“Always be closing!” - Over the years, this quote from the Glenngarry Glen Ross film has become some sort of a mantra to everyone who works in marketing or sales.
It doesn’t really matter if you run a big, medium, or small business, your main goal here is always the same: Make more sales!
Everything revolves around that. Without a steady flow of sales coming in, your business will crash and burn. It’s only a matter of time when you’ll start to run out of funds, and find yourself in a situation where you have to look for alternative ways on how to bring food to your table.
The horror, right?
Nobody wants that.
Even though it often doesn’t seem like it, but even us content marketers are obligated to create new sales for our brand. We focus all our efforts on bringing in new customers. Everything we do is in service of spreading brand awareness, stimulating user engagement, and piling up conversions on our, or our employer’s site.
Maybe to a couple of people, this might look like a walk in the park, but everyone who was at least once in his (or her) life tasked with creating content that drives-in more conversions, is more than familiar with all the struggle that comes with this assignment.
But, no need to worry. Most of us experienced content marketers have already done the heavy lifting here for you. When crafting your stories for your future clients, be sure to use some of the following formats, and I promise you, you’ll see your sales numbers skyrocket in the next couple of weeks:
The Before-During-After Format
This one is my favorite. Why? - Well, because this story arc follows your customer’s journey.
It paints the complete picture. In the first part, you focus on describing the problem. You put in the hours to perfectly describe all the pain points that your clients are facing. In our case, we do our best to underline everything that’s wrong in today’s European web hosting scene. Bad English, unavailable and terrible support, lack of personal infrastructure, unreliable service, etc. - the list goes on and on. Everyone who has conducted business with one of these companies knows the horrors of working with a bad hosting provider.
After that is done, after we have covered all the pain points that frustrate our targeted crowd on daily and weekly basis, we move to the early stages of the decision-making process, and later on - the results that come with doing business with us.
This format almost never fails, but, in order to make it really work for you, you need to really know what you’re talking about. You need to understand your shoppers, and that’s why it’s of crucial importance that you stay in constant contact with your clients. It’s imperative that you precisely know what people like and dislike about your niche and business. Stay in constant contact with your users, and you’ll have everything that you need to tailor high-converting stories that speak volumes to your readers.
Meat Before Bones Format
Everyone who creates content for a living knows that this job is all about tailoring texts for an inpatient audience. That’s why it’s always so important to make your first couple of sentence count. If you want to get your readers to stick around and actually read your content from top to bottom, you need to charm them right away. It doesn’t really matter what you do or how successful (or not) you might be, you still have a story to tell. The only thing that separates you from getting your content read by thousands of people is the way on how you present it to them.
When I’m trying to get a large number of people to read my post, I do my best to make the benefits of my story instantly clear to them. If I have some data or metrics - I tend to put them right on top. I make my journey transparent to them. It’ll take them no longer than a couple of seconds to see where I was before I started writing this post, and where I’m now.
Naturally, there are cases where you just don’t have any real metrics to share with your readers, but you still need to come up with something to keep them in the loop. In those particular scenarios, like most of my colleagues, I tend to look around for quotes or client/competitor statements that have the power to give some additional weight to my content.
Social proof is of crucial importance for most business. Especially to those that operate in a highly competitive niche, like web hosting. Why? - Well, because it adds additional trust in your brand and work. When your targeted crowd acknowledges other people’s success with your products and services - they’ll want to get in on the action. That’s why it’s of crucial importance that you humanize your brand and go after as many customer testimonials as possible.
The Living and Breathing Protagonist Format
In order to sell your story to your audience, you need to humanize your messages. You need to give them an opportunity to actually relate to the content that’s being served to them. You cannot do that if your format isn’t really in sync with your mission.
A couple of months ago, I mentioned on this blog the identifiable victim study, masterfully conducted by the people at Carnegie Mellon. These guys used the Starving Children situation as an example to prove that a lot more people care about ads that single out specific faces and tell their story, instead of ones that are solely driven by data.
Even though people still feel the weight of the problem in both examples, they’re still far better influenced by stories that actually give them a picture about the issue at hand.
I think there’s a great lesson to be learned from this example.
Giving people the opportunity to actually see who’s talking to them is a great way to empower your messages. In our case, we are showing our targeted crowd that living and breathing people solve their problems and issues, and not just another faceless and cold brand.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you have anything to ask or add - feel free to write what’s on your mind in the comments section below, and I’ll do my best to get back to you ASAP.
That’s it for now,
See you soon again,
Goran @ AltusHost.