Before the advent of the www boom, there was only one way to market a business – going the broadcast route. The mass media was the most viable option for companies to get their promotional messages out there. And their prospective customers had no option either.
Fast-forward to the present era, and all that has changed now because the web offers us a means to engage with brands using a two way dialogue.
It provides marketers the perfect platform to truly connect with their prospective customers. It allows you to have real-time communications and listen to your customers and prospects.
What a transformation, you may say?! And yet…
It’s been 20 years since we first got exposed to this “web thing,” but surprisingly, you will still find marketers who are still toiling away, broadcasting at their target market.
But, to be honest, there are better ways to get things done and achieve better results. When it comes to crafting messages that are truly engaging, here are five useful tips we can apply.
1. Stop being a pushy salesperson
The pushy approach is known to be aggressively used during the era of broadcast media.
Back then, to get a hold of a share of the audience, you needed to be loud and aggressive. Why? Because your commercials were used to unnecessarily interrupting people, who were already engrossed in something else, such as their favorite radio or TV programs.
An unwelcome message won’t get people’s attention unless it’s loud.
Online, there are endless possibilities. We can target our audience better; we can subtly ask for permission, we can adjust the tone and volume of our messaging.
We do not need to be ridiculously pushy, loud, and aggressive in our approach anymore.
2. Adopt the use of simple, conversational language
After dropping that pushy approach, it’s important to stop using the bazaar style of writing that lots of writers have become used to during their careers.
Don’t be too vague: “United Management helps companies in the monitoring of financial spend, optimising efficiencies, and driving organisational accountabilities so future investments can be accelerated with confidence.”
Really?! Do you even understand that?
Let’s see if we can break that down a little: “Looking for smarter ways to manage your business expenses? At United Management, we can easily help you achieve that.”
If you are interested in reviewing and improving your website’s marketing copy, try this:
Sit with a colleague or friend, get some snacks or a nice cuppa, log on to your website on your laptop and read a page on your website to him or her.
Make it sound like you are engaging that person in a real conversation, then try looking at the facial expression of your colleague in between bites or sips.
Imagine she goes like, “Hey, I need you to tell me more your business.”
Then proceed to read your “about us” page
If while reading those pieces of content you start feeling like you sound like someone who hasn’t got a clue, then it’s time to do a rewrite.
3. Understand the language by listening first
Imagine if you are a pharmacist catching up with a meeting with your peers, but you mistakenly enter the wrong room, and you find yourself sitting with a group of software engineers.
How easy would it be for you to flow with them, understand their priorities, vocabulary, and other objectives?
This is the kind of wide gap that exists between many businesses and their customers and prospects, all because these companies haven’t taken the time to study the priorities, vocabularies, and interest of their audience.
That’s weird because listening to your audience online is super easy.
You can get started in these four ways:
- Interact more with your audience on social media and pay attention to the language they use.
- Send out more surveys, and add some open-ended questions. Analyse the most comprehensive replies.
- Encourage questions from all your digital media to get a feel of their interest and language.
- Read some answers to questions on eBay and check out a couple of other online reviews such as Appliances Online or Amazon.
Gather and analyse this data, and you should be able to do a better job of engaging with your audience.
You will literarily be speaking the same language.
4. Let your readers ask questions
The common method in the past was to write both marketing and editorial materials in lecture mode.
This boring way of writing isn’t going to engage anyone.
Some of the ways to rectify this are to…
Consider asking more questions in your headlines and the main text. A question accommodates the opinions and feelings of the reader.
Illustrate more with stories that your audience can easily relate to. It’s another way of accommodating their feelings and opinions. You will engage them better.
Bottom line: it’s all about increasing engagement by accommodating the interest and opinions of your readers.
5. Be approachable, approachable, imperfect
Avoid making deliberate errors. But you can bring your business closer to your audience by not trying to be perfect.
Your grammar and writing do not have to be completely flawless.
And don’t be scared of making mistakes. Your customer will love you if you admit to making a few mistakes. You won’t get their pardon if you try to maneuver your way out of a simple apology.
It’s not a crime if you are not perfect and it’s easy for people to relate to that.
Let’s try to wrap things up
These five ways of improving your marketing copy are tips you can easily implement. That’s not where the problem lies.
Here’s the problem: most companies are not doing enough to be more engaging, they are still believers in the old-school method of speaking AT customers.
So that’s the first step.
Stop being a pushy salesperson. Start engaging with your prospects and customers. Engage your audience in conversations.
They will show you a bit of love in return.