When you’re trying to make a sale, your ad content should do one of two things:
- Push towards a sale.
- Close the sale.
We see a lot of spammy blogs that overwhelm the reader’s senses with sleazy, salesy language, flashing “BUY NOW!” buttons and not a scrap of informative or entertaining content. You don’t want to produce that sort ad copy, but going too far in the other direction isn’t going to help, either.
It’s important for an ad writer to not get distracted. Every word of advertising content needs to be pushing towards a sale. We’re not talking about writing spam, but rather, understanding the anatomy of a sale, the psychology of the buyer, and what makes them click the “Add to shopping cart” button. Here are the basic components that comprise effective pre-sale salesmanship:
Readers need to have confidence in the seller before they’re willing to make a purchase. You wouldn’t buy spark plugs from someone who calls them car batteries. Use your web content as an opportunity to prove yourself to the reader. Let them know that they can trust you, and they’ll be eager to make the purchase.
The only way to build authority is to be generous with your expertise (or the expertise of your writers). When you end a blog post with “…but you’ll have to buy to find out!” people aren’t going to buy, they’re going to go somewhere else to find out. If you’re selling, say, a book, your readers should already have an idea of what’s in it based on your blog, but they can expect a more comprehensive version of the same content from the book.
This is where a sense of humor, wit, and drama comes into play. If you can be informative and capable of writing something that is a joy to read, then making a sale through your web content is going to be that much easier. Creating entertaining content is fine, as long as you stay on topic and as long as you are earning trust on the part of your reader.
It’s easy to get distracted. How many TV commercials have you seen that don’t even mention the product? How many blogs have you browsed that seem to jump from one topic to the next to such an extent that, once you realize it’s a sales blog, you wonder what a celebrity gossip page is doing selling charity water bottles? The call-to-action isn’t the whole of a successful blog, but it is the finish line.
Gilbert S is is a writer and artist who lives in rural New Mexico with his dog, Sir Kay, and his wife.