take away, a reason to share it, to engage with it. Present how your product or service will enhance their life or activity. Tell them what needs it helps them address.

Force of habit

I know it’s hard to get rid of habits, I can’t honestly say I never do this. If you apply it to event marketing, saying come to this event, we have networking and speakers is so easy, it took me 5 seconds to write it. Considering why people want to hear from those specific speakers, meet the people that join the event and how these will impact the attendees’ businesses is a bit harder. But trust me, it’s so worth it.

I’ve tested this several times over the past years and you can see the results in clicks, likes or any way you measure engagement when you write about benefits. Think of your message as a person. If you’d meet someone who only talks about how great they are, you would stop paying attention quickly. Similarly, if you’re at a job interview, you want to talk about how your skills benefit the company, not just the experience and courses you’ve been on.

Whatever your objectives, your content should be engaging, persuasive and something that people actually want to read. Make sure you start writing it having the rule “features, not benefits” in mind and then review to see you’ve done it. And remember, practice makes perfect and once you start writing for benefits you’ll see the rewards. Or should I say the benefits? 😊

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