The small business marketing dilemma
How do you break through the marketing noise?
Yesterday I gave small business owners and marketing directors two simple ideas:
- Use direct response advertising (versus image ads, awareness ads, or branding) and
- Connect with your audience
The best way I’ve found to connect with people in a genuine way? Speak with your customers and prospects in their language.
Sincerely. Clearly. In plain-English (not marketing gobbledygook or “corporate-speak”.)
Clear marketing wins customers
Speak with your readers as regular people. Address their concerns in an honest and genuine way. Understand their worries, needs, wants, hopes and fears.
I’m not sure who first coined the term, but marketers often refer to this style of writing as conversational copy. Bob Bly, http://www.bly.com, considered by many to be America’s top copywriter, wrote a whole book about conversational copy.
See, effective writing on your website or in your marketing materials is like having a good conversation with your prospects.
It’s respectful and intelligent. It builds trust. And it’s an extremely convincing style of winning people to your way of thinking.
Conversational copy, when done right, sounds like natural conversation. Thoughts and ideas are connected to each other in a logical way. And it skillfully leads people where you want them to go (without them feeling like they’re being sold.)
It will help you boost web sales. And that’s the idea, right?
New internet marketing technique?
Not at all. Actually, it’s quite old-school. Long before the internet even existed (back in the dark ages of 1986!), I started my career in direct sales.
Selling one-on-one, face-to-face to consumers taught me a lot. I learned that people buy when they feel they know you and trust you. When there is a reasonably good offer. And when they feel they aren’t being “sold”.
Effective marketing and selling
The same selling techniques from the 80’s and 90’s apply in 2010 on the web.
Ditch the hard-sell, heavy-handed approach. It reminds people of bad telemarketers and screaming online sales letters. Give conversational copy a try. Speak to your readers in their language.
Your prospects will like you. They’ll trust you. And most likely, they’ll buy from you.