Everyone knows that publishing content is one of the best strategies around to market your business – and because of that, everyone is doing it – so how do you stand out in a crowded street- how do you write exceptional content that makes people sit up and take notice?
Just because you wrote it, doesn’t mean they will read it…
There are many different approaches to marketing today, but no matter how many of the modern tools and techniques you use, there are certain elements of marketing principles that have stood the test of time.
There have been many famous marketers over the years, even before “marketing” was a thing.
What made them ‘stand out’ and what did they have in common with the marketing sages and thought leaders of today?
Let’s take a look at one of the most famous figures from the past and see how his strategies are still used successfully today.
Dale Carnegie was an American writer, lecturer and developer of famous courses in self-improvement, salesmanship, corporate training, public speaking and interpersonal skills. He was the author of How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936) – a bestseller that remains popular today, as well as several other books. He may be known today as one of the greatest sales people to ever live, but he was also an excellent marketer because he focused on interpersonal relationships and valuing people. He was an expert in communication – a skill critical to any marketing role. (Wikipedia)
What can we as modern marketers, learn from Dale Carnegie, whose book ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ still remains an influential and popular business tool today, more than 80 years on?
One of the core ideas in his books is that it is possible to change other people’s behaviour by changing one’s behaviour toward them…
So let’s look at how you can introduce a fresh perspective to an old subject, while practicing some of the secrets from Dale Carnegie and the masters, who really knew how to connect with their customers.
Interpersonal relationships – valuing people
Carnegie said his secret to success was “taking a genuine interest in the lives of others.”
Become an expert in communicating by listening to your customers – it’s a duet – two people having equal importance and contribution to the conversation.
It’s a habit we all have the ability to master and will become one of the most valuable tools you could ever put into practice.
Of course your audience want to hear what you have to say, but it matters more that you listen first, to what they have to say!
It makes sense: how can you know what your customer wants if they haven’t had a chance to tell you?
Remember, it’s about how you value people and the time you take to invest in listening to them.
When you create content to share with your potential customers, simply write how you speak, talk to them like you would to a friend, be personable, warm and friendly. When you do this, something happens – your audience is engaged and they want to listen to you.
This makes you sound more like a helpful friend and less like a marketer.
You’re not trying to sell them something, you are getting to know them through the art of good communication, advising them (like a friend would) about your services, helping to solve their problems, making their lives easier – and further down the line, they may become your loyal and valued customers.
When they read your content, you want them to have more than a passive experience, get them thinking about how you can help them. Humans are emotional creatures so arouse their emotions – no-one wants to be sold logic!
People want you to convince them that your products or services are the best thing for them.
They need to feel and see themselves enjoying or benefiting from your offer. When this happens, they are emotionally engaged and will be ready to take the next step. This is when the trust starts and signals the beginning of a long term relationship between you and your customers.
Value and appreciate your customers and the rewards will be tenfold.
You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want. – Zig Ziglar
Say it simply and say it well – exceptional content brings exceptional rewards
It’s sad to say, but the business world is often plagued with substandard writing.
Marketers are producing more content than ever, but too often it is prosaic and unimaginative.
The focus of your writing should be to share relevant information that interests the audience you are talking to.
But too often, what’s created is dull and unfocused, and fails to get much interest from anyone, and by that I mean, it’s tainted with confusing mumbo jumbo and marketing clichés.
Rather than trying to be tricky and clever, your message should be clear and concise.
Think about who is reading your content and make it easy for them.
No waffling, no buzzwords, no doublespeak – people haven’t got time to wade through loads of text before they know what you’re even talking about. Get your message across and make sure they understand what you are saying right from the start and they will stay with you.
No need to be pretentious, leave the jargon to someone else.
Take a stand and be your own voice
Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion.
We could all learn a lesson from the renowned Charles Bukowski whose work has outlived him by many years. He didn’t care about being anything beyond what he was: an author, a pessimist, a poet and an alcoholic. He was true to his art and how he saw the world through his own eyes was how he wrote, nothing more, nothing less..
We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us. Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead. The free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it – basically because you feel good, very good, when you are near or with them – Charles Bukowski.
What Bukowski wrote wasn’t always easy, but he demanded attention, rattled cages and continually challenged the status quo with his unique perspective. You don’t have to be as disruptive and provocative as Mr Bukowski, but it is your job to get your message across in a voice that is honest and interesting, that cuts through the crap and delivers a message, even if you have to explain it in multiple ways.
This is what I believe is the art of exceptional content – an experience that will transform you and your audience.
Bridge the gap between you and your customer by writing exceptional content that comes alive – deliver a different experience that they will remember!
Do some research and find quotes from thought leaders that inspire you, add cool images – people are naturally drawn to visuals. Carefully craft your communications that talk directly to individuals not a crowd of anonymous faces.
If you follow these principles, your content will have a better chance of being read and understood and a valuable resource that people will return to, link to, and share.
Be unique – use your own voice.
In summary, there is one big, inescapable commonality among all of the famous marketers then and now: they took risks.
Sometimes in marketing, you don’t know what’s going to work best until you try something, so be fearless and unabashed.
When marketing to your clients, be strategic but don’t be afraid to try something new.
“The consumer isn’t a moron; she is your wife. You insult her intelligence if you assume a mere slogan and a few vapid adjectives will persuade her to buy anything.” – David Ogilvy
We would love to get your feedback on how you are facing the challenge of creating exceptional content for your readers and what inspires you to break new ground.
If you would like to know more about how to use this valuable resource and create exceptional content that uses your creativity and engages your audience, take a look here. Our team of writers have developed highly specialised skills. Research, content structure, SEO, creating a narrative, incorporating a call-to-action, engaging with the reader, offering value and doing it in a way that build trust are all elements we focus on.
Contact us to have a chat about how we can help you.
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Midge Hand is a Co-founder and Director of High Profile Enterprises. Midge is one of only around 50 Copyblogger Media Certified Content Marketers and is the only one in New Zealand. When away from the demands of running High Profile Enterprises, Midge enjoys time with family, cooking for friends, Pilates and paddle boarding. This year her new challenge is to learn to play the melodica.