Content is King.  Well, not all content.  Some content is just noise, words on a page.  Even with correct syntax, good grammar and proper punctuation, not all content is kingly.  Sometimes it’s just pretty prose.

 
Compelling Content
 
For those who wish to market their services and products effectively, content is not enough.  Compelling Content is King in marketing!
 
So what’s the difference??  How do you get “compelling” content??
 
Write with your ear.
 
Sounds almost silly.  Picture yourself with a pen sticking out of your ear shaking your head to make markings on the page, but that’s obviously not what we mean.
 
Write the way your reader will best hear what you’re saying.  Say it in their language, the way they’re comfortable hearing it.  Speak their language, their dialect, their slang.  Write it as if you’re saying it.  Some call that conversational writing or colloquial writing.  For a marketer it’s the most effective writing.  It’s writing that gets your message across!
 
Three Strikes and You’re In!!!
 
While we’re turning things on their head, let’s not miss the chance to use a sports analogy.  In baseball, where there’s no crying, there are three strikes before you’re out.  Well in marketing writing there are three strikes before you’re IN!!!
The Subject Line: Get this right over the plate and the reader will swing at reading your message!
The Hook:  The first sentence of the first paragraph.  If this catches the reader they’ll run the bases and read the rest of your message!
The Call-to-Action:  Whenever you write a marketing piece, there has to be a fence to swing for, a home run for your reader to hit back at you.  It’s what you want the reader to do, the action you want them to take.  If they don’t take that action, the inning and probably the game are over.  If they DO take that action you are on base and heading toward home!
Readers may open your email if they are familiar with who you are, but a compelling subject line will seal the deal.  If the first sentence of your first paragraph is a boring introduction like “Thank you for giving us the opportunity to propose….” you will almost definitely lose the deal.  If you, like most people, are an introducer try writing the whole thing first and then just chop off the first paragraph and watch the magic happen as you use that first compelling phrase to start your second paragraph.  That should be your first.
 
Creating Compelling Content is a Craft
 
Anyone who can write competently can learn to make their content more compelling.  Try attending our Writing With Your Ear session at WPC this July to learn more.  Meanwhile, keep coming back to this blog between now and then!