Let's discuss the grey area of SELLING within your informative content.
It's a tricky balance that all copywriters and content creators struggle to get right.
Isn't it funny how even just the mention the word “selling” in the context of a written piece, such as a blog, can completely turn people off? Some readers will recoil almost immediately, as if you said something sacrilegious. Why is this?
Because today, as content hungry people, we completely hate being sold to. To your customer today, being "sold to" was a manipulative practise done in the 1980ies when strange salesmen rocked up to your door with a suitcase full of things you didn't need, or only happens during thosw awful 20 minute long commercials which waffle on about how amazing the next fad is and why you need their limited stock so badly! Surely, this doesn't happen in an article or blog.... right?
We are "modern customers" now!
We've all evolved. We are much too smart for rubbish like that today, right? We can make our own decisions because we are all empowered and well informed! Of course we are!
While there is definitely truth to that, it's a grey area that needs to be carefully approached by writers when producing content. People go online for information, because the information that is sought is needed to ultimately support a buying decision. Blogs especially are perceived as safe for information seekers, and in a way, they should be.
Inform to sell, rather than just sell
But on the business side, we all know that we produce content to inform to sell, rather than just to blatantly sell. That's the objective: be a key opinion leader on specific topics, so that when your potential customers are seeking relevant information, you're the one answering them, which means that when they go to make that buying decision, you become an strong option. That's the new way! In years past, it was about forceful convincing; now, it's about superior customer service with the aim that you gain a piece of your segment's precious attention.
Why is quality content effective in reaching people?
Blogs can be effective because frequently posting about your area of expertise creates a high-quality touch point, as well as an authoritative relationship with a prospect that no other Marketing collateral can match. In addition, the nature of blogging reveals more of your personality than boring corporate communications, meaning followers are given an opportunity to like you for you.
It's these crucial elements that can sway a potential customer to your side, which is the strategic objective behind the content piece. Don't get me wrong- writers are not subtly manipulating a reader- that's the completely wrong idea! The intention behind a blog post (as an example) is to provide a person with valuable information in order to earn their attention. We as Marketers and Content Creators must provide the customer with exactly what they want, when and where they want, and the reward is being on their radar.
Why writers do what they do
This is why content writing and copywriting is so crucial today- we are all vying for the precious attention of the customer, and in order to do that, high quality writing must be produced to engage the audience. If we are good enough to win their valuable time, and then convert them into an advocate, it's because we offered them superior value and customer service.
People only feel “sold” to when the conversion tactics seem dishonest and arouse discomfort due to high-pressure. Visitors to your blog do not expect this to happen (nor should they), and will leave if they get any impression to the contrary.
But as a content writer, we are all still selling a message, and people really do enjoy buying, but only when they are comfortable. So, write well so that you earn the right to "sell" to a reader.