Leslie J. Thompson

Dynamic Writer and Speaker with a Background in Journalism, Marketing Communications and Ghostwriting

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Entries from April 2015

Successful Marketing Starts With the End in Mind

April 14th, 2015 ·

To be successful in business, you must begin with the end in mind. Who is your audience? What are your sales quotas? What is your exit strategy? The same maxim holds true for your marketing content. Too often, I see companies put out website copy, blog articles and white papers that enumerate the features and benefits of their product or service, accompanied by a list of their credentials or industry awards. This information is important, but before hitting readers over the head with all of your expertise, you first need to answer two fundamental questions:

1. What problem do you solve for your customers?

2. What do you want readers to do next?

When writing marketing copy, know your destination before you start
Know Their Pain Point
Listing the features and benefits of your products or services does little good if you don’t first identify your readers’ needs. What problems do you solve for them? How can you make their life easier, help them earn more money, keep them healthy, or protect them from external risks?

For example, say your company specializes in outsourced benefits administration. You use the latest technologies and industry best practices to serve your clients. That’s great. But, exactly what do you do with those technologies and best practices? Your readers need to know that you can help them reduce paperwork, minimize overhead costs for administrative staff, ensure regulatory compliance, and streamline their business operations.

If your business sells the most nutritious, organic dog food on the market, explain to your audience why they should spend 25% more for your product. Talk about the scientific research that shows the specific ingredients you use can reduce the risk of certain diseases (saving them on vet costs) and prolong their dog’s life by 2-3 years, so they get more time with their beloved companion.

Lead Them to Your Door
Once you have explained how you solve problems for your customers, don’t leave them hanging. You need a clear call to action in all of your marketing to get readers and viewers to take the next step. I have seen dozens of websites that have exceptional content but don’t even include a phone number in the header. More importantly, the business has missed a great opportunity to capture leads by simply adding a short contact form on the homepage, or a button to request a quote or order a free download. Your reader may not be ready to buy, but an effective call to action can motivate them to share information that helps you stay connected.

In all of your marketing materials, make it as easy as possible for people to reach you, and to incorporate multiple call-to-action messages throughout your content. In a white paper, include your website URL on the cover and in the footer of all pages, and include an email and phone number in the closing paragraph for readers to request more information. In a marketing brochure, put the contact information on the back cover, and also include text throughout that encourages readers to call your office for personal assistance. Even blog articles should include an invitation for readers to share their thoughts and leave a comment. When you engage them in a dialog, they are more inclined to keep the conversation going, and to refer your business to others.

Take a Load Off
Even if you understand your reader’s pain points and you have a strategy in place for capturing leads, you may not have time to create content yourself or have an in-house marketing team to whip up copy on demand. That’s where a freelance writer like me can come in handy. I help entrepreneurs and small- to mid-size companies define their audience’s needs and create compelling content to promote a long-term relationship. Whether you need a press release, case study, blog articles or eBook, I will immerse myself in the subject matter and deliver text that hits the mark, at a price that fits your budget. If I can be of any help, just give a call at [two one four] 704.6661 or email leslie [at] lesliejthompson [dot] com.

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Tags: Freelance Writing