"Why should people buy from you and not your competitors?"
If you're a business owner, you can answer this question with ease, explaining why they're better, what makes them stand out, why their people are the best, and so on. You know your value prop like the back of your hand, right? So why is it that when it comes to writing content, businesses end up scared to have the same passion and enthusiasm and write yawn-inducing blogs, emails, website pages and more?
Sometimes it's because they don't know how to write exciting content, and sometimes it's because they truly believe their business is actually boring. Fortunately, the latter is false (seriously) and the former can be improved! Here's some tips for writing engaging content, no matter what your business is:
1. Write the same way you talk.
Seem too simple? Not really. Think about it! When someone calls your business or visits you in person, you put on your happy, excited face and you really get enthusiastic about what you're discussing. Like above where I ask people, "Why should people buy from you?" you can go into great detail talking with passion about why you do what you do. Don't write content like they're press releases, and don't tone down your style. If you greet people with "Howdy!" in person, do it in your content. Write with the same voice, excitement and passion you talk to people with, and they'll respond much better. Even talk to them about things going on in your business - your employees, your culture, etc. Be human.
2. Talk about them, not you.
People don't care about your business. What they care about is how your business helps THEM. Talk to them about what matters to them, not what you think they need to know. If you sell pools, you may care about the low-maintenance filtration system and the sturdy, long-lasting materials, but your audience only cares that the minimal upkeep won't take time out of their summer and the solid construction promises many years to come with their family making fun memories. Get it?
3. Keep it short and sweet.
I'm the Queen of Verbosity, and blog posts are a little longer than some other content. However, I've broken up this post with bullet points, bolded important phrases, and a pretty picture. Why? Because you're going to at least read the bullet points, and the bolded words, and maybe if I've really caught your attention, you'll read the rest. Do the same with marketing. An email should have the bullet points, and direct to your blog or website for more details. Your social media posts? Excite them enough to click the link - that's it.
4. HAVE AN OPINION ON YOUR INDUSTRY.
If I suddenly decided I was going into your line of work, you'd probably have all these reasons why I can't just jump straight in, because there are things I need to learn, know, experience, etc, right? And if I started talking about your business without having those things, you'd correct me and tell me your opinion about why I'd fail, what I'd get wrong, and more. That's because I have no idea how to run your business, which is why I do this and you do your thing. Speak with that same knowledge about your industry. Have opinions. Talk about trends or news articles with authority. If there are issues in your industry, talk about how you've overcome them. Show that you really know what you're doing, and care about what you do, and others will see and feel that in what you write.
5. don't talk to everyone about everything.
A previous customer may get mad if you try to sell them on something they already bought and just dump you. A new lead isn't going to want to leave you a review. It may spell out a little more work to write things for each audience, but remember the key phrase: When you write for everyone, you write for no one. When you write specific messages to each group, you can really speak to them as an individual.
There's a common trend here, if you caught it, and that's ultimately: Be You.
Be authentic, be honest, be open, and talk about why you care about what you do and why your business helps people. If you can show people your passion and let them know how they'll benefit from that, you're going to have way better content. So jump in, crack a joke or two, have an opinion, and get rid of all that boring stuff. No one reads it anyway.