By Joe Stolte, serial entrepreneur with two successful exits, CEO of The Tractionology Group, and author of the book Tractionology.
Ad executive Bill Bernbach of the global ad agency DDB once said, “We must not just believe in what we sell, we must sell what we believe in,” and in today’s modern marketing world, this couldn’t be more true. If you want to successfully reach more clients and have a bigger impact in your marketplace, you need to know how to communicate persuasively to transform strangers into leads and leads into paying clients.
If you truly believe that your products and services create real benefits for your market, you have an obligation as a business leader to ensure you’re taking advantage of the right opportunities to reach your target clients and ethically invite them to transact with you.
One of the best ways to reach your target market, build up trust and generate goodwill in advance of the sale is to create content that draws your audience in and compels them to take action. The good news is, you don’t have to be a world-class copywriter or a legendary advertising executive to create content that converts.
You simply need to follow these five easy steps.
Make everything about your ideal target audience.
As tempting as it is to talk about your company, your services and your story, the truth is that your audience secretly doesn’t care about any of these things. They care about themselves and their goals, dreams, aspirations and desires. So, start by making sure your content always ties into how you can help them.
Focus on the results and outcomes your audience craves.
Focus your content on the results your audience wants to achieve. Make sure to deliver them the right resources, information and insights to solve their problems and deliver them real results before you try to sell them something. By solving some of their biggest challenges with your content, you naturally build up goodwill and trust with your audience.
As you build up more goodwill and trust by delivering results in advance of the sale, this makes your audience much more likely to convert from a prospect to paying client when you get the chance to pitch them on your offer.
Write a compelling headline that grabs attention.
In advertising, your headline is like a miniature ad for your ad. The same is true for your content. If your headline doesn’t grab your audience’s attention and get them to stop and click, open or engage, your content is not going to get consumed. One of my favorite headline frameworks that works over and over again uses this formula: “Want (desired results)? Do (this action).”
This might look familiar because I used this same formula for the title of this article. Let’s say you have a YouTube video that teaches your market how to save money. You can write a simple headline that says, “Want to save more money in 2021? Watch this video to learn how.”
Tell them what to do next.
All of your content should include a clear call to action that tells your audience exactly what to do next. Before you create a piece of content, you should clearly define what the desired end result is for the reader and what you want them to do next once they have consumed the content.
You can do this with a simple call to action where you explicitly tell them what to do and why they should do it. For example, if you’re writing an Instagram caption, you might write, “If you got value from this post, hit the save button so you can refer back to it later,” so the reader knows what you want them to do and what’s in it for them.
Use a postscript to recap your content and call to action.
If you’re writing an email, social media post, article or blog, use the end of your message to recap your content and call to action. Most readers have what copywriter Dan Kennedy calls a “dual readership path” where they scan the sub-headlines and the end of the message before they decide if they want to read the entire message. So, the sub-headlines and postscript (P.S.) section of your written material is a great place to “sell the reader” on consuming your content.
In the P.S. section of your writing, use this space to provide a mercifully brief recap of your content and repeat your call to action. This way, you can maximize the chances of your audience reading your content. It’s also an easy way to restate your main point if they’ve been reading along from start to finish.
Creating compelling content that helps your audience and gets them to convert doesn’t have to be hard. If you follow these five steps, you’ll be well on your way to creating truly helpful and compelling content that your audience consumes over and over again.
P.S. If you make all of your content about your audience, what they want and how they can get it while using effective headlines and well-placed calls to action, you’re going to immediately stand out from the millions of other brands fighting for the attention of your audience. This is the easiest way to create compelling content that converts.